Should I get the 13" rMBP with 16gb RAM, or 256gb SSD?

Putyouinmyoven

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2015
27
0
Hey everyone, I'm using a 2009 MBP right now and it's doing my head in - I want to buy a new rMBP.

I'm debating on getting the baseline 128gb SSD 13" and upgrading it to 16GB, or getting the 256GB 13" with 8gb RAM, I think they're more or less the same price. I guess I need a couple of questions answered to make up my mind:

Firstly - do I really need 16gb RAM? At the moment with this 4GB machine I feel very constrained, I can only have a few apps open at a time really without the thing slowing to a halt. I want to be able to run a virtual windows for games (mainly old ones or newer indie ones or emulating PS1 / N64 era), and have quite a lot of apps open at once - Chrome with lots of extensions, spotify, OneNote & Word, Torrents, Evernote, Anki, Wunderlist, Messages, Calendar, Mail, Steam, (and any other apps of a similar level that take my fancy really). I am interested in getting into coding, I'm not too sure about the requirement of the applications used in the field - I know certain courses make use of virtual linux machines and that kind of thing. I might dabble in audio production software / photoshop every now and then too, probably nothing majorly heavy though.

I think my issue is that because I'm coming from an old laptop with 4gb and a 5200RPM HDD I want to make that massive leap because it's never really been enough, but I don't know!

Secondly - am I likely to struggle with 128gb? At the moment I have 256 and I don't really struggle, but that's because I don't really want to run virtual machines and install loads of apps that this thing can't handle.

Lastly - could I alleviate the SDD size issue by buying an external HD? It's been a long time since I've looked at computer parts, but now you can get external SSD's with USB 3 - I don't know much about them, how can they be used? Can you put apps on them or is it really just for files such as photos / movies and documents? Can I make Steam download game files to one for instance or does that all have to be on the internal storage?

I was actually going to wait until the 2015 rMPB comes out, but the battery died on this one yesterday - I can only charge it when it's turned off and then the battery slowly drains over around 7 hours or so when plugged in, then it gets to 0% and works, but goes to sleep every 15 minutes :(

Thanks!
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
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Hey everyone, I'm using a 2009 MBP right now and it's doing my head in - I want to buy a new rMBP.

I'm debating on getting the baseline 128gb SSD 13" and upgrading it to 16GB, or getting the 256GB 13" with 8gb RAM, I think they're more or less the same price. I guess I need a couple of questions answered to make up my mind:

Firstly - do I really need 16gb RAM? At the moment with this 4GB machine I feel very constrained, I can only have a few apps open at a time really without the thing slowing to a halt. I want to be able to run a virtual windows for games (mainly old ones or newer indie ones or emulating PS1 / N64 era), and have quite a lot of apps open at once - Chrome with lots of extensions, spotify, OneNote & Word, Torrents, Evernote, Anki, Wunderlist, Messages, Calendar, Mail, Steam, (and any other apps of a similar level that take my fancy really). I am interested in getting into coding, I'm not too sure about the requirement of the applications used in the field - I know certain courses make use of virtual linux machines and that kind of thing. I might dabble in audio production software / photoshop every now and then too, probably nothing majorly heavy though.
Look here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1756865
From what you are describing 8gb RAM should be fine.

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Lastly - could I alleviate the SDD size issue by buying an external HD? It's been a long time since I've looked at computer parts, but now you can get external SSD's with USB 3 - I don't know much about them, how can they be used? Can you put apps on them or is it really just for files such as photos / movies and documents? Can I make Steam download game files to one for instance or does that all have to be on the internal storage?
You can use an external hdd like a lot of people (me included) do, but for your described usage 256gb internal would be nice.
 

gametime10

macrumors regular
Mar 30, 2006
174
35
I would go for 16gb simply because you can't upgrade that later. You can upgrade the SSD yourself but not the memory.
 

efib

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
41
4
I would go for the 16gb ram as well, you can't upgrade it afterwards but you can find an alternative for the hard drive so it's a no brainer, at least for me.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,267
2,295
East of Eden
I would go for the 16gb ram as well, you can't upgrade it afterwards but you can find an alternative for the hard drive so it's a no brainer, at least for me.
Please post a link to a third party SSD that will work in the late 2013/early 2014 rMBP, other than to an eBay parts auction? There are no third party replacements for the SSD at this time, and there don't seem to be any on the horizon.

