I bought my new Macbook Pro back in August with the stock 4GB knowing full well I’d need to upgrade to comfortably run Final Cut Pro X. What I didn’t know is that I’d have to not only double, but QUADRUPLE the amount of RAM in my machine to run it comfortably with other essential apps open.
At the time I was upgrading the memory, I figured I’d get the most I could afford. 16 GB kits were just recently available from OWC but were outrageously priced in the hundreds of dollars range. I picked up an 8GB (2x4GB) kit of Kingston RAM which had worked out great for a while until I started realizing that with Final Cut Pro X running with anything else open extremely hampered my productivity and my computers performance.
I was finally fed up last week, bit the bullet, and ordered a 16GB kit of Corsair RAM. After just hours I can tell this has been the single most effective computer upgrade I have ever made, aside from getting an entirely new computer. Its not what you see...Its what you DON’T see. No more stupid beach balls, no more lag, no more waiting 15 seconds just to move a clip somewhere else on the timeline.
If you aren’t editing video or if you can manage using Final Cut Pro X without having other apps open, then you can probably get by with 8GB, but if you need iChat open to talk to people you're working with, Safari to reference and look things up, Mail to read what the latest feedback is from clients or co-workers, Twitter to get side tracked and off task, err...maybe not.... The bottom line is, if you're a power user, you will most likely need 16GB of RAM to have a smooth operating experience.