new 16 Macbook 16GB or 32?

jerryk

macrumors 603
Original poster
Nov 3, 2011
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So is going to 32 GB worth an extra $320?

I currently have 16 GB in my 2018 MBP 15 and am not experiencing memory issues. But I may want to run a docker container or 2 in the future. I have never used containers before and was wondering what people thought.
 

wallysb01

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2011
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I'm going to just go for 64GB. Data keeps getting bigger and I want as much flexibility to do work on my laptop, as oppose to being forced to do it on servers/cloud, as possible.

If I'm you, I get 32GB.
 
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Ma2k5

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Dec 21, 2012
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16GB is more than fine to be honest, I do find the RAM prices a bit too much to just have 32GB for the sake of it. If it was half the cost I'd say go for it, but I think 16GB is definitely suitable for VM's/Dockers (people have been doing it and still do it on 8GB).
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
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So is going to 32 GB worth an extra $320?

I currently have 16 GB in my 2018 MBP 15 and am not experiencing memory issues. But I may want to run a docker container or 2 in the future. I have never used containers before and was wondering what people thought.
Just did a test where I opened Xcode, an iPhone simulator, a 5GB Parallels VM, as well as usual email/browser, etc., I get red-line memory pressure with 16GB. I am going 32. If you are doing docker, I would defintely go for it.
 
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pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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I will go with 32 as I run into issues with 16 on my 2014 - but part of that is because 1.5 GB is used for Intel Integrated Graphics. I have two trading programs that use a lot of memory and combined with my other stuff - creates memory pressure. I moved some work programs off to a second MacBook Pro and that works well right now but it would be nice to be able to do everything on one system.

So, it depends on what you do. People running Virtual Machines also may want 32 GB. If you plan to keep your MBP for five to ten years, then I think that 32 GB is the way to go.
 
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maxsquared

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2009
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Depends, my 2016 with 16 GB definitely hit the limit here and there. I was even thinking of 64 GB, maybe a bit of overkill though, but it's entirely up to you.
 

pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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Depends, my 2016 with 16 GB definitely hit the limit here and there. I was even thinking of 64 GB, maybe a bit of overkill though, but it's entirely up to you.
I don't think that I'd need 64 GB; I think that it would be time to upgrade by the time I needed that much. If Apple is going to make reliable systems going forward, then I don't think that I'd worry about getting 64 at this time unless the price were quite reasonable for the extra 32.
 
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Strangedream

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Sep 15, 2019
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Depends on your usage but in most cases 16GB should be more than enough for the years to come.
If you intend to play some demanding games or do some video editing 32GB would make more sense.
 
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junkw

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
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go for 32GB.
Just running modern things like Knative containers on Docker Mac takes 10GB
 

prometheus12

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2019
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I will go with 32 as I run into issues with 16 on my 2014 - but part of that is because 1.5 GB is used for Intel Integrated Graphics. I have two trading programs that use a lot of memory and combined with my other stuff - creates memory pressure. I moved some work programs off to a second MacBook Pro and that works well right now but it would be nice to be able to do everything on one system.

So, it depends on what you do. People running Virtual Machines also may want 32 GB. If you plan to keep your MBP for five to ten years, then I think that 32 GB is the way to go.
Curious which trading programs you use. I use the one from Fidelity and it's pretty heavy.

I have a 2015 MBP with 16 BG RAM and it definitely hits the threshold with a few docker containers running. I'm going to go with 32GB.
 

pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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Curious which trading programs you use. I use the one from Fidelity and it's pretty heavy.

I have a 2015 MBP with 16 BG RAM and it definitely hits the threshold with a few docker containers running. I'm going to go with 32GB.
I use the same one, Fidelity Active Trader Pro, and also, Ameritrade's Think or Swim. I display a lot of real-time-charts and those things apparently use up a lot of memory. I can't run my trading stuff along with my work stuff which is why I bought a second machine to split trading off from work.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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I have ordered a 16GB model. I do programming and data analysis and I don't see a point for me to have more than 16GB right now. I will upgrade to 32GB at some point when CPUs will come with quad-memory channels by default. As to the 64GB option: frankly I think Apple only put that in to make some money of spec-obsessed people.
 

pshufd

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Oct 24, 2013
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I have ordered a 16GB model. I do programming and data analysis and I don't see a point for me to have more than 16GB right now. I will upgrade to 32GB at some point when CPUs will come with quad-memory channels by default. As to the 64GB option: frankly I think Apple only put that in to make some money of spec-obsessed people.
Some programming environments do work better with more RAM. If you're working with source code bases of 10-30 million lines of code, then building your project may benefit quite a bit with more RAM.

My son works with Genomic data - they typically do their work on servers but it might be nice to be able to do it on a local system too. Their servers typically have hundreds of GB of RAM.
 

BigBoy2018

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Oct 23, 2018
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I'm going to just go for 64GB. Data keeps getting bigger and I want as much flexibility to do work on my laptop, as oppose to being forced to do it on servers/cloud, as possible.

If I'm you, I get 32GB.
You seem to be confusing RAM with STORAGE. Having extra ram isn't going to save you from doing anything on the cloud. If you want to avoid the cloud, get a bigger SSD.
 

pshufd

macrumors 68000
Oct 24, 2013
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You seem to be confusing RAM with STORAGE. Having extra ram isn't going to save you from doing anything on the cloud. If you want to avoid the cloud, get a bigger SSD.
If you have an application that requires 48 GB of RAM, then you have to run it on the cloud unless you have enough RAM on your personal system.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
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Some programming environments do work better with more RAM. If you're working with source code bases of 10-30 million lines of code, then building your project may benefit quite a bit with more RAM.
Well, this is a bit tricky. If you can parallelise your builds, and if you have enough cores to run the compilation in parallel, then yes, you'd need more RAM. But given that MBP only hs a dual-channel memory controller, it simply doesn't have enough bandwidth — or cores, to take it to the extreme. Mac Pro and iMac Pro etc. are different since they have more memory channels and can do more work independently.

At any rate, when I am building clang (15 millions line of code, which is probably the biggest project I will ever need to build on my laptop) with 10 threads, my memory pressure does not even get to yellow with 16GB. I think I'll be fine for a while. In fact, 16 instances of clang running in parallel take less than 1.5Gb of RAM, so yeah. If I had a workstation with 16+ cores, then yes, I'd definitely want 32GB RAM at least.

My son works with Genomic data - they typically do their work on servers but it might be nice to be able to do it on a local system too. Their servers typically have hundreds of GB of RAM.
For heavy-duty stuff I have clusters with thousands of CPU cores and up to 4TB RAM. Locally, 16GB is more then enough for me to prototype the analysis code before it gets sent to the cluster.
 

phillytim

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2011
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Philadelphia, PA
I can't believe people must spend almost $3000 for a computer to get 32GB RAM; I can't believe people spend almost $2000 on a 13" MacBook Pro with only 8GB RAM. Especially when any RAM is soldered-in and non-user-upgradeable. No sale for me.
 
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