Everyday users - 8GB RAM overkill??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mattchiro, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. mattchiro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    Just pulled the trigger on a 13" 2.3 i5 with 128GB SSD.

    I will use it for normal browsing, web dev and graphic design (adobe Photoshop).

    Is it worthwhile upgrading to 8GB RAM or will I not notice any difference?

    Thanks
    Matt :cool:
     
  2. s.hasan546 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    nice move going with the SSD. The SSD upgrade will be much more noticeable than the upgrade to 4gb to 8 gb ram. Just use the machine as is and see if you really need it. I dont think you will. Just wait another year and upgrade to 16gb ram.

    I got the same laptop btw, i decided to go with the ssd over more ram.
     
  3. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    #3
    If you're doing video or photo renders, you'll certainly notice the RAM. An SSD makes the OS a lot spiffier, but multitasking and speed within programs is handled by RAM. See what happens as you're using your machine and you can always decide to upgrade your RAM later on. If you do, definitely buy it 3rd party - OWC & Crucial are definitely my preferred brands.
     
  4. Derango macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #4
    I did some graphic design work over the weekend on my 2011MBP with CS4. I had Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator open working with several big 300dpi images and with my 4GB of memory, the system never hit the pagefile.

    So 4GB is probably ok for that sort of stuff right now.

    I'm personally holding off until 8GB comes down a smidge in price (although it's not super expensive or anything anyway). But until then I haven't needed more than 4GB of ram for what I'm doing
     
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #5
    Seriously? How much lower does it need to get? I bought my RAM for my MBP for $75 for 8GB?
     
  6. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #6
    I paid $69 for mine after a $20 rebate. For me it was a no brainer, especially since I then took my 4 gb and dropped it into my son's Macbook. Two upgrades for the price of one!
     
  7. Derango macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #7
    Well it's also $70 or whatever that would be a total waste for me since I don't need it.
     
  8. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #8
    Probably best to try using 4GB RAM and see how you find it and then decide whether to upgrade to use more RAM. You don't need to make the decision now.
     
  9. lavrishevo macrumors 68000

    lavrishevo

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    NJ
    #9
    I have found the extra ram is great for virtual machines. Otherwise it's hard to use up even 4. I have 8 and I can give XP 2 gigs in parallels, which leaves plenty for for OSX.
     
  10. zurichuk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #10
    I upgraded to 8Gb of RAM after a couple of months, and I've rarely seen it being used. I'd monitor usage first. Also won't an extra 4Gb of RAM take up 4Gb extra of the precious 128 Gb SSD for sleep purposes?
     
  11. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #11
    I see the extra ram being used a lot when I am working with video, iMovie will eat up ram as much as Hand Brake eats CPU. The advantage of extra ram is not really in everyday use, but when I am working on a movie project I can still work on email, surf or whatever with very little if any performance hit or beach balls where before I pretty much had to leave iMovie to do its thing until done.
     
  12. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #12
    web dev and graphic design is not an every day user.... get as much RAM as you can afford.
     
  13. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #13
    This is why I'm gong to upgrade RAM too at some point.
     
  14. nampramos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    Portugal
    #14
    marc11 and derango, where did you get those prices for the 8GB RAM? Thanks.
     
  15. Krafty macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #15
    Agreed. I'm majoring in GFX Design and running Photoshop and FF cranks all the way up to 3.2GB used, so I just ordered 8GB G.Skill.

    Running InD, Illus., and Ps causes one of the 3 to crash and theres as little as 800kb free.
     
  16. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #16
    I got mine from buy.com, they had it for $89 and a $20 rebate from Kingston. The rebate has since expired however (March 22nd IIRC).
     
  17. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #17
    Best bet is to open your activity monitor / istat widget and look at your memory usage.

    If your free memory is lower while doing your most intensive tasks it'll benefit you.
     
  18. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Yep. Just make sure you look at the ratio of page outs to page ins rather than just the amount of free memory (as that can be misleading). If you're getting alot more page outs then you could use more ram.

    I'm generalising now, but the average user of today can get by fine with just 4GB of ram. Especially if they have an SSD! However one of the reasons to get more ram is to future proof yourself but if thats the case then you might as well just wait for RAM prices to drop and buy as needed.

    Long story short, I'd take it as it comes. If it looks like you need more RAM then buy it but theres no rush.

    Adam
     
  19. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000

    steve_hill4

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    NG9, England
    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I'm debating it myself, but since I've been getting on fine with 2GB in my 5 year old MacBook Pro and the same (through laziness of not upgrading) in my 3 year old iMac I'm happy for now. I do use QuarkXpress and Photoshop at home when I need to do a bit of extra work but it's been adequate on the iMac anyway.

    I'd stick with 4GB unless, as above, you can upgrade another machine with your discarded RAM.
     
  20. 1quick1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #20
    I got it on sale for $65 shipped so I couldn't pass it up but really don't think it makes a difference for MY usage which is typically web browsing and using light apps. I do play some World of Warcraft sometimes and I'm up to a level 26.
     
  21. nampramos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    Portugal
    #21

    Where?
     
  22. ack401 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #22
    I'm pretty set on 8Gb for photoshop, but that's mostly because I'm dealing with rather, uh, large files. When your base image is a 4x5 scan, at ~70MP 16bit color, and you duplicate it several times to create adjustment masks and old-school film-based HDR, you get 3-4gig files pretty quick. 4Gb of memory, and they crawl. 8Gb, and a fast SSD, and they feel like 8MP camera raw files. (I LOVE my new MPB, btw...)
     
  23. Derango macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #23
    Yeah. That's the kinda thing you need the RAM for.

    Standard web design/photoshop type stuff? Not so much.
     
  24. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000

    steve_hill4

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    NG9, England
    #24
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If it's a good price get it. Photoshop will thank you for it for years to come.
     
  25. frankieboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #25
    Exactly my experience. If I didn't need Windows XP and 7 in Parallels, I wouldn't bother with 8 Gb RAm. Even then, as long as I only run one of them, 4 Gb is adequate, just not ideal.
     

Share This Page