8GB of RAM vs. 16 GB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by squidkitten, May 4, 2014.

  1. squidkitten macrumors 6502

    squidkitten

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    Hi everyone. I'm upgrading my early 2010 13" Macbook Pro (2.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB storage, recently replaced hard drive) later this summer to a retina Macbook Pro.

    My current model choice is the 2.6 GHz with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

    I'm considering upgrading either my processor or my memory, but I really can't afford to do both (honestly, I'm not sure if I want to pay to upgrade either) even though I'm getting education pricing on the model.

    My typical usage is web browsing on pretty image intensive websites such as tumblr, and my computer is usually on and in use for like 12 hours a day. I'm a broadcast production student, so I do frequently use Final Cut Pro and Adobe programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Audition. My friend uses these same programs on his rMBP with the mid-range specs and his programs run effortlessly.

    With my current model, FCP and my Adobe programs run pretty okay, they can just be a tad sluggish at times. Web surfing/app opening can be a nightmare on this model, and sometimes I have to wait patiently for things to load all the way.

    I figured the model I selected will no matter what be a vast improvement upon my current model, so I'm tempted to just leave it at the specs I already selected, but I want to know what you guys think. Should I bump up my RAM to 16GB? Should I save myself some money and keep the substantial upgrade that 8GB is already getting me? What the heck does the processor actually do and should I even bother messing around with that?
     
  2. Meister, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    ... :D
    And those ram threads just keep on popin up :)

    Cpu: does the computers "thinking", doing calculations (like rendering movies)

    Ram: computers super fast "short term memory", it handels the data-info for the task(s) at hand

    Ssd/hdd: your computers "long term memory" for storing information, for example programms, photos, and so on

    Gpu: the computers "extra brain", dedicated to calculating the graphics you see on the screen

    Want a retina screen on you macbook? Get the base 8/256 and be done with it. Think about this no further.
     
  3. squidkitten thread starter macrumors 6502

    squidkitten

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    Mar 10, 2012
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    Colorado
    #3
    Also I literally just saw the RAM thread, I'm so sorry for making a duplicate, I wasn't paying attention.

    Thanks, though!
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    The more the merrier :D
     
  5. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    Sep 27, 2013
    #5
  6. BigJohno macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    Feel like Macrumors should make some sticky threads that address common questions like this.

    OP: get 16 and be done with it. SSD's are so fast today that if the ram gets full and offload to HD you won't know the difference.

    I always over spec my machines as I don't know what I will be doing in future. A lot of the problems you are describing represent a slow Hard Drive.
     
  7. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    If you are working with any kind of production software, just go for 16GB of RAM. You really won't regret it. I have an 8GB rMBP and I only use Lightroom to edit my photographs and even THEN I'm struggling on just 8GB. I will not be buying a computer in the future with less than 16GB of RAM. It's better to have too much than not enough because especially with the rMBP that you can't upgrade later, you're stuck with that RAM until you buy a new computer 3-4 years later.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    Wtf r u doin in lr?
    I never struggl there.
     
  9. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #9
    Ditto! I render 30MB D7100 RAW shots on Lightroom without any issues. I max out at around 6.5 to 7 GB. A quick purge of the cache cuts it down to 6 GB.

    OP: You should monitor your memory usage for a few days. Keep checking how much RAM and Page File you are using. Report back and the forum might be able to advise you better.

    Raptor

    EDIT: Also, I do agree with the two suggestions above - if budget is not extremely tight, 16GB will be worth investing in.
     
  10. JarScott, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    It's not necessarily what I'm doing in Lightroom, it's about how much available RAM my MacBook has to offer Lightroom when it needs it. I'm rarely above 2GB of RAM available when I have TweetBot and Safari open, with nothing else open. I use an app called 'Memory Clean' to monitor my RAM usage and that's why I know this. My system uses 6GB of RAM just by being switched on. Sometimes it's at 4GB of available RAM when I open it up after a long period of standby but that soon drops. Sitting here, writing this, I have 2.44GB of available RAM on an 8GB machine. It's just not enough and I wish I'd gone for 16GB when I bought my MacBook.

