13" rMBP 8GB 512GB or 16GB 256?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macnoob81, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. macnoob81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #1
    I know these questions have been asked over and over. I just picked up the 8gb 256gb but I am second guessing it. The genius was convinced it was all I need. I am teacher that has lots of apps running at the same time. Plus I frequently use lightroom and imovie... Will I be happy with this 8gb or should I get the 16gb with the smaller drive. $2k is my absolute max I can spend so these are my two options and i don't want the 15"... I know I will want the space and an external hd will be annoying but I want my mbp to be a workhorse... decisions decisions.... what do you think?
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    If you order online, you can get a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM for $1,879 through the Education Store. Since you are a teacher, you are eligible. Check it out.

    You probably won't need more than 8 GB especially with Mavericks, but if you want 16 GB then thats the most affordable option...
     
  3. macnoob81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #3
    Yes... I used the education discount and got apple care $2020 with good old ca tax.... I think I am going to keep it....
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #4
    Ah yes if you factor in AppleCare, even at education price it is more than I thought. I was thinking pure hardware costs.

    Either way, what do you do with your Mac exactly? Besides Lightroom, what is your other needs?
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    I think you'll be fine. Space can be extended by the use of external drives if you have too, and 8GB is more then enough for most people.
     
  6. maxsquared macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    #6
    I'd go for 16gb ram, I have a 8gb version and the os eat up ram pretty easily. By opening a few Chrome tabs, evernote, skype and photoshop, I only have 10% free ram left.
     
  7. MartinAppleGuy, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014

    MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #7
    You don't understand how to read RAM in OSX Mavericks. You are not taking into account RAM compression, App Cache, and RAM pressure. Here is an example:

    When having iMovie open with a large video, and Chrome with a 5-10 tabs, I am using 6Gb of my 8Gb of RAM. The system can then use another 2Gb before it hits the total, where is will start to clear App Cache, then another 2-3Gb (App Cache) before it starts compressing RAM, then another 4-6Gb before touching Swap (ie- ran out of RAM). So in this circumstance, using 6Gb of RAM is using 31.5% before I run out of RAM.

    If your RAM pressure is red and you are a Swap/Page-out larger than a few Kb then your Macbook has ran out of RAM. If it is green, and you still have a lot of cache left, you are using a tiny amount.

    With RAM compression, I had all of my applications open, iMovie doing some exporting, and 100 tabs split between Chrome and Safari (around 50/50 each) and I was using 15.14Gb of RAM with my 8Gb of RAM iMac . And it still never touched swap. And my RAM compression was green. This is due to the heavy caching OSX does (to make apps launch instantly, rather than fetching data from backing storage which is a much slower process) as well as RAM compression. RAM compression uses the WKdm compression algorithm allowing data held in RAM to be compressed and decompressed almost instantly meaning you can have a lot more running before you run out of RAM. As said above, I use using 15.15Gb of RAM (and my iMac has 8Gb). What this means, is that the data within RAM consisted of 15.14Gb (with some being compressed to make it fit on the 2X4Gb modules, but then instantly decompressed when needed).

    Another thing to note, is that when I was using this much, my iMac was still very responsive (90% as responsive when compared to not pushing it). RAM pressure was also green, meaning I could push around 17Gb of RAM on my 8Gb system.

    I hope this has helped you understand how RAM works in Mavericks. When you see "Memory Used: 7.xx", don't just think you are using all of it. Look at App Cache then add that number on to your total RAM (i.e 7.xx out of 10/11Gb of RAM used, rather than 7.xx out of 8Gb used), then look at Compressed RAM and if 0 add 6Gb again on to your total. In the end, you are using 7Gb out of 17Gb. Also look at RAM pressure: green indicated you have loads of free RAM, amber indicated you are pushing the system RAM but there is still RAM free, and red indicated you have ran out of RAM and data has to be swapped to disk.

