MBP 16 2019 -- How are you dealing with 16GB Ram


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 27, 2017
Just got my machine yesterday, and currently I am not even running too much:


and I am already at 12GB used of 16GB

How are you all dealing with 16GB ram with Photoshop, Lightroom or xcode or other build tools?



macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
SF Bay Area
Notice the green memory pressure. You are fine.

The way virtual memory management systems, like the one in MacOS, work is they give memory to any process that requests it. And only take it away from the process because another process needs it.

So when a system is lightly loaded processes will get all the memory they every requested and hold on to it even if they are no longer using that memory. Only when another process needs memory, and there is not enough unallocated memory, will this process give back the memory it is no longer using.

The Memory Pressure shows when requests for memory are higher than available unused memory by turning yellow, and if its get really bad, red.


macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2017
It goes like this:
macOS uses _all available memory_ for things like caching. This cached memory is essentially free.

If there is no free memory and no cached memory, it puts some memory into hard drive and back when it is needed. This is called swapping and which is generally not good and will slow down your computer, usually when switching between apps or browser tabs.

It's more complicated (e.g. macOS will compress some memory), but the point is, no matter how much memory you have, macOS will use it. The speed or snappiness problems start happening when you start working with multiple heavy apps like Photoshop, xcode, VMs. But people have had 16 GB in MBPs up until 2018. What makes you think that 16 GB is suddenly completely unusable?
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macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2020
For unix-like operating systems it is typical to cache as much as possible into RAM, to speed-up your system and to minimize calls to slow disk.
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