iPad Pro How good is the 4gb ram on the iPad Pro?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by dingclancy23, May 12, 2016.

  1. dingclancy23 macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2015
    I will getting the 12.9 iPP soon and plan to use it as my primary computer for work.

    I just would like to know for current users how the 4gb is holding up and how do you think it will hold up in the future. I know 4gb is more than you can ask for in any iOS device, but in the Mac we are just spoiled with apps not having reopen no matter how much the ram is.

    For example, I would like my Slack to be always open on the background iPP no matter how many apps, or browser tabs I use to switch, like in my Mac. Will I expect the same experience with the iPad? Is there a way to make sure Slack stays open in the background no matter what? Is enabling background refresh good enough?

  2. TheRealAlex macrumors 68000

    Sep 2, 2015

    4GB RAM is only needed on the iPad Pro 12.9 because it's resolution is so high that extra RAM was needed so it could run properly. Few if any Apps natively support its super high resolution so Apps look weird or don't fill out the display properly. It's a very poor choice for a main computer due to its limitations due to the operating system and weight. On the other hand the 9.7 runs just fine with 2GB of RAM. And last by the time Apple requires that 4GB be the minimum the 12.9 iPad Pro will be so outdated you will want a newer faster model anyways.
  3. jamesrick80, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016

    jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    The 4 Gb ram on the ipad pro 12.9 is very useful. It allows for more tabs to be open in Safari without reloading. iOS on the larger pro is simply smoother and less laggy than the smaller pro. You will also not have the springboard crashes that the smaller pro users get often. Trust me, you would prefer the larger amount of ram. Yes, the iPad has a larger resolution but it doesn't use that much ram to power that resolution so their is a lot of free ram on the larger ipad pro that's not being utilized.

    Also, one user who jailbroke his large ipad pro mentioned that 3.77 GB ram was useable while the other 230 mb was being used by the system.

    Furthermore, there is a quite powerful A9X chip powering the larger pro with two extra graphic cores than the smaller pro, apples design team knew what they were doing and wouldn't waste too much valuable ram on the display plus they kept the display at 264 ppi which was smart.
  4. Hal~9000 macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2014
    While I agree with some points of your post, the 4GB RAM isn't only because of the higher resolution and helps to have more tabs in safari if you're the type that has 10-20 open:

  5. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Few if any apps? I have currently have 105 apps on mine, all of which support the 12.9's resolution. Sure there are some that don't, but to say "few if any" is wrong.

    It's a poor choice for a main computer due to its weight? It's 1.5lbs. Lighter than any laptop Apple makes. Not sure how it is too heavy to be a main machine.

    The 9.7 has the same OS with a smaller display and half of the ram. How is it a better choice for a main computer? Sounds like you are trying hard to justify your purchase.

    I've had both sizes and both are excellent for specific uses, I just don't like seeing wildly inaccurate things being said about the 12.9.
  6. Kal-037 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2015
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    It's amazing, I have 5-6 apps open all the time, music and safari in the background, (5-7 safari tabs open) also photos, Facebook and Procreate. I edit and work with large images and it's amazing. I'm so happy Apple put in 4GB RAM. It makes the iPad Pro work buttery smooth and allows for many, many apps open at once without problems or crashes.
  7. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    I find that the thing is amazing. I use it as a part of my main machine. I'll explain.

    I don't really need a full computer other than to run my strategy games. So what I do is use iOS for most tasks. Then when I want to play a game I use jump desktop this allows me to have a game in Windows (use the Citrix mouse here as well) a PIP video of some sort and use slide over for messages and emails. The thing works great, no hiccups.

    Essentially this is what I have been looking for, for a long time. It's a monitor for my Windows PC. I can use word for school documents. I can also pull it off the Smart Keyboard and browse on the couch or put it on my piano and use it to sight read PDFs.
  8. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I have the 9.7 Pro and 2gb of RAM works fine for me. I usually don't have a lot of tabs open on Safari though. I do have a lot of programs open: Netflix, Word, Safari, iTunes, etc and I have not noticed any slowdowns. I'm sure if you were a power user editing 4K video, etc the 4gb of Ram would be great. I just don't understand why Apple wouldn't just put 3 or 4 gb of RAM in the pro to further differentiate from the Air 2. From my understanding, it doesn't cost very much more. I guess they are setting the bait for the next upgrade.
  9. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2013
    I think the 12.9" pro if you can handle the size is the best option well... For me at least.

    Even if your not too fussed about speed I think due to the extra cost of it lasting longer is important. Like the iPad 2 which is still running the latest OS. The iPad Pro 12.9 will be a better investment for those who keep their iPads a long time.

