Which is more powerful? Base 15" with 8gb or 13" with 16gb of RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jfremani, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. jfremani macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    I'm on a budget of $2k or less. I'm considering these two options:

    13" rMBP, 2.6ghz i5, 256gb, 16gb RAM.
    15" rMBP, 2.0ghz, 256gb, 8gb RAM.

    I'm using it as my main PC:

    - Use TBD as 2nd monitor when docked.
    - Light Aperture usage.
    - Some web dev using Coda 2.
    - iMovie - Occasionally edit videos of family functions, travels, trails, and whatnot.
    - Logic Pro X: will be using Logic X with a few virtual synths, acoustic guitar, vocals, and virtual drums - as a hobbyist.
    - Sometimes fire up a Windows VM that uses 2gb ram and 1 core if I get called by work (Visual Studio, Cisco AnyConnect VPN)

    - and of course web surfing, forums, twitter, facebook, email, etc.
     
  2. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #2
    Which is more powerful? as in more processing power? base 15" and by a longshot.
     
  3. jfremani thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #3
    I guess my question really is: which would be less likely to run into problems? With the 13" I can afford to bump the processor up a little and get 16GB of RAM, which seems crucial but on the other hand the Quad core may offset it?
     
  4. gothamm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #4
    8 gb of RAM will be plenty for the next 5 years. If you want raw power, I'd go with the 15". The quad core processors roughly double the performance of its dual core counterparts as per benchmark scores.
     
  5. -Eden macrumors member

    -Eden

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #5
    Powerful =/= "won't run into problems"

    The base 15" wins by a long shot, as with the benchmarks and the poster above me.

    What computer are you using right now?

    If its a recent MAC, see your CPU usage and see how much of the CPU power you are actually using (with all the programs of course).
     
  6. Orr macrumors 6502

    Orr

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    #6
    Quad core i7 with Iris Pro. And it isn't close.
     
  7. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #7
    What he said. Even in the WORST case scenario you might want to close a few apps if you only had 8GB of RAM. But I can assure you that 8gig with mavericks will allow you to run a ridiculous number of apps and VMs with no slowdown.

    As said, the quad core and Iris Pro 5200 will demolish the 5100 + dual core of the 13.
     
  8. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #8
    Lets not get crazy here.
     
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #9
    Your mention of Logic Pro tells me the extra 2 processor cores will be a tremendous help. Playing with audio in real time especially with effects added in will make them quite useful.
     
  10. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #10
    Unless the OP is doing all those things at the same time, I think that the 15" rMBP, with its extra processing power, will come in useful.

    16GB is only useful if you have 16GB worth of stuff to have in there at the same time.
     
  11. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    Definitely not crazy. I can fire up win 8.1 and RHEL 6.4 without issues, each with 2gig of RAM. I can't run lightroom along side that workload, but I can still do plenty of productivity work with Mail, Calendar, iTunes, Safari, etc... I will admit that this does take the 8GB system right to the brink of the memory pressure, but I still don't need to push out to swap. It does come close to maxing out the memory compression.
     
  12. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #12
    If you are very particular and exacting about what you run, it can be done. But if you require slightly more than bare bones, as far as apps go, in the VMs, then 8 is not really enough.
     
  13. theKitch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #13
    Agreed. If you want to do heavy lifting in the VMs and run two of them and run a bunch of apps in MacOS, you are pushing it. I'm using the VMs pretty lightly.
     

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