Guys, get 16 GB.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by puma1552, Oct 27, 2013.

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  1. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    I see a lot of threads/posts where people are getting 8 GB, or are unsure if they should get 16 GB.

    Trust me, those are the same people who will be starting threads in 3 years wondering what they can do to speed up their computer and the answer will be nothing since the RAM is soldered to the logic board.

    I'm surprised to see people say "For your uses 8 GB is enough". History has shown that that never proves to be true as the computer ages, proof being in all the threads where someone asks how to speed up their computer as it's become slow and everyone says upgrade the RAM. Trust me, get the 16 GB now and be done with it, then by the time software gets hungry enough to eat your 16 GB of RAM the computer will probably be 5+ years old and due for a replacement anyway. The last thing you want to do is have a 2-3 year old beachball paperweight because of RAM you can't upgrade because you didn't want to part with $200, which isn't much spread out over the life of the computer. Not to mention you could get 8 GB 4 years ago, so it's time to bump that.

    Really for the basic user 4 GB should theoretically be enough, but I don't see many people suggesting a 4 GB purchase. Same should apply to 8 GB, it should be enough but reality over time shows it won't be and there will be page outs doing basic tasks. I know my mid-2010 with 4 GB gave me page outs doing fairly basic tasks on a clean install of Mountain Lion, I wouldn't expect today's MBP to be any different X years down the line with 8 GB.

    You can never, ever have too much RAM, so you should *always* max it out.
  2. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    8 would be bare minimum and 16 nice. Pity about the price.
  3. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I like your approach!

    I agree! :p
  4. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    8GB is the minimum for 2013. Yes, you can get by with 4GB today but why spend all that money on a machine that will become gimped in the not so distant future?

    I went with 16GB for my new rMBP :cool:
  5. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    For people that just use computers to web browse, email, listen to music, watch Netflix, do word processing homework, maybe play some Facebook games, and other minimal tasks... they are unlikely to ever need 16 gigs much less within the next 4 years. 8 gigs is plenty for those type of people. Do not mislead them with your opinion.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, 8Gb will be more then plenty for average use for at least 4 years from now. And after 5 years, we will probably have a new high-speed RAM technologies which would make any RAM you can get now completely obsolete. Right now, average RAM demands are high, because developers can afford using 'slower' but more flexible/powerful/easy to use and maintain programming frameworks and techniques. For example, right now OS X programming uses lots of indirection and high-level abstractions, which cost a of RAM to maintain. Then, with Core Animation, every UI element actually keeps a copy of its contents in RAM/VRAM, which costs even more - and 4x as much on retina machines (thats the reason why windows server process is a real RAM hugger on a rMBP). Thus, I can't really see the average RAM demands dramatically increasing (as in doubling) any soon, because the current programming model is just as RAM unfriendly as it gets (without actually becoming wasteful). Plus, the OS is becoming more efficient than ever (with the memory compression and other features). Of course, if you work with high-quality media content (which by itself takes load of space), this is different, but I am talking about 'casual' usage, like email/browsing/light gaming/office.

    Bottomline: yes, if you want to keep your machine for 5-6 years, then 16GB is probably a really good idea. But for those who will get a new machine in 2-3 years, 16GB is really a waste of money, unless you need it now for your current usage (heavy VM/photo/video).
  7. iluvbeer99 macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2010
    Pretty much disagree.

    For 95%+ of people 8gb will still be fine even 5 years from now.

    very few people are using their computer for tasks that would come close to needing 16gb.

    Also the resale value won't justify the added expense. The machines that depreciate the least are the ones close to base models.
  8. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    Yes, and 640k should be enough for everyone.

    Get 16GB if you can afford it. Engineers will think of a million ways to use every available resource to create advanced functions. It's just progress.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, 30 years from now computer will probably run terabytes of RAM. Why does it matter? We are talking about the fact that 16Gb, won't be useful for a 'normal' user on a current-gen machine. In 10 years, your MBP won't be able to run a simple internet browser with adequate performance, no matter how much RAM it has.
  10. mneblett macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    +1 on the 16GB.

    I purchased a 15" 2.3/16/512. On day 2 I installed Parallels and Win 8.1 (so I can run the Windows version of Word and a couple other Win-only programs - i.e., not a massively intense workload) and immediately was in the 12GB+ range.

    Unless you are only keeping the machine for ~1-2 years before trading up, a lot of folks will regret choosing 8GB to save a few bucks up front.
  11. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    That's a pretty ignorant statement. How long ago was 640k? There are a lot of people that don't even use the full 8 gigs yet. I have a 2 year old gaming desktop that I have to push hard to use the full 8. Unless you are using VMs, doing heavy photoshop, movie editing, CAD and things like that... then you wont need 16 gigs in the next 4-5 years. Software just doesn't double its needs like that.

    Engineers are not trying to push the hardware. Using the memory comes from lazy programming. RAM is so cheap that your variables don't matter. There is no need for efficient programming so programmers get lazy.


