Can We Put the 16GB "Pro" Myth to Rest?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aevan, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #1
    Excellent and true article.

    https://www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=6355

    I am not a fanboy defending Apple, this is just how things are. I am a professional working in the game development industry for 10 years. I do everything from working in demanding 3D software, working on huge 8k textures (that's 8192x8129, almost 70 megapixel images) in Photoshop with lots of layers and sculpting in Zbrush and 3D Coat to running 3ds Max and Windows 10 in Parallels. I have 16Gb of RAM on my iMac, on my MacBook Pro, on my Windows 10 machine at work. I never ran out of memory.

    I am not saying that no one needs more than 16. Some people do. Apple should give us the option to have 32Gb and hopefully - it will be available next year. What I am saying is that for a lot.... A LOT of "pros" - 16Gb is enough. And most people just think they need more, arbitrarily.

    To quote the article:

    "The MacBook Pro, as I’ve demonstrated, is more than capable of running a ridiculous number of “pro” apps without crossing the 16GB limit. It is, without a doubt, capable of adequately serving a vast majority of resource-hungry professionals such as myself, without breaking a sweat. The only thing, incidentally, breaking a sweat, are the people complaining about the number 16 on social media without actually understanding just how far that number gets you."

     
  2. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    We can not put this to rest - I don't think this is an arbitrary issue that people are clinging to and I think this article is a disservice to professionals, once again. Salt in the wound. Is it a shock that a wide group is asking for more than 16GB? Why is that so incomprehensible? The people who need it know they need it, and know why they need it, thus are vocal about it. Especially 2, 3 years down the road? I think that's what's causing people to be more vocal. These users most likely bought an rMBP with 16GB of RAM in 2012, and are shocked by seeing 16GB as the maximum over four years later, for a three to four thousand dollar computer that is expected to last around 3 years.

    It's needed now more than ever for those who are being vocal about it.
     
  3. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #3
    Half the problem is people using notebooks for things they should really be using desktops for.

    The other half is marketing, for years we see computers alongside numbers, and have been taught bigger is better.

    However, 16GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM does not equal 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3L SDRAM.
     
  4. leman macrumors 604

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    #4
    Well, on the other hand there are results that clearly show that intense video editing workflows linearly benefit from more RAM. Although, to me it almost sounds like problem with the editor software, probably suboptimal algorithms.

    Another often quoted examples is running multiple VMs for browser testing. Although here again, I have to ask whether it is really nessesary to give every VM 4GB of dedicated RAM and/or have all of them resident at the same time. And maybe also invest into the ability to reuse RAM across VMS — two VMs with the same OS are probably going to share a lot of data that doesn't nessesary have to be doubled in RAM (like the base OS kernel code).

    All in all, being somewhat of a data scientist who regularly has to work on hundreds-of-GB to multi-TB data sets, I don't really see the point having more than 16GB for me. Its enough working space to solve most problems and I don't believe that I would be able to solve them more efficiently if I had more RAM. After all, more RAM = more cache pollution. And if I really need more RAM... well, for that I have a supercomputer that has 4TB of RAM ;)
     
  5. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #5

    And who are you to say that "these people should be using desktops"? That is ridiculous, when the obstacle to bring 32GB of RAM to a notebook is not massive. It just requires that you don't shave 3 millimeters off of the already thin professional workstation notebook.

    Maybe these people constantly travel the world and are expected to be ready to churn out deliverables no matter where they are, and the difference between having to carry a loaded, checked-luggage Pelican with a desktop and a monitor hundreds of thousands of miles yearly and carrying a notebook is 3 millimeters. These people are selecting notebooks because a desktop would not make sense in their workflow.
     
  6. aevan, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

    aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #6
    This is just an empty rant without facts. "Salt in the wound", "people asking for more", etc. The guy gave you empirical data how 16Gb is enough for insane workloads, and your answer is "disservice to professionals"? That's your answer? That's an arbitrary statement without any facts. "Because people are asking for more". Sure, people are asking for more. People also voted Bush. That's not the point.

    The article demonstrates - what is also my experience - that you can be a serious professional and find 16Gb enough. Some professionals do require more. Sure. For some, even 32 is not enough. But I'm certain that 90% of people making a big deal out of this - have no idea how much they actually need.

