iPad Pro 4GB enough for future iPad OS iterations?

ramen5677

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Oct 29, 2016
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I am very much in the market for an 11-inch 256GB iPad Pro but am holding off because of the 4GB ram and the possibility of the next iteration coming as soon as october. (how likely is that actually?)

I am especially wondering how the 4GB will fare with the new iPad OS that doubles down on real multi-tasking. Any opinions?
 

LovingTeddy

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I think it would be enough. The newly released iPad Air and iPad mini only have 3GB RAM. Think about how many iteration of iOS received with 2GB of RAM? I think it will be enough. By the way, even with iPadOS, multitasking is still very limited.
 

bensisko

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4 GB is more than enough for the foreseeable future.

I have not heard any reliable rumors about new iPads coming soon. The MacRumors Buyers Guide gives the iPad Pro a neutral rating - appears to be mid-cycle.
 
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EugW

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iPad Pros have been 4 GB for a long time now, but that memory hasn't often been fully utilized for most people. However, iPadOS 13 is game changer. 4 GB will be enough for most regular usage, but if you are into multimedia creation, I suspect that 6 GB will come in handy sooner rather than later. I think it says something that CURRENT high end iPad Pros are already 6 GB. Applications are already getting bigger. For example, LumaFusion 2.0 can now use 6 4K video tracks, with 18 audio tracks. Full-fledged Photoshop is also coming.

It would depend on whether or not you need these bigger apps, with multitasking. I don't often, but nonetheless I'm hoping the next generation will start at 6 GB. I think this is feasible since iPad Pros have been 4 GB for 4 years now, and iPadOS 13 and iOS 13 are out soon, with bare minimum memory requirements of 2 GB RAM for legacy iDevices. Furthermore, the new baseline for the consumer oriented 2018 non-Pro iPhone XR and 2019 non-Pro iPads is now 3 GB.

I currently have a 4 GB 10.5" Pro, but my wife wants it. Thus, I will upgrade to an 11", but will wait until the next iteration, hopefully with 6 GB RAM. However, I suspect it won't be released until spring 2020.
 

AppleHaterLover

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I think a new iPad Pro is unlikely before mid-2020. Maybe the next iPads will have 6GB, but it will take a while.

Even the 2017 iPad Pros can handle all of the new iOS 13 multitasking stuff. The possibility of Apple allowing multitasking that will see an app crash right in front of you due to lack of RAM is zero, so you should be fine.
 

*~Kim~*

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2GB RAM started in 2014 with the Air 2, so it lasted 4.5 years as the base. Only the budget iPad now has that. By that logic the Pros might expect a RAM increase next year (the 2015 12.9” iPad Pro was the start of 4GB.)

I would hold off as I’ve said in similar threads, also expecting the base storage to go up. 64GB seems awfully low for a Pro at this point, so you might only need the base model at the next refresh.
 

EugW

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2GB RAM started in 2014 with the Air 2, so it lasted 4.5 years as the base. Only the budget iPad now has that. By that logic the Pros might expect a RAM increase next year (the 2015 12.9” iPad Pro was the start of 4GB.)

I would hold off as I’ve said in similar threads, also expecting the base storage to go up. 64GB seems awfully low for a Pro at this point, so you might only need the base model at the next refresh.
I'm hoping for both 6 GB and 128 GB in 2020. 64 GB is OK for me, but tight. 256 GB is not necessary for me. 128 GB is perfect for me.

I'm optimistic about the 6 GB, but I'm not so optimistic about the 128 GB.
 

ramen5677

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Original poster
Oct 29, 2016
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Thanks all, for your replies. Actually I need an iPad only by November, so perhaps I am holding out. I would like to keep it for 3+ years and I would hate SlideOver, Spaces, etc to reduce to restarting most apps.
Also with desktop browsing coming to the iPad, Ram needs change too, right?

But then it would also suck to see no iPad in November and to just get the iPad I could have gotten 4 months before.
 

canesalato

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under iPad OS 13, i get many reloads with multiple app instances...I think they should have put 8gb in such expensive device (iPad 12.9 2018)
 
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bensisko

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Thanks all, for your replies. Actually I need an iPad only by November, so perhaps I am holding out. I would like to keep it for 3+ years and I would hate SlideOver, Spaces, etc to reduce to restarting most apps.
Realistically, if your usage is high end, you're going to have to purchase a new device within a couple years anyway just to keep up. If your usage is NOT high end, then you don't need more than 4 GB of RAM and a current Pro (or even a current Air) will suit you well for years to come.

Also with desktop browsing coming to the iPad, Ram needs change too, right?
No, you don't need increased RAM for desktop browsing.

