Developers, How is the 8 GB ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jozero, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. jozero, Nov 18, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016

    jozero macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #1
    Developers that have purchased the new machine, how is the 8 GB ?

    For the first time in my professional life I am going *backwards* in the amount of memory/storage I have. I have an old iMac with 12GB of RAM (and a very slow hard drive). Likely getting the new Macbook Pro 13" with 8 / 512 GB.

    I usually have running :
    - xcode
    - coda
    - terminal
    - postman
    - sketch
    - safari with a zillion tabs
    - then apps like : calendar, notes, mail, etc

    It is slow on certain tasks, but I definitely don't want to drop the $$$ Apple is now charging have it actually go slower.

    Are you noticing swapping, or is the SSD so fast 8 GB of ram is simply not a huge factor.

    Thanks.
     
  2. StayPuft Suspended

    StayPuft

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #2
    If you're going to drop that kind of dough and are only going to get 8 GB, you should go with the MacBook and save yourself a few hundred bucks.

    Both the 13" MBP and MB are going to smoke your iMac just from the solid state drives alone.
     
  3. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    I've worked with 8GB for the last two years and it's fine. I've got roughly the same set of applications running, except I don't keep a lot of tabs open. Never, ever noticed swapping. It's just not a thing.

    Two things:
    - You're running Apple's own stuff, like Safari. These are well behaved apps, memory wise.
    - MacOS has memory compression, meaning when that 8 GB fills up, it compresses memory and that frees up another 4 GB. Then, and only then, it'll start swapping to the fastest SSD that's available on this planet.

    Now this is all assuming you don't have a crazy build process, and just build projects that run up to, say, 100 to 300K lines of code. I have tried to build very, very big Swift projects with massively code-generated Core Data related classes. That was on my MBA with 8 gigs. And a clean build took multiple minutes. It was not fun.

    But if you don't have this, then 8 gigs is fine.
     
  4. lauramayer macrumors regular

    lauramayer

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    Apr 5, 2016
  5. jozero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #5
    I waited so long to get this machine I am at a near breaking point on my iMac. At least three to six times a week it decides its time to grind, it sits there spinning for 8 minutes and sounding like 5 chipmunks fighting over nuts to the death.

    16GB would be the smart bet but its only available build to order, and with the price increase (I also need a retina monitor) its kind of pushing the limits expenditure wise.

    If the responses were "what are you nuts ??" then I'd rethink it. For now, and thanks to the extended holiday return policy I'll try the in stock 8/512 version. Push it a bit, least I have over a month to try it.

    Really sucks memory is soldered in. So so stupid.

    I specifically don't run things like Chrome & Slack because of their memory use.
     
  6. lauramayer macrumors regular

    lauramayer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    #6
    If you buy the 16 GB version, you could sell your MacBook better, if you need to.

    Maybe the next OS need a lot of RAM. What are you doing with 8 GB?

    16 GB is the saver bet for the future.
     
  7. StayPuft Suspended

    StayPuft

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #7
    The 8/512 MacBook would be more than enough for your needs if you want to save some dough. That's $1599 vs $1999.
     
  8. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
  9. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #9
    Absolutely positively do not try to do serious development in 8GB. It's not a good idea.

    Without a bunch of development stuff up, my 8GB machine shows noticable hits on memory performance. It's mostly just "compressing" memory rather than fully paging it out, but it still builds up quite a lot over time.

    Like, it's not just "don't try to do this if you're doing development". Don't try to get by on 8GB if you're running *!$!$ing Firefox.
     
  10. jozero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #10
    I don't like the 2 ports on "cheap" new macbook pro, nor the 15w base processor.

    Alright this appears to be a dumb purchase. I'll still pick up the macbook to try it (also wavering on 13 vs 15) but BTO a 16.
     
  11. therealseebs macrumors 65816

    therealseebs

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #11
    13/15 is a much less significant thing in my experience. my current primary-use desktop machine is still a 13", and the 8GB is a problem but the display isn't.
     
  12. jozero thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #12
    I expiremented with my iMac setting the resolution to max "custom" non retina equivalent of the 13 and 15. For myself, the way I like to work needs the 1900 Rez, not 1600. 13" is fine if I'm doing a task for hour or two. So for me its either 13" plus external monitor, or just a 15". Having said that I much prefer the 13" computer size.
     
  13. lauramayer macrumors regular

    lauramayer

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    Apr 5, 2016
    #13
  14. jozero thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2009
    #14
    Set it up. Chugs and drops frames like crazy once everything is set up and running. Dammit !
     
