Is 8G of RAM good for light usage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Adelphos33, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Adelphos33, Sep 23, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017

    Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 13, 2012
    #1
    I currently use my MacBook Pro (2015) about once a week. I also take it on trips. Office apps, light photo and video editing, etc. I also use well under 256G in space.

    I know the advice here is to always spend more on RAM, but I’m wondering if a base MacBook can really work for 4-5 years on the base RAM given my usage
     
  2. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a

    QueenTyrone

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  3. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #3
    8 GB should usually be fine for what you describe for a few years, but it will start to feel constraining if you change your usage or if you keep it longer than a few years. 5 years is a long time.

    I bought a 16 GB MacBook. My usage habits are 95% of the time like yours, but occasionally I do more multitasking, and I also tend to keep my laptops over 5 years.

    Mind you, if you are only using your laptop only once a week, then it may not be a big deal for you if you are occasionally constrained in year 4 or 5.
     
  4. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #4
    Not the OP, but if the 8GB in my current computer (2014 rMBP) is enough for my usage should 8GB continue to be fine in a 2017 rMB or rMBP? (Still haven't decided which I'm getting; I'm actually leaning toward the rMB for the portability)
     
  5. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    Oct 17, 2016
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #5
    8GB is absolutely fine and you'll likely be wanting a new computer long before you notice any issues here. So up to you, it'll work fine, but if you think you might keep it for 5+ years or change jobs then it's up to you whether you spend the extra on that safety net.
     
  6. torana355 macrumors 68040

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    8gb for light usage is more then enough and will continue to be for many years. My MBA has 4gb and is still fine for light usage running High Sierra. I currently have 8 tabs open in Safari with iTunes, Skype, Tweetbot and Mail open and im using 3.5GB.
     
  7. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #7
    I find 4 GB fine for really basic usage, but even with business app type use it can bog down from time to time, which is why I think even for basic use, 8 GB is recommended.

    If it's fine today in one computer then it will be fine today in a different computer too. But that doesn't tell you if it's going to be fine in 3 years. Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

    For the record I have three High Sierra laptops in this house in active use:

    16 GB MacBook Core m3
    8 GB mid-2009 MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz
    4 GB late 2008 MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz

    All of them work fine, but there is a noticeable jump in consistency of performance going from the 4 GB machine to the 8 GB machine. (Both machines have SSD.) For light to moderate business type use, 8 GB is the sweet spot IMO.
     
  8. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #8
    Thank you. Light to moderate business type use perfectly describes what I'd be doing on the new computer. The reason the 8GB appeals to me - in addition to the reduced cost - is I'm considering a refurbished one and am unlikely to find a 16GB core m3 in the refurbished store. So, if 8GB will work for general business use for a reasonable amount of time I'd prefer to go with that. I do recognize that I can't upgrade the RAM later, though, so it's a now or never thing, hence wanting to be certain!
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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  10. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

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    #10
    My wife is using my old 2GB 2010 MacBook Air. She uses Word, Chrome, and Citrix Receiver to do all her schoolwork. Currently running macOS Sierra, it came with Snow Leopard. RAM pressure is yellow all the time but that’s expected of 2GB RAM at this point.

    I really think 8GB will be fine for your needs.
     
  11. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #11
    Wow. Masochist! ;) Difficult to use a 2 GB machine with Sierra or High Sierra, even with SSD. Mind you, I tried even with Yosemite and it was still bad. Snow Leopard runs more acceptably on 2 GB but Snow Leopard itself is a big problem since most recent software (including major browsers) is not compatible with it.

    You can pick up used MacBooks these days with better specs (much faster CPU and 4 GB RAM, or else upgradable 2 GB RAM) for really cheap, but the problem is they are really heavy. But if you're just using it on a desk, it may be an option.
     
  12. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #12
    Don’t know what you’re talking about regarding difficulty. The computer is responsive and usable for the tasks I listed. It isn’t sequencing genes or trying to discover the next prime number or anything crazy.
     
  13. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #13
    Definitely don't use an 8 GB machine then. ;) It's night vs day vs 2 GB. I sometimes get quite irritated even with a 4 GB machine (with SSD) just doing surfing, Word, and email.

    That said, if you are meticulous with regards to quitting programs and limiting browser tabs and such, that can go a long way to helping responsiveness on a 2-4 GB machine.
     
  14. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I find things are often relative too. I considered my 2011 cMBP to be perfectly useable. It was only when I switched to a 2014 rMBP (I wanted something lighter) and then went back to the cMBP to retrieve some files that I noticed the difference. Before that I didn't have a point of comparison so it didn't really bother me.

    I find the same with phones. I was using a 6+ on iOS 10 until a month or so ago. No issues with it. Now that I've been using a 7+ on iOS 10 consistently, though, I'd find the constant safari, etc. refreshes on the 6+ frustrating. But had I never switched to the 7+ I wouldn't even notice. Same deal with my Mini 1, I know people who read ebooks on them and don't mind the speed at all. I still have mine and it's functional and I could read a book on it, but I find it too frustratingly slow now that I've been consistently reading on a newer iPad.
     
  15. EugW, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
    #15
    Yeah, it's all relative, but obviously some of us are more sensitive to this sort of stuff than others. For my iPhone 5S, I thought it was perfectly fine in terms of responsiveness in iOS 9, but the constant Safari reloads drove me up the wall. It was especially bad when I was trying to enter text into a box or form. I'd go somewhere else (other page or contacts list) to get some info and then come back the Safari text entry page, only to have it delete everything I had entered before because of a reload. Really irritating.

    So, back in 2016 I sold it and got the 3 GB iPhone 7 Plus. Much better experience in this regard.

    And I find the iPad 2 with iOS 9 extremely painful to use. About the only thing we use it for is Netflix and YouTube, but for a primary iPad, I had replaced it way back in 2014 with an iPad Air 2.
     
  16. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

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    May 2, 2008
    #16
    Having to re-enter data was really annoying. I mostly browsed, or I think that'd have bugged me more. It became more prominent to me once I got an iPad 2017. The lack of page refreshes made the 6+ ones that much more evident to me.
     
  17. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Jan 8, 2008
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    Tampa, Florida
    #17
    I’m right there with your wife then. I’m a teacher, and I use a 2011 2GB 11” Air as my laptop at school. It handles everything I throw at it as far as basic productivity goes with aplomb.
     
  18. asoksevil macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #18
    I ordered one with 16 GB of RAM because of all the "future proof? ******** and ended up regretting it. Returned it and ordered a 8 GB RAM. Seriously, unless you are running very HEAVY RAM usage apps, it just isn't worth because you will never fully utilize it so you might as well save that money.
     

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17 September 23, 2017