Concrete examples of where the 16 GB RAM would help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbook123, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    So I've been wondering about this for a while: are there actually any concrete situations where the 16 GB RAM would help, compared to swapping to the very fast SSD's?

    Now before you just say "RAM is much faster", please think about ways to back up your statement. Provide concrete numbers or even show actual benchmarks that prove, as opposed to simply allege, that the 16 GB can make a difference in real life situations with the RMBP.

    People here seem to jump to the conclusion that it's worth upgrading (for $200) to 16 GB of RAM, just because it sometimes *might* be a tad faster, when they could alternatively upgrade to 2.6 GHz CPU for half the price, an upgrade that should actually make a lot of what they do 5-10% faster. There even exist benchmarks showing that the 2.6 is better than the 2.3! I haven't see *any* for the 16 GB RAM upgrade...
     
  2. Slivortal macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #2
    Usually it won't. In my case, it will though (through virtualization). Let me set it up for you.

    Case 1
    Host running Mac OSX : 8GB
    Virtual Machine running Ubuntu : 8GB

    Case 2

    Host running Mac OSX : 8GB
    Virtual Machine running Ubuntu : 4GB
    Virtual Machine running Windows 7 : 4GB

    Case 3

    Host running Mac OSX : 6GB
    Virtual Machine running Ubuntu : 4GB
    Virtual Machine running Windows 7 : 3GB
    Virtual Machine running OpenSUSE : 3GB

    Upgrading your machine for the sake of "future-proofing" is ridiculous, though - there are many other components that are far more likely to become obsolete before 8GB of RAM.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    I need lot of ram as my matlab variables are huge
     
  4. ColoArtist macrumors regular

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    Denver, CO
    #4
    Parallels.

    Safari, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Mail, and a few other things running...

    [​IMG]

    Add in Parallels/Win7 and bang...

    [​IMG]

    :apple:
     
  5. iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #5

    What are those few other things?

    Photoshop only uses the amount of ram you allocate to it. How much do you have allocated to it?

    Parallels VMs will use the amount of memory you assign while in operation.

    Get what you need, and not what you don't. If you don't know if you need it or not, you probably don't. Your example is exaggerated. You can set max ram amounts in those programs.

    Each user will need different amounts of ram. Get what you need not what you don't.

    Future proof is a waste of money. I run all the programs you do and use less ram. I also have 16GB of ram, and use around 6GB to 8GB with everything running. You can get away with even less. The settings for those two applications you can set how much ram for your system to use. Close out a application, while not in use.

    How hard is that?

    For my money I would go with the processor upgrade, not the ram. Go with both if you plan on keeping it along time. If you upgrade often, don't go crazy with the BTO options.
     
  6. andothfc macrumors regular

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    #6
    My 8GB Retina starts paging out when I have nothing but Aperture open, scrolling through loads of RAW photos.
     
  7. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

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    Australia
    #7
    I'm using 5GB right now, with only Safari, Mail, Transmission, iTunes and Steam open (it's usually less, not sure why it's so high atm). I wouldn't mind getting 16GB (and I could for $100), but it would require me to return this machine, and then order it online and wait 1-2 weeks for postage, which isn't an appealing idea. I think 8GB will be enough for me, even with using Garagaband/Pro Tools/Final Cut Pro.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    located
    #8
    DDR3 RAM is in that way faster, as it has a transfer rate of 12800 MB/s, while SSDs are still around 500 MB/s.

    As you have already seen, if one or more applications can use more than 2 or 4 GB of RAM, they can do so. I used After Effects for a long time on an 8 GB RAM Mac, it filled up to 5 GB of it during intensive tasks. If I would have 16 GB of RAM, it could probably fill up to 12 to 14 GB RAM, if I set it to.

    More RAM is always advisable, if the applications you use can and WILL use more RAM. Using Safari for FriendFace or UsPorn can live with 4 to 8 GB RAM.
     
  9. Pressure, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #9
    It's not really about being faster but more of a "not run out of RAM and start swapping (paging out) for the Solid State Disk / mechanical hard drives", simply because they are an order of magnitude slower, which in turn cripples performance.

    It's easy to max out RAM usage, especially as OS X will always treat unused RAM as useless RAM. Better to put it to good use and then purge occupied RAM if need be. In other words, the operating system caches frequently used programs so it loads faster.

