iPhone XR 4GB in Xs vs 3GB in Xr and longevity

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pdp1, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. pdp1 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2018
    I believe the amount of RAM can help performance of a phone 2 or 3 years down the line when the latest iOS starts bogging down performance. Case in point, my iPhone 6 with 1GB runs like crap when compared to a iPhone 6s with 2GB, both on iOS12. Granted the 6s has a faster processor than the 6, but I'm pretty sure lack of RAM is the culprit for most of stuttering and lag I experience on the 6. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Assuming I'm on the right track.... say 3 years from now, iOS15 comes out and it no doubt will use more system resources... will the Xr performance be noticeably worse than the Xs because of the 1GB less ram? Or since the Xr has less pixels to push, will it still keep up with the Xs? Can someone with a good grasp of graphics and resource handling in iOS help me come to a somewhat objective answer? This will help me decide between the Xr and Xs.
  2. g35 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2007
    The main way lack of RAM manifests is by making you reload previously-opened apps when you go back to them. Stuttering is usually due to underpowered processor or graphics (which is true of the 6). Slowness can happen due to lack of RAM but this is usually in very RAM-heavy applications that you are unlikely to be using on your phone (think along the lines of Photoshop or Final Cut)

    In 3 years I think you'll not notice much of a difference between 3 vs 4 GB RAM (I think you'll see a difference between 2 vs 3 GB), and the Xr and Xs will probably perform almost the same, but you might see you're able to keep a few more apps open in multitasking before having to reload them. It is possible, though unlikely, that Apple will introduce some kind of multitasking split-screen mode on iPhones in the future. If so, I could see it being a deciding factor for which phones get that.

    I don't think it should be a big factor in your purchase
  3. NBAasDOGG macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2017
    3 years from now it will be a international crime to own a 326ppi 720P TFT-LCD, so you don't need to worry about the RAM :p

    Jokes aside, I don't feel any different between my iPhone X and Xs. You will be fine with 3GB RAM!
  4. MrAperture macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2017
    SF, CA
    There’s still so many iOS devices with 2GB of RAM. It will be awhile before you should have to worry about 3GB with iOS.
  5. Azzurro macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2015
    This RAM stuff ultimately made me decide to go get the Xs over the Xr. I upgrade every two years and I came from an SE (2016).
  6. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    No matter what iPhone you buy today, it'll be a slow piece of crap in 5 years if you continually upgrade the OS.
    If you keep it forever on iOS 12, it'll run just a snappy and fast in 5 years as it does today.
  7. Caspavio macrumors regular


    Apr 18, 2018
    1) yes, you are right that having less ppi, XR requires less ram
    2) more ram = better multi-tasking, but if ios aggressively shutting of processes, 3gb will still serve you fine, and you may not see much difference from 4gb. i am not sure how aggressive ios is because i turn off most background app refresh and isnt always trying to multi-task. otherwise, the downside of having less ram is you may find that apps need to reload more often when you switch back to them
    3) i wont worry so much about ios needing a lot of ram. i will be more concerned about 3rd party apps. the availability of more ram allows them to be less streamlined about resource usage or to develop resource intensive apps. especially things like video editing or gaming, etc, the additional ram might be required or preferred.
    4) in fact, im still using a 5S, and it still works quite well. it is reasonably smooth with no stuttering. furthermore, besides ram, there are also other things that affect the smoothness. a full memory, too many apps running in background, bugs , etc are some factors. you can google on how to best maintain phones to avoid slowdown.
    5) a lot of developments are in AI, and A12 has a new chip for that. im not sure if pixel 3 improved on the chip in pixel 2, else A12 is 1.67 times faster. that said, no idea if any of those AI apps will be useful to you except maybe the camera.

    in the end, it really depends on what compromises are you willing to make or what are your needs (mainly points 2 and 3 vs cost)
  8. aakshey macrumors 68000


    Jun 13, 2016
    Most X users will upgrade by end of 2019. Of the remaining, most would upgrade by EOY 2020. So it isn’t a big deal. Unless you plan to use it with iOS 13/14 or later. I don’t think many people who spend so much on phones would still want to use the same X come iOS 14.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Between XS and XR, iOS 12 on both will be fine.

    RAM difference might or might not show up in iOS 13.

    RAM difference possibly might show up in iOS 14. But most people will then upgrade anyway.

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7 October 18, 2018