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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:51 PM   #26
Veradun
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OP - My college had visual arts and design and I know many of my friends computers got damaged because the work conditions of some of those rooms were so crappy/dangerous for electronics. I say keep that in mind before bringing a $3000 computer to class.
I'm getting an iCarbons skin for it to protect against scratches. Never was a fan of hard cases (and the reviews for Speck cases convinced me against getting one). And I agree with the conditions of the art studios. I saw them in my uni's open day - would not want to be using my laptop in there. But graphic design, photography and video units will be done in the computer labs so I'll bring it then.

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I would stick with the 8GB. Although not user upgradeable, I doubt it will be a bottleneck even 4-5 years down the road.
I've never exceeded 8GB usage, but I've come close. Doing a photomerge/stitch process with 9 photos in Photoshop brought usage to 6GB, even though I only had Photoshop and Google Chrome running. And I will be working with bigger files still.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:55 PM   #27
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You can't really go wrong with more RAM, but obviously if you're asking then price is a concern. So honestly for your exact needs that you posted of just using Safari, Mail, Pages (or equivalent), Adobe Reader and Photoshop? 8MB will be fine.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 07:57 PM   #28
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This is an entirely new point of view that, for some odd reason, I have never read or even considered before.

For the most part, I agree. Especially since people seem to be upgrading more often than ever before.
I disagree. I think people upgrade a lot LESS. Back in the 90's, we upgraded every couple of months. Of course, everything WAS upgradable. The motherboard had a CPU socket and RAM, that's it! You put on your own hard disk controller (so if a new faster version of PATA came out, you didn't need a new motherboard or a new computer, you just swapped the card!). When CD-ROMs started making an appearance, if your motherboard didn't support it (and it didn't, none of them really did), add a card! Video, audio, 2D accelerators, FPU units, you name it.

Back in the 90's, my computers might have had 7 or 8 add on ISA and later PCI cards and were upgraded constantly just to keep up. CPU's were very upgradable back then, whereas sockets and chipsets change so much that it's hard to really upgrade a CPU anymore (soldered on to most notebook motherboards nowadays)

It is a good point of view though. He makes some good points. Standards change long before a need for more/new stuff changes. I upgraded laptops not to get more RAM or a bigger hard drive, but to get the latest generation CPU, GPU, to get new I/O standards like thunderbolt and USB 3.0, etc.

But I still think, with the non-retina models, it's so cheap to go with 16 gigs why not? So I did! 16 Gigs of RAM was like $20 more, and it's useful in Virtual Machine applications.

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I doubt it - they never have in the past few years (it could change, but not this year. In the near future, though.). And I'm not meaning to generalize, but a lot of people buying the 13" Pro most likely won't need more than 8GB. The 13" is more consumer focused (though the Retina 13" pushes the boundaries on consumer priced laptops), and the 15" is geared more towards the "professionals" (I use that term loosely). That's just how I see it. I could be wrong
I agree. I also think the 13" is a glove-fitting form factor. I LOVE it. But MAN I wish Apple would squeeze a nice GPU in there!

My dream for the MBP though, is a quad core CPU, a later and faster iteration of thunderbolt, AND a company ACTUALLY MAKING (not just showing it at CES year after year and not to much as one prototype in the wild) a GPU enclosure that will let me add an external GPU. I mean, when I'm on the go, I don't REALLY need a high end GPU. But at my desk, plugging it into a thunderbolt GPU means delicious performance!

I also think the 16 gigs for the 13" is also a supply chain issue. Performance-demanding individuals will typically go with the 15" model. It's a very much higher performing machine. I love performance, but I have a fast desktop and would rather have the flawless 13" form factor over a quad core and GPU (wish I didn't have to choose though). I went with 16 gigs of RAM on my non retina but, only because it was cheap (4 gigs just isn't enough, and 16 gigs was only like 20 bucks more than 8). It also helps in VM applications. However, if I had bought a retina, I would have been more than satisfied with 8 gigs. There's just not that much that a dual core consumer grade CPU and integrated graphics can do (outside of a VM) that can saturate 16 gigs of RAM. And, since 13" owners are usually more consumer oriented, it's not likely that they are concerned about having 16 gigs of RAM or otherwise.

