Do I need 16 gb of ram?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mitchellm, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. mitchellm macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2007
    I do mostly audio production work and I have 8 gb on my desktop right now and it holds up fine. I just ordered the baseline 15" retina refurb with 8gb. Are there any situations where I would want 16 gb or is it overkill in most situations? Is mavericks going to use up way more memory? I wanted to future proof this machine but getting to 16 gb is another 400 500$ dollars. Any thoughts? 8 gb enough for now and mavericks? More memory doesn't help drive the retina screen does it?
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I have a 13" rMBP whichI use for edits using Logic X. It's the 3GHZ model and has 8GB of RAM...It has never missed a beat, but I'm not using it as my recording device. That job is taken care of on my iMac, which is the 27" 3.4GHZ I7 with the 2GB GPU and 32GB of RAM.

    I'd say that 8GB on your MBP should be fine....The SSD helps things along nicely too.
  3. collinmac macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Chilliwack, BC
    if anything i'd say mavericks may use less memory, as it has very good memory management.

    with my 8gb classic, i was using memcleaner and never had less than 4.8gb available.
  4. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    If you must ask the question you do not need it.
  5. pommie82 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2011
    The best thing to do when you have things running on your machine is click on active monitor and see how much memory that you are using.if you are using loads of memory all the time then upgrade if you aren't don't bother save the cash.Well me personally i only have a 4gb ram in my imac 24 inch 2009 model and i am using all my ram all the time and a lot of the time my mac is struggling to run programs when running mountain lion.I am hope to get a new machine in a few months with a bit of luck
  6. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
    Eight or 16GB. The age old debate. I have 16GB in my machine. I really need 16, but I have it because I sometimes have Parallels running for games, so I like to give Windows a big chunk of RAM, and I have Firefox and other stuff running on the Mac side.

    Right now I have Firefox, CS5, iTunes, and a few other small things on the go, and I'm just under 8GB.

    If you have the money and willing to part with it, and you want peace of mind, go with 16GB, but for the majority of people, you don't really need it.

    As mentioned above, find out how much you're actually using at the moment. If it's fairly close to using the max in your machine, then 16GB won't hurt.
  7. mitchellm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2007
    This will be my first Mac , is active monitor the equivalent of task manager for windows?
  8. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
    Yes. It's called Activity Monitor on the Mac.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The Activity Monitor is found in Applications>Utilties.

    Unlike windows, don't look for free ram, but rather page outs. The higher page outs means you're running low on resources.

    Check out Apple's KB article on the Activity Monitor
  10. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    Yes, hopefully Mavericks' memory compression yields real world, noticeable benefits.
  11. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    It's all about future-proofing for me. The 8GB I had in my 17" MBP was plenty to run my DAW and a bunch of plugins today, but that might not be the case 3 years from now.

    Seeing how there is no conceivable DYI kit OWC could ever produce to make the RAM in these machines user-upgradeable, I figure it's better to be safe than sorry as I don't see myself buying a new computer again for another 5 years or so.
  12. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    How do you future proof against 14nm chips, DDR4 Ram, and integrated graphics with eRam, or more advanced dedicated graphics card, and significant battery gain?

    A 2 year old laptop has 2 year old technology, regardless of minor spec boosts.

    There's not going to be a situation where 8GB Ram isn't enough to run an OS, whereas 16GB is... of the same chip/build.

    Plus, Mavericks demands 2GB Ram. Macbook Air is being sold in stores with 4GB Ram.

    Buy what makes you happy... but please understand that in 2-3 years, your laptop will be 2-3 years old regardless of upgrades.

    My advice, spend the least you can on what you need, and keep buying a new machine every 2 years... better than dropping an extra thousand bucks to boost specs.
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I tend to go somewhat conservative on specs, although I need a ton of ram. I suspect the OP was looking at refurbished units and couldn't find 16GB of ram there. Otherwise it's just a $200 difference. Regarding machine aging, it's not as bad as you suggest on notebooks. You're likely to see better battery life and minimal cpu speed gains once again. The last big cpu gain on a macbook pro was Sandy Bridge at the 15" level. It was because they moved from dual to quad. Dropping discrete graphics would likely mean flat gpu performance growth with better battery life. If graphics comparable to what is offered by iris later show up in a 13" form factor, that just makes something similar available cheaper. I would say a bigger factor with notebooks is wear and tear. Keyboards wear. Batteries gain cycles. Displays degrade with use. Most people aren't constantly spec chasing notebooks. If that was the case the notebook would still probably be a supplemental item.

    I'll add that Lion and Mountain Lion both demanded 2GB of ram. Neither ran well on that.
  14. johnnylarue, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    These are all fair points. In my own personal experience, I started off on my 2010 MBP with 4GB of RAM and found myself needing more as the level of sophistication of some of my plugins grew.

    Had I been stuck with that RAM, I could have found ways around the restrictions (i.e. using different software/plugins), but being able to double the RAM was a very convenient solution in my situation. This would be the primary reason I would personally choose to max out the RAM on a MBP retina.

    But I do agree that a 2-3 year old computer will always be a 2-3 year old computer. I just happen to believe not all 2-3 year old computers were created equal. ;)
  15. DragonJade macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2009
    There's the question of whether you're better off buying two cheap laptops over the course of four years, or buying good laptop over the four. There are a lot of variables, but it's something to consider - Spend $2000 and get a really good machine that is powerful from day 1, or go for a $1000 low powered machine, and then another $1000 low powered machine in two years time. In this case will the power of the machine at the end of the four years be the same in both cases? If so you might be better off spending the $2000 straight off. But, by buying a new machine in two years, you get something brand new and hopefully in warranty for another year or two. Get a machine for four years and it's more likely something will go wrong. But then again a machine that costs $2000 will generally be better made than something that's $1000 (speaking generally here about general products). Then there's also the question of what you can actually afford right now, and whether you need something so powerful. Even cheap machines are more than enough for most people. Over four years, you'll probably need to replace the battery, which is extra money and something to think about. And then there's inflation. So many variables.

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