Are MBP RAM worth more than Windows RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by galaksy, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. galaksy macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I heard that for Mac, the RAM of 8GB is equivalent to 12GB of Windows RAM and 16GB of Mac RAM is worth about 24GB of Windows RAM? Is this true?
     
  2. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #2
    Yes, Mac memory management is much better. I suspect Apple has even been improving this with each update, as I've gotten to over 14GB on 8GB with memory pressure still in the green.(And that was just from me testing how much I could push it, not based on my normal use) Some members have gotten over 15GB.
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #3
    No... It is the same hardware. "Mac Certified" is nothing more than a gimmick and a higher cost. Corsair, GSkill and Mushkin are all good brands that sell Mac memory.
     
  4. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #4
    Wow, did you even read his post?

    ----------

    Memory compression means Mavericks can fit up to 14GB of RAM into my 8GB of physical RAM (based on the figures mt MBP has reported) - there will be a small overhead to the compression activity but it works great!

    No idea whether any Win version uses memory compression....
     
  5. christarp macrumors 6502

    christarp

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    #5
    That's a very very rough estimate, but kind of true. The way OSX deals with memory is via memory compression, this allows you to put more stuff into your memory without maxing it out. Windows does not do this (to my knowledge), so if you had an application that could fill up 8GB of ram, and ran it on OSX then it would probably not use the full 8GB of ram due to the memory compression that OSX uses. The exact translation of how much ram you will gain from this varies as compression depends on what the application is doing and whatnot. There is no way to quantify 8GB of windows RAM = 12GB of OSX ram because that's not true. It'll be more, but can't be generalized like that.

    On the hardware side of things, 8GB of ram in a macbook is the same 8GB of ram in a windows PC, the hardware is the same. The software is just compressing the ram in OSX so you can stuff more into 8GB of ram, rather than getting more ram itself.
     
  6. leman macrumors 604

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    #6
    Simple answer: for all intents and purposes, no.

    A more complicated answer: it is definitively not true that OS X is better at memory management than Windows. Its different, that's all. Both have state of the art RAM allocation and management. However, it is true that OS X can handle more RAM pressure before the performance starts to degrade because of its RAM compression and some other things. It might be true (although I am unsure about that one) that OS X also utilizes RAM more efficiently, by using aggressive caching.
     
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #7
    Yes, OS X compresses RAM really aggressively. You can push active RAM usage to 18GB on an 8GB machine before it starts paging out to the SSD.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    Well, FreeBSD RAM management is super confusing, but from what I know about it, it is not possible to have more active RAM than your physical RAM. AFAIK, 'active' means amount of physical RAM which is being actively used by applications. When you look at the activity monitor, your total amount of memory on the right side (app+file cache+wired+compressed) represents the physical RAM currently being in use and should equal the 'memory used' stat. I think its good that Mavericks removed all that active/inactive etc. stuff, it was super-confusing — you need to be a kernel hacker to understand what all these things mean. Just to illustrate my point, here is output of vm_stat command on my computer, that shows you how insanely complex the system is:

    Code:
    Mach Virtual Memory Statistics: (page size of 4096 bytes)
    Pages free:                              924087.
    Pages active:                           2357187.
    Pages inactive:                          102411.
    Pages speculative:                        58552.
    Pages throttled:                              0.
    Pages wired down:                        515360.
    Pages purgeable:                         856892.
    "Translation faults":                 402017895.
    Pages copy-on-write:                   31708653.
    Pages zero filled:                    301322699.
    Pages reactivated:                       150812.
    Pages purged:                          14801333.
    File-backed pages:                       263381.
    Anonymous pages:                        2254769.
    Pages stored in compressor:             1205852.
    Pages occupied by compressor:            234706.
    Decompressions:                        10522998.
    Compressions:                          15446258.
    Pageins:                               16419111.
    Pageouts:                                 11054.
    Swapins:                                6794065.
    Swapouts:                               7365118.
    
     
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Ever since Mavericks, active RAM doesn't necessarily the amount of physical RAM used by anymore, because of RAM compression.
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

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    #10
    This is exactly why I was wondering. I do not know which definition of 'active RAM' you are using, but in the OS X kernel terminology, 'active RAM' means the amount of physical RAM. And because compressed RAM also resides in RAM, I don't really see how RAM compression can make applications use more RAM than there is on the system. The only thing what RAM compression does is delaying the necessity of disk-backed swap.
     
  11. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #11
    Regardless.... 16GB is 16GB on any OS. It's all about memory efficiency and Mavericks can compress.

    There is still no physical difference between both.
     
