Thinking of buying 8 gigs of RAM for your Macbook Pro?

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jan 26, 2008
7,432
1,401
Isla Nublar
I was on the fence for the longest time about upgrading from 4 gigs of ram in my macbook pro (see sig) to 8 gigs of ram. I dont consider myself much of a power user anymore but I do usually use these programs at the same time for most of the day:

Maya
Unity 3D
XCode
VMWare (running linux vm)
Corel Painter X
Photoshop
ZBrush
Logic Express
iTunes
Safari
Adium

It was pretty good at running all of these but I would semi-frequently get the beachball especially if I tried opening them all at once.

Well, I decided to get 8 gigs of RAM from OWC for $467 and it was the BEST decision I made in a long time! Everything is so much faster, "snappier" if you will. Programs open so smoothly and system performance picked up. My computer feels like a brand new machine.

I would say if your on the fence about buying, just try it. You'll love the results!
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,497
27
Singapore
oh thanks for the feedback! i am thinking of installing 8GB in my new i7 imac, 4GB is by far better then the 2GB i have in my MBP, but not quite enough :(

great to hear its awsome!
 

EndlessMac

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2009
281
0
Well one of the benefits of more RAM is that you can multitask better because multitasking like you do does eat up a lot of RAM very quickly. An average light computer user can also eat up their RAM if they do a lot of multitasking but probably not even 4 gigs worth.

Also with the image editing programs you have listed and on top of that also having them opened at the same time does make you a power user. VMWare alone can cut your performance in half depending on how much you allow it to. I think you are in denial about being a power user. ;) I consider an average computer user as someone who checks email, surfs the internet, does word processing, and listens to music or watches video on their computers most of the time.

A person doesn't really need 8 gigs of RAM if they are an average user. I only have 4 gigs and when I limit myself to what an average computer user does I barely tax out the performance on my computer even if I have all of them opened at the same time. When I start doing things that are more like a power user then yes I could use more RAM. I'm waiting for prices to come down more before upgrading though. I'm not saying 8 gigs of RAM isn't beneficial but not everyone will see dramatic performance improvements. Power users like yourself will see benefits.
 

santos79

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2009
129
0
$467 for 4GB or RAM is just too expensive at the moment. And the minor performance improvements won't be worth it for 99 percent of the users.

That money will buy you an Intel X25-m 160GB SSD, which will make a much more noticeable difference in terms of responsiveness. A better investment for those who have that kind of money lying around.

I'm waiting for the price to come down on both items myself, but I'll probably go for the SSD first. I'm hoping that OSX will offer better support for SSDs by then.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,852
30,368
Boston
$467 for 4GB or RAM is just too expensive at the moment. And the minor performance improvements won't be worth it for 99 percent of the users.
Agreed, while my MBP (late 08 umbp) can only effectively handle 6gig, buying a 2 gig memory module is too expensive for me, especially no during Christmas season. Viewing my usage, and page outs it appears I could leverage the extra 2gig but the price is such that I'll hold off
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,497
27
Singapore
Agreed, while my MBP (late 08 umbp) can only effectively handle 6gig, buying a 2 gig memory module is too expensive for me, especially no during Christmas season. Viewing my usage, and page outs it appears I could leverage the extra 2gig but the price is such that I'll hold off
you have 1x4GB in there atm?
 

iMav

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2008
340
5
Columbus, WI
I fancy the idea as well. But I am waiting till 8GB get around 200 euros (300 dollars). I may end up paying for it sooner though :(
I purchased 8GB for under $400 from newegg and couldn't be happier. I can now run my full VM lab environment on my MBP. Very nice.
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
I purchased 8GB for under $400 from newegg and couldn't be happier. I can now run my full VM lab environment on my MBP. Very nice.
Which brand did you get?

Unfortunatelly newegg doesn't ship to my country and even if they do I have to go through customs making the purchase not so great financially.
 

Macshroomer

macrumors 65816
Dec 6, 2009
1,126
525
Well, since it is all a write off, I went for the 8GB of ram, 160 SSD and my other drive in the Optibay on my new 2.5 13", pretty rocking set up.