I know it seems Apple is heading retina, but, in my mind, get rid of that stupid Optical drive nobody uses anymore and put the GPU there. You could fit just about any mobile GPU along with room to cool it where the optical drive goes on the non-Retina. It would result in poorer battery life over the 15" because it doesn't have a bigger battery to go along with the bigger performance, but that's okay! These CPU's all support power saving, and the dedicated GPU can be switched off. If I need 7 hours of battery life, I generally don't also need max performance at the same time. So, CPU in power saving mode and GPU off is fine! I'd much rather trade off 'full throttle' battery life, than performance, when going to the 13" form factor.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:03 PM   #29
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I'm getting an iCarbons skin for it to protect against scratches. Never was a fan of hard cases (and the reviews for Speck cases convinced me against getting one). And I agree with the conditions of the art studios. I saw them in my uni's open day - would not want to be using my laptop in there. But graphic design, photography and video units will be done in the computer labs so I'll bring it then.



I've never exceeded 8GB usage, but I've come close. Doing a photomerge/stitch process with 9 photos in Photoshop brought usage to 6GB, even though I only had Photoshop and Google Chrome running. And I will be working with bigger files still.
It is late so I hope what i say will make sense, but my experience is that, if you have 4gb ram, your computer will use 4. If you have 8, it'll start using 8, even if 4 would be sufficient otherwise. Also, the rmbp has an SSD so if it starts caching to the SSD, load times will not be so horrible.

But it is your money, and the 16gb fits within your budget, so do it!
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:08 PM   #30
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It is late so I hope what i say will make sense, but my experience is that, if you have 4gb ram, your computer will use 4. If you have 8, it'll start using 8, even if 4 would be sufficient otherwise. Also, the rmbp has an SSD so if it starts caching to the SSD, load times will not be so horrible.

But it is your money, and the 16gb fits within your budget, so do it!
Yeah, I understand. The apps I use will take up more RAM when I have more space. I'm on 2GB right now and I haven't started paging out yet (monitoring that in Activity Monitor) - it's only a matter of time though especially since I'm running Safari (v 5.0.6) which seems to be a memory hog for some reason)

I'd benefit most from upgrading the RAM over the CPU and SSD, so I'm definitely going for it
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:10 PM   #31
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I don't need 16gb at ths time, but I ordered my rMbp with it anyway, because its not use upgradable. Just trying to future proof the laptop, since I plan to own it for next 3-5 years and the price difference between 8gb and 16gb is incremental
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:19 PM   #32
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futureproofing I think is more about 'what if i end up doing this later' ... i.e. you edit movies in imovie right now, but what happens when you start using fcp?
I agree with this. On the older systems it wasn't a big deal; if you began to try new applications that took up a lot of memory then you could upgrade as needed. Now you're stuck, and unless you want to sell your computer and buy a new one at that time, you're better off maxing it out.

It's also a fair statement to say that you're "future-proofing." While software occasionally goes through upgrades to slim down resources usage, the general trend is that everything - from your web browser to your operating system - takes up more memory as their development goes on. 8 GB probably won't bar you from running applications, and your user experience probably won't suffer today, but what about two or three years from now?

My old 2008 MBP was maxed out at 6 GB, which was decent, but I could easily take it all up by virtualizing or with Aperture. I have a non-retina Macbook Pro now with 16 GB, and I can still use up all of the RAM. The difference, however, is that I no longer have to worry as much about multitasking while running Aperture or virtualization software alongside other applications. I can also virtualize two operating systems at once (and probably three or four, if I really wanted to) - something that I wouldn't have even tried on my old system.

