13" Base Model

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by james010101, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. james010101 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    #1
    Hey guys!!

    Need some advice before i finally purchase my macbook.

    Is the 13" MBP's 4gb ram really limiting? I only intend to use it for law school, though of course, i do hope to do a bit of light gaming (dota 2) on it. Or should I just add that 200 bucks more to get the mid range model? Need some solid advice from someone who owns the base model..... thx!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    4GB with Mavericks should be ok, but I'd opt for the midrange with 8gb of ram since you cannot upgrade it later.
     
  3. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #3
    Definitely go for the mid-range model. $200 more for double the RAM and storage. Remember, you can't upgrade the RAM later.
     
  4. v654321 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    #4
    Although for typical home use the base config might be sufficient, I would suggest to not limit yourself too hard.

    Go for the 8 / 256 version to have a bit more headroom for the future. 4 / 128 is used up in no time and limits yourself basically from day 1.
     
  5. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    #5
    I'd suggest mid range model with 8gb ram. That's what I went for and my uses are not too different.

    The problem I see with 4gb is that it might not be enough in 2 years + but I think 8gb will be for sure. Also i think 128gb is too small, I don't mind external storage for video files and so on, but that 128gb is prob nearer the 110gb mark for usable storage which is not much (especially in a couple of years or so).

    How long you planning to keep it? if it's 2 years and then sell/upgrade, it will be fine, if not I would go for mid-range (which I personally think is the best value laptop across all the MacbookPro models)
     
  6. channelinspire macrumors member

    channelinspire

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #6
    I bought the mid model. Here is my memory usage with Safari (2 tabs), Spotify (streaming), Mail, Tweetbot open. You would really be limited with 4GB.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MacChinoNyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #7
    So youre basically already maxed out at running just that? I run maybe twice or triple the apps on a windows 7 machine at work and I'm around the 3gb ram mark. I only have 4gbs of ram btw, this seems like pretty poor memory management on apple's side no?
     
  8. v654321 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    #8
    I guess usage varies.

    I have way more open than the above poster has and my memory pressure is perfectly green with no swap space used whatsoever.
     
  9. OverpricedJunk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    #9
    Exactly, it's just the opposite.

    Mavericks ram usage is different than older OS's. Basically, it will always take advantage of the ram you have--so it shows that it's near max even with few programs or files running. I think it stores things in ram that are opened frequently or something... not really sure.

    Just know that the total ram usage is no longer an indicator of how much ram you are using, haha. I'm sure someone can explain it better than I...
     
  10. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Northern California
    #10
    My MBP with only macrumors and pandora playing... 4GB was not enough when I bought it and I had to upgrade within 2 days.
     

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  11. MacChinoNyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #11

    I want to believe you .... Lol...still deciding whether I should return my mba for a mbp with more ram.




    Besides your screenshot what did you experience ?
     
  12. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #12
    I would never run a Mac under 8GB RAM these days. Even if you're a light user. Also keep in mind that you can never upgrade it.
     
  13. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #13
    They changed the Activity Monitor view in Mavericks. It is totally misleading and doesn't show you the inactive portion of memory that's basically as good as free memory.

    If you look at activity monitor you'd go :eek: not enough memory, when most times if you really looked for typical usage, a lot of people are still going to hover around the 4GB or less mark. Still, 4GB doesn't have much overhead these days, and for the price difference the 13 2.4/8/256 is almost a no brainer buy over the base model.
     

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  14. MacChinoNyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #14
    Well, another encouraging post to scare me out of keeping my 4gb mba
     
  15. channelinspire macrumors member

    channelinspire

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #15
    This is basically 50% utilized. Those numbers don't show inactive. Most unix systems take what memory is available and use it for FS cache. My general point is there is less room for FS cache with 4GB. It gets tight at that. 8GB is plenty.

    I have 16GB in my mini and it running quite a bit and is silly around 50% actually in use too.
     
  16. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #16
    I had a 4GB MBA, and while I wouldn't buy one today, it does work well enough for my normal usage. I found that looking at the usage, with 8GB, apps just started using more memory since it was there for them to eat up.

    Look at your swap usage, if that goes up and stays elevated, you're in trouble. See what happens when I launch up 2 VMs at once, and given them some memory each - Win7 with 3GB and WinXP with 1.5GB. Now I'm really eating into swap, and while this is still more than usable, you can tell the system is stressed and no longer the smooth self. Notice how my page outs are now much much higher too?

    Of course, this isn't very typical usage, but it should give you some idea of how to look for signs that you need more memory. But yes, 4GB is quite borderline these days.
     

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  17. MyopicPaideia, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013

    MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000

    MyopicPaideia

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    #17
    Geez...I think (almost) everyone here is misinforming the original poster completely - neteng101 excepted, you've got it right.

    OSX reports inactive memory (this is memory the system uses to cache inactive processes and frequently used apps not currently open) as "used" memory and this is in most cases the vast majority of what OSX is reporting as used memory. I would like you all to humour me and please try this experiment to prove what I am saying:

    Close all applications. Go into the console and purge the memory (how to here) and then restart your music streaming apps you mentioned and Safari with your two tabs or whatever. Then run Activity monitor again. I think you'll find that your reported used memory is much lower.

    What you've done is purge the inactive RAM. That's it. Now your old closed apps and stuff have been thrown out of RAM storage and will have to load up from the HD or SSD the next time you use them.

    I think you'll find that most of you had absolutely no need whatsoever to upgrade the RAM in your machines. If you are not seeing any performance problems, why do you think you need more RAM? I have been using the 2011 Macbook Air in my signature below to run a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Virtual Machine with 1GB RAM allocated to it in parallel with OSX for work purposes for over two years and have had zero problems with RAM overloading or excessive paging out to the SSD, and this with up to 15 individual apps running over both OS's simultaneously, multiple large, complex and linked Excel, PowerPoint, Numbers and Keynote docs open, 10 tabs in Safari, and heavy accounting and finance software running in the VM. Sure I started to see excessive page outs at times, but with the fast SSD, I have been able to live with that, and have been extremely impressed with the performance of this little machine as my sole true laptop. It has gotten even better with Mavericks new memory compression features. In my use case, I have seen a noticeable performance boost with 10.9.

    That's the big reason to upgrade the RAM, when you start seeing excessive paging out to virtual memory on the HD or SSD. Paging in is totally fine however. Here's a quick definition of page in and page out: (from a this thread in Apple's own support forums)

    So you see - 4GB RAM will still get you a lot further than you think, especially with the latest OSX Mavericks installed...

    That said, if it were me, for the $200 extra, I would definitely get the mid-ranged machine with double the RAM and double the SSD storage.

    ;) :apple:
     
  18. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    I read somewhere that the 128 GB drive on the base model was slower than the average SSD. Not sure why - but I'm sure we'll see/hear more about it with the Anandtech review.
     

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