To 16Gb or to not 16Gb

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bcburrows, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. bcburrows macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    #1
    I realise that similar questions to this have been asked before, however I would greatly appreciate some knowledgable input into my question.

    My hardware
    Early 2011 15.4" i7 2.2Ghz MBP 8Gb Ram 256SSD + 750HDD (stock) with the Radeon 6750 1Gb and an external superdrive connnected by USB.

    Task
    Currently digitising my entire DVD and Blu Ray catalogue into iTunes.
    Use - MDRP for the DVD - MP4
    Handbrake - for the AVI to MP4
    Identify for MP4 to labelled M4V

    Whilst these tasks are being performed I am also using my MBP for my work
    Word / Pages
    Email
    Etc

    My question is, whilst there is some slow down in the system I am not sure if additional memory will make much of a difference? Using iStat app I can see my CPU and my RAM is pretty much working full on. So is it worth the additional RAM? RAM is now cheap, crucial sells 16Gb for my system at £50, but if I will see no difference then why spend the extra £50. If however I am likely to see some improvement then I will gladly spend it.

    Any thoughts or questions on my set up or my conversion etc, please reply.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ploki macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #2
    If you have page-outs, then you probably could use more ram.
    if you don't get page-outs, then you're safe.
     
  3. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #3
    Since you have also pointed out that RAM is cheap, then there's not real reason in not getting more. That being said, don't expect any performance boost with more RAM ( upgrading from 8GB to 16GB is not as "life-changing" as it was a few years back when people were upgrading from 1GB to 4GB )... the amount you have now is most likely plenty for your needs.
     
  4. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #4
    You should also remember that each iteration of OS X gets more memory hungry. You could get away with 512MB of RAM in Panther. With Snow Leopard you need at least 2GB, and with Lion and Mountain Lion you need between 4-8GB minimum
     
  5. Barna Biro, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #5
    Sorry, but making up numbers doesn't help you make a point.
    With Snow Leopard you needed a minimum of 1 GB RAM: http://support.apple.com/kb/SP575
    Mountain Lion needs a minimum of 2 GB RAM: http://www.apple.com/osx/specs/

    I do agree that today's operating systems eat more ram than the ones 10 years ago ( which is normal / natural ) and there is a tendency that they eat more and more with almost each iteration ( since new features are added, etc. ), but then again, 4GB or 8GB RAM wasn't a standard back then either ( nowadays, you can hardly find notebooks that come with less than that ). By the time the OS will have a minimum RAM requirement of 8GB ( if it ever comes to that ), be assured that all devices will already be shipping with a standard of 12-16GB RAM if not more. The OS has never been and will most likely never be the main "memory hog" of the system ( except if it's badly written like Windows Vista, but that's a different discussion ). The only things that actually need to be considered are the tools / software one is planning to use on the notebook... if you're hoping to use multiple VMs or edit very large raw file, have multiple programs open simultaneously, etc. then of course, more RAM will most likely help you out ( generally not in the "performance-sense", but it in the sense that it will allow you to actually open multiple stuff up and the stuttering limit will not be as close as before ).
     
  6. loon3y macrumors 65816

    loon3y

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #6
    more ram, more problems



    hahaha get it. its gonna make it hot as hell though, my dad has 16 on this 17" and it gets so hot and the fan gets real loud.
     
  7. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #7
    He's wasn't making those numbers up. Remember that Apple will be incented to keep its min RAM numbers as low as possible and thus quote minimums to run as opposed to minimums to run with few or no pageouts.

    Our 2009 2CD iMac with 4GB RAM pages out quite a bit on light usage under 10.8.2. When I boot my 2011 cMBP-15 with 16GB I have 13.1GB free with nothing but menu bar programs running (and none of those are big leakers); that's basically ML using 2.9GB out of the gate. Open a browser and Mail and I'm down to 11 or 12 GB free. If you don't want to page out with ML you need at least 6GB.
     
