1 2 3 4 Previous Next 56 Replies Latest reply: May 9, 2013 5:40 PM by Mr. Luigi Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • 30. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    tony glandil Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Read on why 8GB is not enough for me (business office use):

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/18031288#18031288

  • 31. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    KevinePaloAlto Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Reading through all of this, I don't think the original question was actually answered.

     

    Yes, you can go to 16GB in your i7 MacBook Pro, using 3rd party RAM.  Apple has a long history of listing as the maximum spec only the amount of RAM they're able to stock and provide at the time of introduction of the model.  Sometimes, RAM becomes available that exceeds the original spec, as what happened here.  Other times, the original spec remains because the model simply can't use memory beyond the original spec.

     

    Yes, it is possible to overkill with RAM.  Besides the obvious wasted money issue, your MacBook Pro  will consume more power along with the additional RAM.  The difference is slight, and may not even be noticed, but it does exist and may be worth considering.  With additional RAM, there will be a slightly longer cold-start time prior to the boot process, as the Mac does its system check prior to loading the OS.  Again, this may not even be noticed, especially if you rarely restart your Mac.  With additional RAM, the minimum virtual memory size is increased.  So if you'e going from 8GB to 16GB, your minimum virtual memory size will double.  If you're very limited on disk space, this may be something to consider, but again more than likely, this won't be an issue.

     

    You can check to see if additional RAM would improve things by going to Activity Monitor in your Utilities folder (in Applications).  See:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342

    Pay attention to Free, Inactive, Page outs and Swap used.

     

    Your MacBook Pro has 2 slots.  If you're going to upgrade it, it may make sense to max it out, since you add in (ideally matching) pairs and your RAM requirements are likely to increase in the future.  Thus, if you decide to upgrade in the future, you have to pull RAM out to add larger capacity modules.

     

    8GB modules (X2 for 16GB) have really dropped in price recently.  I recently upgraded to 16GB when the price dropped below $100.  For me, it's really nice to know that RAM simply isn't going to be an issue (at least for now).

  • 32. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    sheshant Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    mac.jpg

     

    Hi guys, this is my first ever post here!

     

    I have a late 2011 13"macbook pro, 4 GB 2.4 GHz.

    Had to replace my logic board (dropped tea on it)and i was offered a 2.7 GHz i7 logicboard instead, and went ahead with it. and looking at alan's post/screenshot, i see he has intel 3000 512 MB and then noticed that my specs now show intel 3000 384 MB.

    I am worried and confused....

     

    and btw, my macbook keeps freezing up after the logicboard was replaced ...! sometimes its a 3 beep noise, sometimes its a 'skitch skitch skitch ...' noise - like a scratch cd player, and its so unpredictable. theres no telling when it'll just freeze up and its completely ruined my macbook experience and most importantly i need it for my university work. some times it does run for 3-4 hrs no problem. i dont know if its my mind playing up but i've got into this mindframe that i leave it horizontal as possible and not move it, so as you can see i cant walk around the room with it and so on.

     

    so guys, thanks for still reading this and yes i do gather that 3 beeps mean possible RAM issues (i get other freeze noises too) so i was looking to upgrade it from 4gb to 8 or 16 and stumbled upon this screen shot. any advice will be most appreciated. thank you ever so much.

     

    sheshant.

     

    Message was edited by: sheshant

     

    Message was edited by: sheshant

  • 33. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    sheshant Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And here is my screen shot of what my "about this mac" displays. i hope you can read it!

    Screen Shot 2012-08-07 at 23.31.47.png

  • 34. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,790 points)

    Reading through all of this, I don't think the original question was actually answered.

    <sigh>

    It was. At least, it was answered as best as was able. I'm surprised this thread has been resurrected since I thought it was dead.

     

    The short answer is that no one can tell you whether 16GB is overkill or not for you. It depends on personal usage models, applications, datasets and a myriad of other elements that no-one here can know.

    For some people, 8GB is ample. For others 16GB is tight. For some, 96GB is bare minimum.

     

    Each to his own. If you're concerned, too little is usually far worse than too much, so go ahead, spend your $100 and be happy.

  • 35. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    KevinePaloAlto Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    @Camelot,

     

    Actually, my point was that nobody provided an actual answer.  It's like asking if your car is low on gas, and people claimed that there was no way of knowing... it depends, how many gallons does your car hold?  How far are you going to drive? Etc...  And then an argument on how much gas you can put in your car.  When the correct answer is to look at your fuel gage.

     

    Same thing with RAM.  Look at your Activity Monitor to determine if installing more RAM is going to do anything at all for you, and to determine how much your system may (or may not) be slowing down due to lack of sufficient RAM.