If your computer usage is set with rather non-demanding applications and you don't foresee yourself taking up any new applications, then stick with 8 GB. Otherwise, I think going to 16 GB is worthwhile.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:21 PM   #33
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My dream for the MBP though, is a quad core CPU, a later and faster iteration of thunderbolt, AND a company ACTUALLY MAKING (not just showing it at CES year after year and not to much as one prototype in the wild) a GPU enclosure that will let me add an external GPU. I mean, when I'm on the go, I don't REALLY need a high end GPU. But at my desk, plugging it into a thunderbolt GPU means delicious performance!
It'd make more sense to integrate the GPU instead of having it external. If you need the extra oomph on the go, just switch to the GPU. Otherwise, use the integrated graphics. I can see the upset this move will cause to the early adopters of the 13" Retina though maybe they'll release an external GPU as compensation? Just wishful thinking.

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However, if I had bought a retina, I would have been more than satisfied with 8 gigs. There's just not that much that a dual core consumer grade CPU and integrated graphics can do (outside of a VM) that can saturate 16 gigs of RAM. And, since 13" owners are usually more consumer oriented, it's not likely that they are concerned about having 16 gigs of RAM or otherwise.
The typical consumer with a 13" can probably get by on just 4GB RAM if what they do is just Safari, Mail, Pages and the occasional photo/video edit in iPhoto and iMovie. Even the 13" Air will be enough for them. They're not going to need more than 8GB for the next few years, let alone 16.

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I know it seems Apple is heading retina, but, in my mind, get rid of that stupid Optical drive nobody uses anymore and put the GPU there. You could fit just about any mobile GPU along with room to cool it where the optical drive goes on the non-Retina.
I don't know about you, but I still use the optical drive. For the occasional DVD movie though, which is rarely, and not often enough to justify going for the non-Retina over the Retina. I'll just get a SuperDrive if I want to watch a DVD. Good point about ditching the optical drive in favor of a dedicated GPU. If people can put 2.5" HDD/SSDs in place of the optical drive, surely a mobile GPU unit would fit?
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:32 PM   #34
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5 years ago I got 8GB of DDR2 RAM. It was considered OD then, but that RAM doesn't help a bit now.
If you think 8GB doesn't help, swap it out for 2GB and see how you go
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:14 AM   #35
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It'd make more sense to integrate the GPU instead of having it external. If you need the extra oomph on the go, just switch to the GPU. Otherwise, use the integrated graphics. I can see the upset this move will cause to the early adopters of the 13" Retina though maybe they'll release an external GPU as compensation? Just wishful thinking.



The typical consumer with a 13" can probably get by on just 4GB RAM if what they do is just Safari, Mail, Pages and the occasional photo/video edit in iPhoto and iMovie. Even the 13" Air will be enough for them. They're not going to need more than 8GB for the next few years, let alone 16.



I don't know about you, but I still use the optical drive. For the occasional DVD movie though, which is rarely, and not often enough to justify going for the non-Retina over the Retina. I'll just get a SuperDrive if I want to watch a DVD. Good point about ditching the optical drive in favor of a dedicated GPU. If people can put 2.5" HDD/SSDs in place of the optical drive, surely a mobile GPU unit would fit?
Yeah I'd RATHER have a good integrated GPU, I just meant if it's really, really not feasible in a 13" form factor, then I'd gladly take an external GPU as a 'consolation prize'. With thunderbolts ability to carry video around (such as having a high end GPU in a PCI-E slot and being able to output it's video through the motherboards thunderbolt port), I bet you could even come up with a 'backfeeding' option where an external thunderbolt GPU could be plugged in, and power graphics on the internal display. Optimum? No, but I'd STILL rather have that than the HD4000. And though I recognize I'm in the minority, I'd also STILL rather have a 'dongle' of sorts for the external GPU than a 15" MacBook Pro, but of course, I don't use GPU intensive stuff on the go as much as others.