Yesterday, I worked on a 800MB photoshop file with this thing like a cat tosses around a mouse, effortless.

$467 for 4GB or RAM is just too expensive at the moment. And the minor performance improvements won't be worth it for 99 percent of the users.

That money will buy you an Intel X25-m 160GB SSD, which will make a much more noticeable difference in terms of responsiveness. A better investment for those who have that kind of money lying around.

I'm waiting for the price to come down on both items myself, but I'll probably go for the SSD first. I'm hoping that OSX will offer better support for SSDs by then.
 

Nimiety

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2006
117
1
Well, since it is all a write off, I went for the 8GB of ram, 160 SSD and my other drive in the Optibay on my new 2.5 13", pretty rocking set up.

Yesterday, I worked on a 800MB photoshop file with this thing like a cat tosses around a mouse, effortless.
Awesome to hear - that's exactly what I'm planning to do very shortly. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to wait and see what's around the mid-January corner. For me, lots of mail and web, but also large keynote and power point presentations, huge cad drawings, and tons of multitasking.

Can't wait to play with it!!
 

roliath

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2009
140
0
dallas
this is more than likely going to be my next purchase after I buy applecare!

ssd is on its way already, what brand did you purchase?
edit: nvm, just checked.
465 for ram, with a core exchange is still somewhat on the higher end side.
If I could find a kit for 350~ish its on.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,276
3,345
I'm going to pick one of these up right after the holidays. It works out great for me because then I can give my girlfriend my 4gb's she has a 13" with 2gb's. I would love to upgrade to an SSD but until they come out with one thats either as big or bigger than my current 320gb at a reasonable price then I really cant see myself making the move and cutting my hard drive space in half.
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
Thats my main concern. I already have 2 useless 1GB DIMMS. If I upgrade to 4gb I will have another 2x2GB DIMMS. 6GB of RAM I don't use in total.
 

moral-hazard

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2009
180
0
Palo Alto, CA
8gb in a laptop is a little much for me (I use my 13" mbp mostly just for coding, web, email, and occasionally VM's), but I believe the G-skill 8gb set that newegg sells is 400 even and uses the same exact chips that apple does for the RAM that comes in the machine for the factory. Might save people a few bucks if you don't mind buying at newegg instead of OWC (OWC is great to deal with, I will admit.)
 

moral-hazard

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2009
180
0
Palo Alto, CA
You can never have too much RAM. :)
Just enough.
I meant a little much for me in terms of cost/benefit. I won a $300 apple gift card in a software design competition...So my MBP cost something in the range of $650 out of my own pocket after tax and selling the free iPod that it came with. I think spending close to $500 on RAM for the machine would be a little nuts ;) $500 would get me a core i7 920 and motherboard for it, so if I really needed the computing power I would go that route.
 

jonnysods

macrumors 603
Sep 20, 2006
6,298
3,022
There & Back Again
You guys are making this so tempting

Right now I have an 2008 iMac at my office, and a 13" 2008 MacBook for when I'm on the go, and a 2009 quad Mac Pro for my home business.

I want to get rid of all 3 and get a powerhouse of a machine - but the current lineup of MBP's dont seem worth it, especially next to my MP. I'm scared to lose all that power. But you guys are tempting me!
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
You have a mac pro and want a powerhouse of a machine... I can't see how the MBP will suffice.

I would get rid of the imac and keep what you have.
 

NeuralControl

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2009
917
30
I wish the price of RAM would go down again. I want to upgrade to 4 gigs in my MBP, but the price of RAM has gone up nearly 70% since August. I'm referring to DDR2 RAM in particular.
 

Gabriel GR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
716
1
Athens, Greece
I wish the price of RAM would go down again. I want to upgrade to 4 gigs in my MBP, but the price of RAM has gone up nearly 70% since August. I'm referring to DDR2 RAM in particular.
I doubt DDR2 RAM will get much cheaper since production has shifted to DDR3. RAM should get cheaper in the next months as manufacturers escape the crisis and reconstruct. At least i hope so.