Is 16Gb RAM with 256Gb SSD a good option?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Simurgh87, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Simurgh87 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012

    I am aiming to buy base rMBP 15". I've been using mid-2010 for 3 years now and I never had more than 200Gb filled.

    Is 256Gb SSD with 16GB RAM performance wise ok option?
    I am sure I won't use more than 200Gb of SSD.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say that if you're sure you'll not exceed 200GB, then yeah what you have wrote is a great configuration. I have this very configuration on my 2012 rMBP.

    I have a couple of external disks (drobo mini and a WD passport) for backups and offline storage. I'd say if you need to save stuff off the SSD, that sort of thing could be an option for you as well.
  3. Simurgh87 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thx for the reply.

    Is there significant speed increase for reading/writing going from 256 to 512?

    I know that going from 128 to 256 makes a big difference (256 being twice as fast as 128).
  4. Nismo73 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2013
    In all blackmagic tests I've seen there's basically no difference b/t 256 and 512, but you're right about the 128 to 256/512.
  5. LaravelNick macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2013
    Apparently the 1TB SSDs are faster than the lower capacity ones which may be a consideration.
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  7. jetlitheone macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2012
    Yeah. Exactly.

    Better option 8gb is enough folks. Let's stop thinking it isn't.

    I mean if you plan on keeping the laptop for 6-8 years then yes go with 16 but any less than 8 is fine.
  8. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    This is the point. If you plan keeping your laptop for around 5 years, get the maximum RAM. Probably there will be 3rd-party SSD upgrades in the next years, but RAM is not user-replaceable.

    If you plan keep your Mac for 1 year, 256GB+8GB is fine.
  9. MaclandValhalla macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    Doubling your RAM lowers your battery life. It doesn't halve it, but it might be significant.
  10. smakdown61 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    You're joking right? The power consumption is negligible, especially with DDR3L.
  11. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Are you able to back up this claim? That's ridiculous. The only thing extra RAM would do is add a larger sleep image on the SSD drive. So people ordering 16/256 may want to keep that in mind. Although Mavericks takes up less space anyway, so the difference won't really be noticeable.

    But 16GB/256GB is a very good option for those who don't need all that much storage space.
  12. rMBP2013 macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Care to show any links, please?

    From all my research, 1 TB > 512 GB > 256 GB > 128 GB (not recommended).


    That's what I recommend, especially if you have the budget for it.


    And how many folks here are planning on keeping the laptop beyond 5 years, let alone 6 - 8 years?



    I have an almost 10-year old laptop with 512 MB of RAM and it still works just fine (no games, of course but web-browsing, YouTubing, Facebooking, MS Office'ing works just fine).

    8 GB should and will be enough for 5 years for 95% of the people.

    Better benefit would be a larger SSD as opposed to extra RAM. IMO. ;)
  13. jetlitheone macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2012
    Not many that's why I rarely recommend it. I plan on keeping mine for 4-6
  14. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    I don't think this is a very good comparison. You don't buy a brand new high range machine to be 'fine' you want optimal.

    My old windows phone from 2006 can get email and browse the web 'fine' as well, am I going to use it instead of a quad core 2GB phone though? No.

    Saying that I agree with 8GB for most tasks :p

    Oh and can we have some figures to back up the higher capacity, faster SSD claims? This is not a universal constant and was only true with earlier SSDs.

    i.e. Samsung 830 is slower at 128GB but the 256GB up are identical speeds. But the Asus Zenbook 256 uses two 128GB in Raid 0 so is faster.

    Anyone got any metrics to show why they're faster here or is this just a general assumption.
  15. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    I'm the kind of person that keeps his Mac for about 5 to 7 years (I still have/use my 2007 MacBook w/2GB RAM) and it works fairly well (kernel panics if I try to play an online video).

    With that being said, I'll be keeping my 2012 15" MacBook Pro 'til at least 2017. Right now it has 4GB of RAM and it runs pretty darn smooth with the occasional spinning beach ball. I plan on upgrading to 8GB and a 256 or 512GB SSD in the very near future just to help keep up with the times. Keep in mind that theoretically my MBP can support 32GB RAM but no one needs that - maybe in 10 years, but not right now.
  16. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    Hmm actually people can use 32GB easy. Personally I have it on desktop and have used it as a ram drive a few times to load a game for extreme access speed.

    You have professionals that can use that of course for very large workloads, and there is a thread out there from a music pro that finds it annoying that the new pro machine 'only' supports 64GB.
  17. MaclandValhalla macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    Not yet, because I don't own two Haswells (or even one). But Anandtech might investigate and benchmark this potentially damaging speculation.
  18. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Regardless, I have never heard this before. It's extremely unlikely that it's even a noticeable difference.
  19. MaclandValhalla macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2013
    It looks like we have an answer.

    There is some controversy about how much power the Haswells use. It could be as low as 4.5 watts:,23660.html

    Or it could be as high as 15 watts:

    Either way, RAM uses around 4 watts per DIMM. That's means a RAM upgrade would increase your power consumption anywhere from 30% to 88.8% of your CPU's consumption.

    With that in mind, I'd estimate that a RAM upgrade will reduce your battery life by up to an hour or more.
  20. koppie644 macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2011
    A guy who keeps his Mac for just one year must be rich enough to buy 512GB + 16GB
  21. Simurgh87 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    I think you missed the point. I am not asking about RAM but more about SSD performance..

    Thank you all for your inputs.

    If the only apparent difference between 256 and 512 is sole capacity I really don't need to go for 512 (I don't play games, I don't have massive music library, I don't keep more than a few movies).

    I know that capacity wise I am perfectly happy with 256... the question was does 256 work significantly slower than 512... I saw a few threads about excellent speed on 1T (faster than 512) and about the big difference between 128 & 256...

    16Gb RAM is investment as I am planning to keep this laptop for the next 3-4 years (not more than 5). I can't see SSD as an investment.
  22. T-Bob macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2013
    We've seen the claims, but not seen what they're based on. So unless shown otherwise there is no speed difference.
  23. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I do wonder how much space a 16GB/256GB config would come with out of the box. I know more RAM carries a larger sleep image on the SSD, but Mavericks also uses less install space.

    Can anyone confirm?
  24. Jinzen macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    It does not. Amount of RAM has virtually no effect on battery life.

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