First time poster... How much ram?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hechacker1, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. hechacker1 macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    UCSD, LA Jolla, CA, USA
    #1
    With the recent updates of the powerbook to 1.5GHz for the 12 inch powerbook I am ready to jump on the bandwagon after being a hard core windows/linux user my whole life (I'm only 18 lol)

    Now its great that a Notebook manufacturer actually gives 512MB default. But my question is how much ram will I need?

    Obviously I know nothing about MacOS and how much ram it needs to perform at it's best. I don't want the hard drive thrashing around because there isn't enough memory.

    I need the small 12inch powerbook because i plan to take it around to classes and use it to take notes and also program a bit while in class. Java programming using an IDE. Eventually I will do C and C++ programming also, and who knows whatever else. I am pretty demanding of my machines, but I guess I have my windows box (athlon 64, raid, 1GB) for all the video editing and dvd authoring, etc.

    I'll probably put linux onto the powerbook because it doesn't appear to me that MacOS has all the tools I might need.

    Basically, I see a lot of people on these forums with 1.25GB or 1GB of ram and I don't really understand why? I know my windows/linux box rarely goes into 512MB. Only a few memory leaks have wasted my 1GB.

    So does MacOS feed off RAM or something? Is a powerbook not for me? I ask because I truely like the aesthetic design and performance of the powerbook, and I haven't found any other Centrino based laptops that are similarly aesthetically pleasing.

    Thanks for listening to my rambling! (btw, I get a student discount @ ucsd)
     
  2. gallivant macrumors member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    #2
    512 will be fine, for the most part; 768 might not be a bad idea.

    What, precisely, is OS X missing that you feel you need from Linux? I mean, heck, you're running Unix in the first place; you've got X11 on there.
     
  3. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #3
    Hello fellow triton!!

    Honestly if you're going to put linux on it, you might want to go with a ThinkPad. PPC linux is still a bit behind x86 linux, and you'd be better off w/ the 12" thinkpad at the UCSD bookstore which I believe is fully linux certified. Linux isn't 100% great on macs yet as far as hardware support and stuff. You could always dual boot. Keep in mind linux for PPC doesn't currently support Airport Extreme.

    I'd say that for normal use, 512 is fine. But given the fact that you're a linux user and probably need to do programming for your CSE classes at UCSD, you might want to step it up to 768 or 1 gb. OS X is great at managing memory - better, far better than windows and almost as good as linux. But it likes to allocate a lot for each process. Granted, leaks out of this are rare.

    As a fellow UCSD engineer, I can tell you it sucked 4 years ago to be a mac user in this field. It is getting better, but it's still tough. Having a Windows machine is helpful, and linux is a bit better than OS X. However, now that Mac OS X 10.3 has X11 and a good terminal etc etc, you can totally get buy with a mac. however, since you already have a linux/windows box, I say get this powerbook. You'll love it. Besides, if you really can't leave linux, you can always use X11 to run a GNOME/KDE interface on top of OSX ;)
     
  4. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #4
    like i said I am a complete mac newbie. I don't really know what software, or packages are available for MacOS. but I know linux (gentoo specifically) better.

    Mainly, I will probably end up using the powerbook for compiling java, c, and c++ code. And of course I'll be the one to write that code. So i'll need IDE's to make my life easier (such as Netbeans, which I know there is a Mac port for).

    I will also use it to load up my picture collection (something around 5 gigs of jpgs, not pr0n!).

    I of course want to use MacOS, i do not plan to remove it in favor of linux. I was planning to do a dual boot. Linux often aspires to be what MacOS is anyways (graphically at least).

    you said maybe 786? should I just take what comes with it and upgrade later? or should I pay the 75 bucks or whatever and have it installed? This is another problem for me because I don't know the hardware requirements of a powerpc.

    Hence the whole reason I want a mac is to learn about the "lighter" side of computing that i know nothing about.
     
  5. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #5
    @spaceball! w00t tritons.

    thanx for the reply, you typed it up while I was typing more info. I have heard that the airport extreme is not yet supported, but in good time it will. Until then I can dual boot for the occasion. Other than that, are there any other real incompatibilities with the powerbooks and linux?

    i use Gentoo linux here on my windows/linux box. I am pretty good at manually configuring things if need be.
     
