4GB or 8GB RAM?

ccashman92

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
227
0
Should I stick with 4GB RAM for my Macbook Pro i7? How much faster is the 8GB? I experience some slowness when running more then just Mail, iTunes, and Safari.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
4GB is more than sufficient for most users, including what you described as your needs. Look at a faster hard drive or check Activity Monitor to see what else is running that could be slowing your system.
 

Argon21

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2010
94
0
Алейск, RUSSIA
This is a silly question. What are the memory requirements of the applications you are using? Size your system based on your requirements.

It's just like asking "Should I buy a two-seater sports car, or a 7-seat minivan?" Ummmm ... how many people do you need to carry?? Only you know the answer to this, we do not!
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,277
153
Canada
This is a silly question. What are the memory requirements of the applications you are using? Size your system based on your requirements.

It's just like asking "Should I buy a two-seater sports car, or a 7-seat minivan?" Ummmm ... how many people do you need to carry?? Only you know the answer to this, we do not!
this is a silly answer....

and the worst analogy possible.

who runs all there applications at once?
 

Argon21

macrumors member
Jun 25, 2010
94
0
Алейск, RUSSIA
who runs all there applications at once?
Nobody does. Neither did I. I said to size the system based on your requirements. What are your requirements? Figure out the memory size of the applications you do need to run all at once. I never said all of them at once. How foolish.

And it was an excellent analogy.
 

magamo

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2009
416
5
Running those three apps shouldn't cause any slow down. 4GB RAM can take more than that. Did you check the System Memory tab in Activity Monitor?
 

Tmacfan4321

macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2007
239
0
University Park, PA
RAM will only affect speed if you max it out. If you give the system more space after you start hitting the limit, you will see a speed increase.

4GB is just fine for 99% of users.

I would only upgrade to 8GB if you try to use the laptop with 4GB and your applications end up overloading it. If 4GB is too little, just buy some from TD ot Newegg. 2x4GB will run you around $210 as opposed to $400 from Apple.

An SSD would be a better upgrade if speed is your focus.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Get the standard 4GB configuration from Apple.

Others are right: for most people, 4GB is fine. Besides, if you find that you really do need 8GB, you can get the exact same memory from Crucial for $100 less than Apple charges. All you need is a Phillips 0 screwdriver, a clean workspace and 20 minutes. And it won't void your warranty.

I'm not kidding, it really is the same memory. Crucial Technology is a subsidiary of Micron semiconductor, and they sell Micron RAM. Micron is at least one of the vendors for Apple RAM, and you might find the the modules coming out look nearly identical t the ones going in.

And, if you're willing to do a little more research, you might even find cheaper, comparable RAM on newegg or similar sites, though there is slightly more risk that it won't work as well depending on what you get.

In any case, getting the 8GB built in from Apple is pretty much throwing money away. Only if you know for certain that you need 8GB, and you absolutely, positively are unwilling to go through with the upgrade procedure yourself, should you even consider it.
 

ccashman92

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
227
0
I'm at 2.63 being used with those three running. I only have one tab opened (this post), a song playing, and my mail minimized. I start getting beach balled around 3.0
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,277
153
Canada
Nobody does. Neither did I. I said to size the system based on your requirements. What are your requirements? Figure out the memory size of the applications you do need to run all at once. I never said all of them at once. How foolish.

And it was an excellent analogy.

are we still talking about memory ?
 

ccashman92

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2010
227
0
There must be some sort of runaway process. Check activity monitor.
I did I'll list everything I see, I just added a few widgets though. So I'm not running at 2.4

iTunes, Safari, Activity Monitor, AppleSpell.service, smcFanControl, mdworker, SystemUIServer, launchd, loginwindow, Mail, iTunesHelper, fontd, Dock, WebKitPluginAgent, Firewall, pboard, PubSubAgent, UserEventAgent, AirPort Base Station Agent, gfxCardStatus, cvmsComp_x86_64, cvmsComp_i386

Thats is all that is popping up. I just restarted after installing a few widgets and apps.
 

magamo

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2009
416
5
Is mdworker consuming massive CPU power by any chance? If that's the case, just wait a little while. Everything will be all right.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
768
I did I'll list everything I see, I just added a few widgets though. So I'm not running at 2.4

iTunes, Safari, Activity Monitor, AppleSpell.service, smcFanControl, mdworker, SystemUIServer, launchd, loginwindow, Mail, iTunesHelper, fontd, Dock, WebKitPluginAgent, Firewall, pboard, PubSubAgent, UserEventAgent, AirPort Base Station Agent, gfxCardStatus, cvmsComp_x86_64, cvmsComp_i386

Thats is all that is popping up. I just restarted after installing a few widgets and apps.
You might try it again. At the top of the Activity Monitor window you'll see a button that likely says "My Processes". Change that to "All Processes", then post a screen capture, rather than typing the names, since the names alone don't show what resources are being used by each.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
It's when your swap looks like mine, is when you probably need more RAM.

Otherwise, you should be fine with 4GB. Besides if you're buying a new computer, it's more cost effective to buy the 4GB and upgrade to 8GB yourself than to buy 8GB directly from Apple.

Oh, this is what mine looks like:
 
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