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Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: April 03, 2020 05:38PM
I see a number of ads for Macs with 8GB RAM. I am using a 2012 Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and sometimes it seems to be too little when I am running a number of apps. Perhaps newer Macs are better than my old Mac?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2020 05:38PM by JEBB.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: April 03, 2020 05:46PM
Yes when swap can happen at 3GB/s, however more RAM is always better.

For instance, my job can easily be done with 8GB RAM and no swapping because that's what I use every day, a 2018 Mini with 8GB. But my job is simply not RAM intensive being mostly web-based. Anyone doing media work certainly needs 16GB minimum, possibly more if time really = money.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: April 03, 2020 05:47PM
Depends on what you are going to do with the Mac. 8 GB would be the minimum now, an SSD for a drive may make it a bit less noticeable when the system has to go to swap.

But from a what I am seeing, some of the software developers are just not paying attention to memory management at all. I see many mainstream applications just blowing up their RAM usage with fairly obvious memory leaks. In that environment about all you can do to keep up with their sloppiness is have more RAM installed.

P.S. This also applies to recent versions of macOS. Add in a plethora of background services that many of which could just be turned off unless needed, the OS has its own problems.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 03, 2020 05:47PM
Who needs more than 640kB?
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 03, 2020 05:58PM
Quote
JEBB
I see a number of ads for Macs with 8GB RAM. I am using a 2012 Macbook Pro with 16GB RAM and sometimes it seems to be too little when I am running a number of apps. Perhaps newer Macs are better than my old Mac?

Assuming it has a SSD?

What does "seems too little" mean? Perhaps the issues arent RAM related? and lets just throw out the fact that we are discussing the performance of a near 8 year old computer...

I have 32, no idea if I bump up against it... but I want 64... which is impossible with my current mac...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 03, 2020 06:12PM
Modern Macs with SSDs, 8GB is fine so long as you keep at least 1/3 or so of the SSD space free for virtual memory.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: April 03, 2020 07:40PM
SSD and 8GB of ram is perfectly fine for general use. Even for basic Creative Cloud use it is ok. My main rig is a 2018 MacBook Air with 8GB of ram and a 256GB SSD.



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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: April 03, 2020 09:27PM
Grass is always greener, I have 16 and am jonesing for 32.
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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 03, 2020 10:42PM
....that's what she said.....!!!!



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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: April 03, 2020 11:22PM
I have 16 GB, but I'm also running Windows 10 under VMware Fusion.
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No.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 04, 2020 03:59AM
Yes when swap can happen at 3GB/s, however more RAM is always better.


This.

At worst, you're spending money you may not need to, on future-proofing, when you'll be glad you did.

My 2015 MB (High Sierra) has only 8G and I bump up against low memory all the time. I use an app call Memory Monitor, and it often tells me I've got less than 100MB free.

This machine is only used for surfing, and email, and watching video, on occasion.

8G just doesn't keep up. I have to quit Safari or Firefox to get free memory back. It's common for an app not to launch because I'm out of application memory.

I tend to keep a lot of tabs open, but I really have to prune them and I don't like it.

Browsers are memory hogs.

People brag about how little they restart their Macs. I restart once every three or four days and have maybe 3G of free memory to play with.

I've got 24G of memory in my 2015 iMac (Yosemite/Sierra) and I'm frequently down to 5G or less. I will take it to 32G.

I will not buy another Mac with less than 16G of RAM, unless it's 27" iMac. My 2018 mini has replaceable memory with a 32G limit (I think) but I got it with 16G of Apple memory because I don't know if/when I'll ever upgrade it.

So IF you're very, very light with use you may be tolerant or even happy with 8G.

Especially as OSs get lighter, faster, and more memory efficient each year.





No, not really.




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Re: Is 8GB RAM enough these days?
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 04, 2020 05:54PM
R,

I spent an obligate period of time with an 8GB machine last year. It worked fine for even light photoshop, heavy powerpoint (i.e. >100MB files), hard email etc

I'm not saying 16GB isn't better, just that the differential continues to get smaller as SSD speeds increase.

And, as I noted, you need your SSD with sufficient room to serve as a scratch disk. Larry from OWC has always recommended 25% free at all times; so if you have 1/3 space on your SSD free, you will have sufficient room for some scratch.
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