Opinion on spec-ing MBP 2017

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by audqyee, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. audqyee macrumors newbie

    audqyee

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    #1
    Hi guys! I'm pretty new here, both in the world of Macs and MacRumors. I'm planning on buying on the 13-inch Macbook Pro with the Touchbar that was released in 2017 and I need your opinion on this. For background, these are the options on Apple's website:

    Processor
    3.1GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz (standard)
    3.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz (+ $90)
    3.5GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz (+ $230)

    Memory
    8 Gb (standard)
    16 Gb (+ $180)

    What is your guy's opinion on upgrading the processor from the standard i5 at 3.1 GHz to the i7 at 3.5GHz?
    I'm planning on "specing" out my first MBP, but if the upgrade is only giving me an almost negligible real-world performance difference, I'd rather not upgrade.

    Background: I'm currently a graduate student that must use the MS Office panel plus a statistical software (IBM SPSS). Coming in from an extensive Windows and Android history. Slightly above exposure on Mac's and iOS.

    PS: In addition, what is that "turbo boost up to ..."? Is that similar to overclocking video cards?

    -Thank you! Any relevant answers are pretty much appreciated!
     
  2. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 65816

    New_Mac_Smell

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    UK / China
    #2
    Base model is adequate for your needs, don't know if SPSS uses multi-threading yet? i7 dual core is a rebranding i5 dual core. Really no noticeable difference between those processors.

    Turbo boost is essentially hardware safe overclocking of the CPU, automatically scales it up when needed. Expect sustained performance to peak somewhere between stated Ghz and Turbo'd Ghz.

    RAM wise that's up to you, you'd be fine with 8GB, MacOS is a very smart system when it comes to handling RAM. Don't be fooled by the old notion of "I have so many apps open at the same time, I need more RAM..." It's just not how RAM works anymore. So only get it if you're the sort of person to worry or feel you'll run out/obsolete/'future proof' or whatever.

    Main focus is the SSD, take what you currently use then double it for a safe bet. If you can still afford the RAM upgrade then by all means go for it. But don't worry about the CPU.
     
  3. audqyee thread starter macrumors newbie

    audqyee

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    #3
    Thank you very much! This is exactly the type of information that I needed! You've made up my mind on this.
     
  4. Sodaken macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2017
    Location:
    Munich/BKK
    #4
    I second New Mac Smell's opinion.... CPU upgrades: not worth the money. 1st prio would be RAM: 16 GB if in budget - things get faster. 2nd prio: SSD: 256 GB as minimum or 512 if in budget (worst case if you need more memory - fast external like a Samsung SSD or donglebar with a MicroSD reader and using a 200 GB card (70 EUR)
     
  5. audqyee thread starter macrumors newbie

    audqyee

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    #5
    That is what exactly I'm thinking too. I think I'll save with the upgrade on the processor and upgrade to the 16Gb RAM and the 512 SSD. Thanks too boss!
     
  6. ZapNZs, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    If it were me personally, I would favor the nTB with the base i5 + 16 GB of RAM + 512 SSD over the TB's base i5 + 8 GB of RAM + 256 SSD (they are roughly the same price.) Given how big datasets can get, as well as visualization outputs, the extra 256 GB could really come in handy!

    IIRC, SPSS is multi-threaded, but only certain versions and certain operations. I believe there is a difference between the grad pack and the full client version and this may be one of those differences. I do not think you will see a big difference among the different 13-inch CPUs with SPSS. I really like SPSS and I was pissed upon graduation that the place I initially started working for strongly preferred Stata and SAS!

    If you are simultaneously using SPSS, Excel, standard-use software, and think you may also need to use data visualization programs or qualitative data analytical software (which would in some cases require a Windows VM), 16 GB of RAM can come in handy. The OCR/ICR software sometimes used in social and marketing research for processing paper forms is also a RAM hog (and can be CPU-intensive) - this factor is currently driving me towards a workstation. Some proprietary software that organizations use, such as custom-made metadata editors or CATI/CAPI specification writers, may also require Windows (in some cases, older versions), and may employ Access and/or Visio - more RAM would be desirable in these cases as well given it almost necessitates virtualization.

    While you might not need 16 GB right now, for quantitative and mixed methods research I personally think it can provide enough flexibility down the line to justify the upgrade cost.
     
  7. audqyee thread starter macrumors newbie

    audqyee

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    #7

    ZapNZs... I... I think I love you... That was the most relevant info to date I have received. I don't think my peers can even give me an info this relevant regarding Macs.
     
  8. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #8
    Glad I could help! :)
     

Share This Page