Waiting for the 32 GB MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by malko, Nov 1, 2016.


How long are you willing to wait for a 32 GB ram option?

  1. I'm not, leaving the Macbook line behind now.

    17 vote(s)
  2. Half a year

    18 vote(s)
  3. One year

    25 vote(s)
  4. Two years

    24 vote(s)
  1. malko, Nov 1, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016

    malko macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2014
    I was hoping to finally upgrade my early 2011 MacBook Pro this year, but just can't justify it. The only hardware limitation I have performance wise on my current almost six years old MBP is the RAM. In 2011 I typically used around 4 GB of RAM, and now I'm usually around 12 GB of my systems 16 GB. 16 GB will probably be ok for another 1-1,5 years, but no way will I spend 2 800 USD on a new MBP that will run into the same limitation and at the same time as my six years old MBP. That's just ridiculous.

    So until Apple introduces more powerful RAM options to their laptops for professionals I'll hold on to my early 2011 MBP, holding my thumbs for a 32 GB option in next year. But if Apple doesn't deliver within a year I might finally jump ship and go with a Windows laptop :( Because other manufacturers actually deliver 32 GB. For example this Dell in a slim form factor and 30% lighter than my current MBP: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/p...1015us_4&model_id=precision-m5510-workstation
  2. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Didn't see an option for "Not waiting" so I picked half a year. I suppose if I had it on good authority that by April it will be expanded to 32GB at a reasonable price, I'd wait, though most likely I will be buying this generation if a certain business deal I'm anticipating goes well.

    What do you use the RAM on? Like what tasks are you really performing? One of the patterns I have noticed from following tech very closely is that 90% of people overestimate their actual needs/usage and spend money on upgrades and higher features that they never get the benefit from.

    I have seen quite a few posts from people complaining about specs or bragging about how crazy specced out their units are, and in other posts they'll say stuff like "I mostly use it for Facebook and YouTube" or "Photoshop" (which for basic tasks people often do, works just fine on a 5 year old computer).

    The assumption being that a 32GB machine will do Photoshop better or edit a personal video shot on the iPhone faster, but in reality if you did a blind test of a 32GB unit and an 8GB unit (with otherwise exactly the same specs) you'd probably struggle to tell them apart.

    I feel like this is similar. I got the Retina MacBook Pro from 2012 and went with the default 8GB. I am glad I did! It has performed everything just fine (including video editing that I have done occasionally) and I saved $200 at the time that I wouldn't recoup today.
  3. RetinaFarts, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017

    RetinaFarts macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2016
    Macs have great resale value.

    People are seriously suffering from RAM Anxiety. The want of more RAM than they actually need.
  4. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Yep. People love to "future proof" except when the future arrives when that item starts becoming necessary, they dump the unit and buy a new one anyway. And in the future, that $200 RAM upgrade, $200 video card upgrade, and $300 processor upgrade will add about $100 total in resale value over the base unit which would have been enough that whole time!
  5. malko, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    malko thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2014
    I am kind of an Apple fanboy too, but honestly: Just because Apple doesn't deliver something it doesn't mean nobody needs it. In my work I need to open up 20-30 web browser tabs, move data from these into a database program and partly Excel. At the same time I need to have Mail and communication applications open. Plus Pixelmator since some data is graphical and need to be edited.

    I am a professional and this is my workflow. It typically uses 10-13 GB of ram and my ram usage typically goes up 20% a year, meaning I will reach the ram limit of my current six years old MBP (16 GB) next year. If I buy a new laptop for 2 800 USD I just cannot accept that it will have the same limitation as my six years old MBP. I expect a 2 800 USD laptop to be satisfying for another 6 years, as my current one has been.
  6. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    RAM upgrades are like a versatile medicine. For the 10% who do need it, it's a necessity. For a half of the remaining 90% who blindly believe that it makes their lives better, it's a few hundreds dollars placebo that works wonders. For the rest who overly future proof their lives, it's an anti-anxiety drug that does the job. It's just that the medicine is expensive for what it does for the 90% unless they have enough money to burn.
  7. mixart macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2012
    I'm waiting for the 32GB and the OLED screen. I'm studying as a graphic designer with my Macbook Pro Retina 2.6Ghz/512GB SSD/Iris Pro graphic (Late 2013). A Macbook Pro with 32GB and an OLED display sounds like a dream laptop and I will hold on to that. I think we will se it next year or in 2018.
  8. malko thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2014
    Agreed. But to be honest, there will for sure be more than 10% of the MBP buyers who can make good use of more than 16GB ram in the 2016/2017 models of MBP. Maybe not on day one, but definitely during the lifetime of the machine. Just a few years ago MBP:s came in 4 GB models. Many might have been fine with it at the time, but few would still be by now. And since RAM is not upgradable on the current MBP:s this is something that has to be considered when you buy the laptop.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I doubt that, the main problem is people not understanding how macs use ram, they fill it up with all sorts of stuff for speed (unused ram is wasted ram) but that RAM is still available for use when needed for other tasks, if the person above who says their Mac uses 12 -13gb for their use case actually took the time to understand what their Mac was doing would find that they still had loads of ram available for new apps or processes, and that doesn't take into account ram compression which will kick in and keep things smooth and working well right up to 20gb on a 16gb unit.