  8. Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #8
    You having multiple processes and software running in the background that add up to the RAM consumption still doesn't change the fact that the OS needs a minimum of 2GB RAM to run. No one said that actually having only 2GB memory on a notebook will result in a wonderful experience, but let's not mix things up. I was strictly talking about "official minimum system requirements" and not about "what I think would be the 'minimum ideal amount of RAM' for my needs and use-case". That's a totally different discussion... and yes, his numbers are made up.
     
  9. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #9
    I did make the distinction between minimum numbers to run (Apple's official) and minimum numbers to run with few or no pageouts (considerably higher). At boot on my cMBP-16 with 16GB RAM the multiple non-ML processes that are running in the background are using slightly less than 300MB of the 2.9GB that are no longer free, which would imply that ML is using 2.6GB on boot. I would guess that means that Apple has detuned ML so that it will run on 2GB, but just not at full spec.

    Nonetheless, this fact still stands:

     
  10. Hexley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
  11. SlCKB0Y, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    No, it doesn't. On my 2GB MBA, Lion was idling at just over 1GB used with no apps open.

    What you're suggesting is that Apple were selling the 2GB MBA and Lion was using 2GB of RAM leaving nothing for user apps? was not my experience...

    OS minimum RAM requirements always allow for users to be running with a reasonable of apps open, just don't expect to be able to do any heavy lifting.
     
  12. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #12
    Total BS and clueless post. And sorry OP but you don't need 16gb of ram to friggin encode your iTunes library. That's going to be more of a CPU task than a RAM task.
     
  13. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    If you have more RAM, the OS will use more RAM for buffers and caching.
     
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #14
    More RAM does not equate to more heat. Your dad's computer has some other problem, but I can assure you it has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of RAM installed.
     
  15. Barna Biro, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #15
    What's so hard to understand? :rolleyes: Apple officially states that devices attempting to run their Lion / Mountain Lion OS need at least 2GB available Ram. They do this because according to them, you need that minimum amount to ensure that the OS will run within optimal functioning parameters when performing tasks ( they can of course not prepare for all the craziness you / others might be attempting ). If your system doesn't meet these requirements, it doesn't necessarily mean that it "can't" run the OS ( although this can happen too ), but that unwanted behavior could be observed or the system can seriously malfunction.

    Minimum requirement DO NOT mean that when you boot up your system it will 'de facto' eat up the amount of memory that is stated under "minimum system requirements". Instead, based on OS configuration ( things that either you have configured yourself under "advanced settings" during the OS installation process or configuration applied automatically by the OS based on your device specifications / available resources - the OS can decide to enabled or disable certain feature during installation ) your machine can use up as much as, more or less RAM than what the "minimum required" amount is stated to be.
     
  16. bcburrows thread starter macrumors 6502

    bcburrows

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol
    #16
    Thanks to everyone who replied. I think my question has now been lost in the arguments of system specs etc. However on the balance of things I have ordered the 16Gb of RAM. Whilst I respect those opinions that suggest encoding my friggin itunes collection is perhaps not a task worthy of 16Gb of RAM, and whilst my system monitoring software suggests this task is more CPU heavy, for me this is a long and slow task and any improvement will be worth it for me, and of course the RAM will still be there after.

    I think as I also run VM Win 8 via parallels, I do some photo and video editing and am generally running 4 to 8 apps at a time, for the sake of £50 I might as well try it.

    Thanks to everyone who answered the question with their own opinions and insights. Merry Christmas and may Tim Cook deliver apples goodies to all those of you who have behaved yourselves this year.
     
  17. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    well worth it, especially considering how cheap it is, and the ease of installing it.
     
  18. SlCKB0Y, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #18
    Yea thanks for this. I believe that is what I already said?

    This is what you said previously:

    :rolleyes:

    Do you know what "needs" and "minimum" mean?

    What you actually mean is that Apple sets an arbitrary requirement that any Mac running 10.7+ must have 2GB RAM.
     
