Will I Want More Memory Yet?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by splitpea, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #1
    I'm gearing up to buy a 15" i7 MBP, and will probably upgrade it to 6GB RAM within the year, but can't decide whether to do so immediately.

    I'm liable to be running a few CS apps at once, and probably a VM or two (or three) at once for web browser testing purposes. Highest memory load would likely be Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and Dreamweaver all at once with no VMs, or 4 VMs (2 WinXP + 2 Win7) plus Photoshop and Dreamweaver. (In either case, I'd have mail, a few browser windows with a half-dozen tabs each, and probably iTunes running as well.)

    4GB currently gives me just enough overhead for the 4 CS apps, but that's CS3, not CS5... and of course I can't virtualize Windows on the G5, so no idea how much memory that would likely need. How constricting will I find the 4GB to start off with?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    For your usage, 8GB is almost a minimum for smooth experience. CS apps take quite much RAM and VMs take even more!
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    It sounds like, while you could get by with 4GB and do all you need, you'd probably see a noticeable improvement in performance with more RAM.
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Concerning running 4 VMs, I've got an i7 iMac with 8GB RAM, the i7 is quad-core plus hyperthreading but only a dual core i7 in the MacBook Pro. I've occasionally run 3 VMs at a time (Win7, XP, and Ubuntu) and the system starts to feel stressed. I expect 4 would be the limit. My C2D Al MacBook will run two VMs but is noticeably slowed down. I really don't expect that any MacBook Pro will be good for 4 simultaneous VMs. Seems like you would need the i7 iMac at a minimum and preferably an 8-core Mac Pro. That would even run the VMs and the Adobe software simultaneously.
     
  5. splitpea thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #5
    Thanks, guys. 8GB just plain isn't in my budget yet, but what you're saying is very helpful. I guess in a worst-case scenario I could run the VMs sequentially. No iMac or Mac Pro this time... just desperate to go mobile.
     

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