    Go to activity monitor launch everything you would possibly want to use at once and check the graph for ram pressure if it's green or yellow you are all good.
  10. malko thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2014
    I know how RAM management works. Right now I'm on 10 GB app memory, 2 GB wired memory and 1 GB compressed memory. My app memory usually peaks at around 14 GB. Since my RAM needs have been increasing by about 20% per year I know for sure this means that my 16 GB system RAM won't feel as satisfying in a few years time and therefore I'm not willing to upgrade my 6 year old MBP to a new one for 2 800 USD that has the same RAM limitation.

    I understand most users don't have the same need, but if I pay 2 800 USD for a "pro" machine I do expect more.
  11. Gregintosh, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008

    16 browser windows and Excel and/or a database program are not using 32GB of RAM.

    Check this out: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/battle-of-the-browsers-in-cpu-and-memory-usage/

    A little dated, but using Safari on Windows took up 400MB of ram... yes that's megabytes, while having 10 windows open. Even if you double that for the complexity of today's sites, you'd still need under 1GB.

    So now you're having us believe that Excel and a Database app would need 30GB to work properly? Not plausible.

    Yes, MacOS fills up memory with anything it can to make use of it if you have it, so it looks like your mac is "using" it, but it doesn't mean you're gaining much efficiency.

    Also, an arbitrary 20% inflation in RAM needed is probably not accurate either.

    Truth is if I gave you my 8GB unit to work on you wouldn't notice a performance drop AT ALL for your use case.

    I know because I work with a lot of browser windows, chat apps, and giant excel spreadsheets too (20k to 50k rows each) and it works perfectly fine and has 0 trouble multitasking.

    Everything will work buttery smooth on 16GB of RAM for probably the next 5 to 8 years given your use case, which is actually pretty light.

    People who edit multiple long 4K video streams and play with special effects on them are probably the only ones who can make a plausible case for "needing" more RAM beyond 16GB, though the current generation can even handle that just fine apparently.
  12. puma1552, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    I voted one year, since that's going to be what we have to wait at least, but honestly, when I buy I buy a loaded model for around $3k and use it much longer than the average macrumors poster, but I don't know that I'll be in a position to do so a year from now. So it could be longer, since my mid-2010 is still working fine anyway and the longer I wait, the better machine I will get comparatively when mine finally does bite the dust.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2016 ---
    They don't really have great resale unless you're buying bottom end configurations. Nobody buying a $3k model now is going to get even $2k for it next year. People buying used are cheap.

    Unrelated, if Apple did offer 32 GB, it would cost $400 if not $600. Didn't the 2012s at first have a $600 upgrade option to 16 GB when they came out?
  13. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    First, where is the "No Waiting I am Buying Now" option in the polling?

    Look, I was in your position too. I was ticked off that there was no 32GB option.

    However, then I really reflected on the issue and came to the realization that 32GB would be overkill outside of sheer "future-proofing."

    Right now, in addition to a MBP I already own, I bought a basic MacBook.

    By basic MacBook, I am talking about one with a 1.1 GHz Intel Core m3 processor and 8GB of ram.

    You know what I am getting with 8GB of ram?

    I can have almost a dozen programs running at startup. I can run Photoshop and have a couple tabs open on my browser and I am only using 1/3 of the total memory, according to iStats menu.

    In another thread, we had a member try to do everything he could to max out his 16GB of memory and he stopped out of sheer boredom.