    ----------

    I hope this has also helped the OP understand that unless running VM's that take up 4Gb a pop an average, 8Gb of RAM is also most impossible to use 100%. I have tried and failed ;)
     
  8. macnoob81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #8
    Thanks everyone for the help... On a daily basis I have chrome running, active inspire (controls a smart board), faronics insight (allows me to view all the devices and computer screens in my room), pages, powerpoint, imessage, and logos bible software. Those are the main ones... A couple times a year I shoot a wedding so having the hd space is nice and wanting lightroom to manage 2000 pics... I also frequently make movies with imovie that are hd from canon 7d ... I may run parrallels becuase I can't find a ti-89 emulator that runs on osx but trying to avoid it.... I still haven't opened the new one. Trying to decide if I need delayed gratification. It seems that most of you are saying I would be happy with this...
     
  9. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #9
    Upgrade the RAM to 16GB.

    256GB is adequate, and from what I remember you could replace the SSD so at least you could do that somewhere down the road if you can stomach the cost.
     
  10. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #10
    Thank you - that's a great explanation!
     
  11. elchorizo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    #11
    I agree with everyone else that you're fine as is, but I thought I'd share my choice as well since I debated between that exact same choice.

    I'm a software developer and therefore my default position was 16GB ram, and 256GB disk but I decided to challenge myself on that. The reason was I really wanted a huge hard disk since I also like to take the laptop with me when I travel and I love a ton of variety in media (and not having to hassle to figure out what I need to take off and put on before a trip). So, I wanted 512GB of disk space but could I live with only 8GB of ram?

    I've been a Windows guy until recently, and I would definitely want 16GB on Windows (and in fact have that on my main Win laptop). But, from reading these awesome forums a lot I got the impression that ram goes further on a Mac (clearly I'm oversimplifying when I say that). Also, I never planned to run more than 1 VM at a time... anyway, long story short, I convinced myself that 8GB would be enough ram.

    I snagged the current gen Haswell 8GB/512GB about 6 months ago and have been loving it. I've never felt that it was the slightest bit slow or that I'm paging. I'm glad I saved the extra cash by not getting the full 16GB of ram (I hate Apples exorbitant memory Tax). I'm also glad I got the bigger disk, even though I recognize it was just a luxury.
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12
    Mavericks will be fine then for your RAM usage. It performs really well, and ActivInspire runs great under Mavericks just to let you know. You are fine with 8 GB and the 512 GB SSD. However, please be smart and always have a backup.
     
  13. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #13
    Your welcome :) It appears the new Activity Monitor, as well as Mavericks new memory management confused a lot of people by thinking they are using all RAM resources. I'd be kind of scared if I found I was already maxing out my RAM with a few tabs too ;)
     
  14. macnoob81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #14
    cool... looks liek I am opening this baby... one last question i currently have a 2011 mbp 2.3 i5 that has 16gb.... would it be any comparison with a ssd form owc?
     
  15. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    #15
    I have 256g 15", my next will be 13" 8/512gb they have the Samsung SSD too so faster.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    The best and most affordable SSDs are from Samsung. I highly reccomend the Samsung 840 Pro and 840 Evo.

    Are you planning on sticking with your 2011 and returning the Retina model?
     
  17. macnoob81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #17
    no.... unless it was comparable in performance
     
  18. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #18
    I have a 8GB Ram and my activity monitor shows 3.5-4 be used at all times with just chrome, mail, and iMessage open.

    At the same time, 512 GB SSD is probably needed given you edit movies.

    I'd probably go with the 512 SSD and hope for the best.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    Comparable, you are talking about 3 years of advancing tech. I must say that the 2011 may do everything you want if given an SSD.
     
  20. Fondaparinux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    #20
    I heard the RAM is soldered. You can always get an external drive, but you'll never be able to get 16 GB if you do get 8 GB.
     
  21. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #21
    Well your new one has PCIe based flash allowing for much better data transfer speeds when compared to your old MB. If your 2011 MBP is a quad core, then the CPU performance will still be better on your old one. RAM wise, I's say would will not notice a single difference unless having a VM or 2 open.

    ----------

    Look at my other comment on this thread. When you see 2.5-4Gb of 8Gb in use, that does not mean you are using half. You have 4Gb before the RAM is full, another 2-3Gb before App Cache has been cleared then another 5-6Gb of RAM that can be compressed before RAM contents are swapped to disk. In the end, you are using 4Gb of around 15Gb before your MBP slows down.
     
  22. macnoob81 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Near LA
    #22
    I am posting from the rMBP... it's so fast! I'll be fast but broke for a while... thanks all for the help!
     
  23. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #23
    Enjoy :)
     

Share This Page