Can a casual user ever exceed the 8GB RAM?

trjk434

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2014
15
0
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?
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
685
78
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?
I guess you are looking at a rMBP (which can not be upgraded afterwards).
What exact model are you looking at?
 

Quattro7

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2013
37
0
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).
 

bobr1952

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2008
2,040
39
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. :)
 

blooperz

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2013
287
1
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.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
685
78
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)
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
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.
 

raptor402

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2011
399
2
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.

Raptor
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,968
4,551
I will try to answer your questions as good as i can :D

Can a casual user ever exceed the 8GB RAM?
Yes

In my case, is it better to get a higher SSD storage than upgrading the RAM to 16GB?
Yes, absolutely!

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

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,318
221
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
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
: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.
 

disasterdrone

macrumors 6502
Aug 31, 2013
300
0
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
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.

----------

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

cheesyappleuser

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2011
508
97
Portugal
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.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Here are some of the recent ram threads, OP:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1696043
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1698538

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.

How can you possibly know that?
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.
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
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.
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.
 

trjk434

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2014
15
0
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.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
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.
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.
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,406
306
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.
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.
 

carjakester

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2013
2,226
55
Midwest
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)
how much ram could be compressed into 16gb?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,669
1,745
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.
It's hard to tell, but the markup isn't really high at current ram pricing.
 

NewishMacGuy

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2007
636
0
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.

>
 

fenjen

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2012
327
14
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?
Don't expect to be able to play LoL on Mac Os though. It runs horrible.