Any drawbacks using 16GB of Ram

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by underblu, May 18, 2012.

  1. underblu macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2010
    As I am sure you are all aware RAM prices are way down. Since 16MB is just $100 nowadays I was thinking of just buying it.

    Now with my 11' 17" MBP, I currently have 4GB of ram and 7200RPM HD and its very fast with SL. I know some folks recommend SSD drives but the install would be a little more involved and I could care less about boot up times as I usually leave my MBP in sleepmode most of the time and when I do restart my MBP I am shocked at how quickly it reboots makes my desktop PC seem like a Model T.

    Basically I am more than satisfied with the performance but it's always fun to hotrod a bit. As long as there is no downside I would be inclined to do it.
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You may not see any benefit, but the only downside is slightly longer boot times (because it performs a basic RAM test as part of the Power-On Self Test before the chime sounds). Shouldn't be particularly long still, unless it finds problems.

  3. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    like Mal said none really, it has only got advantages, however 16mb costs a lot less than 100USD :p
  4. Newfiebill macrumors regular


    Jan 6, 2011
    Waste IMHO

    As stated, unless you are running a lot of very heavy apps 16GB is over board. I am running AutoCAD for Mac, Final Cut X, iPhoto, Mail, iTunes, Pages, Numbers, and Windows 7 in a VM and a few more all the same time. I have 8GB on a 2011 15" MBP and have never seen it all used. Put your money to better use, I'm sure you can find something better to spend money on.
  5. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    1. Battery life will be a bit worse.
    2. Slower to go to sleep (as OS X writes 16GB worth of hibernate file onto hard disk/SSD).
  6. cperry2 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2011
    I believe the implicit consensus is - there actually are small downsides, so honestly just do it only if you need to. I.e. heavy VM work, heavy music sampling, really heavy photoshop.

    I don't see ram usage shooting up so much that 8gb because untenable within 5 years. Even if it did, I imagine 16gb will be pretty cheap by then.

    For a real performance improvement as you suggest, get an ssd. You can get a good 250gig drive for ~$300 or less. Of course, you have to live without the disk space. But that's the hot rod upgrade.


    and I guess it goes without saying, but get 8 instead of 16. Actually, open all the apps you use simultaneously, to go activity monitor and check system memory - Page Outs. If that number if higher than a few MB, or indeed it's at all greater than zero, you will benefit from more ram.
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Here's a drawback: You have to spend money.

    I'd upgrade to 16gb without a second thought.
  8. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    4GB for casuals, 8GB for games, 16 GB for Photoshop.

    If you are a light user 4 GB is fine, if you want to play games 8 GB is ample, if you want to be a power user with Adobe applications or Audio/Visual production suites then 16 GB is preferable.
    At under $100 for 16GB it is a bit of a no brainer to buy it if you need it.
  9. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    People have already listed the possible problems...I just have a comment. Sure, 16GB is pretty cheap now. But if you currently have 4GB and you're not seeing any slowdowns due to lack of RAM, then really the only thing you're gaining is the ability to brag about having 16GB of RAM. If there's no performance advantage of upgrading, why not wait? If you need it in the future, chances are it will be even cheaper then.

    I know some people will disagree and say it's cheap so just do it. Personally, I can think of plenty of other things to spend $100 on that would make me happier than a computer upgrade that won't really benefit me at all.
  10. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Another small (bigger if you have an SSD) drawback: A chunk of your hard drive equal to the amount of RAM in your machine is reserved for the hibernate or "deep-sleep" file. The more RAM you have, the bigger the chunk taken out of your HDD or SSD.
  11. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    Is that permanent? Or temporarily every time you sleep?
  12. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Permanent unless you disable deep sleep.
  13. MOKHAN macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    Ugh, that explains why my 50GB SSD had issues with waking from sleep. Thanks.
  14. Artagra macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Install something like iStat Menus and keep an eye on your memory usage. If you are maxing out your 4gb, then upgrade to 8gb or 16gb. Benefit of 16gb is that it makes the machine easier to sell second hand (and you'll get a little more), but overall 16gb is overkill as others have said.

    Otherwise, I'd definitely consider an SSD - it's a night and day difference, and much bigger than going from 4gb to 8gb for 90% of use cases. Re-installing is a pain, but if you are looking for extra performance an SSD is worth it. All the "micro pauses" you experience on a hdd based machine just disappear.
  15. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    - upgrade to 8GB RAM (16 is overkill, but if you need it go ahead)
    - sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ (kills swapfile, do it only with plenty of RAM)
    - get SSD
    - sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0 && sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage (prevents OSX from generating hibernation image, saves space)
    - sudo pmset -a sms 0 (disable sudden motion sensor, use if you ditch your hard drive)

    Perfect recipe from a lightning fast machine.

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