But then it would also suck to see no iPad in November and to just get the iPad I could have gotten 4 months before.
I would ONLY wait if you have reliable, fairly solid information on an upcoming release - at this point there is none for the iPad. For example, now would be a terrible time to purchase a new iPhone because we all know a new one is coming in September. With iPad, there really hasn't been any good, credible information about a new model, let alone a new model that will blow the current one out of the water.

Overall, I would say waiting until November is just going to deprive you of enjoyment of the device between now and then. You could wait until November, then be cautious and skeptical about buying a new model hoping for an early 2020 refresh and it goes in a vicious circle.

The current iPad Pros are amazing - if that's what you need/want right now, get one!
[doublepost=1561996517][/doublepost]
under iPad OS 13, i get many reloads with multiple app instances...I think they should have put 8gb in such expensive device (iPad 12.9 2018)
You're getting that because it's Beta.
[doublepost=1561996633][/doublepost]
2GB RAM started in 2014 with the Air 2, so it lasted 4.5 years as the base. Only the budget iPad now has that. By that logic the Pros might expect a RAM increase next year (the 2015 12.9” iPad Pro was the start of 4GB.)

I would hold off as I’ve said in similar threads, also expecting the base storage to go up. 64GB seems awfully low for a Pro at this point, so you might only need the base model at the next refresh.
Hold off to what point? There's nothing reliable that says a new iPad is coming any time soon.
 
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RevTEG

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under iPad OS 13, i get many reloads with multiple app instances...I think they should have put 8gb in such expensive device (iPad 12.9 2018)
Is there a chance that you’re getting the reloads because the software is still a beta version? I’m not getting the reloads, although, I’m not sure how many multiple apps you’re running verses what I’ve been running. Public beta one has been pretty buggy for me. Buggy enough that it’s hard for me to make a final judgement on how it will run on current iPad pros.
 
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bensisko

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Is there a chance that you’re getting the reloads because the software is still a beta version? I’m not getting the reloads, although, I’m not sure how many multiple apps you’re running verses what I’ve been running. Public beta one has been pretty buggy for me. Buggy enough that it’s hard for me to make a final judgement on how it will run on current iPad pros.
Exactly. I wouldn't make any kind of performance judgement until at least the Gold Master release (even then I would probably wait a couple point releases before saying it's a hardware need).
 

canesalato

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You're getting that because it's Beta.
[doublepost=1561996633][/doublepost]
I doubt. We’ll see.
[doublepost=1561997766][/doublepost]
Is there a chance that you’re getting the reloads because the software is still a beta version? I’m not getting the reloads, although, I’m not sure how many multiple apps you’re running verses what I’ve been running. Public beta one has been pretty buggy for me. Buggy enough that it’s hard for me to make a final judgement on how it will run on current iPad pros.
Absolutely it could change with the final version. I expect it to improve from bad to “ok”, but not enough to make me not want more RAM... of course it depends on your use. I use multitasking quite a bit.
 
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bensisko

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I doubt. We’ll see.
[doublepost=1561997766][/doublepost]
Absolutely it could change with the final version. I expect it to improve from bad to “ok”, but not enough to make me not want more RAM... of course it depends on your use. I use multitasking quite a bit.
Why do you doubt it?
What apps are you using multiple instances of that's causing this issue?
 

RevTEG

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I doubt. We’ll see.
[doublepost=1561997766][/doublepost]
Absolutely it could change with the final version. I expect it to improve from bad to “ok”, but not enough to make me not want more RAM... of course it depends on your use. I use multitasking quite a bit.
More ram certainly won’t be a bad thing for sure. I use multitasking a lot while doing research so it will be interesting to see how the final software release uses the ram.
 
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*~Kim~*

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Hold off to what point? There's nothing reliable that says a new iPad is coming any time soon.
I would personally hold off as long as necessary, but this was without knowing that the OP needs an iPad by November. If the update pattern were followed, we would expect one next Spring/Summer. I don’t expect one by November, but while there has been nothing reliable regarding an update, I also don’t see the Pro line reaching iPad Mini levels of neglect.

For me, at these prices, I would personally only buy just after an update. If I needed an iPad urgently, I might consider a refurb and then sell when the next Pro comes along. That’s me, of course the OP might not want the hassle and/or a lower model might not meet their needs in the meantime.
 

sracer

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It's difficult to know how much debugging and auditing code is in the current beta. That takes up resources (CPU, RAM, storage) that won't be needed when it goes "GA". Considering that Apple just released new iPad models with 3GB RAM, and still actively sells the base iPad w/2GB, AND they promised that those devices will be supported by iPad OS, I think it is a safe bet that 4GB RAM iPads will run just fine on iPad OS.

If anyone is beta testing and experiences slowdowns and such, by all means use the official methods for reporting bugs. Let them know.
 

