8gb or 16gb RAM with Macbook Pro 13" 2.4GHz VM/Bootcamp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by roop27, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. roop27 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    London, UK
    Hey Guys,

    Quick advice needed before purchasing my first Macbook 2.4ghz 256gb. I'm looking to launch VM or bootcamp with windows 7 so i can run my clinic patient software which at present isnt compatible with mac. I would also run other software such as office etc. nothing too fancy. For the VM/Bootcamp would you recommend 16gb or 8gb RAM? I'd like to keep the price as low as possible without hindering performance etc so which ever is best value please. Also would you recommend VM or bootcamp? I've heard bootcamp is a much more stable approach albeit time consuming due to the rebooting.

    Thank you all in advance
  2. diggy33 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2011
    I'd say if you're going to use a VM, then get 16GB. If you're going to Bootcamp it, 8GB should suffice
  3. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    I agree. On a side note, windows through bootcamp will load fairly quickly with a SSD HD (my experience in switching from a system w/ spinning disk drive to SSD).
  4. mhdena macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2009
    I'm running VMware fusion 6 just fine with 8gb on an iMac 2.7 i5 fusion, I would think a rmbp would run similarly.
  5. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    First it depends on the version of windows, XP only supports 3.5 GB of RAM.

    With VMWare Fusion, and 8GB of RAM, you can run at most 2 virtual machines simultaneously (if that helps).

    As for boot camp, personally I would never run it, but that is because I just don't to give a disk partition to windows.
  6. roop27 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    London, UK
    thanks all, i believe i have my answer. 8gb for a bootcamp of windows 7 will be my choice.
  7. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    8GB for either Fusion or BootCamp is more than enough for what you're running within Windows.
  8. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You really have to determine where your priorities lie. In general, more RAM is better with VM's but it really just depends on your specific requirements. If value matters and the requirements are low then 8GB would be fine. Whether to VM or Boot Camp is also your call. For your usage a VM sounds more convenient. I wouldn't say either is inherently more stable than the other. Boot Camp has less overhead.
  9. airly macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    I bought my rMBP (2.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) last night.
    Have been using it for the last 24 hours.
    I just stress test it with the following applications running simultaneously (in full screen mode).
    1) Aperture with 600 RAW images (30MB each)
    2) Parallels 9 with Windows 8.1 - running Steam Dota 2 and some MS Excel
    3) Pages with one simple doc
    4) Safari with 6 tabs open (apple.com, theverge.com etc)
    5) Chrome with 1 tab open (youtube)
    6) Mac App Store

    I have literally max out all the 8GB RAM with 1.x GB RAM inactive from time to time. Aperture used up nearly 2-3GB RAM and Parallels used up 2GB RAM. To me, this is the worse case scenario that I will get into, so I am happy with the 8GB for now.

    Hope it helps.

  10. gofry macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    Almost same here:
    1) Chrome with 4 tabs
    2) Ableton playing with 4 tracks 4 plugins each + master limiter
    3) Photoshop with 10 10MP images
    4) Adobe audition playing
    5) itunes playing
    6) Transmission in action
    7) 1080p mkv in VLC

    Result: no swap used. memory pressure graph very-very low, not a single hickup in the system.
    rMBP 13: 2.6/8/256
    It's a miracle compared to my late 2010 MBA :)
  11. roop27 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    London, UK
    any particular reason you went for the 2.6 rather than the 2.4? most people say you cant tell a difference. was it for resale value?
  12. CheesePuff macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    Probably because of the larger hard drive. That's what I'm on the fence of.. I currently have a MacBook Pro 13-inch Late 2011 with a 2.4 GHz i5 Sandy Bridge, but upgraded to 8 GB RAM and a Crucial 256 GB SSD. The machine flies now, but I only get 4 hours of battery life and using it on the go more now, I'd really appreciate a better display (and would scale it up to a higher resolution too).

    But I currently have a 100 GB Windows 8.1 VMWare virtual disk on the hard drive, and a slew of training videos, etc. I keep on the Mac side as well.. so for future proofing I'm on the fence of doing the $1499 model + 16 GB RAM upgrade, or the $1799 + 16 GB upgrade.

    Although I should mention, running OS X 10.9.1 and VMWare Fusion 6 (1.5 GB RAM allocated to Windows 8.1), I hardly use much swap, if any at all. (generally have Mail, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Coda, Calendar, Skype, VMWare, Spotify and Preview always open).
  13. gofry macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    It's a bit faster in mp3 encoding and it has a bit better graphic card and the this was the top of my reservation price :)
    I use the laptop for dj ing and making music with ableton and the 2.6 is a bit better than the 2.4 that's all :) and the diff is price is smaller than the diff in performance.
  14. taythecoug macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2013
    I have the mid model (8 gb) and mine runs great with VMWare and Windows 8. I really wanted 16gigs, but due to supply constraints I ended up getting an 8 Gig model. All in all 8 gigs seems to be more than enough. I have never used swap and this machine screams.
  15. airly macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    Just like what others said, it is mainly for the 512GB SSD.
    Having said apart from the CPU speed, the GPU speed is also 0.1GHz faster
    (If I am not wrong i5 2.4GHz CPU has the Iris GPU clock at 1GHz, and the i5 2.6GHz CPU has the Iris GPU clock at 1.1GHz, you could check the Intel website for more info)
    I have tried both machines at the apple store, literally can't tell the difference in term of the performance, but from time to time the 2.4GHz machine does has a bit of hiccup (not sure why tho)
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    8GB should be more then enough for the foreseeable future, though if you're talking the rMBP then you may want to consider 16GB only from the fact you cannot upgrade the ram down the road.

    From your stated usage however 8GB will work.
  17. roop27 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    London, UK
    thank you all again. this is going to be my first OSX mac ever. So excited. I've had a sony VAIO and the battery life alone is enough for me to get rid. 45 minutes battery! HA

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