Should I upgrade to 8GB DDR3 in new unibody 17" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by amitdoc2b, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. amitdoc2b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008

    I'll be receiving my new Unibody 17" MBP by Feb 9th. I am considering to upgrade the memory myself from 4GB (2 x 2GB sticks) it comes with to 8GB (2 x 4gb sticks).

    Considering my notebook usage below, do you think I will see a significant (if any) speed boost in my notebook?

    I use my notebook to do all the following at the same time:

    -Open about 5-6 website tabs while surfing the web
    -Use AOL, Yahoo, and MSN messenger for chatting
    -Type on MS Word for MAC -or- Pages
    -Watch video clips on Youtube -or- iTunes music videos
    -Open 1 virtualization program (XP) via VMWARE Fusion 2.0
    (by the way, if I allocate 2GB of my 4GB to fusion, do I still have all 4GB to use on OSX if im not using the vmware fusion at that moment? What if im running fusion and I only am using 1GB of the 2GB allocated for fusion, will I be able to use the 3GB remaining for OSX even if each system is allocated 2GB each?)

    I'm also installing the 500GB Seagate 7200.4 HDD once I receive the new MBP too.

    So if im doing all of the following at the same time as listed above, do you think i'll see any performance difference or will ever need/use 8GB of memory.. or should I just stick with 4GB?

    Money is not an issue, its just a matter of if I need it or if the money will be a waste in my situation..

  2. Nikos macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2008
    New York
    Even if you did everything you listed at the same time, you won't be close to 4gb usage.
  3. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Adding the extra RAM will boost the system speed a little but not by much. And looking at the type of things you'll be doing, you'll most probably wont need it. Infact, I recon 4Gb is more then sufficient. Seriously. However, if your sure you'd wanna upgrade to the full 8Gb, go right ahead... but bear in mind that RAM prices are on the fall!
  4. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    Talk about multitasking... And the fact that you are asking means you can easily afford it.

    As for your multiple IM programs open at once why not try Adium? If you just use the AOL for chat and mail then perhaps use and set it up to get your AOL mail with IMAP or just go to and use webmail.

    I guess the best we can say is to try it as you are using it and see your proportion of page outs to page ins. You could also retrain yourself to close programs when they are not in use. I know you can't do all of these things at once. (Youtube is easily reloaded if you quit safari). Other than VMF, nothing is going to take up that much RAM at one time. Of course if you run into Office/Safari memory leaks that can create problems. If you are getting a lot of page outs then you would probably need more RAM. Of course the cost is pretty prohibitive but more power to you if you can afford it.

    Also, VMF does not allocate on an as-needed basis. You allocate it to begin with and it is not available to Mac OS X. If you close the virtual machine of course it will be available again for use in Mac OS X.
  5. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    8 gigs will help if your transcoding HD video a lot since it uses up the memory but you seem like buying 8 gigs is no major deal. I'd say get it just in case your multi-tasking practices change.
  6. azaas macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2008
    Well the fact that right now you might not really need the 8GIG i would suggest you went with the upgrade and here's the simple why.Extra Ram is always something good. Especially on OSX ;)

    With Snow Leopard around the corner and Windows 7 you may find yourself sooner or later in need of that additional Ram. The fact that you currently do not NEED that much of Ram doesn't mean that you will not need it in the future.

    But even in regular user stuff,extra ram is always appreciated. I mean getting to iDvD with just 2 bounces on a stuffed with ram mac pro is always better than iDvD on my ALU MB which takes more or less 6-8 bounces to load the thing :D
  7. amitdoc2b thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks for your input guys. Upgrading to 8GB is not a major deal for me, but at the same time I rather not throw it away if I don't need it. Thats why I was curious to know if I will see any speed boost in my notebook based on how I operate. If I don't need the RAM, I can use that money for a trip to Vegas or something! I don't want to just buy it and then sit there if not being used.

    Also, will I need 8GB RAM doing these same things once the new Snow Leopard comes out?

    And as someone commented, you can allocate 2GB to the virtual XP and 2GB to Mac OSX. But once I log off (or before I log in) my virtual XP then I have 4GB for use in my OSX again?

  8. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Instead of 8g of ram, get the Intel 80gig SSD, to see some RADICAL real world improvements.

    It's about 500 bucks, but is totally worth it. Look at the benchmarks.
  9. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Run it at 4GB for a year. About a year from now, it will cost less than $100 for that RAM. Buy it when it financially makes sense. More RAM is a good thing, so do buy it eventually. Just wait until the value justifies it.
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Ask your computer first.

    Get it with 4 gigs first and use it as you normally would. Pull up activivity monitor to see how much you're using, and to see if you have any page outs. If you have no page outs, and you're not using all of the 4 gigs, you probably wouldn't need 8.

Share This Page