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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:37 PM   #1
topscorer17
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8Gb vs 16Gb of ram

Hi, i just ordered a base line 15 inch retina display macbook pro yesterday, after being told on the phone by an apple employee that the ram was replaceable and not soldered on (did specify "retina" macbook pro), but i have recently confirmed that i was given false information. so my big question is this:
Should a cancel my order and get the 16Gb of ram or will 8 Gb most likely be plenty for a few years in the future? I will mostly be doing school work on it but also some gaming like diablo 3, starcraft 2 etc.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:40 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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Should a cancel my order and get the 16Gb of ram or will 8 Gb most likely be plenty for a few years in the future? I will mostly be doing school work on it but also some gaming like diablo 3, starcraft 2 etc.
Yes, the Apple rep was wrong. However, it's very likely you'll never need more than 8GB, as most users rarely need more than 4GB.

To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:40 PM   #3
danetello
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If you will be doing gaming then I would probably recommend the 16GB, since in a few years games will get more powerful and the retina macbook is unlikely to be able to cope well. However for school work the base retina macbook should be more than enough!
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:40 PM   #4
Stetrain
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Unless you're planning on serious pro level video editing or running multiple virtual machines, 8GB should be plenty.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topscorer17 View Post
Hi, i just ordered a base line 15 inch retina display macbook pro yesterday, after being told on the phone by an apple employee that the ram was replaceable and not soldered on (did specify "retina" macbook pro), but i have recently confirmed that i was given false information. so my big question is this:
Should a cancel my order and get the 16Gb of ram or will 8 Gb most likely be plenty for a few years in the future? I will mostly be doing school work on it but also some gaming like diablo 3, starcraft 2 etc.
School work? Word processing and whatnot? You'll be fine.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:43 PM   #6
TWR Motorsport
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unless you are doing giga and terabytes of video editing and rendering 8gb is more than enough.

As above. Most people don't even use 4. 8gb is only standard on retina machines because it needs it to do the higher resolutions
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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By the RAM you'll need for the software you'll use in 2016.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 10:52 PM   #8
skiffx
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Id definitely recommend 16 if u are planning on running a virtual machine in parallels or vmware
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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By the RAM you'll need for the software you'll use in 2016.
True! Always think ahead.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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I always tell people to buy as much as they can afford so that they will not be disappointed.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 11:08 PM   #11
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Id definitely recommend 16 if u are planning on running a virtual machine in parallels or vmware
This!!!

The current software, apps and programs, 8gb is more than enough. My Mac Pro is even doing well with just 8gb. But this retina is gonna need some new programs and who nows how that'll take a dump on RAM use. And Virtual machines are RAM rapers. I'd say go 16gb and put this issue to rest. This RAM is soldered so might as well take the leap.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 11:47 PM   #12
Mr. Retrofire
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However, it's very likely you'll never need more than 8GB, as most users rarely need more than 4GB.
Lion and Safari alone need 4 GB.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 11:58 PM   #13
dagamer34
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8GB is fine. RAM used to matter when you had a computer with a magnetic hard drive, dumping data from RAM and reading new data from the HDD was an extremely slow process that was very noticeable. With SSD and read speeds of 500MB/sec, this isn't an issue at all.

16GB of RAM is if you need several virtual machines running at the same time. Everything else will have little to no impact (and certainly not worth the amount of money spent in my opinion).

There isn't going to a game that will benefit from having 16GB of RAM, because the GPU in the Pro is going to be less and less "top of the line" much faster than having more RAM will ever be useful.

Moral of the story: Spend that $600 on something else.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:23 AM   #14
ajcadoo
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16GB is needed if you want to future-proof your Macbook. In 2-4 years, 16GB is going to be standard.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:32 AM   #15
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Moral of the story: Spend that $600 on something else.
Upgrading from 8GB to 16GB RAM costs less than $200.

And there's no way we can know what RAM requirements will be like 3-4 years down the road.

If you're buying your computer to only use for the next 2 years, then 8 should be fine. If you're planning on using it for the long haul, then futureproofing with 16GB is a smart investment.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:37 AM   #16
dagamer34
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Upgrading from 8GB to 16GB RAM costs less than $200.

And there's no way we can know what RAM requirements will be like 3-4 years down the road.

If you're buying your computer to only use for the next 2 years, then 8 should be fine. If you're planning on using it for the long haul, then futureproofing with 16GB is a smart investment.
Oops, got a bit confused there.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:43 AM   #17
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8GB is fine. RAM used to matter when you had a computer with a magnetic hard drive, dumping data from RAM and reading new data from the HDD was an extremely slow process that was very noticeable. With SSD and read speeds of 500MB/sec, this isn't an issue at all.
Reading and writing to system RAM is still 10x faster, and each write to an SSD causes a small amount of irreversible damage to its NAND memory chips, so buy the most RAM you can afford.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 12:58 AM   #18
Drew84
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I'm curious on this very same topic and would rather not litter the forum with another thread. I'm not the most hardcore of power users, but I am a photographer editing 20mp RAW files in PS, LR, and Photo Mechanic and I do edit 1080p video from time to time.

I'm still chugging along (albeit at a snails pace) on a 2008 C2D MBP with a whopping 2GB of RAM, so I don't even know what working with 4GB would be like, much less 8.

Can I get by with 8 over the long haul (4-5 years), or as mentioned above, shall I just give the piggy bank another smack and shell out the $180 upgrade?
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 01:00 AM   #19
GGJstudios
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Can I get by with 8 over the long haul (4-5 years), or as mentioned above, shall I just give the piggy bank another smack and shell out the $180 upgrade?
Keep the $180. 8GB will be more than sufficient.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 01:09 AM   #20
kvnfo
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Keep the $180. 8GB will be more than sufficient.
8GB is enough, I personally have 8GB on my desktop and never needed more.

But since you are already spending 2.1k what's another $180 for double the ram?
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 01:14 AM   #21
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Considering the size of the initial investment I'd say that if you're planning on 4-5 years and it's only $180 I'd do 16GB.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:19 AM   #22
topscorer17
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Originally Posted by kvnfo View Post
8GB is enough, I personally have 8GB on my desktop and never needed more.

But since you are already spending 2.1k what's another $180 for double the ram?
My order is still in the processing stage but if i cancel for the upgrade, will it have to restart the whole process, and make me wait even longer for my laptop?
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:22 AM   #23
leenak
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My order is still in the processing stage but if i cancel for the upgrade, will it have to restart the whole process, and make me wait even longer for my laptop?
I'd call the order support number instead and ask them about switching the order.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:29 AM   #24
pandamonia
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If you will be doing gaming then I would probably recommend the 16GB, since in a few years games will get more powerful and the retina macbook is unlikely to be able to cope well. However for school work the base retina macbook should be more than enough!
Rubbish.

Skyrim until a recent patch couldn't even address more than 2GB of Ram.

If you ever need 16gb of Ram then your MBP's GPU won't even run it, so its a moot point.

BF3 uses 1.5-2gb of Ram.

16GB on a notebook is overkill.

I have a full on gaming rig that never uses the 6GB installed
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:47 AM   #25
danetello
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Rubbish.

Skyrim until a recent patch couldn't even address more than 2GB of Ram.

If you ever need 16gb of Ram then your MBP's GPU won't even run it, so its a moot point.

BF3 uses 1.5-2gb of Ram.

16GB on a notebook is overkill.

I have a full on gaming rig that never uses the 6GB installed
No
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