MacBook Pro Ram advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Glosstwit, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Glosstwit macrumors newbie

    Glosstwit

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    #1
    new user first post looking for some help.

    My 2011 MacBook Pro has given up the ghost and I’m looking to replace it. I had a lot of media which has taken up almost all of the 512gbs of my current MacBook.

    On my new MacBook I plan to have 512gb internal SSD and keep all my media on an external drive which I will be connecting to the laptop every time it’s in use.

    My question is, will 8gbs of RAM be enough for this or would 16gbs be better. It’s quite a big price jump so I don’t want to pay for extra RAM I will most likely never need. Basically the laptop will be around 750gbs of data.

    Whilst I have a large amount of files the laptop will not be used for any heavy duty work such as hi-def video editing or graphics.

    Any advice on build spec would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. PhilMacbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Location:
    Britain
    #3
    Better for what?

    (BTW I am typing this on a 16gb MBP)
     
  3. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #4
    Since you still have a 2011 Macbook, I presume you're not a frequent upgrader, so perhaps you'd be better served by 16GB, supposing you'll keep your new Mac until, let's say, 2024, or even longer. Besides, I wouldn't get an 8GB Macbook Pro. I could, in other hand, get an 8GB Macbook or Macbook Air, since they're not intended to do heavy work on audio, graphics, software development and so on. In short, it all depends on the use you'll make from a new laptop.
     
  4. FrostyF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Western Canada
    #5
    Get 16....small price to pay if you plan on keeping it for several years. My Chrome tabs exceed 16GB alone.
     
  5. jaduff46 macrumors 6502

    jaduff46

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Second star on the right....
    #6
    Agree on the 16gb. I tend to invest in top of the line new things, then keep for a long time. Witness my 2010 iMac, which still serves me well. The next upgrade will be a laptop, potentially the current 13” MBP with the 16/512 configuration.
     
  6. Glosstwit, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    Glosstwit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Glosstwit

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    #7
    Thank you all for your replies firstly, greatly appreciated.

    Yes, I’m not a frequent upgrader mainly for financial reasons and this is something I had considered in terms of “future proofing”. With this purchase there’s no reason why I couldn’t, theoretically, upgrade in 2-3 years time though so I’m not looking to future proof for 6 years. My 2011 MBP is deathly slow but honestly I can’t tell if that’s just because I have so much stored on there in terms of music and video or because I have about 30 tabs open constantly on chrome. It also only has 4gbs RAM for 512gb hdd. So 8gbs RAM will be double what I’ve been working with last seven years.

    I did consider the Air but given there was only a £140 difference between the 8GB/512gb Air and the same spec Touch Bar MBP, it didn’t seem to make sense to pay so much for a laptop that ultimately is less technologically capable.

    Having said that, the 16gb/512gb Air build is a good £300 cheaper than same build for the Touch Bar MBP...

    I don’t really do heavy work on audio/software dev/graphics etc. At most I retouch photos and I transcribe audio and create backing tracks once or twice a year. I was still able to do this on my 2011 last year it was just painfully slow and clunky with a constant spinning wheel. This is why I always assumed my issue was a storage one not memory, but I would hate to get 8GB of RAM and end up with a laptop that can barely run in 2 years time.
     
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #8
    Everything....trust me
     
  8. PhilMacbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Location:
    Britain
    #9
    No thanks.
     
  9. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #10
    whatever

    The advantage of more RAM is that app's run faster, you an run multiple app's, etc.
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    Apps do not run faster they slow down if you run out of ram but 8gb is a huge amount for the average user and over the last 9 years as an average user (up to 9 desktops with 4 apps and browsers open on each) I have never come close to maxing out 8gb of ram.
     
  11. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    That is not how it works.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    Whether you need 8gb or 16gb of RAM depends upon what apps you'll be using, and how large the files will be that you need to manipulate.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay Apple's high prices for a large SSD upon which to store things like saved movies and music. I'd keep them on an external drive, instead.
    But that's just me.
     
  13. Glosstwit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Glosstwit

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    #14
    Thanks for this.