TheRealAlex

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Sep 2, 2015
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I am very much in the market for an 11-inch 256GB iPad Pro but am holding off because of the 4GB ram and the possibility of the next iteration coming as soon as october. (how likely is that actually?)

I am especially wondering how the 4GB will fare with the new iPad OS that doubles down on real multi-tasking. Any opinions?
The A12X CPU will be a limiting factor way before the operating system needs 6GB or 8GB RAM to function.
 
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EugW

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iPadOS 13 beta just surfing in Safari and not multitasking seems faster than iOS 12, and OS navigation seems just as fast. It may use more RAM but if it’s sufficient RAM then speed is related to SoC speed.

If he’s getting reloads there is a good chance it’s related to limited RAM after multitasking.

Running one or two apps with no extra Safari tabs/instances at a time is not a good way to test maximum RAM requirements.

Sure it’s possible the betas need more RAM and that the final release is more efficient, but even if that’s true, you can think of the current RAM usage as a preview of the RAM requirement for next year’s iPadOS 14 release. ie. App reloads can have other causes but don’t be surprised that it’s actually indeed due to RAM limitations, for a multitasker.

The A12X CPU will be a limiting factor way before the operating system needs 6GB or 8GB RAM to function.
Unlikely. In general these days, RAM becomes more of a performance limitation than SoC speed.
 
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bensisko

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I would personally hold off as long as necessary, but this was without knowing that the OP needs an iPad by November. If the update pattern were followed, we would expect one next Spring/Summer. I don’t expect one by November, but while there has been nothing reliable regarding an update, I also don’t see the Pro line reaching iPad Mini levels of neglect.

For me, at these prices, I would personally only buy just after an update. If I needed an iPad urgently, I might consider a refurb and then sell when the next Pro comes along. That’s me, of course the OP might not want the hassle and/or a lower model might not meet their needs in the meantime.
If we're going to assume a Spring/Summer release that's 10-12 months away - seems ridiculous to hold off on purchasing a device for that long with so many unknowns (especially not even a clue as to what you're going to gain).

The optimal time to buy is certainly directly after a release, but, to me, I would only hold out if I'm 2 months from a heavily rumored release. I might punch that up to four if there was very strong rumors/suggestions that the new models would be earth shattering in their upgrades - a few minor updates to existing hardware isn't going to do it.

So far, we know very close to nothing about the new models except a hint of a possible redesign (with an expected processor upgrade).
 

aakshey

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The A12X CPU will be a limiting factor way before the operating system needs 6GB or 8GB RAM to function.
No.

For casual usage the A12X won’t be performance limited for 5+ years. It may lack features or drop certain support in less than 5-7 years, but as far as raw grunt is concerned it might still be very powerful after 5-7+ years because it’s desktop grade now.

4GB RAM will be outdated in 3-4 years max. As in it will be okay. But not Pro grade after 3-4 yrs.
 

deaglecat

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Mar 9, 2012
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Short answer is no that 4Gb will not be enough... but only if you have a RAM intensive use case. Examples being 4K video editing or very large image edits. This will increasingly become viable as the new files and pointer support will make it more like a "computer".

So in my view, 8Gb would be future proofing for a high end pro device.

3Gb or 4Gb will be absolutely fine for general work duties, content consumption, drawing, music editing etc
 
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bensisko

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4GB RAM will be outdated in 3-4 years max. As in it will be okay. But not Pro grade after 3-4 yrs.
That depends ENTIRELY on what you're doing with it.
At the moment, there are VERY FEW that this will be the case. If app developers step up their game, I could see this possibly being the case. The original iPad Pro was released 3.5 years ago and is still "Pro Grade" (and I don't see that changing soon).
 

AutomaticApple

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I am very much in the market for an 11-inch 256GB iPad Pro but am holding off because of the 4GB ram and the possibility of the next iteration coming as soon as october. (how likely is that actually?)

I am especially wondering how the 4GB will fare with the new iPad OS that doubles down on real multi-tasking. Any opinions?
Yup, it’s enough.
 

rui no onna

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For me, at these prices, I would personally only buy just after an update. If I needed an iPad urgently, I might consider a refurb and then sell when the next Pro comes along. That’s me, of course the OP might not want the hassle and/or a lower model might not meet their needs in the meantime.
I think another case when it's okay to buy is if there's a good sale.

I remember before, Apple was stricter at controlling pricing and iPads *never* went on sale. It was just MSRP from release right up to new product announcement so it was better to buy close to release. Particularly so given just 2-3 major iOS updates can cripple the device.

They've got much better longevity now. We've got Air 2 and 5th gen in the household and for content consumption (which is pretty much the only thing they're used for), I reckon they'd probably be just fine lasting at least another 2 years with acceptable performance. With iPad 2 and 3, they were just unbearably slow on iOS 8+.