    To be honest, TweetBot seems to use far more RAM than it should. It seems to be using at least 400mb all the time. 'Kernel_task' seems to always be using a lot of RAM too, whatever that even does.

    Edit: Switching from using TweetBot to the stock Twitter app has reduced my memory usage quite a lot. It seems TweetBot is a very RAM hungry app!

    Edit 2: After monitoring 'Activity Monitor' and 'Memory Clean' it appears that my available RAM goes down by over 1.5GB when I open Safari, the second I open it. Yet for the whole time it's open, Activity Monitor claims it's only using 100mb. Something's not quite right there.
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    Memory to offer? Memory clean? It drops after a while? .... :confused: ... what are you talking about?
    Is your macbook laging in lightroom? Yes or No?
    If so, is your memory pressure (in the actvity monitor) in the yellow or red?
     
  12. Raffi macrumors 6502a

    Raffi

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    Oct 1, 2013
  13. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    Tweetdeck is a good one too.
     
  14. abn0rma1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    #14
    Something to note about the rMBP is that, while although more RAM is never a bad thing, now that these machines use SSD based storage, the gap between transfer rates of RAM & HDD isn't the same as it was before, thus the need for additional RAM can be alleviated by the quick retrieval rates of information from the SSD.

    8GB is more than enough.

    Don't worry bout paying to upgrade either the CPU or RAM on that model. It's the exact same one I have and it does everything just fine.

    The only decision maker really would be if you needed dedicated graphics for a specific purpose, in which case you'd be going for the 15" anyways.
     
  15. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

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    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    I disagree. He should just go for 16GB. I really don't think 8GB of RAM is enough anymore. Even for people doing very basic tasks, it's easy to eat it all up. Apps are getting more RAM hungry and that's not going to change. Getting 16GB of RAM future proofs your laptop as far as I'm concerned.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    Are you using what you currently have? If you're on Mavericks what does your ram pressure look like in the activity monitor? If you have an older OS what does your page outs and page ins look like? If they're not high then you don't need any more ram.
     
  17. alice04 macrumors regular

    alice04

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    Feb 15, 2013
    #17
    I think 8GB f RAM is already enough :) You can upgrade the storage
     
  18. Meister, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #18
    You fail to explain why.


    Raffi ... :D ... Always a delight.
     
  19. jaenicky macrumors member

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    Feb 15, 2013
    #19
    You can never have enough RAM in my opinion. Go for 16gb if you can afford it
     
  20. Merode macrumors 6502

    Merode

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    Nov 5, 2013
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    Warszawa, Poland
    #20
    OS X Mavericks handles RAM way different than Windows or any other OS. Please read this: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/10/os-x-10-9/17/#compressed-memory

    The fact that 100% of RAM is in use doesn't mean that you are in trouble. It's just just caching recently/frequently used files/programs for your convenience. As soon as you need more RAM the OS frees it or compresses it.

    What you should be looking at is Memory Pressure in System Monitor - it is the only proven place to check how much RAM you're using.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #21
    Yeah you can, why buy 16GB of ram, if it won't be utilized, i.e., waste of money.
     
  22. ABC5S macrumors 68040

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    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #22
    Absolutely wrong. I made a mistake, and bought 16 GB, and never, ever used it. Never have gone over 5 GB tops in the last three years with my system. 8 GB is enough. ;)
     
  23. Hammie macrumors 65816

    Hammie

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #23
    Just out of curiosity (and I did not search the threads :eek: ) but what are considered "high" page-in and page-out numbers?
     
  24. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

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    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #24
    I disagree.
     
  25. Raffi macrumors 6502a

    Raffi

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    Oct 1, 2013
    #25
    Its not our fault you chose too little ram and now want everyone else to have $1000 plus Facebook machines.
     

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