how long will the 8 GB ram last me for music production


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2014
Hi all I'm a PC man but looking to convert to a 13" mbpr with 8gb ram and 256ssd. I'm looking forward to the change but I'm concerned about the 8 GB ram as I want this machine to last a good while but obviously its not upgradeable. Its main use will be to run reason 7 for music production, I take it this will be good for now but how long down the line will it be before I run into problems. I am at the top of my budget as it is with the 8gb so just wanting to hear some views on this.

Thanks in advance



macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I'd take it to 16GB and add the 500GB SSD unless you have fast, off Mac storage available.

I have a 13" rMBP which runs Logic fir edits

Only 8 GB RAM which I now wish I'd upgraded at purchase runs well, but will slow down under complex Lofic files.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2014
Thanks for the quick reply, in an ideal world I would Max it out or go 15" but like I said its a tight budget. When I first decided to go for the macbook pro I assumed it would run like a dream but having done some research I realise that with it not being upgradable it makes the initial purchase very important. Bearing in mind though music production is only a hobby and I don't do anything too heavy, few synths an fx chains.


macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2012

Alternatively, you can go with the 13" (non retina) Macbook Pro and upgrade its RAM, HD...etc as your budget allows. Slightly heavier, non SSD (out of the box) and screen isn't as nice but very upgradable.
I have the mid 2012 MBP (Non retina) and have boosted it to 16gb (buy from amazon or newegg, not apple-save yourself a lot of money), a 256gb SSD, and I replaced the optical drive with a 1tb storage drive. Works beautifully. Although not retina, the screen is certainly HD enough for most users


macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2003
Shanghai, China
Hi thesim,

I believe the 8 GB should last you a while. The heaviest usage of RAM should come from sample-based instruments (e.g. Kontakt, EXS24). As long as you do not use lots of large piano/horn/orchestra/... samples in a single project, you should be fine.

I'm using Logic together with Kontakt, Reaktor, Addictive Drums, Stylus RMX, etc. on a 2006 Core2Duo Laptop with 4 GB RAM right now - RAM usage is OK, but the CPU is giving me problems above 10-15 tracks or so. That is why I plan to migrate to a Mac Mini myself.


macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
Technically if you never upgrade any of your software the 8GB will last until the computer finally dies. Which could be a couple years or many decades. During that time the computer will always have the same music production capabilities.

If you are looking for more out of your computer than purely for music production. Then you could not do this.


macrumors newbie
Aug 18, 2012
you're good

I run Reason 7 quite nicely with 8GB of RAM; as was said above, you'll be fine until you get into (very) large projects, which for a hobbyist won't be the case. And if you do, it's nothing you can't work around. You'll be good for many years if you stay on budget.

(added) and don't spend the extra money on more than 256 GB internal SSD; if you need it you can add external storage later... a USB 3 flash drive, a thunderbolt drive... cheaper and keeps you within your budget now.
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macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
The 13" rMBP is a beautiful machine but the 13" MBP or even the 15" MBP offer better options if you think you might want to upgrade RAM later on. I have the 15" MBP and I upgraded my RAM to 8GB (was 4) and it runs fine. I also have 16GB sitting on my desk waiting for me to get a Round Tuit and install it. Part of the reason I've held off is that Mavericks gave me an apparent 50% RAM boost with its memory compression.

If SSD is what you desire, you can pick up a Samsung 740 EVO SSD later on. So if budget is a primary concern, the legacy MBP models are a better fit as you can upgrade them later and have lower up front costs. If you do decide to stick with the rMBP, I suggest you go for all the RAM you can afford up front and rely on external storage for a boost when you need it later.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 24, 2014
Thanks for the replies everyone really good to hear your thoughts, I've got a week to think it through so I'll check out all the different options. It wouldn't be such a big deal if apple hadn't made the new models non upgradeable.


macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2013
Buy the non retina MBP;

You can upgrade ram
You will use a external monitor, so resolution is not that important.
You can get a small SSD + a HDD in the optical drive location
It's cheaper


macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
Canada! \m/
8 gigs will be fine, especially if you are using reason. Sure, 16 is "better", but it's diminishing returns, and you won't see much of a benefit for most types of projects. Reason tends to be much more cpu intensive than it is ram intensive. And as another poster mentioned, it's the sampled based instruments that can really tax your ram (if you're using them in quantity). But, the other poster's suggestion of getting a classic macbook pro is not bad, since you can upgrade ram, and even put in your own cheaper ssd. Retina MBP might have a slighter faster processor though, but it shouldn't be a huge difference. Either way, you'll have a great computer for music production!


macrumors member
Apr 16, 2013
As far as memory is concerned i think you'll be fine on 8GB. I use Logic with Kontakt and Guitar Rig Pro. Even with 20+ tracks and lots of effects i'm not using that much memory. 8GB should be fine for audio production for the hobbyist as others said. I currently have the high end 2011 Mac Mini with 16GB RAM and External USB for recording right now and have been fine for my smaller projects. I'm hoping they can continue the Mac Mini because its still relatively user expandable and perfect for hobbyists that can't afford a Mac Pro and want to avoid the iMac. I've worked on enough iMacs as a tech and just want to try to avoid them now. The latest redesign looks good but only if you have the 27" and even then, it's a nightmare to pull the screen out.