Do I need 8GB of RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacBookPro13", May 31, 2011.

  1. MacBookPro13" macrumors 6502a

    MacBookPro13"

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    I have the 2011 13" MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM.

    I normally use my MacBook Pro for the following apps;

    Google Chrome
    iTunes
    Twitter for Mac
    Mail
    Football Manager 2011
    VLC - playing movies
    iPhoto for importing & organizing my photo's from my digital camera.

    (Usually the first 4 at the same time, leaving just over 2GB free when I checked activity monitor)


    Occasionally I rip movies with Handbrake and burn dvd's with Toast & I am looking to get into PhotoShop & iMovie at some stage in the future.



    That is pretty much what I do and intend to do with my MacBook Pro.


    Do I really need 8GB of RAM when I have usually have between 1.5 & 2.5 GB free RAM anyway?

    Would I see a difference in performance?

    Is 8GB ram recommended for Photoshop & iMovie?


    Final question, would this RAM work with my machine?

    http://www.pixmania.ie/ie/uk/9050842/art/crucial/ram-memory-module-2-x-4-g.html
     
  2. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #2
    You only need 8 gigs if you're going to use Parallels or VMWare fusion to run windows apps side by side with your Mac apps.
     
  3. MacBookPro13" thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MacBookPro13"

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    #3
    It's unlikely that I will be using Windows on my Mac.
     
  4. Nielsenius macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 16, 2011
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    Virginia
    #4
    No, you do not need the extra 4GB of RAM. My MBP came with 4GB and I upgraded to 8GB simply to max-out my specs (stupid, I know). I haven't noticed a single difference in performance. I use my Mac for roughly the same kinds of things as you listed. The only time you might want the extra memory is for Windows (as listed above) or for massive projects that have you running many applications.
     
  5. klooney macrumors regular

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    Abq
    #5
    Would recommend a good SSD over another 4GB of ram based upon apps that you use.
     
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #6
    I upgraded to 8GB of RAM. I use Adobe Acrobat Pro, Mail, Word, Excel, Evernote, VoodooPad, Chrome, and other such "office" programs at once. I usually have Adobe doing some kind of work in the background and I tend to use the extra RAM, but honestly, I probably don't "need" it.

    I am glad I bought it, but if I had been on a tighter budget, I would have been OK with the base 4GB.
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    Given that you normally have about half the RAM free, you don't need more.
     
  8. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    Nov 19, 2005
    #8
    I've upgraded to 8GB just in case if I need to multitask with Aperture and Photoshop, but occasionally these two are absent from my work list. Due to the low prices of memory nowadays, it's hard to resist not to upgrade.
     
  9. palpatine, May 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012

    palpatine macrumors 68040

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    May 3, 2011
    #9
    I have 8GB and only 3 are free right now. It is very easy to chew into your RAM. Memory is an inexpensive way to increase performance, but it really depends on your budget.
     
  10. kobyh15 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2011
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    No you don't need it.
     
  11. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #11
    OH MY GOD... You only have 3 gigs of RAM free??? What will you do!!?! You do realize the iPad only has 512 MEGS of RAM in it... And most computers a few years ago only came with 2 gigs of RAM! I'm pretty sure if you have 3 gigs of RAM free you're doing just fine....

    Most people don't understand that a Mac is different then a PC... FREE does not mean Free memory... You also need to look at "Inactive" as that memory is also available.

    The MAC does a much better job managing memory then a PC ever could... The inactive memory is actually a cache for apps you recently used in case you want to reopen them, but if you need more RAM your system will use that inactive memory for the active tasks you're doing... so "free" does not equal all of your actual free memory on a Mac.

    I've got 4 gigs and have like 15 programs open and 20 tabs in Chrome (which is a memory hog) and I'm getting along just fine... The only time I wish I had 8 gigs is when I use Parallels.
     
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #12
    Very very few can really make actual use of 8GB. It just sounds good and many people just think it helps.

    It used to be said that the only thing better than more ram is even more ram. Yet that was true in times of 128mb ram and stuff that was never really enough. Today since we have more than 2GB apps don't really care anymore about how much ram they consume, because there is always enough.

