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Buying new MacBook.. should I upgrade the RAM or CPU?

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by nambis, 4th Sep, 2015.

  1. nambis

    nambis Member

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    I want to buy a 13 inch MacBook Pro as a gift for a 9yo who needs it for school. I tried to steer him towards a PC but no luck as he's stuck on it and already uses them at school. Here are the specs:

    13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    • 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    • 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
    • 512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    • Intel Iris Graphics 6100
    • Force Touch trackpad
    • Backlit Keyboard (Int'l English) & User's Guide (English)
    My question is do you think it's worth paying for any upgrades?
    CPU upgrade from 2.9GHz i5 to 3.1GHz i7 is an extra $246.
    RAM upgrade from 8GB to 16GB is an extra $266.

    Not sure what he'll be using it for but I know he's starting to make apps, getting into games and higher end graphic stuff. If I had to choose one upgrade, is it bettor to increase the RAM or CPU?
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Upgrade to a real computer :)
     
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  3. Davothegreat

    Davothegreat Well-Known Member

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    No to both upgrades. You don't need an i7 unless doing encoding or running a lot of virtual machines. You won't need the memory either and if you do want it later it's cheaper aftermarket.
     
  4. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    If he needs graphics then I'd go the RAM upgrade the but the CPU should be fine for ages.
     
  5. Davothegreat

    Davothegreat Well-Known Member

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    The OP mentioned this is for a 9 yr old. What graphics is a 9yr old going to be doing that would require more than 8GB memory?
     
  6. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Hmm true. If he's 12 then he'll be playing all the CoD etcs which will need more RAM but at 9 he isn't likely to be. I agree it's cheaper to go after market RAM and unlikely a 13" would be enough screen acreage for most of the graphics guzzling games.

    I have 16Gb in my Macbook but I do more than a 9yo would.
     
  7. Mumbai

    Mumbai Well-Known Member

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    No
    No
    And no to macbook too
     
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  8. kamchatsky

    kamchatsky Well-Known Member

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    I also have a MacBook Pro (MBP) 13" (only with 256Gb SSD though). I would say no to both upgrades. 8Gb RAM is sufficient, and processor is definitely enough.

    But if I have to choose one, it would be RAM over CPU.

    But then by the time you do all those upgrades, you may as well consider 15" MBP instead as they already have higher specs, and bigger monitor screen. This is especially true that he is into gaming.

    I was a PC man until I got so sick of Windows 8 I decided to get a MBP instead. I loved it and I probably will stay a Mac person due to the fact it is so well built compare to other PCs I have use over the years, and has the best trackpad I have ever used.

    However I still got myself Windows dual boot to play some games that does not exist on Mac Platforms, as well as VMWare to enable me to run Windows Virtual Machines whilst in OS X mode.

    You may need to consider Windows dual boot given he is into games, as games runs very poorly on VM mode.
     
  9. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    Don't upgrade. Those machines are beastly as-is. Unless your 9yo is already editing videos, it's be throwing money away.

    In a few years, if you want to breathe more life into it, a ram upgrade will be very effective and exponentially cheaper than it is today.
     
  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    How about asking 'what system is the school recommending? '

    PS: What sort of school makes you byo computer? (Versus having a school-based leasing system or IT contributions scheme?).
     
  11. kamchatsky

    kamchatsky Well-Known Member

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    Once you purchased MBP, you cannot upgrade RAM or any other things on the MBP.
     
  12. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I have. I stole some RAM out of our mac mini and put it in my Macbook Pro, now I have 16Gb instead of 8
     
  13. kamchatsky

    kamchatsky Well-Known Member

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    The old MBP can be upgraded. The new ones cannot.
     
  14. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    I always upgrade ram, but opt for the cheapest cpu.

    I don't do cpu intensive stuff like games or video processing. But more memory is always good to have.
     
  15. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Ah, mine is probably 2yrs old now. Its a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5