2gb of ram in a powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rob587, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Rob587 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Would 2GB of ram in a powerbook be stupid? Meaning, would the processor and/or video card not be able to catch up, defeating the purpose of ram? Would I see an icrease in speed of games? The reason I am asking is becuase I love gamming but theres no way in hell that I am ever buying another PC. (Id rather never play another game in my life!)
  2. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    I would think it would be stupid to have 2GB of RAM if you only used word processor and Safari and iTunes and so on.
    If you use Photoshop....and other memory intensive programs, it would be right at home. However, I can't imagine using 2GB of RAM on a portable unit. I have 2GB PC4000 333Mhz memory for my PC, but memory usage never exceeds 1.3 or so.
    That and I think PB would get fairly hot with 2GB of RAM, I have noticed that my new PB heats up faster with 512MB that I just put in.
    Of course, if you got the money, that shouldn't be an issue. But I think 1GB is suitable for any portable users at this time (unless that is their primary computer).
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I was considering this too, it would be nice to max the RAM early on and experience the performance gains right away. Not sure if I can justify the price of adding another gig stick though... other than the sheer muscle of it. :)
  4. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    2 GB in a laptop? Unless you're doing some heavy duty pro work, I'd say no - I can't see it being worth it or the system fully utilizing it. Save the money on the extra RAM and buy yourself something else nice with it. :)
  5. Solafaa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2004
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    I am getting 2GB in my 17", i would be doing gaming and movie editing so i would think its a good investment.
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    If you already have the PB, try the Do I Need More Memory program. You run while working with your programs. It will show you how much memory you need, and the performance gains that you could expect by adding that amount the RAM.

    For myself, 1.2gb memory seems to be just right. And that is with Adobe PS and ID CS, Mail, Safari, and some smaller programs running.
  7. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i got a gig, and i do fce, photoshop, dreamweaver garageband and its great for it

    i dont find the need for any more ram
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    cost vs performance isn't worth the 2 gb. you won't see enough improvement to justify the cost, unless your just a rich bastard then go right ahead. the only time i have ever seem 2 gb actually need in a computer is streaming servers, database servers, and web servers.
  9. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    I gotta agree with Chip. The 1GB I have in my 17" made an improvement over the stock 512, but not that great of one. I do mostly webdesign (although macromedia is slow no matter how much ram you have), photoshop and some light video editing..... I get by quite well with 1GB.

    That said, 2GB is not over kill. Its just really expensive to do. :)
  10. fritter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2004
    Well, one other thing that could be helped by 2 gigs of ram in your PB would be battery life. Reading stuff directly out of RAM takes drastically less power than reading it off of a disk, so the less your computer needs to read from swap the more time you'd have unplugged. You could even set up a 500 meg RAM disk and put your most-used programs on there, which would also be incredibly fast.

    Of course, as I write this, I realize that the last time I did anything like this was under OS9, where you could turn off virtual memory completely and programs made less use of shared libraries. So YMMV. Anybody have any experiences with stuff like this in OSX?
  11. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    You have to elaborate more on how to do this... sounds great to me.
  12. vraxtus macrumors 65816


    Aug 4, 2004
    San Francisco, CA

    I don't think thats doable on X... because I think the OS sets up it's own VM "partition" for pages.
  13. mac_gal macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Hi Rob,

    I notice your signature says you're about to switch. Since (it seems like?) you don't have regular access to a Mac, I'd suggest this: order your PB with 512 MB. See how it goes, and add more if you think you need it.

    I also saw your "this, this or this?" post from earlier today. It seems like you're eager to throw a lot of money into your new Mac(s). That's fine, but don't forget that whatever machine you get, it won't be the most cutting-edge thing in a few years.
  14. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    I can use 768 MB on my 12" at work with Photoshop, ImageReady, GoLive, Safari, Mail, iChat, and iTunes with no problem at all. 256 MB was excrutiatingly slow. 768 is perfect. I can't imagine you'd need 2 GB unless you're a professional movie editor. Fact is, if I'm not mistaken, RAM improves system performance in a couple of ways. First, it reduces the number of page file grabs the system must make - if I'm working with 500 MB worth of live data and I only have 256 MB of RAM, the OS is going to have to swap data between the RAM and the hard drive, and this takes very long. Second, I believe the system is able to allocate more RAM usage to programs (correct me if I'm wrong) when more RAM is present. However, there comes a point when more RAM simply isn't utilized. Therefore, to justify the cost of 2 GB of RAM, you'd have to be working with 2 GB of data at one time. If you're not a professional movie editor, i.e., you're just going to play around with iMovie or Final Cut Pro to edit your home movies, you don't need 2 GB. And I think that because you're trying to find a way to justify getting 2 GB, you know that you really don't need it. However, if you've got the money and don't have anything you'd rather spend it on, why not invest in the stick - you can always use it in compatible systems when you upgrade. However, I'd recommend something like a laptop case, a bluetooth GPRS phone, an extra battery, a new iPod... or maybe you already have those things. My two cents - go with a bluetooth GPRS phone; I'm typing this message from the train on my commute home from work, and I'm far happier I bought a phone than another stick of RAM I'd have no use for.

    Mike LaRiviere
  15. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    dude, just plain and simple.........order it with the less memory (256) because apple's memory is too expensive.........so get the 256 ram and buy an additional 512 ($100 bucks) and believe that with 768 you'll be JUST FINE! until the 1gig stick prices go down......and you can then.....swtich the 256 stick with the 1gig and you'll have 1.5 and THAT'D rocking and not too expensive.......plus you will have 768 to survive the 1gig price drop.....and trust me.....768 it's fine!
  16. Nspace macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Even for photoshop and illustrator work, or light video editing, 1 GB is overkill, why waste your money and get 2GB.

    Put any additional money into accessories etc.
  17. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2003
    Thunder Bay, ON
    I'd say go for 512mb on 1 stick from Apple upgrade to 1gig (Crucial or Samsung ram) and upgrade the internal hard drive to a 60gb/7200rpm/8mb cache Hitachi (by an Apple service centre).

    Just get the 4200rpm stock (put it in a FW case for backup) and 128mb of video ram (only a $65 CDN upgrade).

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