768MB RAM vs. 1.25GB in Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by swindmill, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I know this hass probably been discussed, but I just about have my mouse on the "buy" button for extra RAM for my Powerbook, and I want to be sure I'm spending my money wisely.

    I know many people recommend going from 512MB to 1.25GB. However, I typically use only Word, TextEdit, Mail, iCal, RSS, Camino, and iTunes. Often times, all of these are open, but none of them are huge resource consumers. So, will I ever really use the 1.25GB or will I be spending an extra $70-80 on unused memory, when 768MB would be plenty?
  2. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Do you notice a lot of "beachballing?"

    Take a look at your Page Ins/Outs in Activity Monitor...what's the ratio look like?
  3. macrumors 6502

    i have the 15 inch 1.5 GHz powerbook with 768MB of RAM and it runs just fine. I might occasionally run Photoshop or FCE and I'll have to wait a bit for those to start up, but for anything else like web browsing, Word, Excel, iCal and such, I'm okay with. Now, it could also be because I am a bit more patient than average, but also, I'm not sure how much of a difference you would notice with that extra RAM.

    hope that helps.

  4. macrumors 68000


    In my experience, more RAM is always better if you can afford it. I'd look at www.ramseeker.com to see if you can get it cheaper than at Apple; chances are you can.
  5. macrumors 6502

    More RAM never hurts. Go to datamem.com and grab a gig there. They've got great prices and totally guarantee their stuff, so you won't be dissapointed.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    I checked datamem, and the price is the best. The difference b/t 512 and 1G is $70 taking into account the best prices of each.
    I do get some beachballing when I have a 6 or 7 apps open, which is the typical number. I also get quite a few slowdowns in expose, dashboard, and when switching virtual desktops. Browsing can be pretty slow too with a lot of tabs, but I'm not sure that's a memory problem. If it helps, I notice that I usually have about 5-10MB of free RAM available.

    Page ins/outs reads 1214250/690779 as I type this, and at the moment actually have about 30MB of RAM free with 6 apps open.
  7. macrumors member


    You will always have a tiny amount of RAM available - and yes, 30 MB is a very tiny amount. If you want to run comfortably, you want to always have at least 100-200 MB free.

    I'm assuming that machine hasn't been turned off in a while, but based on that number of pageouts, it will be WELL worth your money to go ahead and get the gig stick.

    Best $100 bucks you'll ever spend.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Sounds like 1G is the way to go
  9. macrumors member


  10. macrumors 6502a


    A lot of us did. LOL. :p
  11. Moderator emeritus

    What you're using is a bit lighter than what I'm using generally but I find myself with Thunderbird, iChat, Firefox, and folding@home running currently and I have about 20 MB free when I have 768 MB total. A lot of RAM is inactive so it can be used but with another two applications active, the beachballs will start to happen as the system dips into the virtual memory.

    768 MB might be okay for you, but I haven't seen it be okay for me, though I live with it as is because it's not terrible. Having a bit of patience helps.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    That helps. I guess in the long run it will be worth an extra $70 to be sure I've got all the memory I need. When I do find myself with a large number apps open, I hate to feel like I need to close a couple in order to get my pb up to speed. It sounds like 1.25G is the sure solution.
  13. macrumors 65816


    in my opinion my 12" 1.5 Pb has 768 and it flys circles around my old 1.42 iBook that had a gig in it. Im quite confident this will all i need if i ugrade to the maxed 1.25 it will def be for just piece of mind and future expansion into tiger or leopard.

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