    2, 3 years down the road the situation will be mostly the same. It will take more than 2, 3 years for the rest of the technology to rise to such levels where 16Gb is not enough. One day everyone will be using 10K screens and taking 200Mp photos and 16Gb will not be enough, but that day won't come in 2-3 years. I just told you how I edit 70Mpix images with lots of layers on 16Gb RAM, but I'm somehow not "pro" and "people want more". Wow.
     
  7. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    It's not suboptimal algorithms as much as it is the nature of the beast. Working with 4K, high bitrate source footage is demanding - working with VFX and real-time edits over seemingly random portions of hundreds and hundreds of gigabytes of footage requires a good bit of real-time swap space to prevent slowdowns.

    Sure, you could transcode all of your footage before you work with it, but it messes with clip dimensions and adds an absolutely massive set of steps to your workflow that add hours of time between the transcoding, unlinking and relinking and fixing all of the baggage that comes with using lower res proxies to prevent slowdowns that, again, 3 millimeters, would have greatly prevented.
     
  8. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #8
    This is simply not true.
     
  9. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    It's absolutely not an arbitrary statement without facts. Do I need to record my day-to-day interaction with all of my computers to somehow satisfy the court here? I've got a hackintosh with 32GB of ram, and I've got an rMBP with 16. The amount of times I get "the system has run out of application memory" or massive page outs and pinwheels on large projects is insurmountable on the notebook vs haven't seen one yet on the machine with 32GB of RAM. The guy did absolutely no video intensive work and ran zero apps in that space, and admitted it himself. Even if he did have FCPX or Premiere, he's not equipped to provide an accurate sample of a real video workflow. This whole thing is a weird attempt to discredit and push even further into minority the people that are legitimately upset about the lack of 32GB configs. You're certain that 90% of people making a big deal out of this are solely there due to ignorance? I doubt that statistic and that seems to be an arbitrary statement without any facts.


    And it's not that "you're not pro", it's that "my workflow defines a majority of workflows" argument that is salt in the wound. I don't regularly see a bunch of people parading about the lack of 32GB of ram configurations who are obviously ignorant about it, where is this thought coming from in the first place?
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

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    #10
    Ah, you mean that the memory resolution of the signal is not know before input? Ok, than its really a problem. Does it mean that the camera is introducing some sort of signal compression (please feel free to feed me relevant info per personal message if you want, I am very curios about this. I admit to know absolutely nothing about modern video editing algorithms).
     
  11. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #11
    Why don't we just call what this is. This is not about RAM or ports.

    No one has a problem with ports, really. No one. Buying a few adapters and plugging them in - that is not a real problem. That is not even an issue. It hardly passes as preference.

    And a small amount of people really need more than 16Gb RAM.

    This is not about any of that. This is people venting against Apple, because they have 1000 personal issues with them. And because no one likes No. 1.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 7, 2016 ---
    If this is true - if - you're a very small minority. For you, Apple should definitely offer more. Hopefully next year. For 99% others - 16 will do.
     
  12. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #12
    Where's the 3 millimetres come from? More RAM = More power, More Power = Bigger battery, Bigger battery = difficult to travel all over the world (Unless you use a boat). Granted, they could've reduced the battery life and added more RAM, but pretty sure that would've upset more people.

    I believe there are windows manufacturers making workstation class notebooks, with workstation class CPUs like Xeon's. Apple make portable, yet powerful notebooks. Not portable workstations.

    If 'these' people genuinely require a mobile workstation, then they probably already have a very specialised rig that they can carry. And the arguments over macOS/Windows are kind of mute.

    Basically, I don't think it's as simple as 3 millimetres, and mobile workstations exist for those who need them.
     
  13. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #13

    But of course it's not as simple as 3mm. Of course. You have to be either really biased or misinformed (or something else entirely which I won't mention) to think that is the reason.
     
  14. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Vaguely to make this manageable, LPDDR3 consumes about 30% less power than standard DDR3/4. The battery was reduced in size by 25%, and the notebook was made thinner, reducing the amount of space for the logic board and battery. If you'd like, we can go through and find out how much wattage the exact number of chips to achieve 32GB of DDR3/DDR4 would draw compared to 16GB of LPDDR3. It's true enough that, with the original 99wh battery and a different rated battery life figure for a "top tier" model, 32GB of ram could easily have been done, once again, at the complaint of nobody.

