Processor, RAM, Storage - Which one is the most important?

Lausebub

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2011
9
0
I'm planning to buy a MacBook Pro this week or next week and playing around with the specs a bit and I wondered: Which component should be the first to upgrade? I feel like the processor is the least important aspect for most people. Having more clock speed is pretty irrelevant in day to day use and a lot of users won't really be able to appreciate the benefits of an i7 over an i5.
Right now I'm not able make my final decision on my purchase. It's either going to be the middle 13" option with 8GB/256GB, the higher end option with the double the storage or a custom RAM upgrade.
Which one do you recommend me to buy? 16GB sounds a bit crazy to me and I'm not in the situation where I want to run a bunch of VMs all the time. Are there any other benefits for it right now? I feel like 8GB will be enough for pretty much everything I want to do with the notebook for the next 4-5 years or so(light gaming, work/university stuff and some photo or video editing, but nothing professional) Do you agree?
512GB of flash storage sounds like a lot and having more space on your device makes things a lot more comfortable. It's not tough to plug in a hard drive or SSD and have extra memory available, but having the 512GB right there could be really convenient. I expect the iPhone to be able to shoot in 4K in a couple of years and those files can take up a ****load of storage. Does anybody here have a laptop with 256GB of store? How are you managing?
In the end, I kind of feel torn between the middle and right 13" MBPr options unless you think that the 16GB RAM upgrade would really be worth it.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I'm planning to buy a MacBook Pro this week or next week and playing around with the specs a bit and I wondered: Which component should be the first to upgrade? I feel like the processor is the least important aspect for most people. Having more clock speed is pretty irrelevant in day to day use and a lot of users won't really be able to appreciate the benefits of an i7 over an i5.
Right now I'm not able make my final decision on my purchase. It's either going to be the middle 13" option with 8GB/256GB, the higher end option with the double the storage or a custom RAM upgrade.
Which one do you recommend me to buy? 16GB sounds a bit crazy to me and I'm not in the situation where I want to run a bunch of VMs all the time. Are there any other benefits for it right now? I feel like 8GB will be enough for pretty much everything I want to do with the notebook for the next 4-5 years or so(light gaming, work/university stuff and some photo or video editing, but nothing professional) Do you agree?
512GB of flash storage sounds like a lot and having more space on your device makes things a lot more comfortable. It's not tough to plug in a hard drive or SSD and have extra memory available, but having the 512GB right there could be really convenient. I expect the iPhone to be able to shoot in 4K in a couple of years and those files can take up a ****load of storage. Does anybody here have a laptop with 256GB of store? How are you managing?
In the end, I kind of feel torn between the middle and right 13" MBPr options unless you think that the 16GB RAM upgrade would really be worth it.
Between processors on the 13", the i7 upgrade isn't worth it because it's still a dual core.

Now, if it was the quad core i7 found in the 15", that'd be a massive jump.

Since you're not running VMs, 8GB will do you fine.

The sweet spot would be 2.6/8/256, with media libraries stored externally.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,366
538
Houston, Texas
I'm planning to buy a MacBook Pro this week or next week and playing around with the specs a bit and I wondered: Which component should be the first to upgrade? I feel like the processor is the least important aspect for most people. Having more clock speed is pretty irrelevant in day to day use and a lot of users won't really be able to appreciate the benefits of an i7 over an i5.
Right now I'm not able make my final decision on my purchase. It's either going to be the middle 13" option with 8GB/256GB, the higher end option with the double the storage or a custom RAM upgrade.
Which one do you recommend me to buy? 16GB sounds a bit crazy to me and I'm not in the situation where I want to run a bunch of VMs all the time. Are there any other benefits for it right now? I feel like 8GB will be enough for pretty much everything I want to do with the notebook for the next 4-5 years or so(light gaming, work/university stuff and some photo or video editing, but nothing professional) Do you agree?
512GB of flash storage sounds like a lot and having more space on your device makes things a lot more comfortable. It's not tough to plug in a hard drive or SSD and have extra memory available, but having the 512GB right there could be really convenient. I expect the iPhone to be able to shoot in 4K in a couple of years and those files can take up a ****load of storage. Does anybody here have a laptop with 256GB of store? How are you managing?
In the end, I kind of feel torn between the middle and right 13" MBPr options unless you think that the 16GB RAM upgrade would really be worth it.
16GB isn't necessary. I think your best value is in the 8/256 mid tiered 13 inch .
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
1,532
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I'm planning to buy a MacBook Pro this week [...]
In the end, I kind of feel torn between the middle and right 13" MBPr options unless you think that the 16GB RAM upgrade would really be worth it.
It seems everyone has not asked these questions. What are you planning on doing with it? What are your uses? Your possible future needs?
 

