Should I Cancel my MacBook Pro Retina 8GB RAM and switch to 16GB?

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
At the moment I ordered the base model MacBook Pro Retina.

But I'm concerned that I should've upgraded to 16GB only because in case it may be slower or laggy in future OSX updates after Mountain Lion.

As far as my current uses the 8GB is enough. I'm just concerned with future OSX updates slowing down my machine.
 

Spink10

Suspended
Nov 3, 2011
4,261
1,002
Oklahoma
At the moment I ordered the base model MacBook Pro Retina.

But I'm concerned that I should've upgraded to 16GB only because in case it may be slower or laggy in future OSX updates after Mountain Lion.

As far as my current uses the 8GB is enough. I'm just concerned with future OSX updates slowing down my machine.
go for it!
 

PCWebbJR

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2012
83
0
Chicago, Illinois
At the moment I ordered the base model MacBook Pro Retina.

But I'm concerned that I should've upgraded to 16GB only because in case it may be slower or laggy in future OSX updates after Mountain Lion.

As far as my current uses the 8GB is enough. I'm just concerned with future OSX updates slowing down my machine.
If you're second guessing your purchase now, I'd say call up apple and upgrade to 16GB. It'll make things run much smoother, make you happier, and at $180 through the education store it's really not a major investment.
 

Hungry&Foolish

Suspended
Mar 29, 2012
461
2
Drive down to christiana apple store in DE. Its an hour drive from forked river, they have both in stock. buy then and there the one you want instead of waiting. Plus save a little on taxes.
 

rick3000

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
611
153
West Coast
Unless you do heavy photo or video editing I think 8GB is plenty, but if you have the extra cash there is no reason not to get 16GB. Historically, Apple has always tried to streamline and make the OS faster/smaller.
 

stevelam

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2010
1,215
3
At the moment I ordered the base model MacBook Pro Retina.

But I'm concerned that I should've upgraded to 16GB only because in case it may be slower or laggy in future OSX updates after Mountain Lion.

As far as my current uses the 8GB is enough. I'm just concerned with future OSX updates slowing down my machine.
by the time OSX ever requires 8gb of ram (let alone 16), it'll require a better cpu. at that point you'll have to get a new computer anyway. i mean really, if your biggest ram concern is just for the OS, you don't need it.
 

Hungry&Foolish

Suspended
Mar 29, 2012
461
2
by the time OSX ever requires 8gb of ram (let alone 16), it'll require a better cpu. at that point you'll have to get a new computer anyway. i mean really, if your biggest ram concern is just for the OS, you don't need it.
very apt advise,even anandtech in his review said pretty much what stevelam wrote.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
by the time OSX ever requires 8gb of ram (let alone 16), it'll require a better cpu. at that point you'll have to get a new computer anyway. i mean really, if your biggest ram concern is just for the OS, you don't need it.
At the time i ordered I was thinking what you said was true due to Apple shipping 4GB on the new MacBook Air base model. But being new to owning my first Mac and OSX not knowing any better I am concerned because I also see threads how Mountain Lion is slowing down 2010 models. However, the upgrade does bust my budget financially. Still not sure what to do after reading some responses here.
 

Hungry&Foolish

Suspended
Mar 29, 2012
461
2
The question of whether or not you should opt for the 16GB memory upgrade really depends on what you do with the system and how long you expect to use it. Without any form of socketed memory expansion, you’re stuck with the amount of memory you order on the system. Thankfully 8GB is healthy by today’s standards and likely will continue to be so for the next couple of years. If your present day workloads require 8GB of memory, then the 16GB option is a must have. If you’re looking at 16GB purely as future-proofing, chances are you’ll run into processor (or storage) limitations before you feel held back by memory. That being said, if you want to be kind to the next owner, ticking the 16GB box won’t hurt. ( Quote from Anandtech )
 

