How far do you push your 8 GB RAM MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pseudoware, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. pseudoware macrumors member

    pseudoware

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    Dec 20, 2015
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    Nor*Cal
    #1
    Yeah, I know it depends on other specs, just wondering what kinds of multitasking & process-intensive stuff others can do with "just" 8 GB?

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #2
    You can do a lot, and I recommend monitor ram utilization in the Activity Monitor. For instance, you can be running Vmware, Photoshop and Lightroom on 8GB, though you may see your swap space grow if you start working all three pretty hard.
     
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #3
    I have a bare bones iMac w/ 8GB I bought in an emergency in 2013 and never got around to upgrading it. Frankly I've been very surprised at how capable it has been. I've made a few 10 min videos with Final Cut Pro, edited countless pictures with Aperture, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Yes, it may require a bit of patience at times, but it can handle all of that. Of course that might be due more to the low end video card in this machine than the RAM. Hard to tell when everything is bottom of the barrel, relatively speaking.
     
  4. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #4
    I don't think i've ever reached more than 6.8GB of RAM usage, which is when I was running a VM with Parallels.
     
  5. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #5
    RAM usage as pretty much stagnated, unless you are editing 4K video.

    A lot of people on Macrumors thought we were going to have 16GB of RAM on base model Airs by now. Many base devices Mac and PC still come with 4GB.

    Now users are backlashing against poorly coded software that take unreasonable amounts of RAM, and Microsoft/Apple are focusing on making the Operating systems more efficient.
     
  6. iamnotme macrumors regular

    iamnotme

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    Jan 24, 2015
    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    #6
    I've been running 8gb of ram in my 2014 rMBP and run VMs, sometime 2. It will occasionally get red when running both but it's really been OK. I've been really tempted to get a 15" for the quad core and 16GB but I don't really have issues with my current config so I'll wait until broadwell shows up. Running only OSX, I have not been able to fill the ram
     
  7. btbam91 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    #7
    I agree with this statement! Putting Windows 8 on my old Windows 7 machine breathed new life into the machine!
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    Never had any issues with 8gb when running only Mac apps but when I ran Parallels and Windoze, it was page out city. Upgrading to 16 fixed that problem.

    My wife runs into problems with 20gb in her iMac but she will have many programs open at one time and have 2 browsers open with multiple windows and a dozen tabs on each window.
     
  9. terminator-jq macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #9
    You'd be surprised what "just" 8GB of RAM can do. As an app developer, I use my MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013) as my main development computer. There have been many times where I've had:

    - Unity 3D

    - Xcode

    - Maya

    - Photoshop

    - iTunes

    All open at the same time while plugged into an additional display via HDMI. Looking at the specs of my MBP, you might assume that I would see some freezing or hangs but nope. Just goes to show how optimized OSX is. IMO 8gb of RAM for the base models is more than enough.

    On the other hand, 128gb SSD is NOT enough. Hopefully Apple makes 256gb SSD the starting size for the next gen MBPs.
     
  10. pseudoware thread starter macrumors member

    pseudoware

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    Dec 20, 2015
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    Nor*Cal
    #10
    Good stuff. The Parallels Desktop notification widget shows RAM percentage. Does anyone know - is that system (OS X) RAM, or allocated VM RAM? I assume the former? Thanks.
     
  11. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

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    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #11
    i pushed mine so far it fell off the desk... o_O so, replaced it with a 16GB mbp. (sorry, no sleep last nite)...
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #12
    I've pushed mine when it was 8GB to approx 11GB virtual with no noticeable GUI problems or lags, that was with an SSD which helps when swapping occurs.

    To get to that I had a couple of VMs running as well as Capture One, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Safari and a bunch of utilities...
     
  13. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #13
    If money is no issue go with 16. I upgraded my 13" MBP to 16, thinking i really didn't need it, but at times I do. So for just a $ more you have 16. I am not a heavy user, but the other day I was running Safari, Windows 10 on Parallels 11 to run Peerblocker, and outlook for email, and I was over 8.
     
  14. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    Feb 25, 2014
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    New Zealand
    #14
    The OS will use as much RAM as there is avaliable. If you had "only" 8GB of RAM then you wouldn't have gone over.
     
  15. wallaby macrumors 6502

    wallaby

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #15
    Something to consider: will it be acceptable to you, in the long run, to work with 8GB of RAM and eventually have to buy a new machine (perhaps costing several hundred dollars after selling the old one), versus paying an extra $200 now? I made this mistake with my 16GB phone. At the time I saved $50, but paying the extra for 32GB then would have saved me a lot of headaches and I wouldn't be in the position of looking for a new phone now.

    I'm in the same predicament as you with the Macbook, so I don't mean to suggest which way to go. A few hundred bucks doesn't seem like a huge deal for some, but the mental image of going past the $1500 can be huge.
     
  16. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2012
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    Las Vegas, NV
    #16
    Duh, brilliant. If I only had 8 it would not go over. No Kidding! How can it use more than you have, except page to the HD.
     
  17. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    #17
    OSX will compress the data in ram before attempting to page to the harddrive.

    That is what that color in the task manager represents. I.e. The compression level.

    Regardless of how much memory your using as long as the color is not red you'll be fine.
     
  18. John Mcgregor Suspended

    John Mcgregor

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  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #19
    I think you are missing the point. The OS will try to use whatever RAM is available. So the fact that you installed 16GB and it now uses say 13GB of that is not proof in any way the 8GB was not enough. The true test is the memory pressure section of Disk Utility. If you have 8GB and memory pressure is in the green, you do not need 16GB for example.
     
  20. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #20
    How much of that 8gb is allocated to the integrated graphics subsystem? E.g. My Mbp says 1.5gb is being used. So right away, your 8gb isn't 8gb.
     
  21. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #21
    You completely missed the point. I think you're being obtuse on purpose.
     
  22. pseudoware thread starter macrumors member

    pseudoware

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    Dec 20, 2015
    Location:
    Nor*Cal
    #22
    Helpful info. In my "typical" usage w/my 8GB, with a bunch of stuff open on OS X and W10 in Parallels, I've rarely seen <1GB of free RAM. I haven't noticed yellow or red bars in memory pressure. That's not to say it hasn't happened when I wasn't looking, but I'll keep monitoring that.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
  23. Rhinoevans macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #23
    I did not know that. TY
     
  24. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #24
    I think whether your MBP has an SSD or not plays a lot into this too. A system with a 5400rpm HDD paging out to disk is a much different experience than a system with a PCIe SSD.
     
  25. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    Oct 19, 2014
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #25
    A spinner in this day and age is shameful is a 1000$+ computer. It shows contempt for the buyer and offers lousy values.
     

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