Ultimately though, I'd love to see it, and I think it could be done. There is a pretty drastic different in the design of the two models if you look at it. There's a lot more battery in the 15" model than the 13" model, which I suspect is one of the primary reasons for no quad core and no GPU option in the 13" model (other than perhaps cost). I think a quad core chip and a GPU would fit in a 13" model, but I don't think that could happen along with 7 hours of battery life.

But maybe with Haswell! The focus was supposed to be power consumption right? Maybe the power consumption is enough of a drop, along with a new generation of low power GPU's, that we could get equal power consumption with substantially more performance!

I can dream anyway! I love my 13" MacBook Pro and plan on keeping it for a long time. But if Apple released a 13" quad core with a dedicated GPU (even if not as fast a GPU as a 15"), and similar battery life to my 13", I think I'd upgrade. Otherwise I have no plans to upgrade when Haswell comes out, or even the next iteration or the next. I'll probably hang on to this for 3-4 years. I tend to hang on to laptops longer than desktops as the work I do on them is not as intense.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:49 AM   #36
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If you think 8GB doesn't help, swap it out for 2GB and see how you go
Too bad my Retina's RAM is soldered
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:53 AM   #37
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8gb ram with SSD is plenty if you don't do something memory intensive like photoshop.

even audio with loads of samples is unnecessary with fast SSD (disk streaming)
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:20 PM   #38
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8gb ram with SSD is plenty if you don't do something memory intensive like photoshop.

even audio with loads of samples is unnecessary with fast SSD (disk streaming)
But I will be using Photoshop. And Final Cut Pro, when I start doing video. I'd like to err on the side of caution since the RAM is soldered on
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:30 PM   #39
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But I will be using Photoshop. And Final Cut Pro, when I start doing video. I'd like to err on the side of caution since the RAM is soldered on
16gb that sucker then!

I bought 2.7/16GB/256gb, since SSD is the only upgradeable thing and there is a chance OWC (or apple) will offer bigger drives in the future.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:32 PM   #40
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I agree. One-Six it.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:32 PM   #41
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But maybe with Haswell! The focus was supposed to be power consumption right? Maybe the power consumption is enough of a drop, along with a new generation of low power GPU's, that we could get equal power consumption with substantially more performance!
Another part of the focus of Haswell was improving the integrated GPU. The HD4000 was a big jump from the HD3000. The HD4600 is supposed to be just as significant.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 02:22 AM   #42
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Hello again people. I am back with an update.

I purchased my Retina 15" today. Early 2013 model - the specs are in my signature. All's good and well, just one thing that caught my attention. Right now I have Google Chrome and Activity Monitor open (just those apps and nothing else). I am using approximately 7.5GB of RAM, with 3.35GB of inactive memory. Should I do something about that or leave it as it is?
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 09:47 AM   #43
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Hello again people. I am back with an update.

I purchased my Retina 15" today. Early 2013 model - the specs are in my signature. All's good and well, just one thing that caught my attention. Right now I have Google Chrome and Activity Monitor open (just those apps and nothing else). I am using approximately 7.5GB of RAM, with 3.35GB of inactive memory. Should I do something about that or leave it as it is?
No. Enjoy your computer!
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 09:58 AM   #44
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Hey, my MacBook (pre-unibody) is an '08 model, too. It may lag like hell at times, give me the spinning beachball of death, have cracks on the casing (I wasn't the first one to own this unit, and I sure treat it better than its previous owner ever did) and so on. It's a love-hate relationship. But it still works! You don't see that with a Windows laptop
Sure you do! I have an early 2007 ThinkPad T60 and a 2007 Dell Vostro 1500 that both run Windows 7 and 8 with no issues. And I love Apple products like the rest of us here.

I do agree that 16GB is the safe choice since Apple eliminated a lot of things you can upgrade in the rMBP which is why I plan to buy a cMBP before Apple cuts them off.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:51 AM   #45
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Hello again people. I am back with an update.

