Why Apple’s new MacBook Pros don’t need 32GB of RAM

“Isn’t more RAM always better?” Robin Harris writes for ZDNet. “Random access memory (RAM) is a computer’s scratch pad where work in process is stored. RAM is power hungry, hot, and – less relevant at MBP prices – expensive. When RAM fills up, the operating system starts paging least recently used blocks of data out of RAM into storage to free up capacity.”

Two “major changes have made macOS much less dependent on DRAM capacity,” Harris writes. “First, Apple has pushed SSD performance to the max, writing at over 2GB/s and reading at over 3GB/s. That’s important because the faster the storage is, the more fluid moving pages from DRAM to a drive becomes. The storage is literally an extension of the memory, and fast storage reduces paging overhead. Second, macOS does memory compression, and has since Mavericks was released in 2013. Memory compression has two important benefits: 1) it expands the effective RAM capacity by 50 to 75 percent, and 2) and shrinks the page file, freeing up more DRAM capacity.”

“The main application that folks assume needs more than 16GB is video editing, especially 4k video,” Harris writes. “But that’s not true either.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

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  1. i run out of RAM all the time doing my work. I have 32GB of 2400Mhz DDR4, and work off of a pcie m.2 drive thats just slightly slower then the new macbook…

    16GB would be DOA for me.

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