  15. lauramayer macrumors regular

    lauramayer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    #15
    Go with the 15" model. It should have a better graphics.
     
  16. Steven.nevets macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    Mine (13"/8/512) was dropping frames lots the first couple days, but seems a lot smoother now. I have a similar set up to you, safari+slack+xcode+tweetbot+itunes+misc, also trying to decide if 8 is enough. Will the memory upgrade really help graphics when switching spaces, mission control etc?
     
  17. bab5139 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #17
    As a developer I can barely run with 16 gigs. This has been the most disappointing part of the entire system. Knowing that I can't upgrade the memory leaves me on the hook again when they release one with 32 gigs. If you are going to keep your system, I would highly recommend upgrading to 16 since you won't have the opportunity later.

    upload_2016-11-25_17-7-49.png
     
  18. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #18
    If you're going to dump it in a year 8gb is fine. If you're going to keep it again as long as your iMac, then definitely get the 16gb. SSD paging is no substitute for ram.
     
  19. bab5139 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #19
    And @Steven.nevets, I have the top of the line system and switching spaces, etc. are super jerky as well. I thought it was just me but it seems that a lot of other people are having the same issue. Must be a driver issue since my 2011 handles this just fine.

    upload_2016-11-25_17-19-25.png
     

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  20. protoxx macrumors 6502a

    protoxx

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #20
    For a developer lots of times you need a second environment setup like a users to actually test your code rather than just compile it. Many times your environment as a developer is non-standard compared to your customers environment. Different permissions, different libraries, interacting programs, etc. Frequently it would be much better to be able to run a VM configured like the actual customer/users environment to do your testing in. Then you would be glad to have more memory to run that VM at the same time and not have to reboot (another disk/partition).
     
  21. terminator-jq macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #21
    8gb will never be enough if you absolutely need to have all of those tabs and programs running at once, even 16gb may be cutting it close. For developers like me, that only have 4-5 apps open at once, 8gb is plenty. Over the past week, I have used my 13" w/ Touchbar for 3D modeling, 3D rendering, game development using Unity 3D and building apps to my iPhone with Xcode. On the average day, I have:

    - 2-3 tabs of Safari (I never understood why people need to have 10+ tabs open)
    - Maya
    - Unity 3D
    - Xcode
    - Photoshop

    I hardly ever go past 6.5gb of RAM. I guess its just a matter of how you use it. If you really want to have all of that stuff running at the same time and a bunch of internet tabs (I'm having a hard time understanding why you would need all of that open unless you have 6 eyes and 4 screens) then maybe a laptop isn't your best option. For $1000-$2000 you could get a really fantastic desktop with more power, more space and 32gb of RAM.

    8gb can work for Pro's (unless you do video editing) but you need to work in a way that uses the available memory most efficiently. You can't be afraid to close an app or 2 that your not using.
     
  22. AdonisSMU, Nov 25, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016

    AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #22
    8GB is not bad but you will hit the limits of things if you aren't careful. I'd go with 16GB. One of my top reasons for upgrading is the fact that I wanted more than 8GB of ram. if you are worried you may need to get 16GB.
     
  23. Steven.nevets macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #23
    Thanks @bab5139, it did seem weird that most other macs I've had have handled spaces fine, and this should be better in terms of GPU + CPU. This is my first Mac on Sierra, and I didn't realize they had tied Mission Control to the speed of your gesture. Feels super gross but at least that's not actually lagging if I just swipe my hand crazy fast. So it's mostly spaces switching that's framey.

    I think i'll probably end up sticking with the 8gb, I haven't seen any pressure even trying with my normal setup.
     
  24. bab5139 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #24
    @terminator-jq, I can speak for those with lots of open tabs as i am a member of that society. :). When I am browsing for solutions or ideas, each new link I open is like forking a process. The open tabs keep a record of where I've been and what I found important without having to bookmark or resort to history. So when I get done with whatever I finally ended up doing I can pop memories off the stack by going back through the tabs and I am able to continue the thought process of what I was doing. For instance just looking at my open tabs. I was reading mail, complaining in this forum, looking at slack emojies for a project I'm working on, and research last night into managed switches for my house that have a single 10g uplink. And that's just this chrome instance. There are probably 5 or 6 behind it. It's because I have a short attention span!
     
  25. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #25
    I would agree with this but I've used 13" over the years and 15" is just so much easier screen real estate wise for me especially now that it's smaller.
     

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