    But 'Your Mileage May Vary' applies to pretty much every user scenario. Personally I can easily max out 16 GB of RAM in Premiere Pro and Photoshop with the line of work I do.
     
  10. mac1984user macrumors 6502a

    mac1984user

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    United Kingdom
    #10
    Looking at my computer at the moment, I have about 16 various applications open and running, which is eating up about 7.5 GB of RAM. Most of these are not very intensive, such as Mendeley, Pages and EverNote. Safari is kind of a memory hog if it's allowed to be. If you don't want to even THINK about RAM, then 16GB is kind of handy, I must say. I'm certainly glad to have upgraded, especially if I ever have to run any virtualisation software. If it doesn't fit within your budget, don't do it, but otherwise...why not?
     
  11. Doggonit macrumors regular

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    #11
    This.
     
  12. ColoArtist macrumors regular

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    #12
    At the time Calendar and Transmit. I'll normally be running Aperture, Firefox and Chrome when I'm in work mode, but they weren't running at that time.

    I have Photoshop CS6 set at a bit over a Gig...about 70% of the listed "ideal" range.

    4GB...the top of their recommended range. At the time Win7 was running.

    Nope, nothing exaggerated. The settings are the defaults for the most part. Win7 is kinda doggy at anything less than 4GB, IMHO. If anything I left stuff out, such as Firefox, Chrome, Aperture, iTunes, WeatherMan, Acrobat, and all too often Flash (yuck). I even did a purge to eliminate all the unused memory just before the shots.

    Yup. I did. ;)

    Not hard, and I do.

    I could get by with less, but why go with the minimum settings and constantly run with the minimum number of apps? For $200 I get double the memory to work with and use. I'm using the machine most of the day, nearly every day. I'll probably have it for 3-4 years. Even if it's just 3 years, that's about $0.18 per day. More than worth it for me. ;)

    Me too...that's why I went with the 2.7. That was the most questionable upgrade I ordered, but when things are grinding away, I didn't want to be wondering, "what if?".

    :apple:
     
  13. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

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    #13
    I know this thread is basically '16GB or bust', but I have a realistic question to pose:

    I have the base 13" MBP, 4GB RAM. Obviously I'm not too concerned with blistering performance.

    But I do get beachballs, frequently. I am still setting up after a clean ML install, so lot's of things going on in the background, but still.

    I know 16GB would be the best. But with a squeaky tight budget, would 8GB get me from frequent slowdowns to infrequent? Assuming 16GB would be needed for no slowdowns, is upping my RAM to 8GB worth it or save up for 16GB?

    For reference, the last time I did a RAM upgrade in a computer was when I took my Pentium-75 from 4MB to 8MB in order to support installation of Windows 95 . . .
     
  14. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    Even if you are only virtualizing one OS you can get win 7 running on this thing with 8GB ram and 4 cores and it runs amazingly well while not interrupting normal usage!

    That is a normal use for 16GB ram.

    I personally work on projects that sometimes require 32GB ram. But I'm a very special case.
     
  15. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #15
    I still might install win7 for gaming, but I currently find that with chrome + safari (both with flash use) and 4 or 5 tabs open + VLC, iTunes, Citrix I can easily get under 1gb free.

    Yesterday I was installing a game (SCII) and it started paging out. Currently with a couple days use the Pageins 8.23gb, Pageout 1.47 and swap 150MB.

    I don't even user Aperture, CS6, or virtualization but I already see instances where it goes to swap, should I swap my machine for a base 16gb version?
     
  16. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #16
    if you are already seeing page outs it might be a good idea to swap it if you are within the 14 day trial. You want to keep this thing for several years I assume.
     
  17. sth, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    sth macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I got my 8gb machine to swap heavily just by stitching some large panoramas in Photoshop.

    Still, I think that 8gb will be perfectly fine for the vast majority of users.
    But if you work with large media files or virtual machines, 16gb certainly doesn't hurt.

    In short: The people who need 16gb usually know why they need it. Everyone else will be fine with 8gb for the next few years.


    Keep in mind: DDR3-1600 (as used in the current MBP lineup) can shift 12 gigabytes per second with an access time of less than 15 nanoseconds.
    SSDs, no matter how fast compared to mechanical hard drives, are still abysmally slow compared to the computer's RAM.

