Retina Macbook Pro 8gb is actually 16gb

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thatguy215, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. thatguy215 macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I was just talking to an apple representative online and she told me that for the new Retina Macbook Pro, 8gb of ram actually acts as 16gb because it is flash storage.

    Has anyone been able to confirm this?

    Because this is a flash based computer which in effect doubles the ram capacity. So 8gb is like 16gb and 16gb is like 32gb.
  2. samac92 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2008
    They must be mistaken

    The only effect it being flash based would have is that any page outs you have when RAM is running low will be faster, minimising beach balls. But no, RAM does not get doubled that doesn't make sense.
  3. cruggles macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2010
    If they are saying the ssd swap space is as good as RAM they are speaking with forked tongue.
  4. Nebrie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    Reminds me of an old article where the magazine spoke to an eMachines technical support person and they were so proud of the fact that just two weeks ago they didn't even know how to turn on a computer.
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Not sure how that logic works but yes, paging out to a ssd is much faster than to a hdd
  6. RealEvil macrumors 6502

    Aug 5, 2007
    they were clumsily telling you that paging is quicker with SSDs (copying data from disk to ram) that you can survive better with less ram if you have a SSD. Its still not as good as having more ram though as paging is still not "free" with an SSD.
  7. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    I think it she may have been trying to say that maximum RAM capacity would be less important for some people because of the faster disk access of the SSD, so loading something from disk to RAM is much faster.

    Relative speeds:
    HDD < SSD/Flash < RAM

    The 8GB Retina Macbook Pro has 8GB of DRAM on the logic board, not 16 or 32 or any other amount. If you use applications that combined with the OS try to keep more than 8GB worth of stuff in RAM, it will have to page out to the SSD, which is faster than an old mechanical HDD but slower than RAM.
  8. Rhyalus macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2011
    Sorry - it does not make sense at all.

    Space is space. Even if it were slightly faster, you still would not have 16GB of addressable memory space.

    They lied.

  9. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    To give some indication of just how much crap is talked by Apple staff, I overheard one of the sales staff in the Apple Store say, today, and I quote:

    "This isn't just the most high resolution Mac that we've ever made, it's the greatest Mac we've ever made, period."

    Keep in mind, I live in Scotland, and we don't say period. Cringeworthy stuff.
  10. thatguy215 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Thanks a lot guys for the quick response. I knew something was up.
  11. hfm57 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Ouch. Straight from the mouth of the marketing department.
  12. hfm57 macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I'll send it over straight away. 8GBto16GB.exe
  13. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    Technically accurate, but in reality, not worth making the comparison. This is like saying a Porsche is faster than a horse. Using an ssd or hdd for virtual memory is slow.

    Ars technica has a good article on the subject:
  14. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012

    RAM is memory that loads your software (including OS) as you use them
    Hard drive is storage where your applications and software lives

    RAM is not flash memory. Flash does not double memory. SSD typically uses MLC - multi-layer cell which naturally has a short life span especially with constant writes.,3132-2.html

  15. cruggles macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2010
    Exactly, and that is even an argument that you should have MORE RAM when using flash storage because constant page-outs to flash will reduce the life of your flash storage.
  16. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    It's true! Also true -- if you put a Lambrohini hood ornament on a Miata it will go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds.

    Seriously though... no. Don't listen to phone reps. They are just glorified order takers with cheat sheets in front of them. They also get evaluated based on there sales rate so they are likely to tell you anything to make sure you don't hang up to ponder what to buy a bit longer.
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  18. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Addressable space on modern CPUs is not constrained by the amount of installed RAM. Its called 'virtual memory'. You can easily allocate much more memory than available RAM, its the job of the OS to manage your data (which entails using your HDD/SSD as RAM 'extension', which people refer to as 'paging out'). It is correct that SSD allows for much much faster paging (due to its very low latency) — still what the Apple guy is saying there is just a poor marketing BS. But well, many of these guys don't know anything about computers...
  19. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    That must hurt. ;-)
  20. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Technically—if we really want to go into it—I believe the Samsung 830 used in these new systems features 256MB of DDR2 ram as a cache. So while it's not even close to an extra 16 or 32GB, 256MB was the total ram in the first system I built myself, lol. And the amount of ram in the first iPad. It's a pretty hefty cache, so it should be helpful at the very least!

    I can't wait for non-volatile ram. I remember reading that great advances have been made and they have some functioning units, but it's expensive (I think that was over a year ago). What I wouldn't give for a 1TB ram drive!! Now that would be impressive. Boot would be instantaneous. Like waking from sleep. There would be no reason for sleep mode. Just suspend state in ram and turn off. Now that would be magic. And every file would save before you could blink. Now imagine something like that on an iPad and my head asplodes.
  21. Panini macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    Palo Alto, CA

    If she was trying to sell you the product (assuming 16GB models were sold out or it's more beneficial to her for whatever reason that you buy the 8GB model) you should have asked:

    "So does that mean that by upgrading to the 16GB model I am actually getting 16GB more RAM rather than 8GB more? Does this mean the 16GB model is better for the money?"
  22. NTurner42 macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2010
    Sounds about like the girl who was trying to sell me the new 15 inch MacBook Air yesterday at the Appel Store.
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's important to remember than "Genius" is only their job title, and not necessarily an indication of their knowledge, experience or expertise. The Flash storage has nothing to do with the RAM capacity. The only time HDD/SSD plays a role in RAM issues is when you exceed your RAM capacity and begin having page outs. When paging (or swapping), information has to be written from RAM to your drive (page out), so that new information can be paged into RAM. This process slows performance because the drive speed is much slower than the RAM speed. The paging performance improves by using Flash storage (SSD), but it's still slower than RAM speeds.
  24. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    8gb ram is 8gb ram.

    it may perform slightly like a 16gb machine with a spinning disk due to SSD paging, but if you had 16gb ram it would be faster.

    sounds like the apple rep you were talking to was bending the truth a little bit at best, and at worst being downright dishonest.
  25. brutusfly macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
    I doubt the staff member was trying to mislead. It sounds like she was explaining the equivalent overall experience of running past 8GB with a 2.5" HDD vs a 500MB/second flash drive without getting technical. If I had to explain to my Mom why 8GB might cause painful sluggishness in one laptop but another would be as fast in overall use as a laptop with 16GB, I'd probably use similar terms (especially if I were in a crowded, noisy retail environment). That being said, I ordered 16GB in mine. :)

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