Does 8gb ram make any difference?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stanny, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. stanny macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    I plan to get 256gb SSD. Should I also toss in the 8gb ram? This is on the 15". My most intense task would be some hardcore gaming, I'll be installing Windows to play some Call of Duty.
  2. xdbuix macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2008
    not necessary. RAM only good for multitasking really. I have the 15" and i dont even have SSD and it runs very nicely. However games tend to run better on windows than Snow Leopard. For example, Starcraft 2 plays on medium for mine w/o lag on Snow leopard, while on Windows 7 i can easily play on high w/o lag.

    While the ram is not necessary 8gb should cost $80, and thats CHEAP. its cheap but not necessary.
  3. acunit86 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    I run matlab, Stata and arcgis inside a virtual machine running windows 7 and can't go back to 4gb of memory. I can't tell a difference when gaming in bootcamp.
  4. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    It's not going to make your computer faster. It'll just help you run more programs at the same time.

    For games, you won't notice much of a difference.
  5. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I upgraded my ThunderBook to 8GB for CS5, as I do a lot of graphics work and photo editing, with occasional video editing.

    But it did lower my boot time from around 21s to 14s. I wasn't expecting that.

    It's going to be really nice to upgrade to 16GB later next year when they come down in price. But if you need 8GB, there's no reason you can't do it yourself. Only costs about $80 on NewEgg, and the process is fairly straightforward. Just be careful when popping the bottom plate off, as the center clips on this model are a little snug.
  6. electronique macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2008
    Are you sure?
    Im not.
  7. gox81 macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2011
    definetly will see a difference if you have ps / skype / msn / FIREFOX ( black hole of memory!! ) parallels open all at the same time.
  8. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    More RAM is a no-brainer at the prices you can get 8GB now. 16GB RAM..? Now that's where you start looking to need!
  9. Rockymtnrawhide macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2011
    Depends on your usage. I upgraded to 8gig because I have to sometimes virtualize up to 15 Cisco router instances. For me 8 gig makes sense, but to others who do not run resource intensive apps then it would be a waste of money
  10. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    This!!!! ^^

    Most people here are just specs-naive and they probably think the bigger their RAM is, the faster their Facebook pages will open or their WoW will get better frame rates. :D
  11. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  12. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    I beg to differ. Running Windows 7 to play hard-core games, you won't need more than 4gb RAM. In fact you won't even utilize more than half of that. Do your research.
  13. punchwalk macrumors regular

    May 16, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    If you're doing a fair amount of virtualization (with Parallels or Fusion, for example) then it's probably a worthwhile upgrade as this is one area where you're likely to see a difference.
  14. Tonepoet, Mar 12, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011

    Tonepoet macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    You'll be playing games and expect some performance? I'm running a B.T.O. 2.3ghz. 17" with Apple's 128 gigabyte solid state drive. It appears to make the fans run like crazy but with 8 G.B. of R.A.M. I can play the OSX version of Portal via Steam put to maximum visual settings, without the sound becoming choppy like it was starting to do with the stock configuration.

    I suppose it's good to keep in mind that the 17" pushes a higher resolution screen, requiring more resources. However since Portal's a bit of an old game by now, I'm sure you can find use in as much R.A.M. as you can afford, especially if you want to push an external monitor or home theater system with the laptop in clamshell mode at home.
  15. iPhone1 macrumors 65816


    Apr 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Upgrading to 8GB is a no brainer. $112 at OWC. Anything more than 8GB is way too much for your needs.
  16. iMacDragon macrumors 68000


    Oct 18, 2008
    Any ram not being used by programs will be used by OS for disk cache nowadays, so it's worth having considering how cheap it is nowadays.
  17. JDNGuru macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Microcenter has 8GB ram for $80. Bought it for a friend to upgrade his MBP.
  18. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    RAM is for multitasking. multitasking does not mean having 10 apps open, it means having 10 apps doing something at the same time.

    no, you don't need 8. if you do later, buy it later. RAM prices will only go down.
  19. ozred macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2011
    Well said, I only upgraded my 15" 2010 to 8GB for the resource intensive software I run for work. For most other use 4 is just fine.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    It made a very noticeable difference for me, but I tend to keep 6-10 applications open at once. Even though none of those are particularly big (mail, calendar, RSS, etc), apparently that was enough to use up my memory. The biggest reason I got 8GB is for Aperture. With 4GB, I have to close every other application to use it comfortably.
  21. stanny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nope guys, I don't do any virtualization. I will just be using bootcamp + windows for my hardcore games. In the OSX, my tasks include itunes + firefox (3-4 tabs at most) + skype + xcode.
  22. arctic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2008
    Then 4gb is more than enough for you to worry about. Heck, even with 4gb, you'll run virtual just fine. 8gb is only useful if your 10 or more apps is doing something at the same time, like toxic posted.
  23. sdneidich macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2011
    NC, USA
    I have been monitoring my RAM usage in Activity Monitor since I got my MBP. It has not gone above 4 GB yet. I do not have MS Office for Mac on it yet, and maybe after I install it I will be glad for the 8GB in my machine... But until then, I regret spending the extra money.
  24. SyncFx macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Think I will get 8GB today instead of 4GB, I will be running AAE and PS and all that jazz here soon for school, so I'll want the RAM. I hear RAM will make games load faster anyways, like map levels and such, so its nice to have. Don't think you will get 10+ FPS boost in your games though.

    Plus I hate seeing 200MB of Ram free only for what I currently do(Steam, Safari, iTunes, PS)
  25. euphoria47 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Wow I'm surprised

    Nobody has yet mentioned checking activity monitor in utilities. I didn't know this till recently, but if you look at "system memory" in activity monitor, you can quickly tell whether you need more memory. If you look at "Page outs" and "Swap used" these values should be close to 0. "Free" shouldn't be hovering in the 0-200 mb range often. After having your computer on for a few days, you start to collect some open apps and stuff that soaks up memory.

    Leave activity monitor open for a day or two, after a fresh restart and check it from time to time. Memory is so cheap now, it doesn't make sense to give yourself a bottleneck there.

Share This Page