8GB vs 16GB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacBH928, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #1
    How do you do, fellow kids?
    [​IMG]

    I come from a time when I bought a $2000 iMac that came with 256mb RAM and then for $300 I upgraded it to a supreme 768mb RAM!!!!

    As I am reading reviews to make a new purchase I hear that 8GB is a "bare minimum" these days. While I can't fathom that much RAM which is bigger than my first HDD iirc, what am I going to miss not going the 16GB route?

    I know 16GB+ is needed to edit 4K video but I am not a film editor, though I would like to run Parallels Windows but again -iirc- I did that on my 2GB macbook unibody from 2008.
     
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    8 GB is plenty, you could run Parallels. When 8 GB was the max people ran Parallels just fine. 8 is not enough when you prefer to run multiple demanding apps at the same time, for example.

    Its just that the ram cannot be changed later, so people think what they might want to run in a year or so. If they think they might need it and price difference between 8 and 16 isn't that much for them they pay the upgrade, because its still better then having to buy a new laptop if their needs change.

    If you edit 4K with proxy media (where you make a smaller resolution copy and the edits to that are mirrored to the source footage) you don't need a fast machine for editing.
     
  3. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

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    #3
    I'm using 8, I leave the Activity monitor up for awhile when I first got to see how much memory I was using, not 8.
     
  4. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #4
    Two major factors that dictate this decision are 1.) what sort of applications you use and 2.) how long do you envision owning this system.

    I expect to get 6-7 years out of my Macs. It's not just about what's adequate RAM for today, but how much I might need in years 5, 6, 7 knowing that applications tend to require more RAM in later versions as well as the operating system itself.

    In this case, you will also have to anticipate the increased memory usage of Windows itself (as well as increases to Parallels Desktop or whatever virtualization software you will be using in the future).

    If you don't plan for the future, your open applications might end up slowing down the system by paging to disk. That may force you to change your computer usage behavior when you are using memory intensive applications, like not running as many of these simultaneously. You will need to decide for yourself whether or not you will be able to live with those kind of adjustments.

    Good luck.
     
  5. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #5
    This is where my problem lies. I am already paying for a $400 512GB upgrade, will buy an external Bluray Drive, Parallels, a copy of Windows 10.


    The question is, what do you use your computer for. I guess running a browser for the internet will not consume 8.

    thanks for your reply,
    I don't plan to keep Final Cut open along side Cinema 4D but I do keep multi-browsers open with multiple tabs along some software here and there like Office and VLC. I honestly plan to keep this computer 2-3 years.
     
  6. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Mico, Texas
    #6
    You are correct, 80% of what people do is social media and porn, which consume almost nothing.

    But my 20% actually about 50%, I don't do much social media, that is gross, consists of website development as well as Java and Swift development using Xcode for the later. The only thing I've found to really task a computer in the real world is Video Creation and Ripping DVDs with Handbreak.
     
  7. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 3, 2010
    #7
    Get 16, it's not that much more money.
     
  8. Bart Kela macrumors 6502a

    Bart Kela

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    #8
    Based on the ability of recent smartphones and tablets to run browsers with less than 8GB of RAM, I'd say this assessment is accurate, especially in light of the fact that you only plan on keeping this computer 2-3 years.

    Your usage case does not call for 16GB of RAM.

    Get the cheaper system and buy a couple of shares of AAPL (or FB or NFLX or ...).
     
  9. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #9
    Its $200 extra , I already paid $400 extra to upgrade to 512GB. It will cost me $2000 as is
     
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #10
    i use an old aluminum MacBook with 8GB of RAM primarily for browsing (Safari). If that's all I do, it's fine. However, if I launch Unison and a second browser (Firefox), the memory starts paging and things slow to a crawl.

    On newer systems, where PCI based SSDs are used, paging is less of a problem though (my system has an SSD on SATA 2). You can launch Activity Monitor to see how much RAM you are using and whether your usage causes lots of paging.

    Anyway, if I were to get a new laptop today, I would not settle for 8GB.
     
  11. padams35 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #11
    My current impression is that El Capitan and Sierra were optimized to assume the user had either a fast SSD or else enough memory to run everything out of RAM. With an SSD 8GB is solid, but with an HDD 8GB is merely adequate.

    I've run virtual machines in El Capitan on with 12GB + HDD without issue, same with a MacBook Air with an 8GB + SSD. I've even heard rumors that 4GB + SSD runs smoothly. However every post I've read involving El Capitan/Sierra + 4GB + HDD has always been a spinning Beachball complaint.
     
  12. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #12
    I'd only get as much storage as i need till it becomes "no longer available" in favor of larger capacities..

    I do believe in getting as much storage as you may think/may will need, but that is on the consideration you also have no idea either going forward (like several years down the track).

    For me, i know what i'm using storage for and only for that for data storage, why get a larger capacity if it's just gonna end up wasted space.?

    expectation to this is videos... you do want as much as u can.
     
  13. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #13
    this is currently my RAM usage on 6GB RAM on an ancient unibody macbook 2008.

    Unison, as in USENET Unison?
     

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  14. imlovinit macrumors 6502

    imlovinit

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #15
    If you can swing it, go for more ram as its always worth it imo
     
  15. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #17
    Save yourself the trouble and get 16GB RAM all the way.
     
  16. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #18
  17. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #19
    They haven't changed much.
    But feel free to edit the wiki.
     
  18. MacBH928 thread starter macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #20
    Thanks that has been very helpful, but I wonder if it is still relevant. Software developers seem to make newer software gulb more RAM than necessary.

    I remember I used Photoshop 7 it only required 128MB RAM. It did everything you wanted then, and probably most everything you want today. The current Photoshop has a minimum of 2GB (15x increase) and a recommended 8GB(62x increase!) . I honestly don't see a 62x more powerful/capable photoshop.
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #21
    This is a reoccurring topic on these forums. You might wanna visit similar threads below.

    Yes, some software is artificially bloated. Look at MS Word.
    It never hurts to have higher specs, including more ram.
    But ram requirements over the last few years haven't changed much.
     
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #22
    1) I have been around before PC's had built in co-processor, where memory was under a meg and then later had a "screaming" 486 DX with a massive 8 megs of RAM. Those were very different days and shouldn't really be too much compared to today's Intel based machines (including Macs).
    2) We agree, the we don't see "62x more powerful/capable Photoshop" than your reference point. It is not secret that software lags behind hardware and many of the programming paradigms do not fully exploit the CPU instruction sets the way that some older languages did that were "lower level."

    I use a rMBP that has 512 SSD and 16gig RAM. I also use Windows via virtual (having used both Parallels and VMware). Those that say 8 gigs is sufficient are correct. However, I don't like "sufficient" I like the benefit of 16 when running a virtual as often the app being used in Windows may be doing something that takes awhile and having at least 8 gig available to MacOS does make a difference. As I might convert media files via demux and mux in Windows, I don't like playing the OS game of "follow the bouncing beachball" to the tune of - "Crap, I should have gotten more RAM, ARGH!"
     

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