    That's because you are using VMs. Not everyone does that. Most people that do that don't need to do that either. In fact you don't even need to do that. Run it on bootcamp.
  12. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    RAM discussion again :D
    RAM is very expensive on the haswell mbp (200,- from 8 -->16)
    The average user will be perfectly fine for the next 4-5 years with only 4gb.
    If u run VMs u wanna get as much ram as possible.
    it completely depends on what u use ur mac for.
    a lot of people posting on here don't seem to understand that u don't need a pimped out mbp to surf the web, write reports, watch netflix and listen to music.
    i got the rmbp with 8gb/256gb because I need it for heavy multitasking (many tabs, pages, word, keynote and photoshop open at the same time) with flawless swiping between apps, some video editing in iMovie, photoshoping, movie watching. 8gb ram is and will be enough for a long time for these tasks.
    I know i won't use VMs, i know i am not gonna produce a hollywood blockbuster on it. 16gb ram is money down the toilet in my case.
  13. smakdown61 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    You're assuming people's needs won't change over the next few years. Also, your last statement makes zero sense since supply and depreciation are directly related. It's going to be harder to find a 16gb haswell rmbp 3 years from now (over a standard config) hence the price will be higher.

    If you are a fiscally responsible person, set yourself a budget number and increase ram, ssd size, cpu speed until you hit that number.
  14. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    The problem is the cost. Upgrading the memory is cost prohibitive for a lot of people. That said, I bought my 17" MacBook Pro in 2009 which came with 4GB of RAM. At the time the 17" base model was more than the high-end 15" is now & I wanted the anti-glare screen which was an additional $$$. I still use my 17" MacBook Pro daily and in that time I never upgraded the RAM. I upgraded the hard drive to a 256GB OWC SSD a few years back which made a world of difference in performance as you all know. It's all going to come down to your "use scenario" so map that out before deciding.
  15. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    pretty much,

    now we even have memory compression and it works great.

    8 gb can turn into 10-12gb.

    saying you need 16gb is crazy , 8gb will be good for years to come.

    i see 16gb a complete waste of money, even VM's both work fine on my machine with 8gb thanks to SSD and memory compression.
  16. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    I agree with 8GB but 16 GB will be a little excessive for the average consumer.

    4 GB is simply not enough. Look at the trends with smartphones. In a couple years your phone will have 4 GB ram. If you look at older computers, the #1 reason why they are unusable is because they do not have enough RAM.
  17. Ryan1524, Oct 27, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

    Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA

    Personally, I'd rather be prepared. Things change so fast in tech, who knows what kind of apps will come out 5 years from now.

    For example, and this is a very speculative example: What if in 5 years, the trend has changed to most people streaming content from their own home clouds. Then you'll need a machine that's capable of transcoding or feeding all those tablets/phones outside the house.

    At that point, they may need a home server, or maybe their old MBP they bought in 2013 can do the job just fine....if it had more ram. Although more likely CPU, now that I think about it.

    On the flip-side, I am a heavy poweruser, and I know I'll use that 16GB. My current MBP has 4GB, and it's lasted >5yrs time. I have no doubt that if I only do web browsing, emails, movie-watching, and basic office activities, it'll last me another 3-4.

    So yea, maybe I'm not completely unbiased on this.

    Completely agree on lazy programming. If everybody coded as if memory was a scarcer resource, we'd have better, more efficient, apps.
  18. horation macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Too late for me

    Wish I would have seen this thread before I bought. I thought in the past RAM was always upgradeable on Macs, so I didn't think twice about buying with the standard 8
  19. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Anyone here still using 2008 machines and plan to for a while yet? Seems a lot of posters here don't need to worry much about future proofing as there is a limited future :D
  20. Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2013
    I've been following and using tech for over 20 years. I honestly don't see the ram needs changing that much for the average user.

    It's fine to feel at peace by trying to futureproof. Not everyone has the extra money to spend and I don't want them to feel like they HAVE to have it. They simply do not. They simply will not.

    The type of tech changes, that you speak about above, always has considerations for the average users. Tech will not change that rapidly to force everybody and their mama to upgrade hardware by that much. 4 gigs of ram was good enough for the last 5 years. 8 gigs of ram will be good enough for the next 5 years. Needing a home server in 5 years is just thinking way outside the box. Tech creators are not going to change things and base it on needing a server.
  21. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    ^ That's fair. There's nothing more sad than a thing not being used to its full potential. In that sense, Yes, I'd rather people buy what they need.

    I'm on a 2007 MBP, and will be looking to find a new purpose for it. Maybe a home media center, or storage hub. And definitely Folding@Home.

    What limited future? We're on a rollercoaster that only goes up. :)
  22. RngRngBananaRam macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    I completely disagree.

    Have RAM requirements increased over the past two years? Nope. If anything, they've decreased.

    Have RAM requirements increased over the past five years? No, not really.

    The $200 extra you advocate spending on 16gb of RAM would be better off spent on something else to increase your productivity.
  23. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    then why dont they just get 4 gigs? isnt four gigs enough for those tasks?

    people said the exact same thing four years ago about 8 gigs, "nobody needs 8 gigs for surfing/netflix/etc" and here we are four years later and most users struggle with four gigs.

    same logic, buying a $1000-$3000 computer going into 2014 with 8 gigs that cant be upgraded is foolish.
  24. Four oF NINE macrumors 68000

    Four oF NINE

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hell's Kitchen
    So will a 16gb RAM machine run faster than an 8gb RAM machine or not?
  25. iluvbeer99 macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2010
    no, they don't. Most users are still fine with 4gb. The general user isn't doing major picture/video editing or other tasks where they are using much RAM
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