     

    "If you're concerned, too little is usually far worse than too much, so go ahead, spend your $100 and be happy."

     

    No.  If you have 8GB and that's more than what your system needs, spending $100 for 16GB is going to reduce your disk space, slow your computer down during startup, and increase your heat and power consumption.

     

    Look at your Activity Monitor to determine RAM needs.

  • 36. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,790 points)

    Look at your Activity Monitor to determine RAM needs.

    Right, Kevine - at least up to a point, but even that doesn't really answer the question. At the very least it needs analysis and understanding of what it's telling you.

     

    The amount of memory you need is really based on what you're doing now. You're entirely able to open every memory-intensive application you have on a machine with, say 8GB of RAM even if those applications, combined want 20, or 100, or more GB, because the OS does a pretty good job of unloading applications that are idle.

    Aperture, for example, will unload unneeded memory and get paged to disk, as will iPhoto, iMovie, Word, Safari, and every other appliction to make way for whatever application you're using at the time.

    So it is still the case that your own usage model dictates how much memory you need. If you're actively running multiple applications (e.g. running a rendering task in the background while batch processing images in another app while you work on some other app), or are frequently switching between applications (every few minutes, not just intermittently) then you may need more memory, beyond what Activity Monitor might tell you at the time.

    Most people are poor readers of Activity Monitor's data, and for the most part it's really only the Page Ins/sec and Page Outs/sec that are relevant. Even then, people look at it and assume the worst - they might see a spike of several MB/sec Page Ins when they launch an app, but that's not an issue at all.

     

    So, yes, Activity Monitor is a tool, but it doesn't give the whole picture, and how much memory you need still depends on what you do, and how you use your machine. The OP wanted a 'yes' or 'no' answer and wasn't satisfied when no-one would give one.

  • 37. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    KevinePaloAlto Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    "Right, Kevine - at least up to a point, but even that doesn't really answer the question. At the very least it needs analysis and understanding of what it's telling you."

     

    True, but that's exactly why I included a link to a page that provides support for understanding what the Activity Monitor is telling you, and why I specifically said to pay attention to the relevent parts I mentioned.

     

    You can point a person to the tool, point them to instructions on how to use it, or you could answer with a bunch of "it depends, nobody can tell you, you can or can't put 16GB into your Mac, and you're a troll".

     

    "So it is still the case that your own usage model dictates how much memory you need."

     

    I never said it didn't, and I don't think anyone, including the original poster would ever even question that, but stating that doesn't answer the question, and neither does calling the OP a troll.

     

    "The OP wanted a 'yes' or 'no' answer and wasn't satisfied when no-one would give one."

     

    Where did the OP state this?  The OP asked a yes/no question, but it was perfectly answerable with saying, "given the uses you listed, most people are happy with 8GB, some even less.  You can go up to 16GB, and if you're a heavy user of Aperture/iDVD, that may be worth the money, but to really determine if that extra memory is going to make a difference, you'd need to look at Activity Monitor and here's where you can read up on how to use it."

  • 38. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    Jonathan Mortimer Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    Virtual Machines are about the only thing I have managed to find that will utilise that amount of RAM, other software still seems to be stuck in disk-cache mode, even when I clearly have more than enough RAM spare to load the entire video file or image(s) at once (uncompressed).  I have 16GB in my 27" iMac, it was not too expensive as there are four slots, so I could use 4GB DIMMs.  I also upgraded my 17" MacBook Pro to 16GB in 2x 8GB DIMMs, that too was surprisingly less expensive than I thought it might be, so there was no reason for me not to do it.

     

    Probably not worth it if you are only doing video conversion or photo editing, can't comment on HD video editing, but if the price is reasonable then there's no reason not to do it - the price of old RAM tends to go up as demand for that type drops below a certain level and new RAM becomes available, so I would say max it out when you can afford to.

  • 39. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    The short answer to the OP is simple and it was not a stupid question.

     

    No, 16 GB of RAM is not overkill for users of Aperture and Photoshop. I can easily overload the 8 GB of RAM in my 2011 17" MBP to cause page outs. Aperture by itself always has zero page outs but my Aperture/PS workflow would like to take advantage of additional RAM beyond the 8 GB currently  installed.

     

    Most modern MBPs listed for 8 GB RAM from Apple actully can take up to 16 GB via third party. One can check by contacting OWC Presales Tech Support: http://eshop.macsales.com/

     

    Note that Photoshop under OS X has been able to indirectly take advantage of up to at least 32 GB RAM for many years now.

