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8GB vs 16GB Ram for MBP with Retina.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I wouldn't classify myself as a "power" user, but would like the communities opinion on wether I would need 16GB RAM or just the base specs at 8GB RAM.

 

What I'm going to do on my MBPr:

 

- Play older games such as Spore, The Movies, The Sims, etc. (all outputted onto a HDTV, so don't worry about resolution.) Not big on modern games, maybe except Garry's Mod)

 

- Play minecraft. (I'm sure I can on my old iMac, but want to have a powerful machine for that.)

- Create 3D Models with Blender / SketchUp.

- Render textures with Genetica.

- Run Windows and Ubuntu via Parallels. (saw some YouTube vids of people doing the same seamlessly, but with lower specs then the MBPr.)

 

I do not think I would need the 16GB RAM, but do want an opinion about the above.

 

Thanks,

timehacker11.

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by timehacker11 View Post

I wouldn't classify myself as a "power" user, but would like the communities opinion on wether I would need 16GB RAM or just the base specs at 8GB RAM.

What I'm going to do on my MBPr:

- Play older games such as Spore, The Movies, The Sims, etc. (all outputted onto a HDTV, so don't worry about resolution.) Not big on modern games, maybe except Garry's Mod)

- Play minecraft. (I'm sure I can on my old iMac, but want to have a powerful machine for that.)
- Create 3D Models with Blender / SketchUp.
- Render textures with Genetica.
- Run Windows and Ubuntu via Parallels. (saw some YouTube vids of people doing the same seamlessly, but with lower specs then the MBPr.)

I do not think I would need the 16GB RAM, but do want an opinion about the above.

It depends on how much memory you use in each program and if you run them at the same time. If Parallels is using 2GB to run Windows and Genetica and OS X is using 1GB, say your browser is using 0.5GB, then email/Finder/Quicktime/etc is using 0.5GB, say Blender/Sketchup use 2GB each then that's the whole 8GB used up. If you then start a render process of some kind, it needs to find RAM from somewhere so it starts paging to the drive. It's not so bad now that machines have SSDs as they are fast but paging isn't good and if you are tight for storage on the SSD, allocating GBs of swap files isn't ideal.

I think you'd get by with 8GB if it's mainly light work and $200 is expensive to just go up another 8GB. If it was a $100 upgrade, I'd say get 16GB. If you aren't bothered about getting the Retina model, you can get the entry model a fair bit cheaper:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7

You can then put in 16GB RAM and even a 512GB SSD and end up cheaper than the entry rMBP. But the display quality is much better on the rMBP. If you can hold off a couple of months until early June, there should be new models out anyway and there could be a price drop. It wouldn't be nice to buy a $2200 model now and then find they come out with one at $1800 in 2 months.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


It depends on how much memory you use in each program and if you run them at the same time. If Parallels is using 2GB to run Windows and Genetica and OS X is using 1GB, say your browser is using 0.5GB, then email/Finder/Quicktime/etc is using 0.5GB, say Blender/Sketchup use 2GB each then that's the whole 8GB used up. If you then start a render process of some kind, it needs to find RAM from somewhere so it starts paging to the drive. It's not so bad now that machines have SSDs as they are fast but paging isn't good and if you are tight for storage on the SSD, allocating GBs of swap files isn't ideal.

I think you'd get by with 8GB if it's mainly light work and $200 is expensive to just go up another 8GB. If it was a $100 upgrade, I'd say get 16GB. If you aren't bothered about getting the Retina model, you can get the entry model a fair bit cheaper:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7

You can then put in 16GB RAM and even a 512GB SSD and end up cheaper than the entry rMBP. But the display quality is much better on the rMBP. If you can hold off a couple of months until early June, there should be new models out anyway and there could be a price drop. It wouldn't be nice to buy a $2200 model now and then find they come out with one at $1800 in 2 months.

 

Well, I don't plan on multitasking RAM intensive applications. Basically, when I run genetica under Parallels, that's all I plan on running at that time. Same goes for rendering models / small animations, even though the MBPr will be more powerful than my current iMac. (model 8,1).

 

Now that you have mentioned it, I will be waiting till WWDC to see if any new models are released. The main reason I'm going to get the Retina is the 1GB graphics card, not to mention the high resolution screen.

post #4 of 5

I've actually wondered about this exact thing with respect to the use of DTP apps like Creative Suite.

 

How much RAM will likely be necessary to run the next Creative Suite along with the next OS?

 

Seems we're starting to measure RAM by how many GB an app uses, and I'm not sure when that happened.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #5 of 5

Hmm, I thought I read somewhere that Mountain Lion uses a new way to address RAM, ie. that regardless of how many apps are simultaneously open, the RAM gets addressed dynamically and allocated to the processes that need it at that very moment. 

 

So it shouldn't matter anymore how many apps are simultaneously open, the only thing that matters is what processes are running at the moment and how much RAM they need at the moment to get the job done. I think this idea of allocating RAM dynamically is derived from ios, where it was probably born out of sheer necessity because phones usually have little RAM.

I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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