OP, if you were going to really need 16GB of RAM, you wouldn't have needed to ask the question. The odds are much higher that you'll want the extra storage space and there is no economical way to upgrade the SSD at this time, even though technically it's feasible. 8 GB/256 GB is a much more realistic configuration for most people.
 

duervo

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2011
2,306
1,031
Go for the ram option. If you need more disk space for VMs (and you most likely will), you can just run them off an external drive in a USB3 or TB enclosure.

Better to have the RAM if you find you need it, than to be stuck finding that you need it and have no way to add. (Can't add ram externally, like you can disk space.)
 

efib

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
41
4
Please post a link to a third party SSD that will work in the late 2013/early 2014 rMBP, other than to an eBay parts auction? There are no third party replacements for the SSD at this time, and there don't seem to be any on the horizon.

OP, if you were going to really need 16GB of RAM, you wouldn't have needed to ask the question. The odds are much higher that you'll want the extra storage space and there is no economical way to upgrade the SSD at this time, even though technically it's feasible. 8 GB/256 GB is a much more realistic configuration for most people.
I was referring to an external hard drive or a "nifty" card, not upgrading the existing ssd. 8gb ram now is the minimum requirement for a 2015 laptop and if he wants to keep it for 4-5 years, I think that 16gb is the best he can do.

Hope I satisfied you.. There is no need to be aggressive..
 

fenderbass146

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,090
468
Northwest Indiana
I was referring to an external hard drive or a "nifty" card, not upgrading the existing ssd. 8gb ram now is the minimum requirement for a 2015 laptop and if he wants to keep it for 4-5 years, I think that 16gb is the best he can do.

Hope I satisfied you.. There is no need to be aggressive..
Upgrading the ssd is also very easy on the rMBP assuming you have the pentalobe screw driver. Honestly even easier then the hard drive on the cMBP.
 

efib

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
41
4
Upgrading the ssd is also very easy on the rMBP assuming you have the pentalobe screw driver. Honestly even easier then the hard drive on the cMBP.
Well, I didn't know that it was possible.
Anyway 16gb of ram is the safest bet in my opinion.

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That is complete nonsense.
In my opinion it is not. I wouldn't buy a 4gb ram laptop, well I would if had a desktop buy I don't so I wouldn't.
Tell me how 4gb of ram will be enough in 2-3 years? If we are not talking for excel and word.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
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In my opinion it is not. I wouldn't buy a 4gb ram laptop, well I would if had a desktop buy I don't so I wouldn't.
Tell me how 4gb of ram will be enough in 2-3 years? If we are not talking for excel and word.
The post I was answering to was nonsense. 4gb of RAM is definitely not the minimum for a laptop in 2015. What you would buy is your decision.
 

efib

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
41
4
The post I was answering to was nonsense. 4gb of RAM is definitely not the minimum for a laptop in 2015. What you would buy is your decision.
Everyone is entitled to his opinion, no hard feelings if we don't agree, why would we anyway?
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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Everyone is entitled to his opinion, no hard feelings if we don't agree, why would we anyway?
The specs you need depend on your usage. The minimum memory spec to run Yosemite without any lag, and the standard apps that come with it is 2gb. That is a fact and not an opinion.
That you, for your needs, believe that you need at least 8gb in your laptop is a different story. That you believe that in 3 years a macbook air sold now will only be able to run office apps is a really bad prediction, but your opinion.
 

efib

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2012
41
4
The specs you need depend on your usage. The minimum memory spec to run Yosemite without any lag, and the standard apps that come with it is 2gb. That is a fact and not an opinion.
That you, for your needs, believe that you need at least 8gb in your laptop is a different story. That you believe that in 3 years a macbook air sold now will only be able to run office apps is a really bad prediction, but your opinion.
Well, I tend to plan ahead, needs can change and technology as well.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,470
USA
Hey everyone, I'm using a 2009 MBP right now and it's doing my head in - I want to buy a new rMBP.

I'm debating on getting the baseline 128gb SSD 13" and upgrading it to 16GB, or getting the 256GB 13" with 8gb RAM, I think they're more or less the same price. I guess I need a couple of questions answered to make up my mind:

Firstly - do I really need 16gb RAM? At the moment with this 4GB machine I feel very constrained, I can only have a few apps open at a time really without the thing slowing to a halt. I want to be able to run a virtual windows for games (mainly old ones or newer indie ones or emulating PS1 / N64 era), and have quite a lot of apps open at once - Chrome with lots of extensions, spotify, OneNote & Word, Torrents, Evernote, Anki, Wunderlist, Messages, Calendar, Mail, Steam, (and any other apps of a similar level that take my fancy really). I am interested in getting into coding, I'm not too sure about the requirement of the applications used in the field - I know certain courses make use of virtual linux machines and that kind of thing. I might dabble in audio production software / photoshop every now and then too, probably nothing majorly heavy though.