    The SSD sure helps when paging out a few megabytes from time to time, but if you're really short on RAM, it's no replacement.
     
  18. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #18
    lol, exactly, if you have to ask, you probably don't need it.
     
  19. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    its BB OB, so I actually have 60 days lol since I am silver. I did get a pretty good deal on it though.
     
  20. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2007
    #20
    Yes 8GB is more than enough for just about anybody. If you needed more you'd know it. The only reason I advocate 16gb or 8gb is the price is so cheap that you may as well just do it. My 16gb kit was $79 on Newegg and they're only getting cheaper. If $40 extra a lot of money right now then 8GB is a great upgrade at $39 or so.
     
  21. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Feb 11, 2006
    #21
    Do you notice a slow down?

    ----------

    I have worked on cases that required 200 gb of RAM, but not on my laptop lol :)

    ----------

    The real question for me is if I will NOTICE the lack of ram above 8gb. Hence the question whether people have actually felt slowing down of their 8gb machines when swapping a few gb to disk. According to your numbers it would slow down the system by about 2 seconds to page out one GB. But does this mean the application will come to a complete halt during that time?
     
  22. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    #22
    That would call for a bit more power! I have locked up my machine in page out hell on 32GB (using only one application!)...I would love to try 200 and see how close I could come!
     
  23. iamthedudeman, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    iamthedudeman macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Nope, nothing exaggerated. The settings are the defaults for the most part. Win7 is kinda doggy at anything less than 4GB, IMHO. If anything I left stuff out, such as Firefox, Chrome, Aperture, iTunes, WeatherMan, Acrobat, and all too often Flash (yuck). I even did a purge to eliminate all the unused memory just before the shots.


    Not hard, and I do.

    I could get by with less, but why go with the minimum settings and constantly run with the minimum number of apps? For $200 I get double the memory to work with and use. I'm using the machine most of the day, nearly every day. I'll probably have it for 3-4 years. Even if it's just 3 years, that's about $0.18 per day. More than worth it for me. ;)



    Me too...that's why I went with the 2.7. That was the most questionable upgrade I ordered, but when things are grinding away, I didn't want to be wondering, "what if?".

    :apple:[/QUOTE]

    You just proved my point. Not everyone has the same work habits, opens multiple applications, and ram heavy applications at the same time as you. I do, but use 6 to 8GB of ram. And I am not limiting myself in the least. I don't have my machine on the minimum settings either.

    Like I said, you are not the typical user, or a good indicator of how much ram a person needs.

    Do you really need 8 apps open at the same time? Of coarse you don't.

    You just like to open more apps at the same time. Ram intensive apps. You have 16GB and why not. I agree. You felt like you needed it, you got it and use it. It was money well spent for yourself. But not everyone has the same usage habits as you. I run just as many apps as you, the same ones frequently, and don't use that much ram. Even though I have 16GB on my 2011 MBP. My usage habits are not the same as yours even though I use the same apps.

    4GB for windows is the minimum ram for it to run well. But how about a person who doesn't run parallels or windows at all on their mac? Or dreamweaver?

    4GB is 25% of your total ram. 8GB is allot of ram for 95% of the general population. You can do heavy work with 8GB of ram. The same work you are doing now, the same apps you are using.

    If you don't know you need it you probably don't. And $200 is allot to pay for ram. You are paying $200 for a extra 8GB of ram. That is allot of money to spend if you don't need to. Or to future proof. Future proof is just non-sense as in my opinion.

    If you want to keep your machine, by all means get the 16GB. Next year when haswell comes out, the base machine will be faster, way faster, than your current machine that you have 16GB of ram in. For a person who wants to get that machine and sell their current rmbp, 16 ram is wasted money.

    It all depends on what you do with your machine, how long you plan on keeping it, etc.


    This is not a one size fits all situation.
     
  24. jterp7 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2011
    #24
    i suppose the next logical question is in resale over the next 2 years (when the original rMBP will still be worth something) how much does that extra $200 investment get you?
     
  25. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

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    Sep 8, 2011
    #25
    8GB of RAM would reduce your beach ball. Actually, the main culprit is your 500GB 5400rpm drive. Switch to a SSD and that should eliminate most if not all beach ball.
     

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