What is the big difference if any [8gb vs. 16]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lthomas926, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. lthomas926 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    I'm looking to purchase the RMBP 13" I'm solid on 16gb unless someone can tell me a reason just to go with 8gb :cool: as well as going with the 256 and getting the 2TB time capsule. What I'am stuck on is the processor as being all dual core is there real advantage to upgrading any or even to the i7 from my understanding from apples site is that all include hyper threading so is it just a clock speed increase? Any recommendations?

    This will be used for internet research 5-7 tabs and mail and basic usage no crazy excel sheets. Casual photo editing and some video editing but again nothing major
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    you do not need 16GB of RAM to do what you listed
  3. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    Unless he's sure he won't in a few years, better to get it - you can't upgrade.
  4. lthomas926 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    I understand I don't need 16 but I figured its not upgradable so if something changes I have it and it will last longer
  5. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    You asked for a reason and that's what I gave, why even mention it if you know you want 16GB
  6. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    You could do all those things on 2-4GB of RAM. In fact, besides the editing, an iPad could perform those functions. Don't waste your money on the 16GB of RAM or the i7. You honestly don't need to. Also, I'll add a customary piece: I can't believe there's another one of these threads again.
  7. agaskew macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Get 16Gb RAM (ignore the naysayers) and the lower clock speed. If funds permit by saving on the CPU, get a bigger SSD. Forget "need", get what you want.
  8. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    Get the 16GB RAM if you really want it. Also, get the 2.6GHz i5 processor. Besides the higher CPU clock speed, the GPU is also 100Mhz faster. That's almost 10% in clock speed. The difference won't be much but I believe that it's worth it.

    Best of luck.

  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Both the dual core i5s and i7s have 4 threads. So it's not going to make much difference.

    But if you compare desktop i5s and i7s (all quad core), there is a big difference in hyper threading. Desktop i5s only have 4 cores and 4 threads, while desktop i7s have 4 cores and 8 threads.

    You can't upgrade the RAM post-purchase, so max it out while you can. I frequently run virtual machines and 16GB is a must-have.

    Get 3 years of AppleCare too.

    Edit: And don't get a 128GB SSD. The write speeds are much slower compared to the 256GB and larger variants.

    The 128GB SSD has around 300-400 MB/s write speeds, while the larger ones have around 650 MB/s.

    The 1TB SSD is an exception (it's got a 4-lane PCIe bus, the rest only have 2-lanes), so the 1TB SSD can hit 1.2GB/s of read/write speeds.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    8GB will be more then enough for your stated needs now and the foreseeable future.


    True, he should get what he wants, but if his usage is not going to utilize the extra 8gb of ram, he's just throwing money away. Why select an upgrade that will not be used. He'll not really be swapping out to disk with 8gb and he'll not see any appreciable speed increase with the 16gb
  11. lthomas926 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Thank you everyone, this is my first Mac so coming from windows you don't know exactly what you need when its a different OS and obvious needs different resources, I did not mean to upset anyone.

    So it looks like my best option is to go 2.6/8gb/256 and obviously apple care without a question. How long would you see this lasting me ?

    And does the 2.6 upgrade making 100Mhz in the GPU really have a noticeable difference ?
  12. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    5-7 years is what most get out of their MBP
  13. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    No wonder why so many people are in poor financial circumstances today. :rolleyes:
  14. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    You will not notice a difference in either the CPU or the GPU. See my sig.
  15. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2011
    Personally I'd go for 2.4/16/256
    The processor difference isn't that much, and more RAM is always good to have in a non-upgradeable computer.
  16. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    16 GB won't last you long. With your use, I'd suggest at least a 128 GB RAM configuration, to keep up with web browsers, and excel documents, widely known to require top notch hardware. ;)
  17. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Looks like a smart choice. I see it lasting you 4-6 years.

    Your signature does not even come close to applying to all people. For example if you're someone who runs VMs you would want to get 16GB of RAM over a larger SSD any day. That advice doesn't actually apply to that many people either. Might not want to advertise that advice as being so broad.


    That model is not possible, you cannot upgrade the SSD on the lowest model. If you want 16/256 you get the base middle model and the CPU gets automatically bumped to 2.6.
  18. TheEnthusiast macrumors regular

    Aug 22, 2013
    Definitely should get the 512GB configuration. You know, on the off chance that OP may need to store 5 songs or 3 HD movies on iTunes.
  19. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    I posit it applies quite well to most people who are unsure which rMBP to get. People who run multiple VMs, already know they need RAM. People who are serious gamers, already know they want a dGPU. But for the vast majority of people who come on this site unsure which model to get, the base CPU/8/256 configuration is by far the most appropriate.
  20. zipa macrumors 65816

    Feb 19, 2010
    Would love this, but unfortunately these "pro" computers only allow for 16 GB...
  21. tymaster50 macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
    i have 4gb ram and my computer is just fine lol. I don't run photoshop or anything but for casual uses it is perfectly fine. Games run fine except for a little stutter here and there and making my mac fan run.
  22. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    How about buying a cheap 2010 15" MBP. If you place 8 gb ram in it with a 1 TB SSD, it will be as fast a high end 2013 15" rMBP for your usage. (you will be nowhere close maximising the CPU or GPU with your usage)
  23. fskywalker macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2009
    Also suggest 16GB Ram and the biggest SSD you can afford. You cannot upgrade Ram later, SSD you can for about $1 per MB (Currently you can find PCIe SSD's removed from new Haswell rMBP in all sizes: 128, 256, 512 and 1TB).


    I didn't knew the 1TB PCIe can hit 1.2GB/s, glad that got that config on mine!
  24. Trebuin macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2008
    Central Cali
    my 16GB RAM helps me in only two scenarios:

    1) Photo editing: using some software eats up 8GB in a heartbeat, especially if I'm running more than one thing. This is photoshop editing panoramic levels...if you're not doing that, then this does not apply to you

    2) Parallels: This allows me to actually game very well on Windows 8 running parallels. You won't need that for windows XP, but since my work requires Windows 8.1, I'm stuck with it. If you don't plan on ever running windows, you won't need it...drop to 8GB

    I can only see the CPU affecting your video editing, and I don't think you need a high end...a low end will really do just fine. If you edit tons of videos every day, you can save some time. if it's even just 1 video a day, I don't think it will be worth it. It is a question of what your time is worth.

    Other things to consider, if you game on at retina 13", the retina will hurt it at full resolution. Selecting a native resolution eats up the most power on a GPU. If you scale down to what a normal resolution screen would have, your game would look better on the native normal resolution computer vs a retina. I can't give you side by side experience, but that has been the trend in the past. Someone else could probably elaborate on this.

    UBS28 mentioned getting an older computer...I think he's right with a guess at what you want. On older systems, you can upgrade the ram yourself, not with new systems. I would seriously look into that. My macbook and iMac really holds their usefulness much longer than Windows computers. I have a 2007 iMac running as a server. My late 2011 SD Macbook Pro still rocks on current games.

    One more note: once you go SSD, you probably won't ever want to go back...makes built in SSDs suck when they cost an arm and a leg.


    the GPU depends on the build of the card, reference this website to get an idea:


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