ram for rMBP: 4 vs 8

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Sparta1978, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Sparta1978 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    #1
    I got a chance to evaluate a 4gb RAM rMBP from 2013.
    What I found is that the machine continues to be responsive and does not show lag after ram is maxed out.

    Based on this, what is the motivation of buying extra ram, if ssd speed is sufficiently close to ram nowadays?

    David
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #2
    While SSDs get faster, they still only offer less than a tenth of the speed RAM offers, and some applications just need more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM, thus people using such applications will see a slowdown with only 4 GB of RAM.
    For the average user though, which only browses the www and checks emails and watches videos and maybe manipulates photos or videos occasionally or edits texts or numbers, 4 GB will suffice though.

    But for someone who needs to do more, 4 GB is cutting it close, even with SSD speeds nowadays.
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #3
    When paging out RAM to the SSD, you're writing to the SSD. For smaller SSDs (128GB and maybe 256GB), this'll reduce its lifespan as they can't withstand as many writes as the 512GB or 1TB counterparts.

    And SSDs are still noticeably slower than RAM. 1600MHz RAM can write at almost 30 GB/s but a 128GB SSD can only write at 400 MB/s.
     
  4. Sparta1978 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 4, 2014
    #4
    I write professionally, and have a pdf, multiple word documents, auto-cad type of program open simultaneously, so that's my benchmark.

    In addition i went ahead and opened all of the iWork series of programs in addition to programs mentioned above and it seemed pretty fast to me. A lot faster than my ex- mbp non-retina late 2011, 4gb, 2.4ghz., 500gb drive where lag was noticeable once ram was maxed out.

    I suspect the speed of the drive made all the difference.

    I did like your points simsaladimbamba and yjchua95, particularly about the lifespan of the ssd.

    David
     
  5. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #5
    Ram thread here we come ... :D

    SSD speeds are nowhere near Ram speed.

    For most people with commonly spread needs (Word, presentations, browsing, some photo/video editing, aso) 4gb of ram is well enough.

    The upgrade options to 8gb or even 16gb are for people who for example run VMs or multitask a lot with multimedia programs.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #6
    How did you evaluate the MBP, run one thing, surf the web? Did you run some demanding apps that require more resources like VMware or Photoshop?

    I'd say for simple tasks, 4GB is ok, but if you have some demanding apps it may be inadequate.
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    I know that you consider 4gb meager, but the new macbooks with ssds + 4gb run even traditionally more demanding apps like Ps, Lr and even Fcp without any problems. Yosemite will run fine with 2gb of ram. 4gb is double that. I think we are still a few years away from 4gb becoming the minimum and by then ... You know where I am going.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I can't answer about Yosemite since I don't have it installed, but my Mac Mini was flagging quite a bit with 4GB of ram. now with 8gb, its like a whole new machine. I wasn't using a lot of demanding apps on it either.

    I've also seen a number of threads with Mavericks lilting under 4gb of ram, so much so I think its something that if you can avoid you'll be better off with 8GB.

    Finally, because ram is soldered onto the logic board, you're not setting yourself up for the future. There's no way to upgrade if future apps, or the OS are more bloated or require more ram.

    imo, its a no brainer to better future proof a rMBP with 8gb then go with 4. and possibly put yourself in a position of frustration in the near future.
     
  9. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #9
    A mac mini is not a macbook, you cannot compare those two. Everything is soldered now except for ssds and they are not economical to replace. There is threads about everything on here. From first hand experience I notice no difference between 4gb and 8gb on macbook.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #10
    I bolded your post that I wanted to address first. Yes everything is soldered so why lock yourself in with 4GB because you may not see a performance hit NOW. We have no idea what the future brings and as I mention there are people in the Mavericks forum that complained about performance problems with 4GB of ram.

    Also let me address my Mac Mini. You infer that because its not a MacBook I cannot compare its performance with 4GB with a MBP. That makes no sense at all. First its a mac running the same software and it has the same ram and storage. Secondly, the chipsets used in Mac Minis are the mobile flavor, so for all intents and purposes the comparison is valid.

    Finally, you may see some threads where people are running fine with 4gb, but I'm here giving you first hand experience as a Mac user running Mavericks that there was a big difference in performance when I upgraded the ram.

    The bottom line imo is that if your going to buy a machine that has its ram hardwired in, why buy the minimum especially when all through-out the computer history apps, and operating systems get more resource hungry with newer versions.
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    The mac mini has the cmbp 2012 guts. The 2013 + 2014 machines perform different.
    I am not saying that 8gb or even 16gb arent the way to go for some. i have 8gb in my rmbp.
    But: The vast majority of folks wont use more than 4gb in the foreseeable future.
     

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