    Yeah, I am a memory lover too. I have 64GB on my 4k iMac.

    However, I think 16GB is going to be perfect for the new MacBook Pros.
  14. rdrr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2003
    Not sure what the big hub-bub is about the 32 GB ram, but with an SSD you really don't need it. Once memory runs out you start swapping to disk. Since they increased the performance of the SSD, I don't think you'll need more than 16 GB and if you run out you'll not really notice it. I would suggest you put the $$$ into more SSD storage, rather than memory you'll never use, nor feel the pain points if it starts swapping like you would have with a spinning disk.
  15. AceFernalld, Nov 2, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016

    AceFernalld macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2008
    I don't mean to downplay anybody's computational needs, but:

    Do that many of you really run into RAM limitations with 16GB?
  16. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
  17. Disheart macrumors newbie


    Sep 26, 2016
    The more the better — I'd really like to see a 64GB ram option so I can finally use Chrome.
  18. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    I have to agree. even having 50 tabs open plus a database plus excel isn't going to exceed 16GB. Honestly I can't see the OP's increase of 20% as linear. By that math, a few years down the road, 32GB won't be enough. I do believe that paying $2.8K for a machine with 16GB limit is hard to swallow, but there are people who want high ceilings but will never have the need to reach it. To me personally, future proofing is a myth since most don't hold onto technology for 10 plus years. By the time you reach the limitations on the hardware side, a revolution change comes along and you will upgrade. Software also needs time to catch up to hardware. If you keep changing your car for a more powerful engine hoping to get to your destination faster but the road that you travel continue to be traffic prone, your v8 is about as fast as a 4 banger next to you.
  19. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
  20. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    Perfect example!!! I am going to steal that one.

    Another concept that people seem to have is that if there's a better computer or higher specced graphics card or something out there, that means the one you have is automatically garbage. In reality, a 10% even 20% increase in performance is not even perceptible to most people.

    Think about it... with a 10% increase in performance, rather than taking 10 seconds to load something, it will take 9. Can anyone really tell the difference between 9 and 10 seconds without a stopwatch? I'd bet not. Yet people will shell out +$500 or +$1,000 to get that difference, or they'll wait a whole year to get a machine with that kind of performance bump rather than enjoy it now.
  21. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If that is your workflow, than you certainly don't need 32GB RAM any time soon. People who need that are either running really fat virtual machines (for whatever reason) or are working with incredibly large datasets that need to be fit into memory whole. Frankly, I am very sceptical about benefits of 32GB on current hardware, because if your working data is really that large, your CPU/GPU probably won't be able to consume it in the first place. Its very different if you are on a desktop of course.

    P.S. I am very sure that you'd be fine with 8GB as well. If you have access to a 8GB machine with otherwise comparable hardware, why not try it out. My bet is that you won't even notice any difference.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2016 ---
    For some reasons people like to think they do ;) Again, I am trying to play down the few real use cases out there, but most of the time, if one finds themselves in need for more then 16GB RAM on current-class hardware, the correct explanation is that the software developer uses ****** algorithms. With current SSD speeds, the data can be streamed into the computation engine before the previous buffer was consumed.
  22. zaphodb3 macrumors member

    May 3, 2015
    I use my 2014 15-inch MBP (with 16gb of RAM) to run heavy math code and perform visual data analysis all the time, while I watch movies in the background. I guess 32gb would be better, but I honestly don't feel like it's a big deal for me. If there's something that really requires it, I go to the lab or send the job remotely.

    So I really, really doubt the average MBP user would even notice the difference. This is one of those things that people think they "have to have" but they don't even know why. (Although I do appreciate the argument that the current MBP is overpriced for what it offers-- it's crazy expensive and I will not be upgrading.)
  23. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2016
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    OP, you haven't shared your memory pressure chart, what color is it - green, yellow, or red. Without this, I am not sure if you can convince anyone you need more than 16GB.
  24. Wildkraut macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2015
  25. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    There are people who do, regardless of what OP does.

    The other thing is that these devices are awfully expensive. You're buying them for the specs you think you'll over the next 4-8 years, not for the resources you need today.

    The last thing you want after spending $3000-$4000 on a laptop is to find that in 2-3 years, it's being bottlenecked by something like RAM.

    I do think that as software demands are increasing at an ever slower rate, you should be able to get 8 years from a new high-end laptop today.

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