8GB vs 16GB when the only heavy use is gaming (rMBP)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ScholarsInk, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. ScholarsInk, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

    ScholarsInk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #1
    I stumbled across this post the other day and no one had answered it (understandably, because the thread topic was different) but I thought it raised a fair point.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. cjred macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2009
    #2
    nahh 8GB is fine "for now"
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #3
    I'll answer with this:

    My current gaming machine [LGA 1366 based desktop] has 6GB (2GB x 3 modules). RAM usage has never crossed the 60% (hell it hasn't even crossed 40%) usage under Crysis Warhead which is a very intense game to say the least.
     
  4. Panini macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #4
    I can second that.

    I regularly play Crysis (probably one of the most demanding games to date) and Skyrim, and they never go past 4GB. Skyrim goes past 6GB if I use high-res texture packs (which I do) but I'm absolutely sure the GPU/CPU will become outdated by the time games need 16GB.

    Only get 16gb if you need it now. Future proofing is no use when you can't future proof the gpu/cpu as well. A game only runs as fast as its "weakest" part, so even if you have 32gb ram and a bad gpu, games will lag.
     
  5. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 25, 2012
    #5
    Most games do not even have 64-bit executables, and cannot use more than 4GB RAM anyway.

    8GB is more than enough for gaming, and really, just about any task you are likely to be doing. Video editing, or running virtual machines a lot, are probably the main tasks I can think of that might actually benefit from the extra RAM, almost nothing else needs it. Not worth the extra money.

    The system will be too slow in other areas (CPU, GPU) long before you "need" 16GB.
     
  6. irock101 macrumors 6502

    irock101

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #6
    I upgraded my mbp from 8gb to 16gb the other day and its a noticeable difference in every day tasks. I always have around 10 applications open, including photoshop, dreamweaver, finalcut and the machine is a beast now! No lags, no slowdowns, no weird circus ball. I dont even remember what the circus ball looks like.. so if you got an extra $100... spend it on RAM ;)
     
  7. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #7
    That doesn't answer the OP at all, it's great that you notice a difference but when the most intensive thing he does is run a game then 8GB is more than enough, 16GB is complete overkill unless he is running several other ram hungry applications alongside whatever game he was playing.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    No, you don't need 16GB of RAM for gaming. Your GPU/CPU will become the bottleneck much sooner than the games will need more than 8GB RAM...
     
  9. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    #9
    Absolutely not.

    I have a 3930K with 32GB of RAM at 4.8GHz. I can turn on D3, SC2, and another game, have all my browser windows open and still be under 8GB.

    Windows is inherently a little easier on memory usage than OSX is as well.
     
  10. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #10
    Everquest (first one, not second one, although both are too oldschool by today's standards) crashes whenever it hits 2GB of RAM usage. 4GB would seem like godsend at that point.

    OP: if all you want to do is gaming, don't buy a Mac, buy a PC instead.
     
  11. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #11
    Your video card would be the first limiting factor in playing games. Your CPU would come after that. 8GB would be fine but eventually, the newer games will get you in a few years where they require a better video card.
     
  12. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #12
    A standard 32-bit executable can't use more than 2GB. Some server apps can use up to 3GB with special tweaking.

    It does make me laugh when people shove 16GB RAM in and swear the performance is better than a 4GB machine running the same game. Aside from Windows running disk caching etc in the background any difference would be undetectable.
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    The applications you mention make efficient use of large amounts of ram. In fact I always suggest 16GB as the baseline for any heavier users of such applications. That you can get away with less means very little considering the current price of ram. For games, the gpu will be a bottleneck before 8GB of ram. 8GB of ram is basically the norm for Windows gaming machines at the moment.
     
  14. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2012
    #14
    $100 on a better GPU for gaming > $100 for double the RAM

    When a 2GB GDDR5-equipped GT 650M doesn't do better than the same GPU with half that amount on every game, that should have been a wake up call.

    If the only thing OP wants to do is game, he should buy a Clevo.
     
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #15
    8GB (quad channel), 6GB (tri channel)
     
  16. ScholarsInk thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #16
    Gaming is presumably not all that the user I quote above or I want to do.

    For someone who travels a lot, for instance, the Boot Camped rMBP is a more convenient solution than a MacBook and separate gaming rig.

    Thank you for the replies!
     
  17. ggabriele3 macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2012
    #17
    I have owned several macs, and one thing I notice is that each successive version of the OS seems to be more RAM-hungry than the last.

    My current Late-2011 Macbook Air has 2GB, and it gets hung up with even relatively minor use (better now with ML, but still rough). 2GB is ALWAYS full.

    When I ordered my rMBP, i thought...
    - it's expensive
    - it's not upgradeable
    - it has to last me a few years
    - it will be my PC gaming machine as well

    So, i went with 16GB of RAM. running out of memory is an annoyance I don't want to have to worry about anytime soon.
     
  18. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #18
    I don't want to sound overly harsh but buying any laptop in late 2011 with less than 4GB ram was a mistake, maybe early 2010 2GB would be acceptable and youd be looking at replacing it perhaps next year so you could get by but to buy a machine with 2GB less than a year ago is a poor decision.

    16GB is a bit overkill but if you have the spare money you may as well buy it because like you said it's not upgradeable. You will never need a ram upgrade now for the life of your laptop so it's something you can just forget about now, with the spec you have it will easily last 2 years of gaming on High settings in most games until you need to start lowering the settings.
     
  19. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #19
    Most games aren't even 64-bit, so they can't address more than ~3.2 gb. vram is more important for gaming, and you get 1gb...which is a pretty good amount.
     
  20. ggabriele3 macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2012
    #20
    i wonder why you felt you had to tell me that it was a mistake. i just posted about how 2GB ended up being too little.

    I tested it out before I bought it, and when i did, the quick read/writes with the new Flash storage made it seem like the 2GB would be enough.

    on the flipside, imagine that in 2 years, 8GB of RAM becomes the "minimum" and some other guy on a forum tells me that he doesn't mean to be harsh, but that buying only 8GB for a high-end mac was "clearly a mistake". So I'm happy with the 16GB
     
  21. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #21
    This isn't two years after purchase though, a late 2011 air is less than a year old.

    I felt the need to post because this is a forum and people post opinions on it, i also agreed with your post but you seem to have ignored that.
     
  22. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #22
    Does that really make a significant difference?
     
  23. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #23
    Yes
     

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