Thors.Hammer

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2012
54
0
The only reason I bought 16GB was to support running a couple of virtual machines. I could probably run them on an 8GB machine but the extra 8GB isn't all that expensive.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
The question of whether or not you should opt for the 16GB memory upgrade really depends on what you do with the system and how long you expect to use it. Without any form of socketed memory expansion, you’re stuck with the amount of memory you order on the system. Thankfully 8GB is healthy by today’s standards and likely will continue to be so for the next couple of years. If your present day workloads require 8GB of memory, then the 16GB option is a must have. If you’re looking at 16GB purely as future-proofing, chances are you’ll run into processor (or storage) limitations before you feel held back by memory. That being said, if you want to be kind to the next owner, ticking the 16GB box won’t hurt. ( Quote from Anandtech )

I took note of your mention of Anandtech and just watched his review on YouTube. And he stated for the standard user the 8Gb should last even more than what you stated he says 10 years or the lifetime of the machine unless you do video editing which I will not.Of course I'll be buying a new machine before 10 years. I'd lie to get at least 5 years out of it though.

So since i'm probably not going to be using the maximum 8GB now but will in the future. perhaps i made the right choice? and don't need to switch my order.

in hindsight, I probably should be more concerned with the 256GB SSD vs 512GB SSD but I definitely cant do the extra $500 for that so I may have to rely on Cloud storage or external storage in the future. which I am willing to sacrifice for the display and lighter thinner chassis.
 
Last edited:

twietee

macrumors 603
Jan 24, 2012
5,296
1,545
in hindsight, I probably should be more concerned with the 256GB SSD vs 512GB SSD but I definitely cant do the extra $500 for that so I may have to rely on Cloud storage or external storage in the future. which I am willing to sacrifice for the display and lighter thinner chassis.
I wouldn't be concerned. You'll need external solutions anyway - be it cloud based and/or ext. drives - and 256gb is enough for programs and os and some other stuff as well. That said, if you need OSX as well as a Win partition with A LOT of programs installed on both partitions, I would consider the upgrade but only then. 500$ for the SSD-upgrade is way too much imho.
 

clyde2801

macrumors 601
If you have a tight budget, do you have to have the retina? You could get a refurbed Sandy Bridge late 2011 MBP or find a good deal on a used one on CL. You can upgrade to 16 gb for >$100, and put a Crucial M4 512gb SSD for $400.

Were you to do this route, get the ram NOW and wait as long as possible for SSD's to continue dropping in price while increasing in capacity.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,740
552
Pennsylvania
by the time OSX ever requires 8gb of ram (let alone 16), it'll require a better cpu. at that point you'll have to get a new computer anyway. i mean really, if your biggest ram concern is just for the OS, you don't need it.
OSX by itself on a fresh boot consumes ~2.4GB. So right now 4GB is pretty much the minimum if you want to be able to multitask. I can see that becoming 8GB by the next major OS release.

If your usage goes beyond "typical" - then 8GB very well could become a limitation a year or two from now. 16GB itself may not be required, but since you don't have any choices in between, that's the way to go. IMO. The upgrade costs < 10% of the total price, it really shouldn't be breaking the bank for anyone who can afford this laptop.
 

eric.john

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2011
63
7
Unless you do heavy photo or video editing I think 8GB is plenty, but if you have the extra cash there is no reason not to get 16GB. Historically, Apple has always tried to streamline and make the OS faster/smaller.
Exactly!! Unless you are going to be doing extensive work, i really see no point. But if you got the cash, why not? better now then later.
 

Vulcan

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2008
1,167
0
Pittsburgh, PA
I decided not to upgrade. By the time 8GB isn't enough (which I think is pretty far off), the GPU and processor probably won't be all that great either.
 

appletechpro

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2012
111
0
by the time OSX ever requires 8gb of ram (let alone 16), it'll require a better cpu. at that point you'll have to get a new computer anyway. i mean really, if your biggest ram concern is just for the OS, you don't need it.
+1

Mountain Lion only requires 2 GB RAM at this point. For the OS to even require 4 GB would be a 100% increase in memory requirement, which isn't something that happens overnight.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
OSX by itself on a fresh boot consumes ~2.4GB. So right now 4GB is pretty much the minimum if you want to be able to multitask. I can see that becoming 8GB by the next major OS release.

