Will 8GB RAM do the job for xCode audio plugins developing

Hello,
I am going to buy new Macbook Pro M1, and the standard RAM is 8GB.
As far as I know for music production in example in Logic Pro X, the 8GB RAM is quite enough.

But I also develope some AU/VST plugins with JUCE framework in xCode. And what is your opinion about 8GB RAM for such purposes?

I don’t want to spend money for 16GB if it’s not very important for my purposes.

For any help great thanks in advance.

Best Regards,

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I’d say if you can afford it now, get the 16GB version. It will be slightly more future proof, and will definitely increase the resale value should you wish to part with it down the line.

That was my reasoning for shelling out the extra 200€ for a M1 Mac Mini with 16GB (and having to wait extra time, since most stores don’t seem to keep them on inventory), and not being able to upgrade RAM is problematic.

I didn’t bother with an SSD upgrade, as I figured a USB-C NVMe SSD can be had for a fraction of the price Apple wants for extra storage space.

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Thanks for answer. But but fortunately I am not going to resell Macbook in the future. Old Mac are always go to my mother or other family members :slight_smile:

That’s why I ask about exact purposes like developing audio plugins.

And unfortunately I need to store many files all the time on my mac storage. For example Logic Pro library has more than 50Gb. And many other data. So I still have a fight for free disk space. That’s why I need to upgrade SSD. But wonder if I also need RAM.

I have ordered a 16GB one.
Compiled my app on it and it did go over the 8GB so depending on the size of your app it could be useful.

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Also you can notice xCode takes over 10 GB space on hard drive. I wonder if it is always fully load in RAM when opened. And if yes, then how 8GB can be enough?

I’ve been working on 16 GB RAM equipped Macs for the last few years now and all I can say is that 16 are definitively enough. Just looked at the activity monitor, it showed me 10GB RAM used with one Xcode/AppCode project opened + Reaper, Sourcetree, Slack and some browser tabs – e.g. a usual working situation.

When I start compiling a larger project, I can see 16 parallel instances of clang pop up and the RAM usage jumps to somewhere around 14 GB.

That being said, I guess 8 GB would have done the job too, but there would have been more swap usage, leading to a not so snappy user experience and maybe slightly longer compile times – because I guess xcodebuild would have decided to launch less parallel compilation steps on that machine

No, Xcode definetively does not load all that into RAM :slight_smile: There is a lot of stuff included into the Xcode app, compilers and all the std libraries shipped with them, etc. A lot of those files probably are not even used once when compiling a C++ project without e.g. Swift, Metal and what else can be compiled by the Xcode toolchain :wink:

For me the issue is the soldered nature of the RAM and SSD.

Storage can be upgraded externally at least (and waaaay cheaper than the Apple premium) and it’s possible to move the Logic Library content to an external drive, Logic is only 2GB (currently) without all the extra content.

RAM will be more useful in the long run was my thought, but I appreciate not every persons use cases and priorities are the same :slight_smile:

edit: Perhaps it’s worth considering that the DTK came with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, that’s as close to an “official” recommendation as you’ll get, but I still think the extra $200 for 256GB more storage is a piss take :joy:

When I bought my first MacBook Pro in 2013 and it was a difficult decision about whether I got 8GB or 16GB, never did I think people would still be pondering the same decision in 2020/2021! The reason I ditched that laptop a few years ago was the 8GB of memory that I couldn’t upgrade.

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FWIW, Apple arm seesm to be better memory efficient than their Intel part.
Because on a regular iMac I would advise 24-32GB for the linking… again. depends on the size of your project…
my reference is https://www.uvi.net/instruments/falcon.html

I consider the macbook air M1, 16GB, 512GB. The pro M1 doesn’t have much advantages over the air, except for the fan. If there was a 16 inch M1, I would have chosen that. What do you think?

While the new arch/OS integration does optimize for lower ram footprint,
Since the ‘soldering’ age, I’d suggest grabbing as much as you can for RAM/Storage. (CPU is different but with M1 you don’t have much options).

I’d also consider MacBook Air with 16GB over MacBook Pro with 8GB.

As a rule of thumb, storage can still be extended somehow.
RAM isn’t…

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While 8GB will probably be enough, you will regret not to have spent the extra for 16GB RAM.

  • Extra RAM is always converted into speed (since less memory is compensated by slower swap space)
  • The RAM in the M1 is soldered, so there is no way you could upgrade at a later time. You can only buy a new one then

(that’s probably what ttg meant with the “soldering age”)

btw. there seems to be a reason this time for the soldered RAM, it is built in the CPU chip as I heard…

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