    Most people do fine with 4GB because you really need some heavy duty stuff or VMs to exceed 4GB. Just having 20 apps open is not enough. If you only actually switch between 3-4 of these at any given time it doesn't matter if the rest is swapped and has a short response delay once you reactivate it after a day.
    Even a Windows VM just to run Office or some small Windows only app does fine with 1GB. 2GB can be spare if one has 8GB but it isn't really necessary. Still some people seem to think the VM needs 4GB while hardly anybody does stuff on a VM that requires that much RAM.

    8GB doesn't hurt and it is not expensive but it really is entirely useless over 4GB for 98% of all people. Most people that have 8GB and posted about it in this form sound as if they just upgraded without ever actually experiencing any significant slow down. There was just some reason why they thought it is possible that there might be a short lag at some point in their use and they pay extra money for it.

    I got 8GB but without the use of my VMs I would never need it. If you take 2GB, and one more for a server VM you end up with very little left coming from 4GB. OSX only I would never need more than 4GB.
     
  13. squeakr, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012

    squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #13
    You only need the RAM if you find that you are paging your RAM. Just because you are running VMs doesn't necessarily mean you need more RAM, it is based on usage patterns. Reset you MBP and after a typical usage day (say your average usage 8-10 hour day) then monitor the page outs reported in Activity Monitor. If you are paging out, then you need more RAM. If you are not you are fine. This is the best way to figure if you need more RAM, and not the amount of free or available RAM or the programs you are using.
     
  14. /user/me macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #14
    Clearly you don't know anyone that does video or photo editing...
     
  15. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #15
    I upgraded to 8 GB. I can run most games without quitting other running applications, and I very rarely have Page Outs.

    Recently I caught my Safari using 2.6 GB :D

    Are you using snow leopard? On Lion, I would find it surprising if you had 2 GB free with the OS and a browser running.
     
  16. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    Dec 13, 2004
    #16
    Actually, 8 gb can be really useful also b\c of the extra space for cache. You have enough space to cache all of your apps, so things always load quickly.
     
  17. jekyoo macrumors 6502

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    Sep 11, 2007
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    Chicago
    #17
    Save up and get an sdd instead, an sdd does wonders to performance.
     
  18. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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  19. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    Apr 22, 2010
    #19
    Yes it is, but that makes it no more the less pertinent today, as this is something people ask everyday around here routinely. Until people understand how their systems work, it will continue to be asked a year from now, and a year from that, and so on, assuming that Apple doesn't remove our ability to add RAM like they did with the air (then they will become what should I buy from the start questions all over again).
     
  20. Brad9893 macrumors 6502

    Brad9893

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    #20
    I was always able to get by with 4 GB of RAM on Snow Leopard, but on Lion I had to upgrade to 8 GB as I was getting the beach ball and was paging out a lot. If you are on Lion I would recommend 8 GB. With 4 GB I was paging out with a web browser, iTunes, Mail, and Pages open. The web browser was the main culprit. If you to have a lot of tabs open then more RAM might be necessary. I once saw Firefox using 3 GB. That's when I started to move away to other options.
     
  21. newskin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    #21
    Just going to slip this in here. I too thought I might need more ram when I realized that my fans spin up real fast as I fast forward thru a soccer game. Even if the game is in low res. They spin up like a jet. Thought there may be a setting i've not checked or something. Thx fellas.
    oh and by the way, i've got a late 2011 mbp. stock 15 with high res. using VLC
     
  22. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #22
    This is likely to be a Firefox memory management/leakage problem. I've had Mail, Pages, Preview, Gruml, Safari with 6 or so tabs open, two being Flash video, and haven't needed more than 4GB. Wasn't paging like crazy, had 150MB or so of memory free at absolute worst.

    To the OP, no, it is extremely unlikely that you will need more memory.
     
  23. macbook pro i5 macrumors 65816

    macbook pro i5

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    #23
    Unless you are running virtual box then no you do not need it.
     
  24. Brad9893 macrumors 6502

    Brad9893

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    #24
    Yes, Firefox is bad with RAM, but I never had any problems with it on Snow Leopard. That's why I was thinking it could be a Lion issue. It's always seemed to me that Lion is less efficient with memory when you compare it to SL.
     
  25. /user/me macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #25
    I certainly hope that you're not overgeneralizing and saying that the only reason that you need more ram is to run a virtual computing system..
     

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