rMBP buying advice please

Geert76

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Feb 28, 2014
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hello,

I am planning to buy a new MacBook Pro Retina. I know I want a 128Gb SSD, 13 inch model. I just dont know yet if I need a 4 or 8 Gb RAM MacBook.

I will mostly use this Mac for webbrowsing, mail, downloading some movies/music, streaming Spotify and movies to my Apple TV3, and rarely some photo edditting (max. 8/10 photo's a month).
So I guess I am quite a light user. I have NO plans to use any heavy programms such as video and photo editting and/or VM's in the future.
I am planning to use this MacBook for about 2 or 3 years.

Will I be fine with a 4 GB RAM Mac or will it not be enough for my needs and should I get a 8 GB RAM MacBook?
Are there any MacBook Pro Retina users with 4 Gb RAM here and have similar workload as I do? please share! thanks a lot!

(in my country its quit expensive; the difference between a 4 and 8 Gb RAM model)
 
Last edited:

The Mercurian

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I would be more worried about 128GB SSD size then RAM honestly. If you take alot of photos/video and have alot of music on itunes its pretty easy to fillup 128GB
 

Geert76

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I would be more worried about 128GB SSD size then RAM honestly. If you take alot of photos/video and have alot of music on itunes its pretty easy to fillup 128GB
thanks for the reply! But please read again... I will rarely edit photo's (max. 8 or 10 a month) and then still, it will be only for using those photo's to send via mail and after that I will upload them to my Dropbox.
Further, my music wil be for 80/90% Spotify meaning it will not be on my SSD stored.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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4GB is a bit meager today, if photo editing is part of your needs (even if its occasional). I'd recommend 8GB and the 128GB SSD will fill up fast, I recommend a 256GB.
 

Geert76

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4GB is a bit meager today, if photo editing is part of your needs (even if its occasional). I'd recommend 8GB and the 128GB SSD will fill up fast, I recommend a 256GB.
thanks a lot for your point of view....So another vote for the 8 GB model! ;)
 

Tomr182

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Apr 22, 2014
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it depends how long you want to keep it as well

if its a long time, then the cost difference from 128gb/4gb ram to 256gb/8gb ram will be cheaper in the long run, than having to replace the machine in a couple of years
 

Geert76

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it depends how long you want to keep it as well

if its a long time, then the cost difference from 128gb/4gb ram to 256gb/8gb ram will be cheaper in the long run, than having to replace the machine in a couple of years
planning to keep it for about 2 (max 3) years. And then resell it and pay the difference for a new model. I dont mind that, at the time the machine will feel sluggish I wil start saving some money to buy the new one after selling my old machine

(thanks for all your opinions...really nice of you guys/girls ;) )
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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With your described needs you will not use more than 4gb of ram for the foreseeable future.
I also don't understand the logic behind getting the 4/128 basemodel and then 8gb ram. :confused:

If you only want to use your macbook for 2-3 years then the 4/128 basemodel is more than good enough.
 

Meister

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Can you please explain this?
thanks!
If you get the 4/128 and then upgrade the ram, the price will come pretty close to the 8/256.
Then I would just get the 8/256 right away.
since if you are that concerned about speed, the 256ssd is faster than the 128ssd.
 

Geert76

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If you get the 4/128 and then upgrade the ram, the price will come pretty close to the 8/256.
Then I would just get the 8/256 right away.
since if you are that concerned about speed, the 256ssd is faster than the 128ssd.
Oke, now I do understand your view on this...haha...thanks!

Well, after reading the opinions so far I think I can say that I am better off with the 8Gb RAM /256 Gb SSD model, even if I thought I was a light workload user (storage of movies on a external HD, streaming some Spotify and movies, Mail, and very little photo editting and NO heavy apps or VM's)

Question rises with me why Apple is selling a base model, 4Gb RAM and 128 GB SSD, if it will be very minimal for some light workloads such as mine

Well, I guess I do know; its all about marketing! :)
 

Meister

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Well, after reading the opinions so far I think I can say that I am better off with the 8Gb RAM /256 Gb SSD model, even if I thought I was a light workload user.
Question rises with me why Apple is selling a base model, 4Gb RAM and 128 GB SSD, if it will be very minimal for some low workloads.
Well, I guess I do know; its all about marketing! :)
The 4gb/128gb is pretty much perfect for your low workload.

Read this please: http://bgr.com/2013/11/18/apple-13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-review-late-2013/

I would save the money and get the 4/128 without a doubt.
Prices for the lower end have been dropping and you can get great deals on it.

My point was just, that if you really wnat double the ram, then might as well get the 8/256.
 

thundersteele

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Oct 19, 2011
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As many others, I also recommend the 2.4/8/256 option. I think it is well rounded, not cutting any corners.

