Do I need to exchange new rMBP for 16g RAM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sakywati, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. sakywati, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013

    sakywati macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    I know there are a lots of threads dealing with whether or not to upgrade to 16g, and I read all those, and I bought 8g. I use my computer primarily for web surfing, email, Word docs/Excel spreadsheets, nothing major. Occasionally watching some TV episodes, etc. I felt good about the middle stock model (2.4/8/256) of the new rMBP 13".

    Anyway, I've got a more personalized question for anyone available and willing to help me out, since I have reached a wall with being able to apply the information I have. I hope you'll forgive me for not really understanding the info I see in the Activity Monitor, but I don't really understand. I've had the computer for a day now, and my "Memory Used" is regularly saying 6.75g or more; I've tried to attach a screenshot to this effect.

    Does this mean that I should take this computer back and pay for the 16g of RAM? I don't really know very much about how my computer works, so I guess my question has to do with whether the computer will always use all the RAM available to it, or whether I'm legitimately reaching the end of my new RAM capabilities (old computer had 4g and was running pretty slow). And, if it's the latter, HOW am I reaching the end of my new RAM capabilities with just Safari (8 tabs right now), Calendar, and Messages opened? How do I make sense of the Activity Monitor info?

    I really appreciate the help of those of you more knowledgeable than I! Thank you in advance...

    Attached Files:

  2. greenythebeast macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    It's my understanding that in your case you're really only using about 4GB of RAM at the point in time. I think what File Cache is referring to is that OS X is storing files that are accessed frequently in RAM so they're quickly accessible. I could be wrong, but it's just the OS making things as fast as possible. "Free memory" is wasted memory.
  3. tullnd macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    No. For what you are using your computer for, 2Gb would be enough, 4Gb better. Will the computer use more than 4Gb if it's there? Sure. Doesn't mean you'd notice any significant difference in most tasks without it.

    You won't notice a benefit from 16Gb. For the tasks you list, even as they get more complicated in the future, I still don't see you ever "needing" 16Gb. Maybe in 3-4 years, things may advance in a way that it "could" use that extra ram over 8Gb to achieve a little more speed compared to your limited 8Gb...but I doubt it'd be substantial and it won't be required.

    You don't buy 16Gb to benefit you in 3-4 years, at the current cost level. It doesn't financially make sense. You deal with the computer operating at a slight deficit to what it could have hit with 16Gb in the last 1-2 years of use(nothing significant) before it's replaced at end of life.

    Keep your 8Gb model. Very few people will really need the 16Gb.
  4. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2012
  5. vanc macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2007
    Just as other people said, NO. You don't really need unless you change your work flow in future. How long do you want to keep it?
  6. dryice589 macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Could not have said it better myself. The 8GB is the best financial choice unless you are the 1% power user that needs 16GB in which case they should really be on a desktop.

    I will be running Windows in a virtual machine on a regular basis and I purchased the model with only 8GB. More than enough.
  7. sakywati thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Thank you all! This all makes sense; I definitely better understand now how to read Activity Monitor appropriately and feel confident in my 8g choice. I appreciate the help!
  8. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    Does the OSX Mavericks rather high utilization of the memory negatively impact battery life?
  9. theKitch macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    Well said by all here. There are few users that need more than 8GB. I'm able to run dozens of safari tabs, plus IBM Notes, plus two VMs and the system doesn't miss a beat. Yes it starts compressing some memory, and even hit about 100megs of swap, but all of the applications are still lightning fast. I really thought about going 16 because I also throw lightroom or iMovie into the mix sometimes, but the reality is that I have yet to fire up an additional app and feel sad about the the performance, no matter what else is happening on the system.

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