1x8gb or 2x4gb for 2012 13"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LeeM, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. LeeM macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    #1
    Looking at corsair vengeance and wondering if I can put 1 8gb in for now so I have the option to upgrade to 16gb in future? My laptop doesn't officially support 16gb according to apple so I'm not sure if I'll get the same performance out of 1 8gb stick rather than 2 4gb's.
    Anyone any experience or advice?
     
  2. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #2
    Everymac says that your computer can take up to 16GB of RAM, using two 8GB sticks, so you're fine there. There's usually a relatively small drop in performance if you don't have matched pairs of RAM, but I can't remember how much it is. That brings up the whole discussion of "is more RAM better than matched RAM?" I guess it depends. If you're using programs that need more RAM than you currently have, then adding more, even if not in matched pairs, will result in better performance. The RAM that you're adding will overcome the penalty for not having it in matched pairs. If you're just adding it for the heck of it and don't really need it, then it's probably best to stay with the matched pairs (2x4GB) so you don't take the performance hit.
     
  3. EarthNeutron macrumors regular

    EarthNeutron

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    Earth
    #3
    2x4GB so you could take advantage of the dual channel memory system.

    Also, you don't need 16GB ram. 8GB is more than enough. I usually have Photoshop CS6, After Effects CS6, Safari with over 10 tabs, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie etc. apps opened and I still have about 1-2GB of free RAM.

    Please check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ZONEofTECH

    I'll be posting a 4GB-8GB ram comparison video this week, as well as a SSD vs HDD video comparison and a tutorial on how to upgrade the ram and the SSD.


    I hope you found this useful.

    Cheers!
     
  4. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

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    #4
    This should say that 8GB of RAM is more than enough for MOST people. There are people that need more. The programs you're running aren't the only thing that matters. You can edit files in Photoshop with 4GB of RAM. If you're working with very large, multi-layered Photoshop files, you can easily need at least 8GB or more. The complexity of the files you're working with makes a big difference.
     
  5. LeeM thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2012
    #5
    Main program's will be traktor and ableton for music and solidworks on windows for cad. It's not just a shiny Facebook machine lol
     
  6. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #6
    Funny, one of my friends told me once that no one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer. Is it possible that times change and what you'll never need may be essential to someone else?
     
  7. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    #7
    I've been seeing a lot of page-outs and beachballs doing things that really shouldn't stress the system TOO much. I just get the feeling that 4GB no longer feels 'roomy' like it did 3 or 4 years ago. I'm with the other posters in the group that think DOUBLING that to 8GB should be more than enough for my purposes, and that's where I'm headed. I thought about the 8GB single stick insertion with my existing 2GB for 10GB, but the whole dual channel thing gets lost, and may actually end up lowering performance.

    OWC shows some bar graphs for different RAM performances, and the difference between 8GB and 16GB doesn't really seem to be worth the expense . . .
     
  8. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    #8
    I'm pretty certain that was 640KB, which urban legend pins on Bill Gates as the speaker, but he has laughingly denied ever making this statement.

    It all boiled down to how DOS addressed memory, and functioned. Most machines came with at least 1MB of memory. DOS reserved the first 4KB for the VLUT, providing addressing information for programs requesting OS level services. Everything from 640KB and up to 1MB was reserved for system needs and peripheral communications, including graphics. The Extended Memory Specification (EMS) reserved a 64KB chunk of that 'upper memory' to swap in/out chunks of data stored above the 1MB barrier, which was not directly addressable by DOS. Later, the eXtended Memory Specification (XMS) was used to allow for direct addressing of all memory above 1MB contiguously, vice in 64KB chunks, drastically improving performance in memory intensive applications. The designers of early DOS decided that the middle 640KB would be 'enough' for the user to load a few Terminate but Stay Resident (TSR, like mouse drivers and memory managers) and provide memory to execute the selected programs.

    The problem came as programs increased in complexity, requiring more memory to run, and at the same time, more and more TSRs were required to provide services to newer hardware and software enhancements (CD-ROM drivers, mouse drivers, memory managers, caching services, etc) until the great squeeze happened and users with 4MB systems would get ridiculous messages stating "you need 3500 more bytes of memory to execute this program."

    Don't know where all that came from. Happy to be computing now, vice then. Very happy to never edit AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS ever again. "Buy a Mac!" as the commercial said. I did. :)
     
  9. ivoruest macrumors 6502

    ivoruest

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    Jul 12, 2010
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    Guatemala
    #9
    Yes it does support more than 8Gbs, up to 16Gbs actually. Apple doesn't officially say this but it will do since its a new model. I will recomend matching pairs but if you don't need that much ram, then 1 stick of 8Gbs will do. I always use it in pairs just for peace of mind.

    You can try iStat Pro which can help you monitor your mem usage. Or via the Activity Monitor as well.
     
  10. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #10
    And you don't think the same thing will happen 2 or 3 years down the line? The apps and OSs are taking more space and memory? If you'd like a more current example, check out all the threads starting in 2007 about how we'll "never need more than 4GB of 8GB on the iPhone." Oh wait, there's apps now, so maybe I do need 8GB. Oh, well Apple has the cloud now, so surely I won't need more than the 16/32 GB options they're offering. Oh wait, there's a bigger camera in there, apps are coming in at over a GB and I want to play HD movies on there and all carriers are eliminating unlimited data? Well surely, even with that, I'd never need more that 64GB. My friend didn't say that, I did. Nothing, nothing, can replace local storage and speed. Trying to say what will work for you at this moment does nothing for considering that your laptop can last 5 or 6 years and what works for you now may not work in the future.
     
  11. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    #11
    I totally agree with you. I'm a bit flummoxed that Apple keeps pushing their computers out the door with 4GB RAM on board. Technology is always moving forward, and that means steady progression on all fronts. Memory is definitely more taxed with Mountain Lion than it was with Snow Leopard. Are things more efficient? More capable? More fully-featured? Of course, across the board, but the expense is seen in the amount of memory being taken up by all the programs and services needed to make the OS sing as well as it does. The big difference between modern computing and the dark days of DOS I recounted above is virtual memory. DOS had no mechanism in place for swapping real and virtual memory in the usable 640KB range. If you loaded up your TSRs and had 598KB of memory left, the next program you tried to run had better take up less than 598KB while running, or it didn't run. Now, with virtual memory handled by the OS, the programs you run are no longer limited by your physical memory, and can 'spill' into virtual memory, as executable code and resources are shuttled back and forth between RAM and secondary storage devices (HDD/SSD). The cost is, of course, speed, since even the speediest SSD is magnitudes slower than RAM. So today we see 'beach-balling'. Back in the day, you saw a 'Homie don't play that' message along with the warm and welcoming C:\>
     

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