Is 4GB MacBook Pro sufficient for college?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jennyday12, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. jennyday12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #1
    I know this question and one's similar are probably posted all the time- so I apologize in advance. Anyways, I'm starting law school in the fall and looking into investing in a new laptop. The new 13" retina pro sounds perfect. It's just that I'm not sure how many GB I should get? When it comes to saving docs/ppts/pdfs/etc. I hardly ever save it on the actual laptop/harddisk and use cloud/google docs instead. So it's not like I'm going to have an overwhelming amounts of that. I'm just wary because I also have saved several seasons of different tv shows on my old laptop that I wish to transfer to my new one- and I know that takes up a lot of space and I also wish to redownload photoshop on the pro. So basically I just wish to know if 4gb will be enough for a college student who also wishes to have photoshop and sufficient media space for tvs/movies/etc.
     
  2. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    Jul 23, 2012
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    SoCal
    #2
    4gb is the ram..the macbook comes with 128gb of storage. 128gb of storage should be fine for documents and smaller pdfs...get an external drive to hold digital media.
     
  3. k-hawinkler macrumors member

    k-hawinkler

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    Sep 14, 2011
    #3
    Do yourself a favor and double your ram and storage, assuming your laptop should serve you for several years. Also it's not a good idea to more or less fill up Flash storage as it can wear out prematurely that way the remaining "free" storage bits through excessive use.
     
  4. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #4
    Storing everything in the cloud, especially for mission-critical application such as college is, amounts to riding a bike 100km/h without a helmet. You need local copy of everything, and add an external, backup drive you'll ideally store outside the home.

    128GB in itself may sound enough, but it really depends on your document's typical size. Keep in mind you may like to work with music in your ears, in which case 128GB will probably be too small.

    4GB however isn't nearly enough for modern applications. Word open plus tens of tabs in a browser will gobble that up in no time.
     
  5. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    SoCal
    #5
    this guy dosent even know what a computer is..he will probably never update his os....the 4gb is enough. he is probably coming off a 250-500gb spinner..so i would suggest getting an external 500gb drive.
     
  6. Zeov macrumors 6502a

    Zeov

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    Odense
  7. oGu macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #7
    If you buy your MacBook from bhphoto it's only 170$ price difference to go from the base model to the one with 8GB and 256 GB SSD. Get it as in the long run it's worth it.
     
  8. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #8
    Your 4gb must be different than my 4gb. Spotify, Word, several browser tabs in Chrome and Safari, iPhoto, messages, Excel all open at the same time runs flawlessly on 4gb of ram.

    Virtual machines, heavy video editing etc require more ram but most regular users don't do any of that.

    Most regular users are fine with the 4gb model (especially on Mavericks). OP if funds are tight the base model 4/128 will serve you well. If money is no problem and you feel you will use the machine for at least 3-5 years, go ahead and get the 8/256 configuration.
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    stop spreading such hogwash!
     
  10. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #10
    I only have 4GB of RAM and I do animation, 3D rendering, and photo editing on my machine.

    If you're using Photoshop, it'll whine about the 3D features not working with 4GB, so that might be your first question to ask yourself - Do you need it, or do you not?

    It'll work perfectly fine otherwise.

    Worry about the hard drive space more. 128GB is a little on the low side considering most TV shows run at about 1GB an episode, you really want a 512GB drive in this case. This will be better for Photoshop which will have a bigger scratch disk to work with, you'll have room to grow your TV and movie collection, and have lots of room to spare for your school documents.
     
  11. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #11
    4 GB of RAM is plenty.

    You may need more internal storage than 128 GB if you plan on storing lots of TV shows on your laptop. If you get an external drive for that, 128 GB is more than enough for school stuff since most of that will be documents and PDFs.
     
  12. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    Sep 23, 2013
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #12
    That will be totally fine. Even though the upgrades aren't too costly the base machine has plenty of power for most tasks. Every dollar counts too for a college student. Think of the weed and beer that a student could buy for a few hundred bucks. :D
     
  13. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    May 8, 2011
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    Los Angeles
    #13
    4GB is ok only if you don't plan to open Safari 20 tabs or open 30 apps at once. :apple:
     
  14. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    Oregon
    #14
    4GB is fine for most users right now. I'd go with an upgraded HDD though, but that's just me.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    this comment is weird in various ways.
     