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #6
    Go to Apple's website. Look at what Xcode is. Be very very impressed. It is an IDE for Macs (made by Apple) that does C, C++, Java, and maybe something else. And its Apple™ so you have no worries there.

    Yeah, go 786MB. Its great. I never pageout on my PowerBook (12" 1.33GHz G4). And $75 IIRC isn't that bad for 512MB more RAM pre-installed. And just install X11 on your PowerBook, don't screw with Linux. X11 allows you to run those programs without Linux.
     
  7. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #7
    thanx, i'll have to take a look at that. although I really can't say too much about it untill I actually use it.

    At least i now know i have more than one option, thats great.

    how about the powerbook g4? I have been reading the topics and it appears to me that the g5 is not coming out any time soon. No regrets in purchasing the g4?
     
  8. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #8
    XCODE is irrelevant from the student perspective... you'l mostly be doing stuff on the unix labs here which you can SSH into to work on when at home.
     
  9. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #9
    actually, i perfer to work on my own machine and submit the code later. I have been doing it this way for two quarters.

    UCSD machines are so outdated that I almost refuse to work on them. I stopped going to that outdated sunpal lab the first time i seen it. Their generic text editor is known to crash for example. And yet they do nothing about it.

    Basically, my productivity is going to be higher on my own machine. of course I use ssh once in a while (to turn in the assignment).
     
  10. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #10
    It is definitely being worked on. I will be so excited when it finally becomes halfway decent. Unfortunately there hasn't been a release yet, and the project is moving sooo slowly cuz there aren't too many PPC linux devs.
    -Kevin

    There's a bit of info about Airport Extreme in linux here - http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=11734
     
  11. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #11
    yah the sunpal lab is WAY old. I've had 3 OpenGL classes though that have very specific opengl files on them and there are other labs on campus that you hvae to go to, that you can't really get on a mac... you might be able to get them on PCs
     
  12. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #12
    yeah, i'm not that far ahead yet. but the sunpal labs really piss me off considering how much money this school has at its disposal. Oh well, at least the CSE building is almost completed. I'll actually get to use it.

    another question about notebooks in general. Is the powerbook a good bet? I've looked at the thinkpad, and i know that they are supposed to be good technically wise, but what about the user interaction?

    I personally have never really seen a x86 laptop that i really wanted because most have bad shapes or are too bulky. Even if they are not bulky, they are often severly feature limited.

    does anybody know of a good centrino setup? or is the powerbook the best?

    one thing that concerns me about the powerbook is the reports that some people don't get very long battery life out of them.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Powerbooks get decent battery life. Of course, it depends on what you're doing, but if all you're doing is writing code, I'd expect 4 hours from the 12" PB. The 15" is the one that's pure crap, as it uses a larger display and yet uses the same battery as the 12" PB. Not saying the 15" is a bad laptop, but it's bad for using as a portable on battery power.

    Get an additional 512MB of RAM from Apple. That will take you to 768MB of RAM, which is fine. I'd get a 1GB stick from Other World Computing (OWC), as OSX is programmed in such a way that it usually uses as much of the available RAM as possible.

    But you'd definitely be happy with 768MB. Its just that if you find that it's not enough, you'll need to buy a 1GB stick, and then you have wasted $75 on the 512MB stick from Apple.
     
  14. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #14
    well, i guess that is the sort of question I am getting at? under what circum stances will 768MB not be enough? is there an actual/perceptual difference between 1GB and 768MB?

    I kinda get the idea that OSX is programmed in a similar fashion to linux which uses all of the available system ram for various caches to help speed things up.

    alright, i'm off to do a little research on cheap RAM.
     
  15. capitalfellow macrumors newbie

    capitalfellow

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    #15
    I'll probably put linux onto the powerbook because it doesn't appear to me that MacOS has all the tools I might need.

    If you would state what tools you are looking for I bet someone would be able to point you to what you want. Another IDE choice is Eclipse IDE on OS X It is open source and highly extensible.

    You could also look at The Fink Project which uses the Debian dpkg tools to make open source software easy to run on OS X.
     
  16. hechacker1 thread starter macrumors member

    hechacker1

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    #16
    lol, i am more concered about the ram that i need.

    i will probably just get 786 and stick with that.

    Hey, I am the total mac newbie. I don't know whats available in terms of mac software, for anything, and even less so for programming.

    Thanks for the sugesstions though, at least i now know now that programming on an mac is not a dead end.
     

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