Thinking about upgrading to rMBP from cMBP, questions about RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ifaptoomuch, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. ifaptoomuch macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I currently have the 2012 i5 13" cMBP that I upgraded to 16gb of ram. This machine is amazing and it does all I need it to do but I could really use the extra screen real estate.

    A brand new one with 16gb ram is out of my budget so I was looking at the refurb base model with 8gb. The ram is what I'm concerned with.

    I do a lot of heavy Photoshop and Illustrator work as well as the occasional After Effects project. On my current machine, I rarely feel much slowdown or lag and it doesn't seem like I use more than 8gb with all my apps and projects open anyways.

    Basically, What kind of performance differences can I expect? I would be increasing the dual core i5 to a quad-core i7 and SSD, but going from 16gb of ram to 8gb. Would I be able to continue working the way I am on my cMBP on the rMBP without those extra 8 gb of ram? Again, the currently cMBP I have with i5 and 16gb ram has worked perfectly for my current workflow. Would it be a good idea to make this upgrade?

    Sidenote, I wish the 13" had better graphics performance since the size and weight felt absolutely perfect :/
  2. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    Do you have an SSD?

    SSD can compensate much for lack of RAM down the line. If you didn't have a topnotch SSD before you will notice that THE MOST. If you did however you WILL feel lack of RAM the moment Page-outs kick in.

    Also, HD4000 afaik is sharing RAM... Meaning a big display takes more RAM to exist in the first place.

    dual i5 to quad i7 is a big step up. everything processing wise will be blazing fast.

    Also, 15" rMBP feels like 13" cMBP when picked up. Its wider, but the weight/feel of the machine is about there. I went from 15" cMBP to 15" rMBP and the difference is mesmerising; its perfect in that sense.
  3. ifaptoomuch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    I don't have an SSD. I wanted to remove my CD drive and put an SSD in there but I heard that voids the Apple warranty and I'm too paranoid to take the chance lol.

    So having the SSD will free up more RAM? I just opened some large projects and a whole bunch of apps on 4 desktops and this is what my activity looks like.


    This is probably the most I'll ever stress my machine and I'll rarely if ever have all this stuff running at once. Would 8gb of ram be enough to use comfortably or would I be better off with 16? Is it worth getting a new rMBP to get 16gb over the base model refurb?
  4. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    Having an SSD means page outs are processed quicker than if you had a HDD. It looks like there you only had 5 GB RAM active,but you are not always going to reboot before starting a large project. Apps are only going to get more RAM hungry,so if you can, go for 16 GB. But if all you can find is an 8 GB refurb, it might still be ok because the SSD helps tremendously.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
  5. ifaptoomuch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    Ah I see, I figured as much. So what does the quad-core i7 processor help with? Like, what kind of processes will be faster? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to computer technology so if it can be put in Photoshop terms that would be great lol.

    Also when you create multiple desktops, does that take up RAM? Same with using an external monitor, or is that more dependent on the graphics power?

    Either way, looks like I will go for the rMBP and maybe upgrade to a 16gb ram in next years refresh or something. The extra screen resolution and the productivity that comes with it looks like it will be worth reducing multi-tasking by a little bit. I can also return it within a week or so if I see it's not what I need, right?

    Thanks for everyones help so far!
  6. B..., Mar 28, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

    B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    The quad core gives you more raw power for rendering things or doing intensive work like applying filters to 100s of layers in Photoshop. It should be very noticeable difference from dual core.

    Adding desktops takes a minimal amount of RAM, but opening things on those desktops does take more. A moniter does not use RAM but needs GPU horsepower.

    You definitely can return the computer within 14 days no questions asked (if you buy from Apple or Apple refurb).
  7. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    Its odd, you have almost 8gb free ram and you have Page-outs?
    How is that possible?
    I keep my 16gb retina running for days and i have no page-outs whatsoever.

    Also what B... said.

    Well yes and no. When running on iGPU i think the HD4000 actually shares RAM, although external screen automatically nulls that since it runs on discrete by default.

    Well if you didn't have SSD before you will see that this is where you can change your workflow and what I said earlier. I had 8GB in my old machine with HDD and now I have 16GB but I rarely use over 8GB (while I was constantly over in my old machine)

    Because rMBP has quite a fast SSD it launches apps extremely fast (if you used HDD before it will look like multitasking :D) so you don't need so many things open because you can actually close them because they open up fast. Also page-outs as B... mentioned are processed 5x as fast as on your HDD. Actually everything diskrelated (goes for opening projects as well) is 5-10x as fast.

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