If your usage goes beyond "typical" - then 8GB very well could become a limitation a year or two from now. 16GB itself may not be required, but since you don't have any choices in between, that's the way to go. IMO. The upgrade costs < 10% of the total price, it really shouldn't be breaking the bank for anyone who can afford this laptop.
No my usage won't go beyond the 8GB. I understand the <10% point but I can use that $200 for a Rain Design m-Stand ($49) , Apple Wireless Keyboard ($69), and Magic Trackpad ($69).

I wouldn't be concerned. You'll need external solutions anyway - be it cloud based and/or ext. drives - and 256gb is enough for programs and os and some other stuff as well. That said, if you need OSX as well as a Win partition with A LOT of programs installed on both partitions, I would consider the upgrade but only then. 500$ for the SSD-upgrade is way too much imho.
No i'm leaving PC Windows in the dust! I'm not putting Windows on it. It'll be all Apple ecosystem only.
 
Last edited:

tivoboy

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
3,120
205
16gb

I went with 16GB. Today, I have 6GB and if I run a couple things, mail, ical, word, excel, and then CHROME, which is a total resource hog when one opens say 10+ tabs, I don't have enough free RAM to open a VM - which I use for a lot of work projects, etc..

I figured, it wasn't too much to upgrade and wasn't a silly stupid amount compared to legacy Apple RAM premium. And, I know that doing things like photoshop, video or really ANY photo manipulation can definitely suck up a lot of RAM as well as more RAM makes things just go that much more smoothly.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
Just got off Live Chat on the Apple Store and according to him I made the right choice with the Base 8GB vs 16GB:

You are now chatting with Jacob

ME: hello

JACOB: HI! How may I be of assistance?

ME: I have a a concern about an order I placed

JACOB: Okay what questions do you have xactly?

*exactly

ME: I'm afraid i should have configurated my machine differently

I ordered the MBPro Retina Base

JACOB: I understand.

ME: I'm worried about the 8GB RAM vs 16GB RAM

JACOB: Alright what concerns do you have specifically?

ME: I do not do heavy video editing

but would use iPhoto

JACOB: Okay

ME: and basic iMovie

JACOB: Great then 8GB will be well more than enough.

ME: but not advanced Aperture or Final Cut Pro

JACOB: Unless you are using Final Cut Pro or Cs6 - I would not worry about it at all.

ME: I'm worried that with future OSX updates after Mountain Lion they may slow down my new machine

I'm a media user music videos etc

JACOB: Not at all! The new machines are designed to run the current and all upcoming future OSX releases. It is literally the most advanced Mac notebok you can get.

ME: so I should save the extra 200 and use it for acceories

JACOB: Absolutely.

That is a great idea.

ME: well just to be clear the uses i mentioned as well as internet browsing mail, and updateS as far as push notifications via notifications center

JACOB:Right

That is a give in.

ME: I wouldnt see a speed difference with the bigger RAM?

JACOB: Since it is all built into OSX

Not really with those processes, no.

ME: Also i'm not using BootCVamp or VM

JACOB: Okay

ME: I'm switching to Mac from a PC and leaving it in the dust

don't want any Windows on my Mac

JACOB: There is not really anything I would suggest as far as upgrading is concerned. You will see the Mac you chose will be well more than enough.

Right

ME: oK thank you looking forwards to receiving it ordered it yesterday

JACOB: Right on! Thank you for visiting the Apple Store. We appreciate your business. If you would like more help, please chat with us again. Have a great day!
 
Last edited:

dartox

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2012
6
0
I've been using the base model 2.3/8/256 for 3 weeks now and I have to say that 8GB RAM is more than plenty.

I mainly use the computer for coding, some video editing, and gaming. During normal use, having about 10-15 applications open and browsing the web I usually have about 5 to 5.5 gigs free.