     

    ---------------------

    To evaluate whether or not you have adequate RAM:

     

    Look at the Page Outs number under System Memory on the Activity Monitor app before starting a typical Aperture work session and write the number down. Recheck the Page Outs count after working and wirite the number down again. if the page outs change (manual calculation of ending page outs number minus starting page outs number) is not zero your workflow is RAM-starved. Ignore the pie charts and other info in Activity Monitor.

     

    If your test showed that page outs increased during operation you can

     

    • add RAM (I recommend all Ap users shoot for minimum 8 GB RAM)

     

    • and/or simply try to run Aperture by itself

     

    • Restart before Aperture work sessions to clear possible memory leaks

     

    • and/or switch from 64-bit operation to 32-bit operation (which will make some additional RAM space available). See Switching Kernels:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3773]Mac OS X v10.6: Starting up with the 32-bit or 64-bit kernel

     

    All that said, I have a spare 2.33 GHz C2D MBP that does "work" for Aperture under its max of 3 GB RAM. However it is slow and I doubt if it would properly digest really large files. Also I run 10.6.8 on that box. 10.7.x is more RAM-demanding.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • 40. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,705 points)

    Aperture by itself always has zero page outs but my Aperture/PS workflow would like to take advantage of additional RAM beyond the 8 GB currently  installed.

    Allen,

    have ever tried to browse a sequence of really large scans? Then you will see page outs in Aperture by itself - I see them frequently when browsing and editing large tiffs (~1GB), even with 16GB RAM.

     

    Léonie

  • 41. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    XtremeArtists Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    KevinePaloAlto wrote:

     

    Reading through all of this, I don't think the original question was actually answered.

     

    <snip>

     

    Yes, it is possible to overkill with RAM.  Besides the obvious wasted money issue, your MacBook Pro  will consume more power along with the additional RAM.  The difference is slight, and may not even be noticed, but it does exist and may be worth considering.  With additional RAM, there will be a slightly longer cold-start time prior to the boot process, as the Mac does its system check prior to loading the OS.  Again, this may not even be noticed, especially if you rarely restart your Mac.  With additional RAM, the minimum virtual memory size is increased.  So if you'e going from 8GB to 16GB, your minimum virtual memory size will double.  If you're very limited on disk space, this may be something to consider, but again more than likely, this won't be an issue.

     

    <snip>

     

    Thanks for posting this information. The issues regarding increased RAM and additional resources (start time, energy, vm size, etc...) were interesting. I agree the benefts outweigh the costs, and with name-brand 16 GB kits going for $60-$80 on Amazon and Newegg it makes sense to upgrade these laptops for pro/prosumer media editing or other memory intensive uses.

     

    Camelot seems to think it's a stupid question. I'm glad you took the time to discuss.

  • 42. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    WALTER-MILANO-ITALY Level 4 Level 4 (2,175 points)

    Hi Frank, I doubt there can be a general misunderstanding in the Apple documentation.  With some MBP the sentence has to be read   "2 slots can hold 8 GB" and add "each".

    I had the same problem with my MBP i7 early 2011.  I run now 16GB.

  • 43. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    WALTER-MILANO-ITALY Level 4 Level 4 (2,175 points)

    The best answer is really here in the few words from Kappy.

    You have do "develop"  the meaning. Search in the support communities and you will find many detailed suggestions on how to detect how much RAM you are using with the aid of Apple SW you already have on your machine like Activity Monitor and how to understand its reports.

  • 44. Re: 16 gb of ram is that over kill or not
    Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,690 points)

    Jonathan Mortimer wrote:

     

    Probably not worth it if you are only doing video conversion or photo editing, can't comment on HD video editing

    It is all about effects. If you are just making some simple adjustments to an image, 16GB could be too much. But 16GB will not be too much if you are assembling panoramas or HDRs from these new digital SLRs that produce 24-36 megapixel images. Also, someone editing layers in 8-bits mode might find 16GB too much, but someone working on a similar file in 16-bit mode might see RAM usage go up a lot.

     

    Same with video editing. Basic edits do not need 16GB RAM. But what if you are compositing green screen subjects with 3D models, with motion tracking and rotoscoping? For 2K HD or 4K cinema resolution? You could hit 16GB pretty fast. Also if you have your HD effects app open next to Photoshop, again you could see yourself hitting VM and needing more RAM to avoid bottlenecking that high-end CPU.

     

    Now, going back to the original post, which mentioned iPhoto, Aperture, and iDVD, 16GB might not be reached with those apps necessarily. I was talking about professional apps like Photoshop and After Effects.