512MB > 1.25GB RAM Hasn't Shown Much Speed Increase

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xJulianx, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. xJulianx macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #1
    I've had my MacBook 1.83GHz CD since October '06, it came with 512MB RAM and a couple of days ago I replaced one of the 256MB modules with a gig of RAM.

    Unfortunately, I'm not really experiencing quite the speed increase I was hoping for. Loading times have improved slightly, but I still get the occassional slow down with iTunes, Mail, Messenger and multiple Camino tabs running.

    My MacBook is definetly registering the RAM upgrade as 'About this Mac' displays 1.25GB of RAM, it was Crucial RAM I bought so it's fully compatible. Perhaps the CPU is my bottleneck? Or maybe 4.5GB of free HD space isn't enough?

    Any suggestions to how I could 'fix' this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
     
  2. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #2
    Adding RAM does not make your computer faster. Instead, it keeps it from becoming slow when multiple apps are run by avoiding the need to swap data from memory to disk.
     
  3. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #3
    Sorry, I don't think I explained the problem very clearly. What I meant by 'not being faster' I meant 'still going slower'. Sort of :eek:

    Basically, with a couple of programs running, Camino, iTunes and Messenger for example, when I then go to click Mail, it takes just as long to load as it used to. And I even occassionally get beachballs. The beachball only lasts a split second if that, but I do get it, and only when running a few basic Apps.

    Hope thats clearer, sorry, it's been a long weekend:p
     
  4. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    That makes more sense. My mother's iMac Core Duo still gets plenty of beachballs with 1GB of RAM. I haven't been able to figure out why when my PowerBook G4 has no problems like this.

    Probably has something to do with the Intel version of Tiger, but that's just a guess. Hope someone else can shed some light on this issue for you.
     
  5. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #5
    At least I'm not alone, besides, thats one more excuse for me to spend money on Leopard when it comes out;)
     
  6. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    #6
    only have 4.5GB of free HD space is DEFINITELY not enough. you should have about a third (at least a fourth) of the harddrive being empty. and i'm not being sarcastic.
     
  7. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #7
    I had a gut feeling this may have been a part of the issue. Out of interest, why exactly does OSX need so much spare disk space? Or any OS for that matter?
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    Sorry, but this makes no sense, and I'm not being sarcastic either. OSX doesn't care what percentage of your hard drive is available for virtual memory swapping. You don't need 25 Gb free if you happen to have a 100 Gb hard drive, when only 10 Gb will do if the drive has a 40 Gb capacity.
     
  9. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #9
    my suggestion is to increase your ram to 2 gb. the improvement going from 1 gb to 2 gb was so dramatic for me. dashboard launched more smoothly, cover flow loaded the album art better, and overall performance went from tolerable to enjoyable. i really don't think 1 gb is enough, even for basic tasks like email, music and browsing. i'm not surprised you didn't see as dramatic a speed increase as you were expecting. trust me, go with 2 gb.
     
  10. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #10
    My end goal is to have 2GB of RAM, but finances havent allowed be to do it in one go. Because I have to make constant savings for my next year at uni, and constant living expenses, things like RAM upgrades take a long time for me to save up for. :eek:
     
  11. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    It is likely at this point that the OP has a ton of free RAM and 0 pageouts (if he/she is running as few apps as they say). Somehow I don't think adding even more RAM is going to change anything.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Virtual memory swap files are created on the hard drive when the OS runs out of physical RAM. How many of these files are created, and their size, depends on the applications you run and the amount of physical RAM you have installed. Restarting the Mac deletes all of the virtual memory swap files; logging out deletes some of them. VM swap files can easily claim a couple of gigs of hard disk space -- maybe as much as 5 gigs if you rarely restart the Mac and run RAM-intensive applications.
     
  13. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #13
    Would a screenshot of my activity monitor perhaps help for people to see whats happening?
     
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    #14
    I've never experienced a Mac with less than 2GB's of RAM, but mine runs without any problems or stutters. If I load iMovie, iLife, iTunes and Mail at the same time there isn't much sluggish at all, loads within about 5 seconds. Since OSX is such a sexy graphic OS, it does use up a lot of memory to ensure animations etc are smooth.

    And I've only got 2.3GB's free space on my hard drive and I have no problems =)
     
  15. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #15
    I've always made a point of restarting my MacBook every couple of days or so, and I switch it off whenever I know I won't be using it for a day or so. The only RAM-intensive application I use is Logic Express.
     
  16. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #16
    Yep.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Then I wouldn't worry too much about having "only" 4.5 Gb of free hard drive space.
     
  18. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #18
    [​IMG]

    Currently, I have Camino (3 tabs), iTunes, Mail, Messenger, Transmission and Activity Monitor open.

    I forgot to mention, My MacBook is running in extended desktop mode with a 19in display.
     
  19. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #19
    Plenty of available memory, no pageouts. You have enough RAM. :)

    Considering the size of your swap file (Virtual Memory), you could try freeing up some HD space.
     
  20. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #20
    So how does this virtual memory work exactly? Is there a need to have such a large amount of it?
     
  21. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #21
    "Inactive" memory is memory that contains stuff that might be useful, but can be thrown away at any time. "Free" memory is memory that the Macintosh hasn't found any use for whatsoever. If you didn't have the RAM, it wouldn't have made any difference. With that amount of "Free" memory, you don't need any more RAM at all. But since you added 768MB, and the "Free" memory is less than 768MB, your additional memory has had some use. And if you open more applications, the Mac with 512MB only would definitely have slowed down, where yours doesn't.
     
  22. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #22
    It works by writing data that is not currently being used to the hard drive so that you'll have more free RAM available for new data and for the apps you're currently using.

    Is there a need for so much? Sometimes. I usually have 4-6GB of VM, sometimes more. Someone like CanadaRAM or another user perhaps could tell you more about it and whether or not there's anything that needs to be done. I personally wouldn't worry about it, as the VM is managed by the OS and will fluctuate in size based on it's needs.

    Just for kicks, check out Onyx. It's got tons of maintenance tools and whatnot that might help get things up to speed.
     
  23. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #23
    Ahh I see, I'm understanding a bit more now. As I said before, I run Logic Express and the extra RAM certainly comes in handy there.

    :)
     
  24. xJulianx thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xJulianx

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    #24
    Ah right okay, I'm with you now. I already have Onyx, great little app! Thanks for all of the help someguy.
     
  25. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #25
    I make it a habit to check out Activity Monitor often, especially when I feel like I'm doing a lot of things at once, to see how my current setup is handling the workload.

    Check out your available memory, and the number of Page Outs. If you've been working for more than a couple of hours and you have no Page Outs, you probably have all the RAM you need.

    You're welcome!

    Like I said before, there are plenty of MR members that know an astonishing amount about OSX, so when they stumble upon this thread, perhaps they will be able to provide further insight. :)
     

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