    It is most definitely the primary contributing factor, full stop. 25% more battery capacity plus 12% more space in the outgoing model could arguably have supported 32GB of DDR3/DDR4 if you look at the raw power consumption figures of these chips. Yes, 3mm is an oversimplification, but by making the notebook 12% thinner and chopping out 25% of the original battery capacity, they sealed the coffin on making it at all feasible.
     
  15. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #15
    First of all, I am really pissed how you guys always seem to think that "nobody" wants a thinner laptop. "At the complaint of me" - that's what you wanted to say.

    Second of all, it's not about 3mm, it's about weight. They wanted the thing ligter. At the request of everybody (see what I did there?)
     
  16. eagle33199 macrumors member

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    #16
    Professional software engineer here... sure more RAM can be seen as better... but honestly, I doubt I'll max out 16 gigs, at least not for a while. I'm running on a 2010 Macbook Air (for at least another week until my new Pro shows up), and it's only got 4 gigs. Yes, I notice it, but not really much the first 4-ish years I owned it - if I needed to do something significant, I remoted into a desktop (either mine or the one I have at work). It's not that big of a deal. For me, "Pro" means getting what I need from it as a professional, and the new Pro more than delivers. It's got enough oomph to handle everything I need for a few hours on a plain, and sufficient connectivity to let me remote to the more powerful machines I want to. It also has the portability to let me actually use it as a laptop and not a desktop replacement. Cause frankly... I don't want a desktop replacement, I already have two desktops and countless servers I can access whenever I want.
     
  17. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Do you not understand that you've got many choices for thinner notebooks in the lineup? But we have zero choices on the users-who-need-a-little-more end? I'm talking about an additional tier that's a no-compromise solution for pros, not an elimination of what they have created. Apple's 13 and 15-inch models have long had different battery life figures, and have long been slightly different thicknesses. There's little reason not to offer what they know a decent subset of their pro userbase wants as a more expensive tier of the 15" with - maybe 8 hours of rated battery life. Just like when they had the 17" model - I wonder who bought those.
     
  18. eagle33199 macrumors member

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    #18
    This is a ridiculous statement, to be honest... I've never once gotten that statement on my 2010 Air with only 4 gigs. A few pinwheels, but that's to be expected with a 6 year old machine.

    If you really are doing stuff that intensive, then maybe a laptop isn't the right choice. Try a desktop. And if you need portability, remoting into a desktop can get you both.
     
  19. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #19
    @fs454 I really don't think the new MBPs are for you. Are you working with a Mac specific app or something? Is it just impossible to use a Windows device?

    I do a lot of 3D modelling myself, and at no point have I ever attempted to run 3DS Max through Bootcamp on my MacBook and then complain about the horrendous GPU or lack of RAM, because I have a desktop to do all that stuff. At a pinch the notebook can at least load a low polygon count model, I could even sometimes make changes, but all rendering would be done on the desktop for obvious purposes. If I did require my work to be more portable than it is, I would definitely be using a Windows machine as I'd need a mobile workstation, not a portable notebook.
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #20
    I think that's the real point. It's a $3000+ machine as-configured for many people, and it should be able to be configured not only as "enough" for today but for 2018, 2019 or beyond.
     
  21. cube macrumors G5

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    #21
    But they are not Macs. Windows is a lot of trouble and many things do not exist for Linux.
     
  22. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #23

    It's ridiculous to have a workflow that's different than yours. I see. "Try a desktop" huh, like the one I had to build to fit my needs in 2015 because Apple didn't offer modern hardware in that space either? It's great, but it's not portable. Remoting into a desktop for video work? Laughable. The things you're doing on your 2010 Air don't require the same type of memory persistence as video work does, so you aren't going to see that message.

    It's not a by and large complaint of the entire system. The CPU isn't a bottleneck. The GPU is good enough, though not impressive. The RAM is the limiter.

    I'm using Premiere Pro. FCPX. After Effects. Not really specialty software here.
     
  23. eagle33199 macrumors member

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    #24
    Ok, so you're saying Apple doesn't build a desktop for your use, or a laptop for your use. Why are you here on a Mac website?
     
  24. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #25
    There is always a compromise with notebooks. What I was saying is if you have a genuine need for it, likely it is for a single application, and running that application is top priority so it doesn't matter about OS or whatever. If you want something genuinely portable, then you're going to have to compromise on that power for the second. It really depends on what you really need. But there isn't a solution that covers all basis, unless as I said you get a desktop.
     

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