Resolved rMBP: Is 8GB enough RAM for light Photoshop and Illustrator use?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rawrtiger, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. rawrtiger, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

    rawrtiger macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2013
    I'm buying a Retina MacBook Pro soon and I'm having trouble deciding between the standard 8GB or the 16GB RAM upgrade. I occasionally do some light graphic and web design work in Photoshop and Illustrator CC. I don't have any issues with RAM usage on my 2011 cMBP with 8GB unless I'm trying to open a huge file. The upgrade to 16GB is going to cost me 240 AUD and I don't want to spend that if it's not necessary.
  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    8GB is fine. There are other threads on here that discuss this in great length. Save your money and get the 8GB machine.
  3. lagisibuk macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2013
    Always Somewhere
    I'm running photosop and some dev apps tools in the same time
    More than enough...
  4. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    I disagree. I think the OP needs to ask themselves the following questions:

    1. How long am I going to keep computer?

    2. Will my work change? Will I ever need to open larger files? Will my app needs change?

    3. The longer I keep the computer, upgrade the OS, upgrade the apps that I use, add new apps, 8GB will feel smaller and smaller. Will that be an issue for me?

    4. I can never upgrade past 8 GB of memory, will that cause me issues in the future?

    Personally, I think 8 GB of memory on a MBPr is anemic at best. Knowing you can never -ever- upgrade it makes 16 GB a no-brainer. The OS, apps and files are only going to get larger...

  5. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    It is more than enough, you'd be fine on 8GB (made a similar thread yesterday, I was reassured 8GB is definitely enough for my uses over the next 3 years)
  6. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    For Photoshop 8GB should be enough. For Illustrator, no. If you're going to be creating large vectors and such, you'll be kicking yourself in the ass for not getting 16GB.
  7. paukivbashne macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2012
    at this generation more then enough
    i think you will upgrade(haswell maybe) sooner then you will need that amount of ram
  8. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    There is a huge flaw in your entire line of logic. It assumes that the computer purchased today persists, in perpetuity, while the buyer's needs grow at a fast clip. That is not a real world constraint.

    The market for used Macs has been, is, and will continue to be strong. Moreover, many people in this market do not have intense needs. The option that your line of reasoning overlooks is purchasing a computer that meets the needs for the immediate foreseeable future, and then if those needs grow, the person in question can sell the used model and get a new one.

    Furthermore, if those needs really do end up growing, then it is likely that the user in question will desire much more than just another 8GB of RAM down the road. Faster processors, GPUs, SSDs, and who knows what other goodies will also likely have appeal.

    A lot of people get obsessed with the idea of "future-proofing" their purchases. Having owned about a dozen different PBs and MBPs over the last ten years, I contend that approach is often misguided and occasionally silly. Base models of these laptops are almost without exception the best bang-for-your-buck. Higher end configurations depreciate at significantly higher rates. If you don't mind the hassle of trading up models, it can deliver huge benefits in addition to being extremely cost effective.
  9. hod macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2013
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    A very good point. I held off with lots of RAM as an apple option & SSD, my next mac (in a few years) will no doubt have oodles of both.
  10. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Mavericks is supposed to double your RAM... :rolleyes:
    So get a 4gb ram model and you'll have for almost free (Mavericks would cost at most $19.99?!) 8gb of ram... :rolleyes:
  11. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    My suggestion would be... go 16GB if you can afford it. If not, 8GB should be fine, but you'll feel the constraints pretty soon when you start hitting bigger documents.

    It doesn't take much to max that 8GB RAM out because Photoshop needs a lot more RAM to display more pixels on the Retina display.
  12. TofSanity macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2010
    I had a 15" rMBP with 8gb. When using Aperture it would page out 2-4gb depending on how much I zoomed in on a photo to edit. I would only have iTunes and two tabs of safari running in the background. I got the 16gb now...
  13. angelica314 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Mine is 8gb and it's perfect. I use Photoshop and Final Cut pro (not a lot but when I do it's heavily) and it's never had any issues. Sure, it gets a bit hot but it's nothing unmanageable.
  14. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Was it you who was posting the other day that even with using basic applications on the rMBP, around 5GB of RAM was being used? Are we seeing more RAM usage on Retina apps? But only power users should have to go for the 16GB, right?
  15. sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    I was a bit sarcastic... Mavericks does not double the RAM and is greedy in RAM (eats easily 1GB). There is no power or normal user. I would recommend to max out the RAM especially with retina model because RAM is not upgradable and iGPU steal some of your RAM to use it as VRAM...
  16. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It never hurts to get 16GB of RAM. Who knows, you might need it in the future. But as things are right now, (the whole no upgrade in future) you may want to spend some extra $$ if this will be your computer for a while.
  17. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    8GB is more than enough, but 16GB won't hurt if you have the extra cash.
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    8GB is fine, but unlike other computers you'll not be able to upgrade down the road. That being the case, 16gb will be safer for any possible future needs.
  19. TonyHoyle macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Depends what you're doing with it.. the artwork bod here can and does bring an 8gb machine to its knees in minutes in photoshop. That's poster size at 300dpi though. Should be fine for most things smaller than that.

    Personally I always max out memory, since you'd be amazed how fast it gets used.
  20. rawrtiger thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I picked up an 8GB one today. I upgrade regularly so if my future requires more RAM I'll buy a new one.

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