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We compare the performance between beamforming and spatial multiplexing showing in which downlink scenarios the higher performance of spatial multiplexing justify its complexity. We compute performance using readily measurable parameters such as angle spread (AS), antenna separation and signal to noise ratio (SKIR). Firstly, a semi-analytical approach relates these measurable parameters with parameters that theoretically characterize beamforming optimality such as the spatial correlation matrix first two eigenvalues and SNR. Secondly, the achieved spectral efficiency is given for beamforming and spatial multiplexing as a function of antenna separation, AS and SNR. Also, a "practical" region is given where beamforming achieves at least 90% of the spectral efficiency of spatial multiplexing.