blooperz

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2013
287
1
It seems everyone has not asked these questions. What are you planning on doing with it? What are your uses? Your possible future needs?
You must not have read the original post beyond the first paragraph lol..the OP clearly states "I'm not in the situation where I want to run a bunch of VMs all the time. Are there any other benefits for it right now? I feel like 8GB will be enough for pretty much everything I want to do with the notebook for the next 4-5 years or so(light gaming, work/university stuff and some photo or video editing, but nothing professional) "

In response to the OP-- a mid tier 8/256 as mentioned by another poster should be just what you need.... you won't notice much of a difference between any of the processor upgrades (dual-core is still dual-core sadly). More than 8 gigs of ram isn't really needed if your not working with multiple VM's or programs like photoshop.

If you have a lot of media I guess you can spring for the 512...but you're really only getting an extra 256 gigs which isn't much when it comes to video/hi-res pics...save the dough and use it to get a fast external with large storage IMO. You can setup many externals (i.e airport extreme) so that the files stored on them can be accessed remotely, then you can just leave it at home.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
For your use 8gb and i5

For your use i5 and 8gb is just about right, as for teh storage only you can judge that, I prefer more space rather than less. Take a look at the 2013 refurbs for a great deal with higher storage.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,007
583
If you want to keep the machine a couple of years, keep in mind that you can upgrade the storage on the RetinaBooks, but not the Ram. Also - external solutions for additional storage may not be that convenient, but they do exist. For Ram - not!

5 years is a long time and the 15" MBP's are already coming with 16Gb Ram standard...
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,918
1,615
For your stated usage, the only upgrade you'll actually notice is more storage, though it's still not always necessary with cheap external drives available.
 

Lausebub

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2011
9
0
I made up my mind, I'm getting the 8/256 model. Thanks for all the answers. Now if only the Apple online store worked. It's closed right now, because they're gonna start to sell the new iPhones tomorrow. I hope I can get in there and place my order while everyone tries to get their hands on the phones.
 

paolo-

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2008
831
1
IMHO, in your situation you're probably better off with the cheaper computer and use those savings to justify an upgrade sooner if need be.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
Hey Lausbub,

ich hab auch das 2.4/8/256 rmbp. schau das du ein angebot vom mediamarkt oder saturn erwischt. mediamarkt hat das vor ein paar monaten für 1000€ gehabt, als es die 19% aktion gab.
 

mikeo007

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2010
1,373
122
As a general answer to the thread title:

Processor if you're doing a lot of CPU intensive work. Usually purpose-built programs (you'd know if you needed this)

RAM if you're doing a lot of multitasking with multiple programs running at the same time

Storage if you're going to keep a ton of stuff on your computer like pictures, videos, software, etc.
 

Lausebub

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 10, 2011
9
0
Thanks, I already ordered my Mac from the Apple Store, because my University gives me a 16% discount on all MacBooks. Got it for about 1260€, instead of 1499€.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
2,482
3,651
Upstate, NY
The RAM is the biggest factor, IMO. It's not upgradeable. I understand that the processor isn't wother but I've hardly ever seen that make much of a difference in overall performance or longevity. These new processors fly.... And they work even better with a good amount RAM.
 
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