    I guess the apps I would mostly be using (simultaneously) is Photoshop, Spotify, Chrome and Photos.

    Head says get 16gbs RAM, wallet says 8gbs will be plenty for 3-4yrs usage
     
  14. jaduff46 macrumors 6502

    jaduff46

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Second star on the right....
    #15
    Agree with @Fishrrman on not buying a lot of SSD if you may not need it and the external SSD may make sense in your case. The 16/256 is $400 more than the 8/256 configuration which is $100/year if you’re keeping it for 4 years, so 15-20% more up front but not much over the useful life of the machine IMO.
     
  15. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #16

    Damn it. I use 8GB and never have issues, but I thought that I'd got magic RAM. I'm suddenly feeling less special.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 20, 2018 ---
    I'd go for RAM over storage. I use 8GB and have no issues, but if I was buying today I'd seriously consider 16GB. For no significant reason to be honest, except that I use external storage (NAS) which is very cheap and easy to upgrade, as opposed to the RAM, which I cannot upgrade.

    I do some amateur audio stuff in GarageBand and some Lightroom stuff. Aside from that, mostly web browsing and basic office documents. I don't have issues with memory availability. I'm not a frequent upgrader so I figure 16GB would allow me to hang onto it for longer.

    I'm not upgrading right now though, because my 8GB machine still works fantastically.
     
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #17
    I've never owned a Mac with OSX 10+ with less than 16gb ram. However I got a decent deal on a 2018 13" MBP with Touch Bar, i5 8gb RAM and 512gb SSD.

    I was worried about the 8gb of RAM since my iMac has 32gb. Since you can never have too much I never considered it too much, just stick in the max myself and be done with it.

    I'm pleasantly surprised with the performance of my MBP with 8gb RAM and my specific workload. This is using 10 poorly optimized websites in safari tabs, messages, photos, FaceTime (for wifi calling), email for work PLUS Gimp editing a photos that I was importing into iMovie.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 1.35.58 AM.png

    That is certainly not impressive consider 1.12 gb of data is on the SSD and 1.55 gb of data is compressed. However I can say performance didn't falter.

    That will not be the case for everyone, however if you are a casual user 8gb of RAM will certainly work. Apples SSD's makes up the difference vs HDD's of yesteryear. If you are using external storage for more than media I would consider more RAM just to keep data cached locally.
     
  17. Dominus Mortem macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #18
    Several Apple experts have said the same thing to me and others, which I will repeat here: A lot of what you see in those memory stats when you open up the Activity Monitor is memory that is reserved by the apps using them. They may not actually be using all of it. It may say 6.17 used, but that doesn't mean 100% of that 6.17 is actually "in use." The more ram you have the more each application will reserve, making it look like more is being used, but it's not.

    I ran an experiment on my 2017 non-TB 13" with 8gb of ram. I opened up a ton of tabs in Safari and then started loading up a giant folder of pictures files in Photoshop. Photoshop loaded up a couple hundred before it started really huffing and puffing. I'd never load that many in actual usage, not even close. Even when I was watching a movie, using photoshop, opening a bunch of web tabs, running iTunes and a few other apps, it never slowed down the machine (after those files were loaded).

    I have another MacBook Pro, a 15" with 16gb of memory. I ran the very same test on it and it claimed to be using around 12gb of ram doing the same thing. I loaded up the same Photoshop files and had roughly the same of other apps/tabs open. Both machines had about the same level of memory pressure going on. The 15" has more horsepower and was able to load them faster. That was about the only difference.

    What actually matters in Activity Monitor is that green blob under memory pressure. If that's green, you're not taxing your available ram resources.

    Apple SSDs are so freaking fast that even if swapping is occurring, while it's not as fast as dynamic ram, it's significantly faster than the fastest HDD.

    If you're still not sure about all this you had best purchase that 16 now because, as you know, there's no upgrading it later.
     
  18. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #19
    This right here. I've said it before on this forum and the armchair engineers laughed at me. But with our SSD's attaining 3GB/s transfer speed, We aren't going to notice the slow down like we used to from virtual memory/swap.
     

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18 December 1, 2018