However the 4/128 will also work for you. If you really don't want to spend any extra money you don't have to. You loose a bit of flexibility for the future, if your usage would change.
 

MacRazySwe

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Aug 7, 2007
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I went with the 2.4/8/256, and I'm super happy. From what I've heard from others, the Retina model can be a bit sluggish with just 4GB RAM. I think 4GB would work out fine, but really, if you plan on keeping this computer for three years it's really worth going with the 2.4/8/256. :)

None of the fast you mention are particularly intensive, however, lets say that you want to edit your photos, while still doing everything you're already doing - listening to Spotify/iTunes with several Safari/Chrome browser windows/tabs open, perhaps running flash-intensive pages, while at the same time working on a document or two, et.c. the computer could get a bit stressed and you would probably need to close some of the other projects you're working on. With 8GB you can just leave it all open, which gives you a bit more freedom. :)
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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Based on your usage, 4GB should be sufficient. But I'd too recommend 256GB - the smaller SSD will run out of space quite quickly.
 

The Mercurian

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thanks for the reply! But please read again... I will rarely edit photo's (max. 8 or 10 a month) and then still, it will be only for using those photo's to send via mail and after that I will upload them to my Dropbox.
Further, my music wil be for 80/90% Spotify meaning it will not be on my SSD stored.
Yeah I didn't really mean in terms of editing. To give you an example - I don't pay much attention to music - I obtain less than 3 or 4 albums a year say - but I still have close to 20GB on my hard disk in music. Another example I went on a holiday last year and took 30GB of photos and video just on one trip - most of which I want to keep. And I would not consider myself a particularly prodigious photographer. 128Gb for a machine you plan to use for 3 years is really not alot of space.

I would second the 2.4/8/256 option - it is better value for money than going 128GB + 8GB. It will also have better resale value in a few years time - although that may not make much difference.

Then again if you are happy to store photos/videos/music on an external drive, I don't think you will find the 128gb/4gb one sluggish.
 

SkimMilk168

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Mar 19, 2014
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My vote goes to the 8/256 as well. 2 years from now, this set up will be easier to sell than the 4/128. And between now till then, you won't have to worry about the system's capability to serve your needs.
 

Geert76

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Feb 28, 2014
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thanks a lot for all of your opinions in my RAM choice.

I think I will stick with the 4Gb RAM, 128Gb SSD model, since I will be using Dropbox and an external HD for extra storage. I have very little photo's stored. I am not that really a type who saves a lot of photo's. My movies (also little) are stored on an external HD connected to my Aiport Extreme.
I have no intensions at all to run any heavy apps in the future.

With this I will ''save'' about $200 at the moment by not choosing the 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD model.

Further, I will take my lost on the resale value in 2 years when selling this machine and get a new model afterwards.

I have read some other forums where people are using the 4Gb RAM model with similar (light) workloads as mine.

Again, thanks all for your time and advices
 

tillsbury

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Dec 24, 2007
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FWIW, for that workload you might also want to look at the 13" Macbook Air. So much lighter, and better battery life. Easily capable of all that you want to throw at it. Only trouble is the lower quality screen, but...
 

Geert76

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Feb 28, 2014
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FWIW, for that workload you might also want to look at the 13" Macbook Air. So much lighter, and better battery life. Easily capable of all that you want to throw at it. Only trouble is the lower quality screen, but...

that's a no go for me....I really want that Retina display ;)

anyway, thanks for your point of view
 

Hammie

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Mar 17, 2009
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thanks a lot for all of your opinions in my RAM choice.

I think I will stick with the 4Gb RAM, 128Gb SSD model, since I will be using Dropbox and an external HD for extra storage. I have very little photo's stored. I am not that really a type who saves a lot of photo's. My movies (also little) are stored on an external HD connected to my Aiport Extreme.
I have no intensions at all to run any heavy apps in the future.

With this I will ''save'' about $200 at the moment by not choosing the 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD model.

Further, I will take my lost on the resale value in 2 years when selling this machine and get a new model afterwards.

I have read some other forums where people are using the 4Gb RAM model with similar (light) workloads as mine.

Again, thanks all for your time and advices
Keep in mind that Dropbox is not a sole cloud solution. You still have physical files stored locally on your hard drive.

I personally only have 36GB of "stuff" on my new rMBP. I do not store music locally. I have a Mac Mini with a 2TB and 4TB firewire drive connected. I have a USB3.0 enclosure with a 512Gb SSD for my photos.

I have moved to Microsoft OneDrive for my Office files. Dropbox will still be used for apps that use Dropbox for syncing/backing up and do not support OneDrive.

I currently have 30GB of storage with OneDrive and only 7GB with Dropbox. If I need more storage space, OneDrive is currently less expensive for added space.

Sorry about the tangent. I'm just letting you know some information about DropBox.