rMBP And My Uses

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sambo110, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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    Australia
    #1
    Next Friday I will have enough money to buy a rMBP (base model) with the student discount. My mum told me today that she can lend me $700 if I need it, which is enough to get the next model up or more ram (though get me in $700 debt with her :p). Yesterday I found out a bit more about the Uni course I will be doing (starts next week), so I was hoping I could get some advice.

    My first semester will involve me making a short film in Final Cut Pro. Is the base model with 8GB of ram enough for this? I will also be using Adobe Audition, Pro Tools and Sibelius for my first year Music course, not to mention I will be doing higher level music courses in a year or two (not sure what programs I will use then). I'm also considering doing a photography course next year. Everything is done in Mac labs, so I am allowed to bring my own Macbook Pro and work on that, rather then on their Macs.

    So I want to make sure the 2.3ghz, 256GB SSD (I will buy an external, but leave it at home) and 8GB of ram will be enough for this? 256GB is starting to seem a little small when it will be filled with all of these applications and work files, not to mention a few games. The 2.6ghz would help with my video editing at the least, but would 8GB of ram be a bottleneck for what I'll be doing? What would be most recommended for someone like me in this situation? Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. Auzburner macrumors 65816

    Auzburner

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    #2
    Yep will work wonders. I wouldn't loan the money for the upgrades. I'd stick with the base as it's what you can afford and it will be powerful enough.
     
  3. HighEndMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #3
    It should be enough for your above described needs. But this is really your call, is it worth borrowing $700 from your mom….not sure, you know how technology is, straight depreciating asset. On the other hand you will see improvements bump’n up the specs, particularly with video editing.

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can give you better guidance.
     
  4. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #4

    First, RAM:

    It seems like you'll be using a lot of intensive applications. However, it seems like you won't be using all of these apps to the level which they can be used, and therefore 8GB will be enough. However, in your case you probably would notice the bump to 16GB of RAM. That doesn't mean 8GB is not enough, it just means 16GB will run more smoothly. It's definitely a luxury, but whether that $200 luxury is worth it is up to you.

    As far as SSD Space:

    Again, I think you'll survive better than you think with 256GB. Even if the apps take up 100GB (pretty sure that's overshooting) you're still left with ~150GB for whatever, and you'll also have an external. This, again, seems like a luxury in your case whether you want to carry an external from time to time or never have to bring one along if you get a 512GB SSD.

    Hope that helps, maybe try getting one upgrade but not the other? If I were you and could only choose one, I'd get more RAM because it is likely you will be able to replace the SSD in the future and you can use an external in the time between, where as you have no option of upgrading RAM whatsoever in the future. Or get both and take advantage of your mom :cool:
     
  5. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Okay, so it seems like the base model is good enough for me? How much ram would I be using with FCPX, Safari with 5-10 tabs, Mail, iTunes and maybe Pages and another couple of small apps open? My current iMac has a bottleneck with ram, so I definitely don't want to have to deal with this again. Obviously I want this Mac to, at the least, get me through the next 3 years of Uni, which will include higher up Multimedia courses in a couple of years.

    The only reason I'm worried about space is because on my current 256GB iMac, I am constantly at 10% left and deleting things. I would move all my media (maybe 30-40GB), and not have anyone else's accounts (40GB), which leaves me with an extra 80-100GB, but then I would have some games installed on it like Diablo 3, Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, Left 4 Dead 2 etc, plus a lot of multimedia apps.
     
  6. Surfin10 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2012
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    United States
    #6
    Funny, you're pretty much in the same situation I was 4 years ago. I purchased my first MacBook Pro the summer of my first year in Uni. I'm also getting my degree in film with minors in photography and web design. I started off with a MBP 2.4GHz C2D, 8GB RAM and 500 HDD - I used all of the programs you were talking about (FCP, Avid, Photoshop, etc.) and never had a problem. It wasn't a speed demand by today's standards, but it got the job done.

    I just upgraded to the rMBP 2.3/16GB/256 and can't wait for it to get here!
    But a couple things I would keep in mind - Anything you get (MBP-wise) will do what you need it to do, no problem. It's really how much you're willing to spend. I know you said you could borrow money from your mom, but as a student myself, $700 is a lot to pay back. I went for the upgraded RAM because I also run a couple virtual machines. - It also helps for resale value too.

    I would also recommend a portable hard drive as a "scratch disk" while editing. HD video files can be huge - My final project last year was over 100GB and would have killed me if I kept it on the local drive. I just purchased this HD to work with the new USB 3.0 ports:
    (http://reviews.cnet.com/external-ha...505-3190_7-35169688.html?tag=mncol;relProduct)

    I would save some money and go with the base rMBP 2.3/8/256. From what you have stated, I think this will serve you well. The thing you need to remember is that there will ALWAYS be something better next year. In a couple years, if you need to upgrade, it will still be worth a decent amount and you could sell it for the newest thing - Like I did :)
     
  7. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #7
    Yeah, it sounds like the base model is fine for you. First of all, 16GB of RAM is excessive for your usage; the only real reason you need 16GB is if you need heavy virtualization or you're working with extremely large files.

    While it sounds like you may like 512 GB of RAM, I still don't know if you'd want to borrow $600 to do it. You can easily buy a half-TB 7200RPM USB3.0 external hard drive for under $150, or a full TB for under $200. Then you can ferry all the information that you don't need on-board to your external (anything that you would otherwise delete).

    At least, that's my recommendation. I don't know if I'd want to borrow $600 just for 256GB of memory (but then again, I only really use 40GB). If you NEED it, though, and that money's there for you to borrow - well, that's a personal choice.
     
