Forum Question: Which MBP Retina RAM—8gb or 16gb—do I Want?

Apple’s store tries to help in the choice between 8 and 16 gigs in the purchase decision for a retina display MBP. They say the 8 gig “allows you to work on complex tasks such as editing photos and videos…” They also say the 16 gig allows “…Aperture and Final Cut Pro to run at peak performance.”
Do you have thoughts on how someone like me—an intermediate non-pro dabbler who doesn’t like the spinning beachball any more than the next person—should interpret this rather non-specific distinction Apple makes? I understand that to some degree 16 gigs is better, but $250 better for my needs?
Thanks for any insights.
John Russell

Comments: 3 Responses to “Which MBP Retina RAM—8gb or 16gb—do I Want?”

    7/26/12 @ 11:28 pm

    Memory is all about exchanging money for performance. So it depends on how much a dollar is worth to you, verses how much your time and performance needs are worth.
    If you are a professional computer user who has plenty of money, then the answer is clear. If you are a home user who does use the Mac for anything professional, and have a tight budget, then the answer is also clear. Anyone in the middle needs to simply weigh the cost and make a decision.
    A “spinning beachball” usually means that an app is not handling something correctly. It happens. Software isn’t perfect. But 8GB or 16GB isn’t going to make that much of a difference for that specific thing.
    It will make a difference if you are editing 1080p video all the time, or editing huge raw photos for print layouts.

    John Russell
    7/26/12 @ 11:46 pm

    Quick followup: Is the question of the difference between the 2.6 and 2.7 Ghz processors pretty much answerable the same way? The considerable price difference means there’s probably a considerable performance difference. In my case do you suspect I’d see RAW files reacting to my commands noticeably more quickly in Aperture, for example?

      7/26/12 @ 11:51 pm

      Yes. The same thing. More money = better processor = better performance. Everyone just has to decide in a subjective way.

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