Macbook Pro 8GB vs 16GB

I am currently using a Dell Inspiron (i5-9300H, 16GB) laptop and thinking of getting a M1 Macbook Pro. I am currently using VSCode, IntelliJ, PHPStorm or CLion and the Edge with as many tabs opened as needed, but my usage changes as I try new stuff. Will the 8GB variant be enough or should I go for 16GB?

@rishi4d I recommend monitoring your RAM usage on the computer that you have now. Do you ever use more than 8GB? Is there the option to add more RAM after you make your purchase?

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Get as much RAM as you can afford. You can’t add more, it’s soldered, same as your current laptop. 8 GB is probably fine for what you’re doing, but you want as much as possible (intensive background stuff like language servers eat memory).

This is my main bugbear re macs: the performance of the cheapest ones is normally far better than cheaper windows laptops despite specs that on paper might seem worse. This goes double, triple for M1s, which will give you mid-range desktop processor performance, they’re ridiculous. But the RAM & SSD size is not great at all, and can’t be upgraded


Even after a fresh boot, the usage stays over 5.5GB and in between any of my workflow, the RAM usage is never under 10GB. Current RAM Usage is around 9.5GB, I have only Edge, Windows Mail & Calender & VMWare Horizon Client opened currently. Looks like I’m gonna have to go with 16GB.

Yeah, M1 is just great, I just hate the amount of power Intel H-series processors draw to maintain the ‘good’ performance and also the heat it generates, just cant be used(Climate here is hot) off table. M1 runs cooler also performs wayyyy better and this is the way to go.
I usually buy the base model and upgrade RAM, SSDs as I upgrade frequently, but looks like I would be better off a 16gig model. Apple would kill other competitors if they bring back upgradable storage and memory.
Thanks for the advice.

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There are some upgradable laptops out the running AMD chips if it is Intel specifically you object to.

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With my limited experienced with Apple devices, I’ve found their RAM usage is managed differently than similar spec-ed systems running other operating systems. So 8gb could work, however I think if your going to get a brand new next-gen laptop with all the bells and whistles I’d invest into at least 16gb so your set for the future as well.

I know JetBrains IDE’s can get heavy, and chrome is notorious as a RAM hog, so I’m pretty sure you would be getting close to the 8gb pretty fast.

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Afaik, even the latest gen AMD processors aren’t as efficient as the M1 and I have seen some touching around 100C.

Right, even Windows uses more RAM to cache stuff when you have plenty of it in total, might be of impression of high usage, and until & unless you push the limits you wont know if the programs you’re running currently are taking up the RAM or not… I dont usually push my system to its limits but will get 16gb just to be on the safeside.

Sure, every option has limitations. With Apple you get restricted control over your hardware and software experience. Some of the Intel and AMD run hotter, but you can gain more control over your hardware. It is all tradeoffs.

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