  12. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    AFAIK, the compression applies only to pages that would be paged out to swap. I.e. OS X attempts first to keep a page from being swapped to disk by compressing it. If that does not help, it will page out to disk.
    Compression does not apply to active pages.
    OS X 10.9 Mavericks: Compressed memory
     
  13. PFKMan23 macrumors regular

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    Jan 12, 2012
    #13
    This. Most people are using a software optimization argument to answer what, in my opinion, is a hardware question.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    No, I don't see that making sense. OS X memory management is great, and different the Windows but it doesn't mean 8GB Mac is equivalent to a 12GB Windows Machine. Sorry that doesn't make much sense. Windows has is good at memory management to point. I think the OS is more susceptible to memory leaks which is why you need to reboot.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    I think what you may have heard about is the "memory compression" feature of Mavericks that is explained at the link priitv8 provided. I would not say it necessarily means 8GB is equal to 12GB or anything, but what it would do is say you had a Mac with 4GB of RAM and you ran a lot of apps and that caused the Mac to begin using swap space on the drive. With memory compression that same 4GB Mac with the same apps would start to use very aggressive memory compression before it began to use swap space so hypothetically performance would be better. The idea is with memory compression you would have better performance in memory constrained scenarios than without memory compression.
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #16
    There is a lot of misinformation going on here. Peopel here memory compression and assume OSX must be the best.

    The truth for all practical purposes is that Windows can run well on much lower memory than OSX. 1GB, 2GB or even 512MB.
    The biggest problem with what RAM capacity gets you is not how the OS manages it. The biggest problem is how efficient applications use it and very often OSX application require far more RAM than their Windows counterparts if there is one. Many OSX apps are just not well optimized and just expect vast amounts of memory.
    This is were most of the memory drains to with many users that have many small apps open. There are small apps that need 3 or 4 times the memory on OSX over the Windows version. It adds up.
    Active RAM past 4GB - as in 8GB and more - depends much more on the actual appliaction and how it uses it. Windows has one trick OSX doesn't have in that it allows RAM usage with different priorities, so an App can actively use RAM that is low priority and can be scrubbed if other apps need it more dearly. OSX only knows what RAM an App uses and can never take RAM away from one app that doesn't need it as badly as an other.

    For the most part Windows 8 currently requires less RAM for an average use case than even Mavericks, in my experience. Before Mavericks the difference was quite big. Most people never had a problem because OSX generally runs on well specced machines while Windows sometimes runs on underspecced crap.
    What Apple did really well is the RAM pressure display, which says everything that matters and helps all these do I need more RAM threads because I have 1MB of swap. Windows performance monitor is confusing as hell.
     
  17. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #17
    Thats a weird way of saying OSX apps mostly use static libraries while Windows programs mostly use dynamic libraries.
     
  18. kelon111 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 16, 2013
    #18
    You need to reword your question.
    I think you are mixing up software and hardware.

    16 GB of RAM on a Apple PC is about the same as 16 GB of RAM on a Windows based PC. Of course I'm making some assumptions like both are using Non-ECC RAM , both are in dual channel config , etc.

    Lots of companies make bloated software for Windows 7/8 etc. so many people think that Windows memory management is horrible but it's not as bad as most people make it out to be.
     
  19. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #19
    There must be more than just OS's memory management to the way system feels to the user.
    I got fed up with windows at the Vista time. I unpacked a ThinkPad T61 with 2GB of RAM which was unuseable. The fresh system, OOB, could not manage running itself, let alone any applications.
    That was not just OS memory management, but also the way MS decided to use this resource. Things like some sort of prelaunching or whatnot, managed to tie up the system without me even starting to use it.
    I converted that same 2GB machine to hackintosh and I could not only run the OS (I believe it was 10.5 Leopard back then), but also really use productivity apps on it.
    Since then I firmly believe, that OS X as a whole manages to present much better useability/UX on given hardware, than Windows.
    I know, part of the problem might be that in the PC world it is not unusual to sell under-specced hardware to get the price of the box down.
     
  20. maflynn, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #20
    OS X would have trouble with 2GB of ram as well. With Vista, if you tried that early on, it was rather buggy. I use win8 at home (for work stuff), I also use win7 on my office desktop and various versions of windows servers. I think OS X does have better memory management but Window's is not bad. As someone else stated, the apps have a lot to do with it. If you have a bloated or misbehaving app, it will consumer a lot of ram on windows and cause everything to slow down.

    People experience similar issues on OS X, with older versions of Safari (its gotten better over the years) or currently with Chrome.
     
  21. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I agree. But my lesson with Vista on T61 was 2-fold:
    1) The OS could not manage running itself, without any apps started yet.
    2) I was sold effectively non-working configuration (Vista required min 4GB at that time). I've not had comparable OOB-experience with any Mac I own.
     
  22. kelon111 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Vista was one of the worst operating systems I've used.
    You should have installed Windows XP instead.
    The only OS that I had more problems with than Vista was Windows ME (you remember that, right?).
     

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