Background: I am planning on purchasing a MacBook Pro before I go to college (Computer Science Major). The MacBook comes with a standard 4GB of RAM but there is an upgrade that cost $100, to double the RAM to for 8GB.

So my question is, is that extra RAM worth the cost, or is it uncessary?

  • There are really two separate issues here: What function or performance does the 4->8 transition allow? Second is the implied question - is Apple's 8 GB better than aftermarket 8 GB? Try to steer things away from the second question which is something of a shopping nature which doesn't work so well on this Q&A site. – bmike Jul 26 '13 at 17:32

It's like upgrade your house to have another room. Wether or not it justify's its cost depends on wether you use it or not. In general, I'd say 4GB is the minimum to go by these days, I'd opt for 8GB for most non-casual users.

Considering how expensive a MacBook is, I'd suggest going the extra mile to ensure your purchase lasts you well into the future. If your model is not a retina model (I.e. the RAM is user serviceable), I'd strongly recommend a 2x8GB kit like this one. At $130, it's only $30 more expensive than the 8GB Apple offers, but is DOUBLE the memory. (it's faster too, but your MacBook will bottleneck the speed difference, so it won't actually count for anything)

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    Ah thank you sir. Follow up question where could I go to get this installed? – mikalburr Jul 22 '13 at 6:37
  • I suggest you do it yourself. It's a simple procedure that's well documented on the internet. See support.apple.com/kb/ht1270 – Alexander Jul 22 '13 at 12:12
  • Also, please rate up this answer and accept it if it has met your needs (by clicking the up arrow and checkmark on the top left of the answer) – Alexander Jul 22 '13 at 12:12
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    I am not a high enough rank to up vote it. But I have accepted it, I will up vote it later if I remember. – mikalburr Jul 23 '13 at 1:05

To add my own two cents- I agree that an upgrade is worthwhile, and I would (and did) do it. However, don't stress about it too much, because assuming you didn't get a Retina model or an Air, you can upgrade the RAM at any time pretty easily. I would also recommend purchasing it elsewhere (read: Amazon) however, because it's cheaper there. Installing it yourself will also give you a little more confidence and ownership of your machine. Putting some physical work into it can be a very satisfying feeling. You may use it at first and never even think you need it, or maybe just stick to 8 GB, which you can find good deals on as well.

One very important detail that Alex did not mention is that a MacBook Pro will not downclock RAM, meaning that you will need to purchase the RAM that is the correct speed for your computer. This isn't a problem on PCs, but for whatever reason Apple's computers do not compensate. HOWEVER- the RAM he pointed you towards is the correct speed, and a good choice. Just a kind of FYI for future reference.

Other than that, I loved his answer. Great analogy.


If you are an normal user , 4 GB would be enough, If you are planning to use multiple OS or a serious Video editor working with multiple apps at same time , then go for the upgrade. Also upgrade to 16 GB ( 8GB + 8 GB) other than going for 8 GB (4 GB + 4 GB).

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