1gb extra ram isnt helping.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by dbirider, May 7, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hmm.. apple screwed up my order at first. they sent me my 17" 1.5powerbook with only 512mb of ram when i ordered it with 1 slot for a 1gb stick of ram. they told me they would send me the gb stick and let me keep the 512. So for about 2 weeks i used my powerbook with 512mb of ram. I played around with photoshop, and final cut pro with it and everything seemed to run ok. My xbench scores came out to 132.97. Just today they sent me the gb stick so i installed it and now i have 1.5gigs of ram. It shows up under the 'about this mac' menu so i know its there. The problem is, so far i havent noticed any differences at all. After effects, final cut pro, and photoshop all run at the same speed. X-bench even scores a tiny bit slower. its at 132.49 right now. the memory test scored a tiny bit lower by 3. (ram = memory?) Both times i ran the test were right after i turned the computer on so nothing else was running. ummm...... I also have menu meters runing and it showes only 168mb's of memory being used. The most i could get it up to was 400 by opening over 100 google windows, photoshop, illustrator, after effects, final cut pro, i tunes, word, quicktime and aim (i did it to test the memory.) it doesnt even go about 300mb's when doing a ram preview of the famous nightflght with after effects.

    Im trying to figure out how everybody is saying that there computer is so much faster after installing new ram. I havent started any projects from scratch yet with the new ram on these programs... would that take more? Shouldnt the computer be using a larger percentage of the ram to make things run even quicker? Im so confused :-/ can somebody please guide me to the right answer?
  2. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    X-bench isn't the best test for performance, since the scores "can" vary widely on the same machine every time you run it.

    Most likely you have only a few page-outs when you were running 512MB of memory, so adding more memory probably didn't do much.

    However if you aren't running 500+MB files under Photoshop normally you probably wouldn't see a big improvement, if Photoshop is already keeping your average file in memory.

    On a G4 real RAM vs. VM is the difference between 1GB/s vs. 50MB/s -- so more memory can really speed things up if the VM manager needs to use the HD instead of actual RAM.
  3. macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Here's an easy way to use that memory: Go into audio production.

    All right, something easier: Grab a 1-hour-long AIFF audio clip, open it in Sound Studio, copy all the contents (watch those memory measures sway to the number on the top), and paste it in a new window.

    Just opening a lot of big applications isn't going to bog up your memory there, sharpshooter. You gotta do something with the RAM hoggers, like save a s***load of content to the clipboard. For instance, I just did a test copy of 3 minute audio from Sound Studio, and out of the 1GB in my machine, my memory in use fluctuated from around 480MB up to around 524MB, and now 486MB.

    Don't let what some say about extra RAM make you feel content only if you have more than you think you'll need. For light-mid user, 256MB to 320MB should do. For work in amateur Photoshop/audio work, at least 512MB is fine. For professional studio photography/video/3D, 1GB or more (and a fast processor) should do.

    Oh, and don't let those Xbench scores throw you off. A sub-0.1% decrease in performance means you shouldn't worry a damn bit. When your Mac takes 35 seconds to open a 3-page text document, or locks up when you use the mouse or keyboard, then that's usually when you should start to worry.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2004
    Thanks. I think i understand it a little bit more. Ill be going to college for visual effects and motion graphics starting this summer, so i have a feeling that the 1.5gigs of ram will come in handy. So the computer should have absolutly no difference when working on something that takes up 300mb's of ram with 512mb of ram installed compared to 1.5gigs installed... corect?

    Also, i am very happy with my laptop! its twice as fast as my 2 year old desktop pc (judging from random rendering tests i have done)
  5. 7on
    macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    damn me and my 1GB limit of RAM
  6. macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    you'll notice no performance boost from the 1GB stick if your not even filling up your 512. Think of it kinda like bailing water from a boat with a leak...the leak being your data...the larger the leak, the bigger a bucket you need. If it's a tiny drizzle, a huge bucket won't make a difference and may actually be counter productive.

    also, the more memory you have, the lower your scores will be in xBench or any memory testing application, because it takes longer to process the increased memory.

    this is one of the reasons i dont think people fully understand the benefit of the G5, they think ooh 64 bits is double 32 bits, therefore it's double performance. i wont go into details, but I don't know anyone personally who would ever scratch 8GB of RAM.
  7. macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2002
    As others have pointed out you aren't doing anything where that much ram should help a great deal. Here's a test, open a bunch of stuff in quicktime, open a project in iMovie and a large document in photoshop. Interact with each, switching back and forth often, dragging and dropping content. Now shutdown, pop out the extra memory and repeat. You should now notice extreme lag when switching from apps or dragging/dropping large pieces of content as the computer swaps out memory to disk and back in.
  8. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    @Sunbaked: Actually, I have a 12" 1GHz PB and have 512 MB of RAM, and the number of page-outs can get to around 50000 over a 2 week period. I don't do ANYTHING strenuous with my computer, either. The most I'll do is play iTunes, have a browser open while using iPhoto. iPhoto is the only program I use that could possibly stress my computer.....that and Photoshop CS maybe once a month. However, I don't know how to use Photoshop whatsoever, so I never use it for anything other than resizing a picture or some small task.
  9. macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2003
    Dude, 1.5 GB of ram is an overkill for your task. Lucky you. :p
  10. macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    He said he's starting school for visual effects and motion graphics. I'd say he'll have no trouble using every bit of that 1.5GB.
  11. macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    first off, way to go on getting 1.5GB RAM! :D

    i've got the same in my 15" Rev.A AlBook and i don't have any trouble using that up.

    you say you used used PhotoShop? what sort of image was it? a 300+ dpi or regular 72dpi image? i was doing some web work the other day, and just using 72dpi images hardly used much of the RAM at all.

    as soon as you start using 300dpi or higher images and manipulating them, clocking up lots of history states you'll soon chew through that RAM.

    also, in my hunt for different testing methods, i came accross PS Bench, a bunch of PhotoShop actions that you can use on different size images to test out PS. they don't seem to list PhotoShop CS there, but you could try the PS 7 tests. i'd run the tests so i could compare with your, but i've got the same amount of RAM. :p actually, since i've got a 1GHz PB, it might be interesting to see some test results here...? what do you think? anyone up for a bit of benchmarking? :D
  12. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you leave the machine on for awhile, the page-outs will be quite high.

    The only real check it to restart the machine and run through a check of normal use.

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