2GB vs 4GB RAM on White Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Tom8, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #1
    Hello

    I'm currently planning to buy the White MacBook, and i have a couple of questions.
    Firstly
    What would be the advantages of 4GB RAM, i understand the basics of what RAM allows you to do, run more programs, run parallel OS etc. But I would mainly be using a Mac for: iTunes, Pages, Keynote and Safari and a few other basics apps, nothing to strenuous like Video Editing.

    So my question is, would i see any real advantages to my system by upgrading to 4GB RAM instead of the standard 2GB, I intend to keep this computer for 3+ years, so would RAM be a factor in maintaining the computers health and functioning?

    Also, if i were to go with the 2GB RAM, would this be sufficient to run OS X Lion when it is released? I know the requirements haven't yet been released for Lion, but do people expect 2GB RAM to be enough to run Lion, and run it well and to its full potential?

    Another question i have is whether i should hang on and wait for the White MacBook to be updated with the rest of Notebook line?
    Could anyone suggest possible upgrades that would come about from the update? Like with the MacBook Air for example, it has moved to SSD Flash as opposed to an Optical Drive. What can we expect from an updated White MacBook?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Tom
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    More RAM means that less data has to be written to the hard drive which is million times slower than RAM is. 2x2GB of RAM is like 70 bucks so I wouldn't hesitate, it's definitely worth it.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #3
    So am i right in thinking this would allow the programs to load faster, and the OS to be a bit faster?
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Well, the load times can be faster but since they are loaded from the HD, the difference shouldn't be dramatic. However, if you have opened and quit an app, it will load faster as some of its data may still be in the RAM and loading it from the RAM is much faster.

    It makes your system feel overall snappier as there will be less page outs.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Would 2GB be enough to run SL and likely Lion with ease and still be a stable system?

    Thanks for this by the way
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    My sister has MacBook with 2GB and it runs fine. However, I can notice the difference when I come from an iMac with 4GB. IMO 4GB is worth it and only costs around 70 bucks as I said above.

    Can't talk about Lion but more RAM is ALWAYS better.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #7
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Yeah I see what you mean. I'll wait till the product refresh then consider the RAM options. Hopefully they'll go 4GB RAM as standard, but I doubt it.
    Thanks for all the advice.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #8
    I was actually going to create a thread for this.

    My question is:

    I play TF2 on my macbook(2gb of ram) and I purchased 2x2gb sticks the other day and was wondering if it would increase my fps on tf2? I currently get 20-30 and large slowdown when I first load into a game and the first big battle. Is the extra 2 gigs going to make a different on TF2? I currently have my setting on the reccomended setting minus AA.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #9
    2 GB is fine for web browsing, movies, iTunes, word processing and so forth. You won't notice any difference there.

    You'll run into trouble when you start running virtual machines or attempting to multitask with memory intensive apps (e.g. Photoshop).

    My suggestion would be to start out with the basic 2 GB and see how that works for you. If it doesn't, an upgrade is just $70 away.

    2 GB should be adequate for TF2 (in Windows, at least). RAM may well be a part of it (certainly it's a part of your loading times), but it's more likely that your slowdowns are due to the fact that the Source engine games aren't well optimized for OSX yet (or, rather, that OSX isn't well optimized for 3D gaming yet--Valve claims that the 10.6.4 has numerous issues with graphics drivers, and I'm inclined to believe them). Keep in mind that when Half-Life 2 was originally released, most machines (even those built for gaming) had less than a gigabyte of RAM.

    If you already have the RAM, though, you might as well go ahead and install it. Why ask us when the answer is right in front of you? If you're concerned about being able to return the RAM after opening it (though you might as well keep it and install it--it'll definitely help in some areas), another option is to try running TF2 under boot camp before you install the new RAM.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Yeah, im mainly using it for college work, and the subjects I'm studying (Biology, Chenistry, Physics and History) don't call for any really memory intensive programs which is why I was leaning upwards 2GB and saving £70.
    But my worry is, how well will Lion perform on 2GB, with the auto saving and resuming on apps, I'm assumings it's going to be pretty intensive. So I was wondering whether to just dive straight in.
    Any idea how Lion will perform on 2GB RAM, I know its still too early to really tell?
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Terra
    #11
    If you know it's too early to tell, why are you asking? As you said, it's too early to tell, there's no way to predict it.

    @hamlin: This is how I see it... more RAM certainly can't hurt your frame rate in TF2.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #12
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Well, I know there's people on this board who know about the finer details of how the OS works, so I thought that based on some of the details we already have, i.e autosave and resume app funtions, they could cone up with an estimate to the minimum amount of RAM that would be required to carry out the afforementioned processes and perform them well.

    Sorry I even asked
     
  13. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #13
    2GB will more than likely be enough to get OS X lion on there. though it might not be good enough to run it on.

    Personally, I would go ahead and upgrade the RAM because I find the extra RAM useful (and I have the same uses as you) but don't get me wrong, 2GB will be more than enough. You can, whenever Lion comes out, upgrade your RAM if 1) if 2GB isn't supported or 2) its too slow for your taste.

    Basically, just keep the 2GB RAM and see how it works. If its slow for you, then just upgrade it. Whenever lion comes out, you can just upgrade your ram from there (provided you havent already done so)

    Also, have you considered the Macbook Pro 13"? It comes with 4GB ram standard.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I'm in the U.K and a student, so to for me to get a MacBook Pro would cost me $1500 (I'm guessing you're from the U.S). That's £400 more than the exchange rate prices the Pro at. So I can't really afford a Pro. I partly blame Apple for it's U.K premium pricing, but our VAT system makes it difficult for Apple.

    Thanks for the advice. I think I might go for 4GB RAM straight away, since I intend to have the MacBook for a pretty long period of time 3-5 years, so maxing RAM would go towards 'Future-Proofing' it.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    I watched an installation video on macsales.com and they stated the mid 2010 macbook can actually handle 8 gigs of ram. Apple just states it can go to only 4 gigs.
     

Share This Page