  16. Asuriyan macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    #16
    I have a fully upgraded Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM. I also have a base model 13" Air (4GB) that I bought because the idea of a $3000 computer being my constant traveling companion gave me night sweats.

    Guess what? I can't tell any difference in their performance for day to day stuff. I wouldn't try virtual machines, but that's about it.

    I've seen people running Mavericks on 7 year old iMacs with 2GB RAM and they aren't complaining at all for light usage. And modern MBPs have SSDs with 10x the I/O throughput of any spinning drive.

    That said, given that there's only a $200 difference for double the storage and double the RAM, if you're already set on a 13" MBP I'd recommend it.
     
  17. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #17
    You can live with 4GB... but only if you bought your computer in 2012 and it doesn't support RAM upgrade. Otherwise, and if you want keep your computer for a couple of years, get 8Gb.
     
  18. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #18
    Well I know Mac OS X manages its RAM better than other OSes, but still.

    Currently got Mail, Safari, Firefox, a Terminal application, iCal, Skype, Adium, Transmission and Dictionary open, and have 9.5GB taken, though on a 16GB-equipped machine.

    Now as I said, RAM compression from Mavericks does wonders. As a college student the OP probably can't afford to switch machines every year: he'll end up paying more than buying a strong machine from the start. "When you're poor, you can't afford to buy cheap". This is especially true for a machine that just has to work.
     
  19. pragmatous macrumors 65816

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    May 23, 2012
    #19
    My opinion in this day and age you want 8GB as the minimum. Otherwise what's the point of having a 64bit advanced OS if you don't have the RAM for it?

     
  20. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #20
    I don't know about the photoshop part, but 4GB is certainly enough for law school work. All you will be running is word, browser, and normal applications.

    I will say this though: depending on where you take the BAR exam, you may need a PC. Last I heard, many states still required a PC for the BAR.

    During law school, the best note-taking app is probably Microsoft OneNote, imo. On a mac, you will likely be creating 100 page+ documents, which take a long time to load. And if you don't back up, or if something goes wrong, it could be a big problem.

    Protip: BACKUP DURING LAW SCHOOL. I'm talking about syncing docs to the cloud across multiple platforms, and doing local external backups. **** always goes wrong during finals.

    Most people in my class used Macs during law school. I played around with running windows through Bootcamp and found it better to just run Mac OS for note-taking.
     
  21. Cubytus macrumors 65816

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    Mar 2, 2007
    #21
    Almost forgot that one!

    I guess the OP can still virtualize it, or use BootCamp at worst.

    Because Murphy says so! Though your advice isn't limited to law school, but to any person having tight deadlines and all their work on the computer.
     
  22. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #22
    I am not saying that having extra ram is a bad thing. But it may not be necessary for the OP to spend extra money for ram they will never need.

    Mavericks uses available ram. I can easily run all of those applications on the base model and not slow down at all. Just because it is displaying 9.5GB does not mean it requires 9.5 to perform those tasks.
     
  23. Yoshi Yogurt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #23
    Got the 16gb Ram Macbook because I wanted the GPU, but 4GB is still plenty. I still rock the original 4GB I put into my Windows 7 gaming Rig because no game I HAVE played yet needs more.

    It honestly sounds like you have no knowledge of computers, so 4GB should be ok anyway...
     
  24. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #24
    Never say "never" talking about computers. Never forget content and applications get steadily heavier as months pass.

    Of course being short on RAM doesn't hurt as much on modern machines than it did a few years ago. RAM compression techniques + standard SSD in recent :apple: machines doesn't make it feeling like the machine lost 3/4 of its power when swapping starts. With 16GB and a spinner installed, I keep swap low enough it never becomes an issue. YMMV with SSD.
     
  25. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #25
    mavericks takes advantage of unused ram. Those meanial apps do not "take" 9.5gb ram.

    Without wasting more time on this topic, which has been discussed daily for months and years, here a link:
    http://bgr.com/2013/11/18/apple-13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-review-late-2013/

    Thats the reality of 4gb ram on the new macbooks. Everyone who has one will confirm.
     

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