Did I make the right decision? Is 8gb of ram enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macfreak101, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. macfreak101 macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2012
    So finally after a lot of thought and savings for years I went ahead and purchases my rmbp 13 inch 256gb with 8gb ram model 2.6 I5 processor basically the mid 2014 model! I bought in the back to school promotion and got it at 1379$ + got a 100$ gift card too! I hope it's a good deal, what do you think guys?

    After purchasing it I started reading a lot about bootcamp and softwares and I came across the topic of ram and now I'm really scared, I'm going to use this for a good 5 years minimum and was wondering if 8 gb of ram is enough? Is it future proof? I'll probably use it for video and photo editing.... And use bootcamp too! The ram being soldered can't be upgraded and my budget was tight! I had an option for 128gb ssd with 16gb of ram or 256fb ssd with 8gb and I went for the latter but now I'm scared did I make the right decision? Is 8gb of ram enough for future compatibility, will it last for a good 5 years? Shall I cancel my order and bear the restocking fee? What happens if I need more than 8gb of ram?

    Your time and input would be appreciated
    Thanks :)
  2. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    As long as you are not running Virtual Machines, 8GB will be enough to see you through the next 5 years no problem. RAM compression helps as well, as I have been able to push my 8GB of RAM all they way to 18.5GB before heavy swap. I bought my iMac last year for heavy video and photo editing as well as 3D work and gaming and I spend I lot of time deciding on how much RAM I need and 8GB was right for me. I posed my findings on a forum that allows you to determine how much RAM you need, it can be found here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1730485
  3. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
  4. macfreak101 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2012
    Hey thanks so much, I got a score of 14! Your thread was very helpful!

    I will be using bootcamp so does that mean my ram will be divided into half?

    What is ram compression is exactly?

    If I want to use programs like premiere pro and all? Will my computer run slow?

    What happens if the computer needs more ram than its available?
  5. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012
    Bootcamp is just Apple's term for dual booting, so you'll be running Windows normally as a boot option and each OS will have access to the full 8GB when it's running.

    What you're thinking of is a virtual machine (VM), which basically means running one OS (Windows) through the other (OSX) using virtualization software. In this situation you have to allocate a certain amount of memory to the VM and so each OS has access to less than the full 8GB.
  6. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    256/8 is the right choice in my opinion.

    Of course with an infinite budget one can max out everything, but given the options I think you made the right choice.
  7. macfreak101 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2012
    What is the advantage of using a virtualization software over bootcamp and vice versa? Could you also please state the drawbacks if possible? Thanks


    That's true! Thanks for your input! Really appreciate it!
  8. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    You'll be in great shape with that machine.

    With Bootcamp, you boot into either OS X or Windows, not both at the same time, so you will have all 8GB available when you are in either OS.

    Depending on the software, you can create a virtual machine that either houses itself in a proprietary disk image or can access your Bootcamp partition. In this case, the Windows machine runs inside of a window in OS X. You must set the amount of ram the virtual machine uses. With Windows 7, for basic needs, it will run fine with 2GB of ram allocated, or you could give it 4GB for half of your ram. If you are trying to do things in both operating systems that are ram intensive, then the 8GB could become a bottleneck, but the solid state drives fast read and write speeds cause it to be much less of an impact than in the past.

    In regard to ram compression, I don't know that I'm the best to explain it. I'll let someone else fill in the technical details, but here is how I think about it. OS X likes to cache things in ram, so it can open applications and files quickly, so it will try to use all available ram. When it runs out of room in ram, it will compress data that is not needed at the moment (just as you can zip files you don't need often to save space on a hard drive). This way, OS X can add more data to ram without dumping stuff that it wants to keep around. Once you get to the point that all of the space in ram is needed, then OS X will begin to use the hdd or ssd as ram, which takes longer and makes your hard drive to read and write more than normal slowing the system.

    I don't do much video editing, so I'll let others comment on Premiere Pro performance. Your machine will run fine with things like Photoshop or Pixelmator, unless you are doing batch editing with large numbers of files.

    If you aren't coming from a system with a solid state drive, you won't believe the difference that a solid state drive makes for your system performance.
  9. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012

    Basically running bootcamp means you have to reboot the machine to switch OS's. The advantage is that you're running each OS natively at its maximum possible performance and power efficiency.

    Running Windows in a VM basically means you'll have a window on your OSX desktop that shows your Windows desktop. You can launch Windows software from inside this VM without leaving OSX. The advantage here is convenience; you can get to both sets of software simultaneously.

    The disadvantage of running a VM is performance. When the Windows VM is running your RAM will be split between the two machines. The virtualization also adds significant processor overhead, so any software you run in a VM will use the CPU more heavily than it would running natively (bootcamp).

    I think the best option is to install Windows through Bootcamp and then install VM software like Parallels and configure it to use this same Windows installation. This allows you to run Windows both ways; You can boot into native Windows when you need maximum performance or you can load it as a VM when you just need to quickly access a piece of software and performance isn't as critical.
  10. macfreak101 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2012
    You said it uses the cpu at its maximum performance, will it overheat my laptop? Will it cause damage to it and what about the battery life? Suppose I install windows through bootcamp creating a partition, can I Uninstall it removing the partition? Can I transfer files between os c and Windows in bootcamp?
  11. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
  12. acctman macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2012
    I run dual monitors, Xfinitytv streaming in Safari, Average 5-8 Safari tabs open, Xcode and iOS Simulator, Time Machine regularly backup, Terminal and various other dev apps for image edit (adobe, font programmers etc).... all of this with 8gb RAM and zero slow down or memory issues

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