When I have some database (hashing) code running on 15-20 million strings, the free RAM occasionally dwindles down to 2.5-3 gigs but quickly frees up as the write operation to save the data to the SSD is lightning fast.

When I'm doing anything in CS6, the worst case I've had was about 1.6 gigs free (and this is still with those 10-15 apps open).

Honestly, the upgrade to 16 does seem like overkill for 90% of buyers. I don't really think it increases the "resale value" either because most buyers looking for used macs want to save money and buy the base model.

If you're running multiple VMs at once or if it makes you sleep at night, go for the 16.

Side note: the Intel HD Graphics uses about half a gig of RAM. Once the dedicated kicks in you have that 512 back at your disposal.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,113
1,319
5045 feet above sea level
At the time i ordered I was thinking what you said was true due to Apple shipping 4GB on the new MacBook Air base model. But being new to owning my first Mac and OSX not knowing any better I am concerned because I also see threads how Mountain Lion is slowing down 2010 models. However, the upgrade does bust my budget financially. Still not sure what to do after reading some responses here.
Seriously....doesn't that answer your question?
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,037
670
PA
No my usage won't go beyond the 8GB. I understand the <10% point but I can use that $200 for a Rain Design m-Stand ($49) , Apple Wireless Keyboard ($69), and Magic Trackpad ($69).



No i'm leaving PC Windows in the dust! I'm not putting Windows on it. It'll be all Apple ecosystem only.
I think if your doubting the benefit you'd get from it, and there are also financial concerns about the upgrade cost, then 8GB is the smartest move. For basic iMovie and web surfing stuff it should be more than enough. Enjoy your new rMBP! :)
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
I think if your doubting the benefit you'd get from it, and there are also financial concerns about the upgrade cost, then 8GB is the smartest move. For basic iMovie and web surfing stuff it should be more than enough. Enjoy your new rMBP! :)
I've been using the base model 2.3/8/256 for 3 weeks now and I have to say that 8GB RAM is more than plenty.

I mainly use the computer for coding, some video editing, and gaming. During normal use, having about 10-15 applications open and browsing the web I usually have about 5 to 5.5 gigs free.

When I have some database (hashing) code running on 15-20 million strings, the free RAM occasionally dwindles down to 2.5-3 gigs but quickly frees up as the write operation to save the data to the SSD is lightning fast.

When I'm doing anything in CS6, the worst case I've had was about 1.6 gigs free (and this is still with those 10-15 apps open).

Honestly, the upgrade to 16 does seem like overkill for 90% of buyers. I don't really think it increases the "resale value" either because most buyers looking for used macs want to save money and buy the base model.

If you're running multiple VMs at once or if it makes you sleep at night, go for the 16.

Side note: the Intel HD Graphics uses about half a gig of RAM. Once the dedicated kicks in you have that 512 back at your disposal.
Thank you to both of you! i think I made the right choice and your responses solidified that.

Despite owning IOS devices for 3 years now it still was unchartered territory for me switching from PC to Mac computers. Which also made me ignorant of another factor which is resale.

I never owned a computer that I was able to resell for a new upgrade. I've run my computers to the death 5-7 years.

Now, I understand that perhaps in 2 or 3 years if I wish I can now sell this one and use the money to upgrade to a stronger model and not shell out all the money now plus I'd get the upgraded processors not just larger SSd or RAM.

Coming from a PC minded background people ask me what the hell you paying 2K+ for a computer when you can get one for $600 well i think my statement above and your comments is the answer why.

A Ford can't be resold like a Mercedes can.

So yes i will be saving all the boxes etc. And also maybe I should think the same for my iOS devices as well.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,740
552
Pennsylvania
+1

Mountain Lion only requires 2 GB RAM at this point. For the OS to even require 4 GB would be a 100% increase in memory requirement, which isn't something that happens overnight.
Yeah, but it's not like running the OS in the background is the only thing you do on a computer. A fresh boot using 25% of the available memory is significant. In my experience, the usage is closer to 2.5GB on a fresh boot.