I'm going to buy a rMBP 13'' (i5, 256gb) exclusively for iOS\OSX development. I might run a windows VM occasionally (visual studio).

I plan on keeping it for ~2-3 years.

Should I go for the default 8GB ram, or is the $270 (that's how much it costs here) upgrade to 16GB ram worth it (in my situation)?

  • 2
    Hardware shopping is off topic so be sure to edit this to be about measuring and not pricing. To that effect, why wouldn't you buy the cheap mac and sell it if you discover you need more CPU/RAM? Mac have a one year window to buy AppleCare and you can test drive things and sell it for nearly what you paid anytime before the 3 years run up. Without knowing how much RAM your use of visual studio will be, it's hard to guess what you'll need. The entry MacBook is more than enough RAM and CPU for all iOS and OS X development you might care to do IMO.
    – bmike
    Jun 16, 2015 at 20:08
  • 2
    I do iOS development with 4 GB of RAM.
    – NobodyNada
    Jun 16, 2015 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


According to Visual Studio's system requirements, it requires 1.5GB when in VM. Usually you will assign a max of 4GB on the windows VM which should be sufficient for a satisfactory operation of Windows inside the VM with the Visual Studio.

In this case there will be 4GB left for the hosting OS. Which usually is again adequate.

Also, Yosemite does a really good job in handling CPU and Ram, so in my opinion you should be ok.

My personal experience with a 2009 MBpro, 8GB Ram on Yosemite running windows on VM shows that there are very rare the occasions where I am out of RAM.


Sizing RAM and HD space is always been "get more than you think you need and all that you can afford." but realistically 8GB should work (like FFrewin indicates in excellent detail) but depends on your usage patterns. So it's really hard to answer.

"Mr Lincoln, how long should a Man's legs be?"

"Long enough to reach from his body to the ground"

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