Memory upgrade necessary on 2012 MBP 15 Base? 8GB or 16GB? 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cherishzm, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. cherishzm, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    cherishzm macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    I just bought a 2012 MBP 15 Base and it comes with 4GB 1600 MHz memory. I put M4 256GB SSD to boost the speed immediately but think I need to upgrade memory (I already had the M4 ordered few weeks ago). I run Windows 7 via Parallels and usually have multiple windows of Excel spreadsheets (Office for Mac), Word documents, PDF's, and browsers. I rarely use graphics related programs other than Seashore. By the way, I had to assign only 1GB to the W7 due to having only 4GB total system memory.

    System Monitor under my activity monitor shows 4.15GB Page ins, 2.33 GB Page outs, and 2.16GB of Swap used (I'm not sure when it resets but I rebooted the system yesterday afternoon).

    Would I benefit from upgraded memory? I'm thinking 8GB would be more than sufficient but also wonder if I need to use 1600 MHz memory versus cheaper 1333 MHz memory. Also, would I ever need 16GB memory in the next 2~3 years?
  2. Exana macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Best performances is 2 x 4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 or 2 x 8GB DDR3-1600 CL10 if you need more memory.
    DDR3-1333 will bring some small performances drop, so not great choice.
  3. cherishzm, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Would I notice the performance drop going from 1600 MHz to 1333 MHz with my usage? I could buy Kingston 4GB 1333 MHz x 2 for $35 today. Not sure what would the 1600 MHz ones cost today.
  4. m4tic macrumors member

    Apr 5, 2011
    You already bought a pretty pricey laptop; but want to skimp on memory? 16GB/8GB of the good stuff is not bad at all.
  5. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    You definitely need more memory. I would do 16 so long as you're going through the process. Wait, I am going through the process. I ordered 16gb, it should be here today.

    I also run VM's, usually two at a time. It's not much more expensive for 16 vs. 8.

    Would you notice a speed difference? Only in a benchmark program.
  6. cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    I always look for a bargain and found a good deal on the 2012 MBP 15 for only $1200 cash. I just don't want to spend more money on something I won't necessarily need in the near future.
  7. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    This is silly. More RAM will do nothing to speed you up -- including benchmark programs -- unless it's used. For the vast majority of users, 8 is more than enough for now and the next couple years. Put it this way -- you can use Mountain Lion A-OK on 4GB if your load isn't too heavy.
  8. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    for your usage, 8 is definitely fine. the only thing you do thats even remotely taxing is running parallels. if you want to get 16, then go for it but it doesn't look like it would ever be utilized.
  9. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    You are correct but that's not what he asked about. The speed difference in the two types of RAM he asked about would not be seen in the real world.

    As for the amount of RAM. He's paging at 4gb, as would most people with heavy use. 8GB is usually sufficient for even heavy app use. My argument is that, so long as you're using VM's and doing the upgrade you may as well get 16GB, the expense is not that much more.

    Then you can allocate 4 GB to the Windows 7 VM and are free to do extremely heavy work on the Mac side.
  10. cherishzm thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like 8GB would be sufficient for my usage but how about ordering a single 8GB memory and replace one stick with it making a total of 10GB? Does the pair always have to be the same brand/speed/etc?

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