Which Mac is Better in Regards to Multitasking

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GatFire, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. GatFire macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    #1
    Hey,

    I need some help choosing a good retina Macbook pro which has the power to take in intense multitasking operations. I need help in regards with what would be a better option for the price. I'm having trouble deciding whether I should make a worthwhile upgrade from 2.7ghz to the 2.9 or from 8GB to 16GB.

    Thanks.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    Can you define what 'intense multitasking operations' means? Even the base model is probably sufficient for what most people would consider an intense workload. What kind of specific needs do you have?
     
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    You have a couple of things to consider (to start with) -

    1) do your apps take advantage of multi-core?
    2) how disk and RAM intensive are you apps?

    Sadly with Apple, I find it is a better practice to get a bit more than you think you need as a minimum. I say this as both apps and OS upgrades seem to enjoy/take more resources. This would give a bit more longevity to your purchase.
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #4
    I agree that more information is needed to help you choose, but it is not worth it most of the time to go with the BTO CPU upgrades in my opinion. They tend to be overpriced for the performance increases that they offer.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    RAM is important for a heavy workload, however it takes a very heavy multi app workload (usually with VM's etc) to make 16GB worthwhile. 8GB is still a fairly large amount of RAm by anyones average standards....

    Let us know what apps etc you run at the same time and we can give a much better answer.
     
  6. GatFire thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 20, 2015
    #6
    Thanks for the response, Something like
    I sometimes for example run photoshop alongside with youtube and maybe listen to some music on somedays perhaps steam with youtube running preview open with music playing, though on an average day I would often have multiple safari tabs open with iTunes running and youtube and preview simultaneously. Would 8GB be enough for this sort of workload, Should I go for the 16GB upgrade or would a processor upgrade be more suited?
     
  7. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

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    #7
    iTunes is fairly light and youtube has moved away from flash so it shouldn't be very heavy. It really depends on what you use photoshop for (what filters, effects, etc you use and how big are the photos). You will be ok with the 8 GB unless your photoshop needs are high. The CPU difference is negligible (a few percent faster). Unless you have tasks that take a while to complete you could easily skip it.

    If you plan on keeping this machine for a few years the ram upgrade might be worthwhile (as ram requirements are always slowly creeping upwards). Maybe spend a bit on storage? More storage is usually better, and the higher storage levels are faster as a hidden benefit (the base storage is still fast).
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    8Gb should be fine for that workload in fact it should have a fair bit of overhead. The best thing you can upgrade in my opinion is the SSD size the bigger ones are faster and storage space for movies etc are getting bigger and bigger. The i7 over the i5 is 2-3% more performance it is not really worth the money.
     
  9. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #9
    I agree. Unless your Photoshop needs are intense, spend any spare funds on the largest SSD you can afford.
     
  10. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #10
    8GB might be fine now but going forward, its going to get quite constrained. You can always add external storage, but you can't add ram.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    Nonsense RAM needs haven't really changed in 5 years, peoples habits have though, people have more and more stuff open and more and more apps and plugins running at once and in the background than they ever have before, this is driving larger RAM wants, not the actual software itself.
     
  12. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Thats what i mean, people's needs have changed, and will continue to change. Software has as well. In 2010, people were still getting by on 2GB of ram pretty well... Even 1 GB of ram.
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #13
    Many people still are. Indeed chrome books only have 2 GB of ram as do the smaller windows notebooks. Apple are the only company I know of that bottoms out at 4GB in their computers and OS X is much better on RAM than windows, indeed 2Gb is still the official recommendation for OS X and el capitan looks even better at RAM management.
     
  14. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Osx barely performs at 2GB of ram. Chromebook's are made for very light processing. Not proper desktop work. The fact is that in 3-4 years 16gb of ram will be a far better proposition than 8GB of ram.
     
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #15
    There is literally no evidence for that, I had 8GB 5 years ago and have 8GB now and my RAM usage under OS X has remained the same. By that score 8GB will be fine in another 5 years. There is no such thing as proper desktop work. Everyone uses a computer for the tasks they need it for that is always proper work using a desktop or not.

    Anyway I'm finished with yet another RAM discussion.

    8Gb is plenty for 99% of people and will be for the foreseeable future. Anyone claiming anything else is crazy....

    If you really want a great guide for RAM check here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-much-ram-do-i-need-in-my-macbook.1756865/
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Perth, Western Australia
    #16
    2.7 Ghz to 2.9 will be barely noticeable. Depending on the size of your applications 8 to 16 GB may be barely noticeable.

