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So I am on the market for a new workhorse laptop that will be my main computer. My use for it will be mostly web design/python programming, and would like to check out the latest games.

I was planning on grabbing a non-retina mbp 15" with the hi-rez antiglare screen and measly 5400 rpm hdd priced out to $1899 on apples online store.. But after stopping by an out-of-town Best Buy, I made an impulse buy on a stock 15" retina mbp they had on sale for $2089 (down from $2199 for the same model through apple online).

So now I am really geeking about this 8gb of soldered ram it has. I am a bit of a poweruser and with games especially that extra ram is important. Even more so as time goes on.

So to return this now I have to wait 10 days for BB to send me a check (I paid cash...), then to order online with 16gb ram and forfeit the BB discount, I'm looking at + $350 for + 8gb ram.

I want to believe that the ram being soldered is providing some sort of speed increase that will mildly negate the need to upgrade. Is there any truth to this?

It's looking like my best bet is to return this, wait for the check, order the non-retina mbp and source an ssd and ram from amazon/newegg but i'm taking a huge hit on screen quality, ssd speed, half the video card ram, and louder fans.

Any advice to add to or less'n my buyer's remorse?

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closed as not a real question by Gerry, patrix, bmike Dec 3 '12 at 22:52

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Just to address the soldered RAM part: electrical connections are electrical connections, but omitting the socket allows them to save space inside the machine. Space saver, not performance-enhancer, unless there is something very wrong with your SODIMMs' contacts. –  atroon Dec 3 '12 at 21:01
    
If you want to hit us up in the chat room or meta - we might be able to turn this into an objective question. Listing all the prices makes this more about a shopping exercise than something that people can weigh in with experience. –  bmike Dec 3 '12 at 22:55

2 Answers 2

If you need 8 GB now, its highly likely that there would be a need for 16 GB after couple of years if you wish to use it for long and since you cannot change it ever on a Retina Macbook Pro, its really a tough call

5 years down the line, it will really help using 16 Gigs of RAM.

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Which game needs so much RAM?
My MacPro has 12 GB and I never have had a RAM problem while playing.
For Games you need a lot of RAM at the graphics card but this is different RAM than your normal RAM.
The high end MacBook Pros have a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
Keep in mind though that the Retina MacBook Pro has to render 4 times the pixels than a non retina MacBook Pro. Hence there will be better graphic performance on the non retina MacBook Pro.

So for games a high end non retina Macbook Pro should be your choice.

For personal use I would recommend at least 8 GB of RAM for normal use if you plan to use it for a longer period.

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i would think all gaming would go through a bootcamped windows so that would alleviate the overhead of (the) OS doing its pixel doubling? –  chrickso Dec 3 '12 at 16:55

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