512 to 1gb?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by imacryan, May 23, 2003.

  1. imacryan macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2003
    I have a 1ghz iMac with 1 dimm with 512 of memory. I do a lot of imovie projects, and rendering effects and encoding dvds is painfully slow at times. Will increasing my memory to 1 gb improve performance at all with imovie and idvd? What about general system performance? Thanks!
  2. geocave macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2003
    Upgrading to 1GB RAM

    I don't know what you find painful in terms of 'burning' a DVD, but I can tell you that I have 1GB of RAM and it is still a fairly slow process.

    I upgraded my machine to 1GB before I even turned it on, so I am not sure what the difference in 'feel' would be between the two. I don't find rendering in iMovie to be slow.

    I would upgrade anyway, since you already have the free slot and it is relatively painless to do yourself.
  3. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    My guess is with imovie it may help with large projects but probably won't help much with encoding as I guess the CPU is the problem not memory. That's just my guess though ;)
  4. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    Stilwell, Kansas
    More memory will make your computer faster IF you have a lot of apps open at the same time or if the one or two apps you have open use a lot of memory. More memory means less virtual memory swapping to the hard drive.

    Bring up Terminal and type top. Near the bottom of the header information (before the apps are listed) is the number of page in and page outs. If page out is high (mine is low - in the mid hundreds after weeks of use), like 20,000 and you rebooted two days ago, buying more memory will make your computer faster.

    It will not make DVD burning any faster.
  5. mmcneil macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Need for more Memory

    Another way to check on the need for more memory is to check how much swap space is being used by your iMac. OS X has a very cool dynamic swap that actually frees up space when it is no longer used. You can check swap space in a variety of ways, but the simplest is open the Terminal app and type

    ls /private/var/vm

    and see how many swapfiles exist. Try this before you open a big Movie and then again after you have opened it and worked on it for a while.

    More physical memory will significantly reduce the dependence upon swap space which is disk intensive - the slowest mechanism on your iMac.
  6. herr_neumann macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2003
    Roseville, Ca
    get an external firwire drive and use it for your swap files.... that should help a bunch for speed. And yes get the ram. imovie makes HUGE files. Do both of those things and it should help a bunch.

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