First time MBP Buyer - 8/16 Dilemma

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by maartin, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. maartin macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    Hey all,

    Sorry for yet another silly topic, but I'm really curious about this issue.

    In September, I will be buying my first Mac, it will probbably be Macbook Pro 13 Retina (2.7/8gb/128ssd). I have no issue with disk space, only RAM.

    My daily usage:

    - Photoshop (web design, working on 20-100MB files, but at times 300MB of files open)
    - Chrome (1-10 tabs) - possible switch to Safari
    - Skype
    - Sublime Text 3

    What I will do 1/2 times per month:

    - edit simple, 2-3 min videos
    - light photo edit (really light)
    - light After Effects usage (flat animations, really light)

    My Current computer:

    - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz
    - ASUS P5Q-L Pro
    - 8Gb DDR2 800MHz
    - 256Gb HDD
    - Ati Radeon HD 4670

    I need to say, that with all those programs open (300Mb in Photoshop) + Youtube 1080p playing + True Detective 1080p playing, I can only keep 80% of RAM busy, so approx. 7GB. But with normal use, I will never use more than 5.5GB of RAM. Does everything stated above like a champ. The system never laggs. The bottleneck (though I dont notice in RL) is CPU.

    I have no idea what kind of difference the OS will make in terms of RAM usage. My guess is, that
    - 8GB 1866MHz DDR3 is quite better than 8GB 800MHz DDR2
    - SSD will make a lot of difference even though I have no troubles with HDD except for slow boot up and data transfer

    But still, I am sceptical if 8GB for rMBP will be enough for my tasks. Futureproofing is not something I'm really bothered about. What do you think?
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    8GB will suit you fine, especially when you aren't bothered about future proofing the machine.
  3. jerwin, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015

    jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I will tell you from experience that 8 will work and 16 is BETTER. I use CS6 Photoshop with other applications open and the difference does help. If you decide to go with 8 gigs, consider streamlining your history states within Photoshop and a few other tweaks.

    Back in the day when I used Mac Pros, none of them were fitted with less than 32 gigs of RAM so for the laptop, the 16 gig upper limit pretty much is all you would be able to work with and for those serious about PS work, more often than not would go for the 16 gigs.

    I don't recall the exact link, but Digilloyd did some nice testing and offered reasonable advice that if you have patience you might find extremely enlightening.

    CS6 Photoshop, Capture One Pro, On One stand alone and plug ins, Firefox, Safari, mail ... all open at the same time in many instances along with iTunes for music.
  5. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015

    Note that his huge benchmarks may be way in excess of your needs. Speed1 might be more in line with what you hope to do.
  6. riviera74 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2015
    Fort Myers FL
    If there is one thing you can never have in any Mac, it is RAM. Get the 16GB and never worry about performance again.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    8Gb for your needs will be fine for the forseeable future, don't worry buy what you like
  8. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    You've posted a picture of 4gb machine, running photoshop.
    Yet here's my 24 Gb machine, not running photoshop. I probably have too much memory.

    Screen Shot.png
    Notice the differences--

    Kernel task: 383.7 MB vs 1.45 GB
    WindowServer: 48.1 MB vs 560 MB
    Safari Tab: 53.9 MB vs 192 MB
    Cache: 229.6 MB vs 7.18 GB
    Compressed: 928.MB vs 0 bytes

    All this tells me is that the MacOSX tries to use the memory that's available, and if that means dolling out generous slices to each process, or being stingy, so be it-- as long as it doesn't have to swap out to disk.
  9. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    I'm running with 8GB and my impression is that it is perfectly adequate for non-specialist use, including using Photoshop to prepare web-resolution material. Start producing full-page spreads at professional print resolutions in Photoshop, and that could change.

    The SSD will also reduce the impact if you do run low and start swapping memory to disc.

    My advice: You can't upgrade the RAM in MacBooks, so if you've got an extra $200 burning a hole in your pocket then 16GB would be prudent for future-proofing (and OS X will probably make good use of it for caching etc), but don't break the bank for it.
  10. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    I agree wholly with what theluggage said. 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for you current workload., especially at the much speedier 1866MHz and change to DDR3. My work computer, a 2010 Mac Mini server has 8GB and the only time I get it to swap out is when running a VM, Outlook, Remote Desktop to my Windows 7 machine, Safari with 8+ tabs, Amazon Music, and TextWrangler. Even then it's only a max of around 20MB. I feel it due to the SATA II (sometimes SATA I) nature of the device, but you should never notice it on these laptops.

    If you really feel like spending the extra money on the RAM upgrade, it sure won't hurt, but it isn't going to change anything too drastically for your current workload.
  11. maartin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    Thank you guys, that confirmed my assumptions.
  12. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    Is it worth 60 bucks to install at a later date? Maybe. Sure. Go for it.
    Is it worth 200 bucks to install before you even know how you machine will behave? Umm....
    See, this is why you get so many Ram questions, Meister. It's because Apple forces this question upon us.
  13. maartin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2015
    Exactly. Plus its 1550$ for base model in my country, and extra 220$ for 16Gb RAM.
  14. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    Unfortunately with these newer machines you're stuck with whatever it comes out of the box with. Everything is soldered on =/
  15. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    Exactly. Soldering forces customers to decide there and then.
  16. s0nicpr0s macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2010
    Sorry, I had misunderstood what you meant by the $60 comment. Were you talking about older machines, back when you had the option to actually upgrade yourself?
  17. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    That's more or less the going price for a 8GB PC12800 SODIMM. Still useful in an imac.

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