Hi, first thread: How much RAM do I really need?

High Five Ghost

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2012
32
0
Youngstown, OH
I recently purchased a Mac Book PRO Retina 2.3 GHz with 8GB RAM.

I've been waffling back and forth about the RAM...

Is 8GB enough or should I return this and get one with 16GB?

I don't do any heavy computing, just basic stuff. I may dabble in Photoshop in the future or maybe something graphic wise - and I recently started playing WoW which runs fine. It'll probably be the only game I play on this.

Any tips?

Suggestions?
 

Orlandoech

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2011
3,339
788
Salt Lake City, UT
8GB is plenty for you needs and what you do. PLENTY.

However If you plan on keeping the machine for 3-5 years, I would recommend 16GB. Also, if you already regret it, you probably always will, go for 16GB.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
759
Is 8GB enough or should I return this and get one with 16GB?
To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
 

High Five Ghost

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2012
32
0
Youngstown, OH
To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
Its at zero. Thanks.

8GB is plenty for you needs and what you do. PLENTY.

However If you plan on keeping the machine for 3-5 years, I would recommend 16GB. Also, if you already regret it, you probably always will, go for 16GB.
Would the Apple Store transfer my entire HDD and settings to the new one?

I do plan on keeping this machine for at least 5 years.

Really didn't want to wait for one to come in the mail when I was at the Apple Store... instant gratification.

I'll think it over, but it might be a waste of money that I can spend on Apple Care, unless thats a waste of money :)
 

Virinprew

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2012
587
260
For you, 8 GB is more than enough. But if you use virtual machine, 8 GB is so so.
Anyway, try this widget iStat Pro. And see how you use RAM for yourself.
 

playsontheleft

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2012
126
0
Would the Apple Store transfer my entire HDD and settings to the new one?
Maybe if you asked them nicely. But I wouldn't bother - it's a really easy process from what I've heard, although I personally have always just used an external HD to move things over and then changed settings myself.
 

yusukeaoki

macrumors 68030
Mar 22, 2011
2,550
6
Tokyo, Japan
What you do can be done by only 8GB.
However, if you want to be future proof, like using your mac for another 3~5 years, go for 16GB.

Having more RAM wont hurt you.
 

phpmaven

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2009
3,397
450
San Clemente, CA USA
4GB is nowhere near enough RAM. Unless you're planning on just surfing the web and checking email. Get the most you can afford. More RAM is ALWAYS better.
 

polotska

macrumors 6502
Sep 23, 2007
254
0
Tough to say—8GB should be plenty for your current uses, but if you’re really planning on keeping it for 5 years, you might want to go with 16GB since it can’t be upgraded later.
 

iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
4,865
6,464
East Coast USA
Tough to say—8GB should be plenty for your current uses, but if you’re really planning on keeping it for 5 years, you might want to go with 16GB since it can’t be upgraded later.
op I always have plenty RAM 4gb and my computer needs are even a little more ramped up than yours. I don't do any gaming at all though and right now I'm only using 1gb of ram
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,836
584
Hawaii, USA
Your Macbook Pro is probably going to last you 4-5 years. By the end of that time, the machine will either start to develop problems, or you'll want (or need) to upgrade.

The difference between a Retina Macbook Pro with 8 GB of RAM vs. 16 GB of RAM is $200, based off of the Apple Store. That's a lot of money. (And to think I just bought 16 GB of RAM for $86...)

For the needs you've described now, you're fine with 8 GB. I do heavy work in Aperture in addition to some video editing, and I also virtualize Windows; these are all memory-intensive applications, and I made out fine with 4 GB. Currently running with 6 GB, and it's still fine. The occasional slowdowns are a frustration, and feeling them more frequently because I do these things often is a nuisance... but for someone who may just be starting out in Photoshop and who won't be doing anything overly intensive, 8 GB is more than enough. If you're doing it as a hobby, my guess is that by the time you acquire the skills to start pushing your RAM to the limits, you'll be 4-5 years down the road and looking at a whole computer upgrade anyway. That's when you put the $200 that you're currently saving, to use.