    As the small ones catch up and the users upgrade the 12.9 owners can wait. What's to replace for gen 2 that's really important? Saves buying twice I guess so it's cheaper in the long run.
  10. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    I have the 9.7 Pro and consider myself a "power user" of the iPad. While I would love to have the 4GB that comes with the larger Pro, I upgraded from an iPad Air 1st Gen, and the 2GB in my 9.7 is a massive improvement. I have used my new iPad Pro heavily, and have not felt ANY limitation on what I can do related to RAM or CPU speed, which is definitely a first for me. Last night I was planning a vacation with my wife, and doing all this with heavy multitasking:
    • Tapping links in an email that opened web pages in Safari for various home rental options
    • Switching between five different Safari tabs with different house rental options, each with about a dozen photos of the homes preloaded
    • Switching to One Note to view and make notes about the travel options
    • Switching to Google Maps to pull up aerial imagery of the home locations, street views, restaurant listings, etc.
    • Beaming all this via AirPlay to my Apple TV
    I never once had a tab reload, lag, stutter, or anything. Switching between these tasks was essentially instant. I would never attempt this kind of travel research on a 1GB iPad. Reloads would have been frequent and this would have been pointless. It is so refreshing to have this horsepower under the hood, finally.

    So I'm certain a Pro 12.9" would give you plenty of breathing room for any task you could envision doing on an iPad.
  11. glhiii macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2006
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2016 ---
    I have both the 9.7" and 12" Pro. I got the 12" from my work, and replaced my old Air 2 with the 9.7" pro when it came out. I thought I would be using the smaller one most of the time, but I find the larger one seems to suit my needs better. It works very well with the Apple keyboard and pencil, and its screen is just the right size. As for RAM, both seem to work quite well.
  12. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2014
    I personally despise moving between tabs in Safari and having it reload. 4GB has eliminated that for me completely.
  13. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2012
    Couldn't agree more.
  14. TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    It's very good, as you'd expect with more RAM. Aside from the obvious things like more apps in the background without them suspending, more tabs in safari and so on and so on. Its better for working with lots of raw images, multiple video streams/high resolution video, working with large vector artwork and so many things. It's all just smoother and better.

    And of course it'll likely have a longer lifespan thanks to the greater memory.
  15. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    4gb of ram is not there for the same reasons as iPad3, where 1GB was actually needed to drive the display.

    It is empirically a better experience. to feel otherwise is just that, a feeling and a fleeting ill informed one at that

    Enjoy your 2gb device, but don't go stomping on the superiority of the most powerful iOS device currently to justify your purchase. Or do, I don't care-- you're an anonymous person to me :)
  16. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    I can't believe they didn't give the 9.7 inch pro 4 GB of RAM.

    They should start with 4GB and go up to 8GB if you increase the storage to the top amount, or just have it built to order.
  17. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    Wow, not a single direct response to the OP or his questions, just a big argument about what Apple should or shouldn't have done, how much RAM actually needed, with a smattering of a couple of self-reassuring posts about how much the user loves the device.

    The first response is blatantly untrue, and it's just a downwards spiral from there.

    Didn't the OP just want to know about the adequacy ouch 4GB of RAM going forward, and if he could rely on Slack staying open in the background on a continuous basis?

    Unfortunately, I cannot add anything to the discussion myself as I run the 2GB 9.7" iPad Pro currently and don't use Slack. So apologies to the OP for this post being as useless to him as all the rest in the thread.
  18. mixel macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    I would have thought he'd have no problem running slack in the bg or in splitscreen, I tend to leave Skype open most of the time on my 9.7.

    I've not run into any limitations of 2GB - even when it comes like having to use less layers in procreate, I would literally never hit that limit as I do t use layers that way. :D In terms of tabs I don't use them that way either and very rarely have any more than 3 open.

    You can totally be a power user and never really see a measurable advantage to more RAM. If you do have workflows that need more obviously more is better though!
  19. Marshall73 macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2015
    No noticeable difference between my 12.9 Pro and my Mini 4 in daily use during web browsing etc but I don't use any 'pro' apps on the mini, just web and books.
  20. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Can the iPad truly run apps in the background? I didn't know this.

    Does the command-tab app switching only show apps that are in currently ram or does it show older frozen apps too?
  21. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2012
    It doesn't actually run the apps in the background, but it freezes them and stores them in RAM.
    Low-RAM devices eventually remove this save-state from RAM meaning the app has to completely restart rather than just reloading itself from RAM.
  22. ericwn macrumors 68030

    Apr 24, 2016
    Certain processes can absolutely run in the background in iOS, have a look at background app refresh, part of iOS for some years now. More details at: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202070
  23. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2012
    Obviously certain processes can run in the background, such as music playback and...some other stuff...

    But that's about it.
  24. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    LOL that's pretty funny. "Except for those tasks that run in the background, no processes run in the background".
  25. pmau macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2010
    Lots of programs are kept in the background. They talk to the Watch, they can execute code when receiving notifications, they make background HTTP requests.
    The days of switching to the springboard and Apps are not running are long gone.

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