rMBP 13" (late 2013) 4GB RAM vs 8GB RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Thomasasz, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Thomasasz macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010

    I am thinking about upgrading my current MacBook to the newest MacBook Pro with 13-inch Retina display (base model: 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD). However, I want this computer to last for 3-3.5 years. Therefore, I am wondering how much difference does it make to have 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB? I am on tight budget so additional 200EUR for 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is very debatable (there is no option to get only 8GB RAM configuration).

    My daily usage is very light, however: (1) I'd like to be able to play games like SimCity or Civ5, (2) sometimes I need to use "heavy" apps like IBM SPSS, (3) rarely I like to use photo editing apps.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks guys!
  2. almostirish macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2013
    If I were you I would save more money and get the 8gb and 256gb ssd. If you are asking this question now you would probably regret it if you bought it with 4gb ram.
  3. Paapaa macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2013
    You don't need 256GB. 128GB is more than enough and if you ever need space to store videos or photos buy an external drive.

    4GB is also more than enough for all basic tasks if you don't use many programs simultaneously. I (running Windows 8.1) have now Spotify, Putty, Visual Studio 2012, Chrome with 10 tabs, Gimp with 4 images and I'm using 2,5GB of memory.

    So 4GB is plenty and 8GB is more than enough. Basically nobody need 16GB. The whole "future proof" concept is not necessarily valid when considering 3-4 years.

    But I'd go for 128GB and 8GB.
  4. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Whether or not 128GB is enough is debatable. 128GB as standard is on its way out and 256 is the sweet spot. Most people will simply not have breathing room with the 128. Remember that it's recommended to leave some free space for the SSD to run well.
  5. Paapaa macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2013
    128GB is a lot. You can fit there a few games, movies, some images, so many programs etc. I know as I use one. I have office apps, photo apps, 2 IDEs, Blender, World of Tanks, Skype, 20GB of video material, 5GB Spotify cache (more than enough), and a lot of smaller apps, documents etc.

    You just have to stop using your SSD as an archive. This is important. Don't store 10 games or 40 movies or whatever. Play only a few games at a time and store the .ISO:s to external HD if needed.

    Only big video, audio and photo collections don't fit and most likely they will not fit on 256GB also. You still need external HD in those cases.
  6. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    I'm totally with you. I just wouldn't be comfortable with 128GB. And I'm a pretty light user.
  7. Fallingreason macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    I just bought the 4gb/128gb base config. I upgraded from an air that was still doing fine for my needs.

    I usually have at least 40gb free on my drive except when I load it with music and movies from my external for travel.

    I expect this to be fine for me for quite a while. Up to you if you want to spend $200+ tax to "future proof" which may or may not end up making a difference. I just buy what I need, and if it no longer works for me then I will sell and upgrade and pay the extra $$ then, and have all around updated hardware + warranty as well.

    There is always a market to buy used apple products, no matter how "outdated". There are lots of people on budgets with minimal hardware needs.
  8. Kevclark1985 macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2013
    I'd say 8gb and 256gb model. That's what I went for.

    256gb as mentioned previously, is the sweetspot I'd say. and 8gb will be plenty ram for the future. If you can't afford the upgrade now, I'd wait a few months and save up then get it. The cost to benefit ratio in the upgrade is arguably the best of all the apple upgrade configurations imo.
  9. sheareb macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    Agree, just purchased 256GB/8GB pro today and had the same consideration.
    However, I use parallels so merely the size of the virtual machine files (containing visual studio/sqlserver etc) and the additional memory to use windows was enough to convince me - even though I could have done with saving some cash too.

    However, looked at it as a long term (4-5 year) purchase.
    Did the same with my iMac which I bought 3 years ago and its literally as good as it was then - can't see any need to replace it in the next 2-3 years.
  10. Omnirai macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2012
    To be honest, if you're usage is very light.. In 3-4 years, 4 gigs would still be enough for your needs..

    In my opinion, the people that really need 8 gigs (or more) of ram are those who do video editing, photoshop, virtual machines,.. on a daily basis.

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