16GB RAM rMB - Is it even necessary?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by touchbearr, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. touchbearr macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2016
    It looks like the 2017 MacBook 12" will have the option to go up to 16gigs, so a question for people who have used one, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wished it had more RAM? (asking out of curiosity)
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    If you require 16GB RAM for your workflow to go smoothly, I'd wager you'll already be hitting the CPU/GPU bottlenecks in the rMB well before the RAM usage becomes a problem.

    So to answer your question: in my opinion I'd say it's a redundant option on that machine.
  3. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Completely agree, though I don't think that will stop Apple from offering that configuration, especially now that Kaby Lake Core M chips will be i5 and i7 (in terms of names).
  4. sledgehammer89 macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2009
    I need 16GB RAM. CPU Power is ok for my usage, but running 1 or 2 Linux and Windows virtual machines isn't really possible now.

    Also I'd like to have 1TB SSD option and even better a fanless 15" version. As Apple won't build any MacPad, a fanless MacBook must be available in 15". But it must be fanless. Never go back to a Computer with a fan.
  5. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    I have a Windows 10 Parallels VM, and it runs fine, with Activity Monitor memory pressure about 50% when it is running, still green.
    Do you mean you can't run two VMs at the same time? I haven't tried that, what actually happens? what does memory pressure go up to?
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I have 16 GB RAM on my 2015 15" rMBP and I have 8 GB RAM on my 12" m7 MacBook. I use the larger machine for everything and I use the MacBook for lighter tasks and travel, so the additional 8 GB RAM doesn't matter as much on the smaller machine. That said, if it were my ONLY computer, then, yes, I would want 16 GB RAM and I am glad to see that Apple will be offering that option with the next MacBook.
  7. Zazoh macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    Agree 100% with this.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 7.25.09 PM.png
  8. evec macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2016
    All two core CPU in OSX don't need more that 8GB unless taxed with Virtual machines.
  9. Admiral macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2015
    But if you use virtual machines at all, the availability of additional RAM becomes essential. I know that if a 16GB option is offered for the 2017 12" MacBook, Apple will make another sale to me. I love my 2016 MacBook but honestly, I do bump up against the issue of virtual machines gobbling RAM.
  10. Mike Boreham, Jan 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    I haven't seen this running a VM on my rMB M5....what happens when you bump into it?
    Obviously running VMs is a high RAM user, but as I said earlier, memory pressure running one Windows 10 VM is around 50% (after a start up spike), and I haven't bumped into anything.

    EDIT....I should say that I have 2Gb RAM allocated to the VM in the VM config settings, and this pretty much fixes the memory pressure in Activity Monitor. If I up it to the max of 4Gb, then memory pressure goes orange at 85%. So I guess it depends what you are using Windows for. I have only occasional and moderate use, and I would assume most people who have high demands in Windows would not be using VMs.
  11. Admiral macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2015
    Yeah, I am one of the unlucky guys who works in a professional-services firm that has a lot of Windows-based software. Many industry-specific programs, such as knowledge-management systems, are only available for Windows and there is no way around it. Of course, a smart IT department would understand that open systems, or systems that make their functions available in a web-based interface, would be a better way to go, but few big enterprises are that smart.
  12. fokmik macrumors 68030

    Oct 28, 2016
    since it will be an OPTION, why there is a problem? people who need, they will pay for it, probably there will be 2 base models 1 256ssd and 8 gb ram and the other i wonder if it will be 512 ssd and 16gb ram OR the extra ram and the extra cpu both will be available only for BTO?!
  13. Gregintosh, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017

    Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    RAM is useful for any multitasking. Even without using a lot of processing power, having lots of RAM will make it run smoother and eliminate the need for exiting out of apps as often. For example, running Photoshop, imovie, safari with tons of tabs, email, Skype, slack, MS Office apps, etc. all at the same time.
  14. fokmik macrumors 68030

    Oct 28, 2016
    running all of those app will require some cpu and gpu as well working in tandem with the 16 gb ram
  15. icymountain macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2006
    I guess few users of this kind of laptop need 16Gb, but as mentioned above some will greatly benefit from it, so it would be really nice to have the option.

    I have been a heavy VM user for a long time, and recently had to fire two Linux ones on my MBA 11" with 8Gb; it did fine, but if I were doing this often, I would be happier with 16Gb. If I were buying a new laptop, I would also rather have 16Gb in case I have to do this more often.
    I am sure there are other situations where it is preferable.
  16. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    A lot of people don't realize is that the integrated video card is also chewing up your precious system ram.

    Try this. Run something that will eat up all the 8GB of ram. You'll notice that the system will chew up 6.5GB and then all the rest would be thrown into swap. Why? Because 8GB is not really 8GB once you consider the video shared ram into play. It has 1.5GB dynamic video ram, which mean it does vary how much it might use at a certain time and place but the OS still reserves 1.5GB (max amount) all the time.

    In reality, you only have 6.5GB of ram to use. If you had 16GB total system ram, then you'll have 14.5GB of ram to use.

    This is very apparent when I tried running 2x virtual machines and noticed even the memory pressure stayed in green but most of the memory is thrown into swap and not allowed for the system to be accessed. This is also replicated on Windows running Bootcamp as well so it's OS independent (Windows only uses 1GB video shared RAM)

    Edit: Also to note, running virtual machines you'll also have to consider the virtualized video ram as well. While running natively, the video ram will be utilized from either the dedicated card or shared system ram, in virtualized world, the virtualized video ram is coming from the system ram only. So if you take 2GB for system ram to be shared to a VM and add in 1GB of video ram to be the "Virtual video card"; youre actually stealing 3GB of your total ram from your system for the VM only. In the macbook's situation, you're already limited from 8GB -> 6.5GB (real usable ram) then you add in a VM w/ 2GB allocation + 1GB vRAM allocation, you're really down to -> 3.5GB of ram for macOS or the host.
  17. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    With the performance of the MacBook increasing, and a repositioning of the MacBook this year, this doesn't seem like an unnecessary thing. This year should fix the issues with the MacBook for many, except the 1 port (unless they replace the headphone jack). The MacBook will become a true MBA replacement, with a lower price and Core i5/i7 branded processors.
  18. jeme macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2009
    So I am debating between a 2016 MBP w/Touchbar or the newest version of the MacBook (Gen 2), I am coming from a MacBook (gen 1) where I occasionally ran bootcamp. I am starting to use Parallels and love it.

    Will a Macbook (Gen 2) with M5 be enough to run it. This is my only computer BTW.

    I am typing this on a the MBP w/touchbar, but I have a few weeks to return. The depth of the keyboard is a bit harder to get used to. OK thanks!
  19. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    It probably is enough to run it but I don't know how good the experience is. But I do know that it is better on the TB MBP. Especially since this is your only computer, I think the MBP is a much better option.

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