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

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Putyouinmyoven, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Putyouinmyoven macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    #1
    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!
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    Look here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1756865
    From what you are describing 8gb RAM should be fine.

    ----------

    You can use an external hdd like a lot of people (me included) do, but for your described usage 256gb internal would be nice.
     
  3. gametime10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #3
    I would go for 16gb simply because you can't upgrade that later. You can upgrade the SSD yourself but not the memory.
     
  4. Putyouinmyoven thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 12, 2015
    #4
    Can you upgrade it easily though, or is it one of those jobs where I risk busting the macbook?
     
  5. efib macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2012
    #5
    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.
     
  6. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #6
    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.
     
  7. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #7
    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.)
     
  8. efib macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    #8
    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..
     
  9. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816

    fenderbass146

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    That is complete nonsense.
     
  11. efib macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2012
    #11
    Well, I didn't know that it was possible.
    Anyway 16gb of ram is the safest bet in my opinion.

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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.
     
  12. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #12
    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.
     
  13. efib macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2012
    #13
    Everyone is entitled to his opinion, no hard feelings if we don't agree, why would we anyway?
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    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.
     
  15. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816

    fenderbass146

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    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #15
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    They will be expensive and are currently not available. Better buy what you need now.
     
  17. efib macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2012
    #17
    Well, I tend to plan ahead, needs can change and technology as well.
     
  18. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #18
    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.
     
  19. Putyouinmyoven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    #19
    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?
     
  20. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #20
    Yes. You want to only fill up the ssd to 80% if possible.
     
  21. newellj macrumors 601

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    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #21
    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.

    ----------

    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
     
  22. Putyouinmyoven thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 12, 2015
    #22
    Adventure time! Have you seen it?
     
  23. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #23
    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!
     
  24. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816

    fenderbass146

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Northwest Indiana
    #24
     
  25. Putyouinmyoven thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 12, 2015
    #25
    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?
     

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