One more 8GB vs 16GB thread: Implications with external monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Macula, May 4, 2015.

  1. Macula macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #1
    I am just about to buy a 13" rMBP (I think). I need 512GB of SSD space, so I am looking at the top-tier model with either 8GB or 16GB ram. Does the decision have any performance implications with regard to external monitors? If I hook up a 4K external display to the machine, will the 16GB model handle the load better? I am asking because there is no video RAM in the model, so whatever amount of memory is required to power the external display will be deducted from the available RAM.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #2
    Completely unrelated, so no effect. RAM speed would have more effect than the amount of it, and DDR3 is painfully slow compared to real VRAM.

    Also the amount of RAM the intel card uses is capped.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Ram has nothing to do with an external display. They're completely unrelated, the OS will take some ram for video memory for integrated GPUs yet, that's capped, so you'll not see any difference between 8 and 16GB.

    If you're considering 16GB of ram, you need to determine your usage habits, now, estimate your usage habits in the future and discern how much memory better suits your needs.

    8GB is a great amount to deal with a variety of uses now and the future, but I can understand opting for 16 because the ram is soldered onto the logic board and you cannot upgrade it in the future.

    If your usage consists of emails, office docs, surfing the web, 8GB is more then enough for your needs for the short and long term.
     
  4. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #4
    Thanks to both of you. Anyone knows what this cap is?
     
  5. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    #5
    - 1.5 gb.

    EDIT: Why does MacRumors autocorrect my "GB" to "gb"?
     
  6. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #6
    1.5gb

    ----------

    The forum software automatically un-capitalizes posts that are written in all caps, to avoid shouting.
     
  7. SE43 macrumors member

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    #7
    I went for 16gb due to use of VMs, but I did use 8gb before and it was perfectly fine.

    Depends if you want to spend the extra for it or not, based on your usage, and also based on you not being able to upgrade it in the future.
     
  8. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #8
    Well, that 1.5GB cap does seem like a significant portion of 8GB, no? It effectively reduces the RAM to a minimum of 6.5GB on an 8GB machine. Last question, if I may: what determines how much of this 1.5GB is used t a given time? Is it the number and size of monitors? Is it the scaling selected in preferences?
     
  9. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #9
    If you're doing GPU intensive tasks, it will use more RAM. Really, if you're this unsure about 16GB of RAM, you probably don't need it. With RAM compression you'll get 12-14 GBs out of the RAM anyway.
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #10
    More monitors

    Will of course use more Vram, but which processes are being performed on each screen as well.

    If you just tell us what you are using the computer for then you'll get far more pertinent answers to your question.
     
  11. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #11
    Well, aside from the usual non-suspects (browsing, office apps, media playing) I do a lot of background LaTeX typesetting, Xcode, and I leave a bunch of apps open in full-screen mode (about 10 at a time) switching between them all the time. There is always at least one flash video playing while this is going on. And I read enormous PDFs (in the ballpark of 500MB each). Will be using an external 4k display in extended desktop mode. I am also a bit anxious about the demands of future OS versions (I don't see myself buying another machine earlier than 4-5 years out).
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #12
    Well

    With that workload the 13 inch will do it but the 15 inch will do it far more comfortably.

    Don't get set in stone on how long things will last, this sounds like it is your work and if those needs change then your hardware needs may well change.

    Also if this is your means of making money make sure you always have the money set aside to replace any computers that are essential to your work, any computer may just die on you and often a few days without said computer will cost you more than just buying a new one....

    I would get the 13 inch and check it out, you have 14 days to return no questions asked, if it's not for you then wait for the next 15 inch update or get one of last years on a good deal somewhere or refurbed...
     
  13. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #13
    To be honest, I am glad to read your recommendation because that's what I also thought (but didn't dare admit). Quad-core seems the way to go in this instance. Unfortunately I am traveling around far too much these days to utilize the 14-day return policy. I would go ahead and get a 2014 15-incher but I am a bit of a sucker for the force touchpad (and the new Iris).

    Do assume correctly that the non-dGPU 15-incher would do?
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    Yes

    The Non dGPU would be fine, (my only issue with it is the base 256gb SSD size is a bit small!!!).

    The force touchpad looks good but it's just a touchpad. The new IRIS has proven to show very little difference to the 5100 in the haswell 13 inchers in practice despite showing quite well in benchmarks. The IRIS PRO 5200 in the base 15 inch model still spanks it handily...

    As for the returns policy buy it in one store return it to another should be no problem if needed...
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    Why not wait until later this summer for the new 15" models? I'm sue they'll get the force touch trackpad.
     
  16. Macula thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macula

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    #16
    Helpful replies, thanks. I need the machine somewhat urgently but indeed am inclined to wait until June or July. The 512GB-equipped 15-incher costs around 2900USD in Europe (that's for the model without the dGPU), and I am reluctant to shell this amount out for a machine that won't be the latest and greatest at the time of purchase.
     
  17. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #17
    Maybe look at UK amazon

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-MacBo...1430987485&sr=8-1&keywords=macbook+pro+15+512
     

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