  19. Barna Biro, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    Barna Biro macrumors 6502a

    Barna Biro

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Luzern, Switzerland
    #19
    Learn to read and comment on the parts I have comment on when I was quoting from your comment. Dissecting my reply and picking out only the parts you dislike / like and then putting them into a completely different context is neither smart or nice. You have addressed me a question that was completely off from what I've been stating / discussing before. I gave you the answer, now it's up to you to process it and actually understand it.

    Good luck with that! ;)

    EDIT:

    Either in Australia they teach you people a completely ( not just "slightly" ) different kind of English than the one everyone else learns in Europe, or I'm doing a poor job at expressing myself, or you're doing a poor job at understand what has been quite clearly stated / written ( IMHO of course ).

    Now, according to Google and some dictionaries, the meaning of the word "arbitrary" is the following: "Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system." ( no need to thank me for providing this information, I'm glad I can help ).

    From my comment:

    I could have of course explained what I meant in a more verbose manner, as if explaining it to a little child, BUT instead, I have just assumed that when one reads "according to them", the reader will understand that by "them", I meant Apple ( the company ) and the professionals who were responsible for measuring the OS performance and coming up with that "minimum requirements list". Those "minimum memory requirements" are surely based on the readings given by some quite sophisticated software and hardware that was used during the testing / performance measuring phase and are not the result of "random choice or personal whim". But if to you, this can be called "arbitrary", then we clearly have a different understanding of the same word and there's no point in continuing this discussion.

    Sorry for assuming that you can think rationally and not nitpick senselessly. Please don't bother replying, the OP got what he came for ( even a lot more, stuff that he didn't even ask for... sorry for that OP ).
     
  20. mrbigglessworth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    #20
    Get 16 and dont look back!

    I went from 4GB on my old Windows Box to 16 in my rMBP.

    I frequently pegged to having less than 300MB free in various games on Windows old system.

    Now, with the same configuration of Windows, an mp3 player a few browsers and my game, Im getting past 6GB used. Windows and OS X just run better when more memory is available.
     
  21. SlCKB0Y, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #21
    How is that a completely different context? You made a statement. It was wrong regardless of context. There was no ambiguity to your written text.

    How else is anyone to interpret this if not literally? We aren't mind readers.

    No, you tried to give the answer but you miscommunicated it.

    Believe it or not and despite your condescending attitude, I don't actually need you to explain it to me. I have a degree in computer science and have worked as a Linux sysadmin and project manager for the last 7 years.

    Edit: I don't doubt you know what you're talking about, but your misleading/poorly communicated statement was the reason I even replied this thread in the first place.
     
  22. daneoni, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #22
    Was waiting for you to take issue with my post. Sorry but i'm not making anything up. Those numbers are from personal experiences. Meeting system requirements =/= viable experience. Adobe say you can install Premier with 4GB of RAM but even they recommend you double up to 8GB. Apple says you can install Aperture with 2GB of RAM but recommend you double up to 4GB

    Yes you would be able to run the software (OP's machine is getting by with 8GB) but it doesn't mean you won't benefit from extra memory. "Minimum" system requirement is just that....the 'minimum' starting point

    At the end of the day its the OP's decision to make i've merely offered my opinion/experience on the matter.
     
  23. phinsup macrumors 6502

    phinsup

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    SE Florida
    #23
    I only use more than 16 gigs when i am running vmware, otherwise it's almost always sitting at 7.45. I've been watching for the same reason, about to pull the trigger on a retina and am trying to decide between 8 and 16. Since i have to run the vm for work fairly often i will probably go with 16.
     
  24. NewishMacGuy, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a

    NewishMacGuy

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    #24
    What, exactly was BS about that post? I would assume that you can't see the numbers my computers are reporting in Activity Monitor right? Are you implying that those numbers aren't accurate in some way? Or are you implying that a significant amount of pageouts aren't representative of a potential need for more RAM? Are you saying that you can run a moderate workload under ML on 4Gb and NOT get page outs? What, exactly, are you saying?
     
  25. Ploki macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #25
    Jesus why are some of you so daft?

    Page-outs : Need ram
    No page-outs: no need ram

    it's that simple.
     

Share This Page