    However if you do want to make a big difference to multitasking, get a 15" machine with the i7 CPU in it to get hyper threading on a quad core (8 virtual cores), vs. max of 4 virtual cores in every other portable.

    It will however only make a difference if your workload requires it.
     
  17. phrehdd, Jul 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

    phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #17
    All very interesting. Thanks all for the input.

    I see that RAM still remains a point of discussion far more than CPU here.
     
  18. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #18
    So by your argument we should still all be on 2GB of ram? That was fine 5 years ago so obviously its fine today. Heck lets go back to 512MB or further.

    The difference is that 5 years ago, 8GB of ram was pretty high end. Like what 16 GB is now. 8gb I would say is now what 2GB was in 2010, and 2GB is not enough these days. I have several family members who have 5-7 year old MacBooks in use, and they are only still in use as RAM upgrades have allowed them (Along with SSD) upgrades, to keep pace with modern computers. Leaving them with their standard 2GB of ram would render them semi-unusable.

    If the OP has money, future proofing by way of 16GB of ram, is far better than a bigger SSD. You can always add additional external storage but not ram.
     
  19. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    #19
    Many good opinions here, everyone is more or less correct. I would prioritize upgrades in the following oreder for most "bang for the buck":
    1. SSD - a spinning disk is absolutely the biggest bottleneck, an SSD really speeds up any computer.
    2. RAM - while SSDs are fast, they are way slower than RAM. The more RAM, the the better everything will perform.
    3. CPU - as stated above, you will not notice the difference between a 2.6 and a 2.9 or whatever, most of the time. However, if you are crunching numbers, rendering huge videos, or opening massive Logic projects, you may see the benefits, especially if you select a chip capable of hyperthreading. But this is very dependent on the software being able to take advantage, i.e Pro Apps.
     
  20. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I find its things like Ram and Graphics cards that are bottlenecks more than the CPU these days... C2D Macs (given they have decent graphics cards and ram) are still very usable today. However left with their original ram amounts these machines are slow dogs.
     
  21. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    #21
    True! My 8 year old 24" iMac 2.4 C2D is still cranking away running Yosemite, and will be supported by El Cap! (sadly i am getting GPU debug errors and freeze ups which may indicate the Radeon is failing :oops:)
     
  22. Abiatha Swelter macrumors newbie

    Abiatha Swelter

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    Jun 5, 2015
    #22
    Yeah, I have a six-year-old iMac with 8gb ram and it is fine for Photoshop until the file sizes gets bigger than 3-400 MB, then it starts to get bogged down. If the file gets much over 1GB PS might just crash.
     
  23. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

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    San Jose, CA
    #23
    That might be more because of the conventional hard drive in your iMac and not necessarily because of RAM, assuming you haven't upgraded to an SSD.
     
  24. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #24
    An SSD certainly helps for generalised speed, but its a band-aid solution as the SSD only really makes virtual memory faster (Over simplification here I know), instead of providing RAM (which is even faster than an SSD) to keep the images open.
     
  25. throAU, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #25
    Unless you're doing specialist tasks like high end video or gaming, CPUs have been "fast enough" for most people's general use type stuff for about 10 plus years (core2 generation being more than fast enough for most basic stuff).

    And yes, SSD is no replacement for RAM. It depends what you're doing. My work machine is a surface pro with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD. My home machine is a low end i5-4430 with 2TB spinning disk and SSD. For virtualisation, the desktop with 16 GB is way faster.

    Besides, RAM is not expensive. If you have a desktop these days (with 4 or more slots) there is little excuse to not just go for 16-32 GB on a new system, as in terms of the cost relative to the cost of the entire system, its a tiny fraction of the total cost - and it WILL give you a bit of a benefit and you can just forget about whether or not RAM will be a problem for pretty much anything you want to do.

    Laptops? Going for less than 8 GB is being stingy. Given how cheap 8 GB memory modules are now, you can bet that operating systems and applications will start tuning their algorithms and feature set for more memory.

    To put the cost of RAM these days into perspective: to upgrade my 2011 MBP to 16 GB in early 2011 would have cost $1500.

    I upgraded it to 16 GB in 2012 for $200 (or less). RAM prices have crashed. Betting on RAM consumption to remain the same, the applications people use to remain the same, and application developers to be stingy with RAM as they have been up to this point is, imho being a little short-sighted. 4k and 8k video is a lot of data for example.


    All that said, currently the price/performance sweet spot for most people with RAM these days is 8 GB.
     

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