Should I make the jump to 8 GB of RAM?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Anarkiwi, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Anarkiwi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'm weeks away from purchasing my first 17" Macbook Pro and I was wondering, is it worth it to pay the extra for 8 GB of RAM?
    As some background and how I'll be using it:
    I am a college student in video game art and design so I will be doing a lot of 3D editing/rendering along with programming and a lot of two-dimensional graphic design.
    Given my main uses for it (possibly gaming as well) I was hoping you guys could help answer my question.

    Thanks :D
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Keep your eye on Activity Monitor and see how much RAM you're using. If you're using +75% (free + inactive), then you should think about upgrading.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    Good idea to keep an eye on them, but you more so need to keep looking at the amount of page outs and the swap file. If you are using multiple GB page outs then you most likely will need to get more ram.

    :)
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Page outs are caused by the lack of free RAM ;) Keeping an eye on both is the best :cool:
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    lol. used up RAM != needing new RAM :p but page outs can indicate how hard the computer has to actually work.
     
  6. Gakboi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #6
    yes definitely... In my experience the more power the better (processor and ram) if you are rendering in 3D.... ideally tho i would go for the top of the range i7 imac for what you are doing unless you absolutely need the portability. I find that I am maxing out all 4 cores when rendering HD video but not nearly maxing out the 12GB ram. Haven't tried any 3D on it yet.

    As a side note I would look around to see if you can get the ram cheaper by buying it separately as I have noticed it's quite expensive when you buy it from Apple. It will also give you a chance to monitor your actual usage before purchase as previously suggested....
     
  7. Anarkiwi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for the advice guys.
    I'm leaning towards getting the RAM right off the bat so I don't have to worry about upgrading or anything. I figured it would be best to go with it for 3D modeling and, yes, I am getting an i7. :D
     
  8. Sossity macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #8
    where is the activity monitor? are there free softwares that I could download & have on my desktop or toolbar to see all the time?
     
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #9
    Activity Monitor is in the Applications > Utilities folder. (Or you can use spotlight).

    iStatMenus is probably the best for a continual display. It used to be free, though the developer now charges a nominal fee for it.
     
  10. toffa813 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    ATX
    #10
    I just googled iStat 2 and downloaded that for free... I just can't justify $16 for istat 3
     
  11. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    #11
    Unlikely

    Most programs (all that are 32 bit) can't address more than 3.5GB. Unless you are running virtual machines, multiple high intensity RAM hungry programs at once, save your money and buy an SSD
     
  12. DaveRobertson82 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #12
    I think you should, but unless money is no object to you, definitely upgrade yourself, apple are preeeeetty expensive with ram [​IMG]
     
  13. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Just what I was going to say. DON'T buy the 8GB from Apple.
     
  14. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #14
    I <3 my 8 gigs of ram.

    I use (usually at once):

    Work programs:

    Maya
    ZBrush
    Unity
    Corel Painter
    Photoshop
    XCode
    Logic

    Play Programs:

    iTunes
    Aperture
    Adium
    Handbrake

    I use all of those usually at some time throughout the day but the ones under "Work Programs" are always open at the same time.
     
  15. Gakboi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #15
    The i7 for laptops is 2 cores unlike the i7 in the iMac which is 4 cores.... considerable difference for what you're using it for.
     

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