2018 mini: 16GB RAM makes a difference over 8GB.

WilliamG

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Mar 29, 2008
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So.... I wasn't expecting the Geekbench scores to change this much, but after doing the 8GB -> 16GB upgrade on my i5 2018 mini, I was surprised by the results.

With 8GB: 5170 (single core) 20172 (multi-core)

With 16GB: 5315 (single core) 21792 (multi-core).

I'm not saying you'd notice that difference in general use, but that multi-core score is near 10% improvement.

And given I've read performance improvements driving a 5K display with 16GB over the 8GB, I wonder if this gives the GPU more breathing room, too?
 

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tpivette89

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So.... I wasn't expecting the Geekbench scores to change this much, but after doing the 8GB -> 16GB upgrade on my i5 2018 mini, I was surprised by the results.

With 8GB: 5170 (single core) 20172 (multi-core)

With 16GB: 5315 (single core) 21792 (multi-core).

I'm not saying you'd notice that difference in general use, but that multi-core score is near 10% improvement.

And given I've read performance improvements driving a 5K display with 16GB over the 8GB, I wonder if this gives the GPU more breathing room, too?
I've gotten a similar boost in "Geekbench" performance... at 8GB:
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 1.07.56 AM.png

After a 16GB upgrade:
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 1.08.18 AM.png
However, don't know how much Geekbench scores represent real world performance.
 

WilliamG

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Of course, for all we know Apple just optimizes for this benchmark. Even so, it's interesting that there's such a significant disparity in the bench.
 

macdos

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Oct 15, 2017
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Of course, for all we know Apple just optimizes for this benchmark. Even so, it's interesting that there's such a significant disparity in the bench.
Apple doesn't optimize for benchmarks. Apple optimizes for performance, and benchmarks measure such performance.

Given a set of benchmarks, you will see a natural variation in the results, independent of RAM or any physical attributes.

That said, more RAM will massively improve performance, for a number of reasons. One is that a lot of RAM is used for cached files, which Apple tends to keep no matter what. Once the system starts to swap, your performance goes down considerably.

Another is that RAM is also used for VRAM, and it is not dedicated. Swapping and compressing will therefore also affect graphics performance.

I maxed out RAM for this very reason, knowing from many years of underwhelming experience of too little RAM and sub-par memory handling on Apple's side.

Today, 16 GB is the bare minimum to just breathe comfortably.
 

revmacian

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Oct 20, 2018
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Do you think 32GB RAM would improve those benchmarks? I suspect they would. What about 64GB RAM?

So, just because more RAM improves the benchmarks.. that means more RAM is necessary for everyday work?

I'm just asking.
 

giffut

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In real workloads you won't see much if any difference. Geekbench is not a good measure of sustained practical but more a hint at shorttime peek performance. The difference in benchmark score you see here is not perceivable in real usage.

You have to create your own benchmark setup for your specific workload and compare it to the computer it replaces. Then you know for sure, if it perfoms better or worse. Geekbench is not a reliable tool to do this.

Only heavy workloads stressing CPU, GPU and RAM require more then 16GB memory.

Use the program "Activity Monitor" and look out for memory presure - if it's green with 8GB at the moment, you are good to stay with it. You can add more RAM later on, when workloads increase.
 
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Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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That is simply not true. Just for anyone else reading this.
Yes and no.

But mostly no.

I'm still waiting for my RAM to arrive, my external system fails to automatically mount the VM partition, and boy, did I run into a few horrible crashes before I realized whats wrong.

In a 2018 Mini with shared GPU RAM, 16GB is comfortable minimum. 8GB is for web browsing and not too much video.

and im currently running a 1080p screen, I'd hate to think what would happen on a 4K screen.
[doublepost=1546375959][/doublepost]
Agreed. My Mac mini (late 2014 base model) only has 4GB RAM and it works fine.
It works fine, but it's pointless to have an 8th gen CPU and super fast SSD just to bottleneck it with too little RAM.
 
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revmacian

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Yes and no.

But mostly no.

I'm still waiting for my RAM to arrive, my external system fails to automatically mount the VM partition, and boy, did I run into a few horrible crashes before I realized whats wrong.

In a 2018 Mini with shared GPU RAM, 16GB is comfortable minimum. 8GB is for web browsing and not too much video.

and im currently running a 1080p screen, I'd hate to think what would happen on a 4K screen.
[doublepost=1546375959][/doublepost]
It works fine, but it's pointless to have an 8th gen CPU and super fast SSD just to bottleneck it with too little RAM.
Why would I need a faster CPU and SSD when it already works fine? It's a personal computer, not IBM's Blue Gene. My point is many, too many, people push others into increasing RAM without knowing the person's work habits and it does nothing except push others into wasting money.
 

WilliamG

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5K doesn't even work properly when using only 8GB so Apple shouldn't even be selling the 8GB option.
That’s nothing to do with RAM and all to do with the GPU, though. So as a general rule 8GB RAM is fine with a 5K display. My wife uses a 5K display day in and day out with her 13” 2017 MacBook Pro i5 with 8GB RAM.
 

Boneheadxan

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Jul 19, 2009
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I upgraded to 32GB from 8GB and it helped reduce a ton of audio issues I was having! I wasn't expecting that.
 
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WilliamG

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Have you actually asked your optometrist if you can even benefit from 5k?
I don't need to ask. The difference is staggering. At the end of the day, it's not about 5K resolution for me in terms of RAW resolution. It's about being able to maintain 2560x1440 effective resolution at 4x the sharpness of 1440p. That's what's special about a 5K display on a 27" monitor. 4K on a 27" monitor isn't good enough for this, as you'd be at 1080p effective area, quad-pumped in res.

So on my 5K display, everything looks exactly the same as on my 2560x1440p display, just 4x as sharp. My iMac is right next to my 27" gaming IPS display - the difference in sharpness is massive.