Is 16GB Ram practically useless?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Panini, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Panini, Jul 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012

    Panini macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Palo Alto, CA
    I've read a bunch of threads about this that say it's best to future proof your laptop with 16GB of memory because it's not replaceable.

    Most of the people asking the questions say their MBP barely uses 8GB, but the people that say 16gb is the way to go say so because future apps may demand that much memory.

    Here's my question: Even current apps are pushing the limit on the rMBP's GPU and CPU - it can't actually run some of the high-performance "modern apps." But are there any modern apps that bottleneck the ram? No.

    So assuming apps will demand better hardware as the years go by, wouldn't the demand in CPU and GPU power increase as well as the demand for ram does? I think by the time any user requires 16gb of memory to use apps, their graphics card and processor will be so outdated it will not even matter how much ram they have since they will only be able to run the apps designed for < 8gb ram since those will ask less of other hardware components.

    Another question: As of right now, is there any way to pass the 8gb ram limit?

    EDIT: The main reason I'm asking is because if I get 16gb I will have to wait 4 weeks to get the laptop - they have a 2.6 8gb model in stores now.
  2. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    WTF are you saying exactly? What are you saying that has not been discussed already in like 10 other threads about the 16gb of ram? And What apps is it that you "can't currently run" because the rmbp can't handle them?
  3. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    As of right now, you can fill 8gb if you run Vista in parallels, yes.

    Also: Saying that the rMBP isn't an absolute beast of a computer and that "it can't actually run some of the high-performance "modern apps"" is nothing short of tomfoolery and tubthumpery.
  4. daleski75 macrumors 68000


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northampton, UK
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Sure, with multiple apps.
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    If you have to ask the question, you don't need 16gigs
  7. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Essentially, you are correct. However, there are cases where you need lots of RAM. For instance, when editing large videos or photos, or more generally working with very large datasets. For instance, my statistical simulations using R will often generate over 12GB of data, and its a big performance win if they al fit into the RAM. Also, users that run virtual machines will benefit from lots of RAM as well.

    But for an average user, there is close to none benefit of having 16Gb.
  8. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    The base RMBP already comes with 256gb of extra RAM. Adding another 8gb for $200 isn't worth it, isn't perceivable and doesn't do anything at all.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Such as? The rMBP has one of the fastest consumer CPUs ever built. The higher-end version is faster than last years desktop.
  10. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008

    No, there's not, nor will there be for several years. Anyone who claims that they need that much is obviously using their computer in an unanticipated way and not conforming to the internet, email, FB and word processing that everyone uses their computers for. I mean, if it can run angry birds and play a song at the same time you probably have too much RAM.
  11. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    yeah you got it man...:rolleyes:
  12. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    god forbid.

    As for OP - stop beating a dead horse. It's been discussed. And there are obviously uses for 16GB RAM.


  13. markp99 macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    New Hampshire
    This, this and this, for the trifecta! :)

    For me, for work and play:

    • Very large database manipulations for my clients
    • Inside a Vitural machine, MS Access, SQL Server
    • Large LR4 RAW file editing
  14. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010

    It don't think relying on the SSD speed for a swap file makes much sense. It adds more write cycles/wear and even as fast as the bus is I still doubt it's faster than actual ram. When I bought my 200umbp I thought I will never need more than 2gb of ram. I ended up at 8gb 4 years later to keep things moving nice and smooth. If you plan to keep the machine 4-5 year sI honestly think it's a good investment. For anyone not keeping the system this long I agree it's a waste :)
  15. Slivortal macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2012
    There are plenty of ways. Just try and launch up 2 or 3 virtual machines with 8GB of RAM. You'll run out of RAM very fast. Heck, I have issues running 1 off 4GB. So, when I upgrade, I'm going to make sure I get 16GB, regardless of whether it's upgradable or not.

    But I sincerely doubt that "future proofing" is worth it unless you know you need that much RAM. I could be wrong, but 8GB is plenty by a casual user's standards, and even 4GB is pretty good. A few people can even get away with 2GB. I don't see casual users going beyond 8GB anytime soon. But I could be wrong.

    This whole concept of buying extra RAM just because it's not upgradable seems foreign to me. Get the amount of RAM you need.
  16. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    I agree. when I ran 1 virtual machine with 8gb of ram the difference was night and day from when I had 4gb
  17. Fortimir macrumors 6502a


    Sep 5, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    Last night I had fifty-eight 36mp (7360x4912) images files open at once assembling a panorama. You bet your butt I was getting my money's worth out of 16GB of RAM.
  18. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I work on feature film vfx. When I worked on Piranha 3D I maxed out 32GB ram many many times...with a single application open. Just because you don't use high end, resource intensive applications, doesn't mean that nobody does!

    I am currently working on a project that is using 11 GB ram.

    Last one used 14GB.
  19. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Are you claiming to be an editor of the piranha 3D film?
  20. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am not claiming anything, I was a visual effects artist on that project. Editorial doesn't use nearly as much RAM.

    That was not the point. The point was that shots used up 32GB of ram.
  21. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    I wasn't having a go, and I know that wasn't your point. I was just curious if you meant you worked on the actual film project, because that's pretty cool if you did (even if though I've never seen the film - looks ridiculous lol).
  22. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    yes, I developed the CG pipeline and finalled several shots. Yes, it was a ridiculous film (I still haven't seen the whole

    I recently worked on Life of Pi and several of my shots were in the preview before Prometheus! The flying fish scene was done by my it was odd seeing it when I went to see Prometheus! LOL.
  23. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Maybe a better question to ask is what are the effects of a 8 gig machine that needs to swap out to virtual memory?

    How much slower does it get.

    I am looking at an 8 gig machine right now with:

    500 MB free
    3.41 GB Wired
    1.93GB Active
    2.17GB Inactive
    7.51GB Used

    I have a 1.2 mb swap file
    838k of swapouts

    So how will my perfoamnce degrad as I open more than what is current;y open:


    And what is there 2.17 GB inactive...whats does that really mean?
  24. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011

    To answer the question in your subject. No.
  25. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    Which Mac comes with 256gb of RAM?

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