  8. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Australia
    #8
    Okay, I think I'll stick with the base model. I was planning to get the exact external linked above, and I guess it wouldn't be too much effort to take with me to Uni every day if needed. I really hope the 8GB of ram isn't a bottleneck though, I can't stand constant thrashing.

    ----------

    One more question. Would editing a video in FCPX from an external USB 3 drive work fine?
     
  9. Surfin10 macrumors member

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    Jul 13, 2012
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    United States
    #9
    I really don't think you will notice a difference between the 8GB vs 16GB. If you don't max out the 8GB, then 16 wouldn't help you. But when you get it, try to max it out and see what happens. If you notice that you can easily knock off 8GB, return it for the 16GB model. I don't know the Australia return policy, but in the US you have a 14 days to return it, no questions asked. (as long as it's still in new condition)

    As for FCPX from a USB 3.0 drive - I have never tried it yet. I have used FW800 with no problem at all. And since USB 3.0 "technically" has a higher read/write speed, it should be fine. Thunderbolt would be ideal, but wayy too expensive for me right now. Take a look at these charts: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/thunderbolt-performance-z77a-gd80,3205-2.html
     
  10. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    So I now have around $3300, so I no longer need to borrow anything. The thing about the ram is that I don't think I will be able to max it out for a month or two, as I won't be using much FCP until maybe a month or two into Uni, and that's when I will need the ram. I could now easily afford the high-end rMBP with 8GB of ram, but at the same time I wouldn't mind saving a fair bit of money. I still have over a week to decide, so hopefully I can find more information on what will be better for the next 3 years of Uni.
     
  11. Jacobwilson99 macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2012
    #11
    I'm in your same situation.
    I'm going with the 2.3/16/256gb.
     
  12. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    #12
    The upgrade to maximum RAM isn't terribly expensive. FCPX will gobble up all the RAM you can feed it. The base model processor will likely serve you just fine so I'd just bump up the RAM and roll with the 2.3.

    As for the external drive, USB3 is fine for storage, but I'd suggest using the system drive to work on projects, then just dump the data to the external when they're complete.
     
  13. r98266 macrumors member

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    May 18, 2012
    #13
    Recommend the 16 GB of Ram

    Opening all apps at once is fun :D


    Normally I'd say 8 GB is fine but video rendering sucks; just sitting here, with Safari, Calendar, and Firefox open, I'm using 4 GB.
     
  14. r98266, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    r98266 macrumors member

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    #14
    Toward the bottom of the pic.
     

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  15. Sambo110 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Australia
    #15
    I just called up the only Apple store anywhere near here, and they only have the 8GB models in stock (except for the top tier, with 2.7ghz, 768GB SSD and 16GB ram), so that's unfortunate. I really want to get it next week, but the only way I can is if I get it with 8GB of ram. I'll have to research it some more and make sure 8GB will be fine for me.
     
  16. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #16
    i finished college using pretty much all the programs you're using but on a 2008 macbook. the base RMBP model will be MORE than fine. its a little hilarious how people start freaking out that a product that JUST came out a few weeks ago may or may not be enough to handle some basic multimedia school work.
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    This is good solid advice from someone in the same situation, 8Gb is really a huge amount of RAM and OS X will manage it very effectively. Those who are really doing extremely heavy work with their Mac`s are the only ones who will really reap any benefit especially as the are likely to be moniterizing the speed benefit of any upgrade.

    The base model will retain the best value, offer the best return and sell faster than the more expensive variants, you will loose less and be closer to a newer machine. The MBP is still offered with 4Gb + HDD and this realistically is enough for the average user, 8Gb + SSD will work very will for heavy use and 16Gb for extreme use. Many I feel will order BTO`s for no
    tangible reason other than being afraid their system will run short on RAM or just for the sake of having it, downside is they will see very little in return for the upgrade, as is the norm for Mac`s in general.

    Remember OS X is designed to page this is a non issue, it`s only a problem if the Page Out`s are excessive, and even this is now lessened due to fast SSD`s. On a side note more memory and larger SSD will consume more power, the 2.3, 8, 256 is already looking to be the one to choose for battery run time which may be a more pressing concern than having zero Page Outs for the next two years ;)
     
  18. Slivortal, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    #18
    RAM's negative effects on battery life are so negligible as to be non-existant. If you start paging out, your battery usage will skyrocket.

    While I agree that spending $200 on RAM you don't need is sheer madness, spending that $200 will generally not affect your system battery life negatively whatsoever.
     
  19. Queen6, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #19
    Agreed, differing needs some need every Mb of space, some maximum computational speed, others every minute in battery counts. Battery life between models and options is at present very subjective, between the 2.3 & 2.6 the biggest culprit is likely to be the SSD
     
  20. Vegasboricua702 macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2012
    #20
    Whats the name of that app that monitors your mac like that?
     
  21. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #21
    iStat, however it needs updating for the 2012 machines, Bresink Temperature Monitor (free) or Hardware Monitor (paid) can do a lot more as doe iStat Menu (now updated)
     
  22. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

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  23. njean777 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 17, 2009
    #23
    8gb will be just fine for you, I have no clue what people are doing where they are using 4gb of ram just running safari, iTunes, and ical. Something must be terribly wrong with their ram... unless they have like 20+ tabs open all using flash, which if you do, I have no clue how you get anything done.
     
  24. Panini macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #24
    If you buy the base model your computer will already be better than about 75% of students there (probably).

    If they can manage, I bet you can, too. The course will not be designed for people with very fast computers.
     
  25. Jacobwilson99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    #25
    I'm in your same situation.
    I'm going with the 2.3/16/256gb.
     

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