I think my issue is that because I'm coming from an old laptop with 4gb and a 5200RPM HDD I want to make that massive leap because it's never really been enough, but I don't know!

Secondly - am I likely to struggle with 128gb? At the moment I have 256 and I don't really struggle, but that's because I don't really want to run virtual machines and install loads of apps that this thing can't handle.

Lastly - could I alleviate the SDD size issue by buying an external HD? It's been a long time since I've looked at computer parts, but now you can get external SSD's with USB 3 - I don't know much about them, how can they be used? Can you put apps on them or is it really just for files such as photos / movies and documents? Can I make Steam download game files to one for instance or does that all have to be on the internal storage?

I was actually going to wait until the 2015 rMPB comes out, but the battery died on this one yesterday - I can only charge it when it's turned off and then the battery slowly drains over around 7 hours or so when plugged in, then it gets to 0% and works, but goes to sleep every 15 minutes :(

Thanks!
256 SSD any day. Seriously man, 128 is nothing. Even if you don't need much space, it's still too little.

8 GB ram is enough for your use.
 

Putyouinmyoven

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2015
27
0
Thanks for the replies everyone, man this is hard -_-
By the way, can you get any sort of slow down / reduced performance when you start using most of the SSD (say, you only have a few gigs left)? I've read that this is a problem on HDD's?
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Thanks for the replies everyone, man this is hard -_-
By the way, can you get any sort of slow down / reduced performance when you start using most of the SSD (say, you only have a few gigs left)? I've read that this is a problem on HDD's?
Yes. You want to only fill up the ssd to 80% if possible.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,267
2,295
East of Eden
Upgrading the ssd is also very easy on the rMBP assuming you have the pentalobe screw driver. Honestly even easier then the hard drive on the cMBP.
Show us the the SSD you'll install to upgrade a current production rMBP, other than one pulled from another rMBP and sold somewhere like eBay, please.

----------

Thanks for the replies everyone, man this is hard -_-
By the way, can you get any sort of slow down / reduced performance when you start using most of the SSD (say, you only have a few gigs left)? I've read that this is a problem on HDD's?
I don't think it's quite as hard as it may feel right now :) but clearly it would be a lot easier if the RAM weren't soldered onto the board and there were third party alternatives for the SSD. :(

Where'd you get the forum ID/screen name, by the way??? :D
 

Putyouinmyoven

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2015
27
0
Show us the the SSD you'll install to upgrade a current production rMBP, other than one pulled from another rMBP and sold somewhere like eBay, please.

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I don't think it's quite as hard as it may feel right now :) but clearly it would be a lot easier if the RAM weren't soldered onto the board and there were third party alternatives for the SSD. :(

Where'd you get the forum ID/screen name, by the way??? :D
Adventure time! Have you seen it?
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,470
USA
Thanks for the replies everyone, man this is hard -_-
By the way, can you get any sort of slow down / reduced performance when you start using most of the SSD (say, you only have a few gigs left)? I've read that this is a problem on HDD's?
Dude, the 128 ssd is slow with nothing on it. The read write speeds are awful compared to the higher ups.

If you fill it up, its a wrap. I'tll be slow!
 

fenderbass146

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,090
468
Northwest Indiana
Show us the the SSD you'll install to upgrade a current production rMBP, other than one pulled from another rMBP and sold somewhere like eBay, please.

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If you would have continued reading the thread you would have seen I said they can be hard to find but not impossible. I had a 128 GB Haswell Air that I upgraded to 256 GB PCI-E SSD so its not impossible...and yes I got it on eBay. Doesn't change the fact that they are easy to install.

Here is one for $220 http://www.ebay.com/itm/256gb-SSD-for-late-2013-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-/281613324244?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item4191764fd4

Then you sell your 128 GB and cut the cost in half...
 

Putyouinmyoven

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2015
27
0
Dude, the 128 ssd is slow with nothing on it. The read write speeds are awful compared to the higher ups.

If you fill it up, its a wrap. I'tll be slow!
Can anyone confirm if this is true? I know the speeds on the 256 are a little better, but will it really make any practical difference?