Extremely confused about RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sanchopanza, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. sanchopanza macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013

    This is classic 8 or 16 gb of RAM topic.

    I may have read thousands of posts about this topic but still have no clue which to choose.

    Disclaimer: Please don't say if you don't know which to choose that means you don't need 16 RAM.

    Here are strong arguments from both side:

    - Hey I am pro photographer and doing lots of editing stuff and even for me 8 gb is more than enough.

    + How come? I have 10 tabs open on Safari and I am experiencing page outs.

    - Today's SSDs are extremely fast and even if you swap your RAM, you may not notice it.

    + ***** you. RAM is hundreds of times faster than SSDs. And I am having serious lags when RAM swaps.

    - You better fire your money up rather than investing never needed slicon.

    + Retina requires more RAM, your GPU eat them all.

    - Hey, in 2008, max configuration of mac pro was 4 gb of RAM. Since it runs decently today, you wont need 16 gb for next 3-4 years.

    + Are you kidding? My biggest regret is buying 8 gb rMBP in 2012, and this year I will upgrade my mac just for the 16 gb of RAM.

    As far as i can see no matter what people say to go for 8 gb, there are other people who are tried and not happy with 8 gb.

    For God's sake, can someone please run Safari with 6-7 tabs, iTunes, iPhoto, Pages, Cal, Mail, and Parallels (if you have) and share the results? I cant do it myself in an Apple Store because there is none in my country, Turkey, yet. These are my needs and I want my mac to run at least 3 years smoothly. It seems that I can't conclude by reading posts here and there. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    It sounds like you are wanting the 16GB but you could get by with 8GB. If you've got the extra money to get 16GB do it, if not go for the 8GB and you'll probably still be happy.
  3. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    How can they run an app like Parallels and give a standard result? as you configure the ram for each machine.

    I've run over 8GB allocated by doing a fair amount, but it will allocate it if it can anyway.
  4. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    "Pro" photographers almost always max out on ram, this one included. Even with editing ( choosing what to publish, what to delete ) having more than 8GB is good. It costs very little to max it out and besides, it is a tax deduction in most countries. In my mind and experience, if you use this type of non-upgradable machine for work, this is not even up for debate, max out the ram.
  5. Voca, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013

    Voca macrumors member


    Nov 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Quick break down

    2011 MacBook Pro 2.3 i5, 16gb, 2 screens (13-inch MBP+23-inch)

    Open apps:
    Photoshop CS6
    Safari (7tabs)
    Chrome (2 tabs)

    TOTAL Usage = 6.32gb ram

    Hope this helps! (Why do I have 16GB ram? Cause the price difference wasn't that much and because I wanted to)
  6. marivaux, Nov 15, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013

    marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Well, if you've read thousands of posts, I'm not sure what anyone is going to say to you that will really help!

    It is true that the non-upgradeability and Apple's introduction of computers as disposable appliances is infuriating. And it's infuriating for this reason (which is I think the reason for all the arguments): You may or may not need the extra RAM in the future. It's hard to know, because you don't know what you'll be using your computer for in the future, and you don't know what OS X.12 (or whatever) and future applications will require.

    If you're like me and keep computers forever, there will probably be a point in the future where the extra RAM will be useful. I'll be upgrading from an 8-year old Powerbook that I still plan to keep around because it runs some software I like; it would be currently pretty useless without maxed-out RAM. On the other hand, I'll buy the 16GB RAM with the knowledge that I could be wasting money, especially if I drop the laptop after my Applecare expires, etc.

    Plus (since you wanted numbers) my wife's (non-retina) Macbook Pro from 2011 is currently using 3gb just running Firefox, and was using even more while I was watching "The Daily Show". I'm guessing that more RAM-hogging will occur in the future, but again, it's hard to know--and for _her_ computer, we'll upgrade if and when we need to. For Retina, you can't. But if you don't think you are going to have the computer for a long time, it's probably not worth it. If you do, it could be. Or not.

    However, if you are mainly worried about three years of use, as you say--I'd get 8GB. The worst thing you'll have to do is occasionally close an application you're not using, and you didn't mention any particularly RAM-intensive tasks (unless you are running Windows with a bunch of applications for some reason).
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My experience with your listed apps was no memory problems with the Mac based apps with 8 gb. However, when cranking up Parallels and running visual studio under windows, I'm paging like crazy. I gave run a dozen apps concurrently over a weeks time and never saw a page out. Crank up windows and I get huge page outs in an hour or two. My wife, on the other hand, runs into memory issues on her iMac because she keeps multiple browser windows open with dozens of tabs along with lots of other apps. She now has 20 gb (upgrade from 8) and hasn't had any memory issues.

    If I were buying a new MBP, I would only consider 16 gb. 8 can work but you can't be sloppy with what you run.
  8. sanchopanza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    As far as I remember from my college days, Visual Studio is extremely heavy program. What happens when you run Parallels with Office programs? Do you still get page outs?


    Yeah it did! Thanks a lot! Just wondered, are you using Mavericks?
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    About the only Office app I run under Windows is Access and I still see the page outs.
  10. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I Mac out my 16gb. But I work on Vfx on it with uncompressed footage. Average user doesn't need more than 4.
  11. marivaux macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Oh, I dunno--I think 4 GB is a bad bet for anyone, especially on a retina model with Iris Graphics, etc. I know they sell them, but it's planned obsolesence. You'll definitely need to replace it in four years. Or sooner.

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