I purchased my Retina 15" today. Early 2013 model - the specs are in my signature. All's good and well, just one thing that caught my attention. Right now I have Google Chrome and Activity Monitor open (just those apps and nothing else). I am using approximately 7.5GB of RAM, with 3.35GB of inactive memory. Should I do something about that or leave it as it is?
Have you downloaded Memory Clean in App store? If you run it, it should make that inactive into free memory.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 01:51 PM   #46
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Have you downloaded Memory Clean in App store? If you run it, it should make that inactive into free memory.
Those types of programs are a waste. Inactive memory is a good thing, especially when you have an excess amount of RAM on board.

For example, think of this: you reboot your computer, and then open iTunes. iTunes is read from your hard drive and loaded into the RAM - this process takes the longest time, since accessing the hard drive is sluggish. Now you quit iTunes. Because you have a lot of RAM the system will leave parts of iTunes there, and mark it as "inactive." Later you open iTunes again. The parts of iTunes that are inactive now become active, and your computer has that much less to transfer from the hard drive to the RAM. A SSD will speed up the process of transferring data into the RAM, but the overall idea is the same: why do you want to purge things from the RAM that you might soon be putting back into it?

If you have a low amount of RAM and disk space I might see the utility of so-called RAM cleaners. You would lose some performance by purging the RAM but you would be avoiding the possibility of growing a swap file. For someone with 8+ GB of RAM it's a total waste. The operating system is designed to handle the inactive RAM and clear it if an active process needs more.

I have 16 GB of RAM, and right now I have 5 GB active and 7 GB inactive. The only wasted RAM is the 4 GB that is currently free, because it isn't being used for anything and it won't speed up any program loading or program processes.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 02:01 PM   #47
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Those types of programs are a waste. Inactive memory is a good thing, especially when you have an excess amount of RAM on board.

For example, think of this: you reboot your computer, and then open iTunes. iTunes is read from your hard drive and loaded into the RAM - this process takes the longest time, since accessing the hard drive is sluggish. Now you quit iTunes. Because you have a lot of RAM the system will leave parts of iTunes there, and mark it as "inactive." Later you open iTunes again. The parts of iTunes that are inactive now become active, and your computer has that much less to transfer from the hard drive to the RAM. A SSD will speed up the process of transferring data into the RAM, but the overall idea is the same: why do you want to purge things from the RAM that you might soon be putting back into it?

If you have a low amount of RAM and disk space I might see the utility of so-called RAM cleaners. You would lose some performance by purging the RAM but you would be avoiding the possibility of growing a swap file. For someone with 8+ GB of RAM it's a total waste. The operating system is designed to handle the inactive RAM and clear it if an active process needs more.

I have 16 GB of RAM, and right now I have 5 GB active and 7 GB inactive. The only wasted RAM is the 4 GB that is currently free, because it isn't being used for anything and it won't speed up any program loading or program processes.
Roger that. Thanks for the info. Didn't think of it like that.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 02:03 PM   #48
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Have you downloaded Memory Clean in App store? If you run it, it should make that inactive into free memory.
Such bad advice. Inactive memory is inactive for a reason.

Let the OS do its job, you do yours.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 04:58 PM   #49
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Hello again people. I am back with an update.

I purchased my Retina 15" today. Early 2013 model - the specs are in my signature. All's good and well, just one thing that caught my attention. Right now I have Google Chrome and Activity Monitor open (just those apps and nothing else). I am using approximately 7.5GB of RAM, with 3.35GB of inactive memory. Should I do something about that or leave it as it is?
I'm surprised that the memory usage is that high. I use less with more programs running but I don't use Chrome so I don't know about its memory usage.

There's nothing you need to do. Main measurement in activity monitor to check is Page Outs. With 16gb I doubt that it will get off 0, which is good.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 05:09 PM   #50
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I've owned my 8GB 15" rMBP since last July and the *only* thing I'd swap out is the memory configuration. I'd go with 16GB if I was buying it right now.

I tend to run Windows 7 or 8 in Parallels and find I'm often down to around 200MB, once I'm running a few apps.

I'd agree with what others have said and get the base model with 16GB.
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