I ran out of things to do before I ever ran out of RAM. I only ever made it to 14.5GB before the system decided to start paging out, so I didn’t even have the change to burn up all that delicious RAM.
While I agree with the premise that 16GB is plenty for most users, including myself, and like Zdziarski, also believe that Apple should not be held responsible for the rampant RAM usage of poorly built 3rd party applications. I also think that there is merit to the idea that 32GB of RAM should be an option, at least in the 15” Macbook Pro, and especially in high-end configurations.
In the high end 15” configurations, configurations that cost upwards of $4,000 USD, it is problematic to have a machine that is so incredibly capable being potentially limited by RAM. And while Zdziarski shows that it takes a truly special work load to max-out 16GB of RAM, the people paying $4K USD for the Macbook Pro are probably also the kind of people that have such demanding work loads.
Its also worth noting that some of Apple’s customers are keeping their computers for a considerable period of time (5< years), over this time the nature of what a generous amount of RAM is will inevitably change, and so having a 32GB option would give these customers a way to reasonably protect the utility of their investmentt.
All said and done though, its not an affront to humanity that the new Macbook Pros are limited to 16GB of RAM, especially given the speed of the SSDs, and the ever increasing practicality of swap.