4gb vs 8gb (osx and win 7)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by whatusername, May 6, 2010.

  1. whatusername macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #1
    Has anybody compared specs on 4gb vs 8gb? Also, I'm currently running Win 7 32bit via bootcamp, which only seems to recognize 2.8 gb of Ram. Is it worth going to 8gb and reinstalling Win 7 64?
     
  2. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #2
    32 bit windows only recognizes up to 4gbs of ram no higher, and all you would need is 4 gbs of ram 8 gbs you would never use.
     
  3. Garrus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #3
    They said the same thing about 4gb in 2006 (even 2007)... :D
    Seriously its usefull only if you like to play the latest game (specially MMO that can take full use of 4gb [i can imagine that coming mmo will need even more]) or do HD video editing...
    Actually the perfect spot would be 6gb... but apple only offer 4 or 8, so... :D
     
  4. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #4
    If you got the money to get up to 8gb, do it. If not, try the x64 bit and see if it recognizes your 4gb first. I'm sure it will...since osx can run on x64.

    If all else fails, mroogle :p
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #5
    You won't notice a difference between 4 and 8 gigs. I run SL and Win7 on 2 gigs, and it works fine, although I could use 4. 32 bit will only recognize 3.25GB if i recall, so it might be worth it to reinstall with 64 bit, but you don't really need it.
     
  6. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    How much RAM you need for OS X and Windows 7 is entirely dependent on how you run Windows apps. If you use Bootcamp and boot between Windows and OS X, depending on what application you need at the moment, 4Gb is enough, indeed, 2Gb might suffice. If you want to use Windows and OS X apps simultaneously, you have to have VMware Fusion or Parallels, setup in what is called Unity mode in Fusion. In Fusion, this allows you to run Windows apps from the OS X desktop. Better yet, Windows apps will accept OS X keyboard shortcuts. All of that requires a lot of RAM.

    I know from personal experience that 2Gb of RAM is not enough to allow Fusion in Unity mode to run reliably. For that reason, I upgraded my MBP from 2Gb to 6Gb of RAM several months ago. I have had no problems whatever with 6Gb of RAM.

    I would really like to hear the experience any of you may have had with running Windows 7 under Fusion with 4Gb of RAM. That's an important issue for me. I really want to get a Macbook Air if Apple upgrades its RAM to 4Gb. Because the RAM in an MBA is soldered to the logic board, rather then being held in slots, it seems unlikely that its RAM will ever be any greater that 4Gb for the foreseeable future. Thus, I would love to get some feedback from people who have been running Fusion and Windows under the kind of circumstances I would be facing if I got an upgraded MBA. This thread seemed to me to be a good one in which to ask my question.
     
  7. man02195 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    #7
    I don't have fusion, but i run parallels. not exactly the same, but probably similar memory requirements. it was a dog with 4gb, sl, itunes, iphoto, pshop, mail, and some firefox running alongside. I upgraded to 8gb, and it's many many times faster, smoother, almost no waiting for beachballs, etc.

    memory pageouts have gone from the hundreds of thousands to a thousand or so.

    hope this helps.
     
  8. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 4, 2008
    #8
    If you run Win7 in virtualisation 4 would suffice but more than 4 would be ideal.
     
  9. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Apr 12, 2008
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    Tulsa
    #9
    Thanks to you both for your feedback.

    man02195 -- I would have got 8Gb, too, but my Santa Rosa MBP could only be counted on to reliably handle 6Gb, so that's what I did. I have been well pleased with 6Gb of RAM. I had been running the beta version of Fusion 3.1. Recently, VMware upgraded 3.1 beta to 3.1 Release Candidate and it seems to be both faster and less memory hungry than any earlier version. Despite my having reduced the amount of RAM dedicated to my Windows 7 virtual machine to 1Gb, the Windows 7 Windows Experience Index remains virtually the same as it had been when I devoted 3Gb of my RAM to Windows 7.

    grahamnp -- Were you running Fusion in Unity mode with 4Gb of RAM? I could probably live without Unity but I like it and would love to use it if possible
     
  10. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #10
    I don't think RAM makes much a difference with Unity, I get the impression that unity is more CPU limited. Anyway, I've only used Office in unity mode and it runs fine but I tend not to use unity too much (don't really like it) so maybe somebody can be of more help to you.
     
  11. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    May 30, 2006
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    Denmark
    #11
    Mac OS X 32-bit (10.4, 10.5 and 10.6) can easily address over 8GB but any given application can only use up to 4GB unless it is 64-bit and you are running Leopard (10.5) or Snow Leopard (10.6).
     
  12. Jof macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #12
    I regret getting only 4GB with my new mbp; the computer's paging-out about 30% of the time by the end of the day :/

    Just adding my £0.02
     
  13. trondah macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #13
    I had the same problem. Turned off swapping (disable dynamic_pager) and what do you know, my MBP got a lot more responsive! Didn't experience any problems without swap, even using VMware Fusion. No more beach balls waiting for pageins!
     
  14. LedCop macrumors regular

    LedCop

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    #14
    Then go buy your 8GB! You can get 8GB for less than what Apple charges and you still have the original 4GB to use or sell.
     
  15. 4PPLEM4C macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    If your going to run Windows 7 as a VM with Parallels or similar, its well worth the upgrade to 8GB.
     
  16. TnIan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #16
    Just a thought - would eight gigs of RAM have an effect on the lifespan of an SSD, seeing as how that would reduce (if not outright eliminate) pageouts?
     
  17. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #17

    I would guess it to be negligible. You'll probably upgrade to a bigger/cheaper/faster SSD long before its useful life is over.
     
  18. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Tulsa
    #18
    I am inclined to agree with the proposition that one is likely to upgrade to a larger SSD before the original fails. We are at a very early day of SSD development so it seems inevitable that SSDs are going to become both cheaper and faster rather quickly.
     
  19. TnIan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #19
    I'm not too concerned about failure in the sense that you generally associate with hard drives; I was thinking more about staving off the gradual performance degradation (although after reading countless threads about it here, I still have no idea what the timeframe is on that). I'm getting the impression that it's less of an issue than some make it out to be, though.
     
  20. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #20
    I don't have an SSD drive, so take what follows for what it's worth. The conventional wisdom seems to be that even when an SSD drive loses some of its original speed, it's still dramatically faster than any conventional drive.
     
  21. TnIan macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2010
    #21
    Good point. If Xbench is any guide, I can lose 50% of my SSD performance and it'll still be twice as fast as the mechanical drive it replaced.
     
  22. vangrafhorst macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #22
    This maybe a foolish question, but is Vmware or parallels continously using RAM-memory or only when I'm using it? I have to use W7 every now and then, now I'm working through Bootcamp, but I would like to work parallel with OS.
     
  23. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #23
    When Fusion is not loaded into memory it doesn't use any RAM. Once Fusion is in memory with Windows running in a virtual machine, though, it is using RAM, whether or not you are actually doing anything in Windows at the moment.
     
  24. SonicEarth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #24
    First of all, why are you installing Windows 7 32-bit if you have 4 GB of memory? Remember, the VRAM counts towards your 4 GB, so you are just wasting memory. Install 64-bit Windows.
     
  25. Glideslope macrumors 601

    Glideslope

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #25
    My 15" i7 runs Win7 Pro 64bit extremely well. Recognizes all 4g of my ram.

    It is a battery hog in Win 7 however. :apple:
     

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