Can a casual user ever exceed the 8GB RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by trjk434, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. trjk434 macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2014
    Here are my 'casual' uses:
    - Web surfing (I never use more than 10 tabs simultaneously)
    - Microsoft word
    - iTunes
    - Movies
    - Gaming (Diablo III, League of Legends)
    - Downloading
    - Absolutely no photoshop, video editing, etc.

    In my case, is it better to get a higher SSD storage than upgrading the RAM to 16GB?
  2. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    I guess you are looking at a rMBP (which can not be upgraded afterwards).
    What exact model are you looking at?
  3. Quattro7 macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2013
    If I open Safari with 10 or more tabs, multiple Word, Powerpoint, Pages, and Keynote documents open and play music with iTunes that I use about 4 - 5 gb Ram. So I think 8 gb will be enough for you (but I don't game on my MacBook, so I can't help you with that).
  4. trjk434 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2014
    Sorry, I'm looking at a 13" rMBP (late 2013)
  5. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I do similar things on my 15in rMBP (not much gaming) and since the update to Mavericks and the new RAM usage scale, I have never got into yellow--always green. Under iStat, seldom shows page outs. 8GB seems fine for what I do and everything is fast so I would think you would be fine with 8GB. But if you do a custom build, or see a model you like with 16GB, it wouldn't hurt to go for the higher RAM. I would have done that but wanted to buy from Amazon and the base model is what they had--no regrets from me. :)
  6. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Dec 10, 2013
    Most games can't utilize more than 4 gigs of ram anyways due to design limitations so I wouldn't worry about it. Ram is more useful for programs like photoshop etc that can utilize as much ram as you allow. So unless you plan on having every game and program running simultaneously, I don't think you will need more than 8 gigs for the usage you described.
  7. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    I'd say stay with 8GB Ram and safe the money (for example for getting a bigger SSD).

    Don't let activity monitor/OS X fool you. It uses all the Ram it can get to give you the best performance, so even with light use it often shows something like: "7.95 GB in use". This does NOT mean you don't have enough Ram.

    Furthermore Mavericks added the feature Memory compression. this means, that unused ram will be compressed so, you can put even more stuff into it (some have shown, that there can be up to 12GB compressed into 8GB RAM)
  8. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    8GB of RAM is just fine for you.

    Also the SSDs might be able to be upgraded in the future, as OWC is working on replacements.
  9. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    As affirmed above, 8 GB is perfectly alright. I do most of what you do, usually simultaneously. I almost always have 5-10 tabs on Chrome open along with VLC. I also often run multiple Pages, Numbers and Text Edit document running. With all that and sometimes iTunes, I use around 2.5GB of active memory and another Gig and a half of wired memory. With 8GB, I have enough to spare at all times.

    I also process photos on Lightroom while the rest of the Apps are running without any issues.

    I have only on one occasion exceeded 8GB RAM: I ran every single application in my Applications folder (including everything in the utilities folder). I got a screenshot without my huge dock.

  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I will try to answer your questions as good as i can :D


    Yes, absolutely!

    Explanation: while your usage can exceed the 8GB RAM, its very unlikely that you will feel in any way hindered by it.
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    When your RAM demand exceeds installed memory, the system simply swaps stuff out to the SSD/HDD. With SSDs now so fast on the pci-e connection, swapping to "disk" is much faster. 8GB should be fine, I'd go for more SSD space; I went for 512 on this rMBP
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    :D ... Ram threads ... They always come up again :D

    I do not know about games. I think they use a lot of ram and are abusive to your macbook.

    Besides the games you will be perfectly fine with 4gb of ram.
  13. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    SSD speeds are faster, making swaps less gruesome than they used to be, but they are still a cause of slowdowns if you don't have enough ram. I'd be less sure that 8gb will always be enough for the next 3-4 years though. More RAM can speed the machine up since it's used for cacheing, and who knows what you're going to be doing (home movie editing?) in the next three years that might benefit. Unless it's a huge price bump I'd get 16.


    The compression issue depends very much on what is in the memory. Yes, it's helpful, but no, isn't a panacea.
  14. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2011
    If you plan to keep it for the next 3-4 years 8GB is fine.
    If you plan to keep it for longer perhaps it's better to reconsider and get the 16GB. Storage space isn't critical (unless it is 128GB) because you can always plug an external HDD/SSD. You can't do that with RAM.
  15. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    How can you possibly know that?
  16. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Here are some of the recent ram threads, OP:

    If you wanna play a lot of games you will not be happy on a macbook!
    Test it and you will know what i mean.
    Games also eat your ram for breakfast.

    Besides the games you need 8gb as much as a golden toilet bowl (read the other thread)
    I dont even wanna start with 16gb.
    If I were you I would consider an iPad or a Macbook Air base model if you dont need the retina.

    He doesnt know that. Thats why it is nonsense to tell people to buy upgrades that they might need in the future. Sometimes i get the impression that a lot of people here are really rich if they just get upgrades ... Well ... Just in case. 200,- is a lot of money for something you definitly do not need right now and almost certainly wont need later.
  17. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    It's actually $180 with the EDU discount. I would bet a 16gb Retina can be sold for at least $180 more in the future than an 8gb model so all these threads are pointless. If you have the money then buy it for peace of mind. You will recoup the difference when you resell.
  18. trjk434 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2014
    Thanks for all the replies.

    The reason for this thread was because I wasn't sure whether to spend my $200 to upgrade the RAM from 8GB to 16GB or to upgrade the SSD from 256GB to 512GB.

    It looks like I'd be better off with the latter.
  19. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Most people dont resell their stuff. I have never resold any tech device i have ever owned. They are all still with me :) so i dont know if this might sell better years in the future.
  20. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Not a hope. The best return will always be on the base model.

    To OP, I would say you'd be fine with 8Gb and should instead spring for the bigger SSD. That's the thing you'll need more than anything else.
  21. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    Sure. An 8gb model will sell at the same price as an 16gb model. :rolls eyes:
  22. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    how much ram could be compressed into 16gb?
  23. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's hard to tell, but the markup isn't really high at current ram pricing.
  24. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    8GB should be fine for your uses (as it is for most currently). If however, you plan to ever run a VM (maybe windows for example), I would go with 16GB.

  25. fenjen macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    Don't expect to be able to play LoL on Mac Os though. It runs horrible.

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