How much does RAM affect your machine

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Sushij, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Sushij macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa City
    #1
    Hi, I just ordered 512 Megs for my 15" ALPB, which is currently running on 256. I was wondering how much RAM really affects your total system performance. I mean, everyone is like MORE RAM IS BETTER, but thats all they say. Which I understand. But I want to know like how much faster/better it is. I am going to do some simple speed test before and after I get the RAM, such as Apps launch time and start up time. Even my 333 iMac w/320 RAM seems a bit snappier than my 1Gig PB. Thanks for time guys.

    Jeff Hamarstrom
     
  2. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #2
    Oh it wont make any differnce it the start up. YOu would see the difference when you open more than one applications at same time, your system would never goto the hard disk to get ram..it would be 'snappy'. Like when I have posioned running, terminal, activity monitor. vlc,ical,itunes and safari are running...well vlc is just open its not running...the free ram is 15 mb and I have 640 mb ...so if i wouldnt have that much ram,,my hard drive would start churning and blah blah
    cheers
     
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #3
    RAM does make a difference in startup time because the system can load more data into the RAM instead of constantly having to read the hard drive.
     
  4. varmit macrumors 68000

    varmit

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    #4
    What ram does

    RAM is where the programs go that are running. That means the operating system is in RAM, iTunes goes there when you running it, iPhoto, iMovie, Safari. They all go into RAM when you are using them. The more RAM you have the more programs you can have open running without a hickup. When you run low on RAM, the computer starts to use the hard disk to store non vital information that open programs need to use. When that happens, the program can start to become slow because it might have to access the hard drive to get information, which is slower than accessing it from RAM. More RAM is better, on any platform, Mac or PC.
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #5
    The current G4s are basically 1GB/s FSB so even with the faster memory you'll basically be feeding the CPU at slighty over 1GB/s (Note: not peak, but the true saturated speed of the FSB bus).

    But when you look to need a page of memory that's been swapped to the HD -- you'll see it drop to the speed of the drive 50MB/s.

    There is a "slight" difference between 1GB/s and 50MB/s (ie, having enough memory vs. unix's generous use of HD space to extend the memory space)

    [edited]
     
  6. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    akron , ohio
    #6
    Well the first stored program to be accessed when you power your mac, is open firmware which is stored on ROM. Open firmware ultimately loads bootx which is the bootloader. Now there is an optimization in the boot up process which makes use of 'bootcache' which in turn reads ahead and prepares a sort of pattern and stores it in bootcache.playlist. And this requires atleast 128mb ram..hence minimum requirement of panther..
    but then even if you have extra ram, you are not gonna use that it startup..
    infact if you just change the location of this 'bootcachecontrol' to a place where mac os x looks first usr/sbin, you can greatly reduce your startup time. And I seriously doubt you can do that with just increasing ram from say 256 to 640.
    cheers
     
  7. TurboLag macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #7
    Looks like im in the same boat. Im looking for another 512Mb for my 15" AlPB. Startup takes well over a minute and is very annoying, system bogs when more then 2 apps are active, and playing Unreal 2004 brings my system to its knees. Do you think another 512Mb RAM will suffice?
     
  8. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    akron , ohio
    #8
    oh yah...for unreal get as much memory as you can..:D and it would definitely help when more apps are runing..for just making the bootup fast do this
    sudo ln -s /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl

    at the terminal.. which is in finder-applications-utilities

    what you are doing is you are placing the file bootcachecontrol in usr/bin, where os x looks first..so you would find a notable differnce
    cheers
     
  9. Sushij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa City
    #9
    Thanks Guys

    Hey thanks guys for all the info. ABout that start up faster thing? Does that really make a differance? I cant wait for my 512 to get here. Thanks again guys.


    Jeff
     
  10. TurboLag macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    #10
    I timed my startup (1GHz PB) its 1:30s.
    Mind you I still use 10.2. This is ridiculous! Do all you PB users have slow startup? How does Panther compare?
     
  11. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #11
    Well I don't have a PowerBook, I do have a 500 MHz iBook (Dual USB) and after installing Panther its substantially faster, especially bootup times. All around though its faster with Panther running. Also it seems to run smoother. Its well worth the price.

    Panther is extremely fast on my 1 GHz iMac. I can definitely see the difference. The installation is much quicker also.

    If you do buy Panther and then upgrade to 10.3.2, make sure you apply the startup fix which makes boot times much faster...

    Here is the line of code to copy into the Terminal:

    sudo ln -s /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin/BootCacheControl

    You will need to reboot 2 times to see the results.
     
  12. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #12
    i've got a 1.25GHz PB and it came with 512MB RAM and i just got another 1GB stick put in it. it's alot faster when you've got a heap of stuff open.

    for example... i can have VPC open and be doing Photoshop work as well. just the other day i had DesktopManager running with a heap of stuff open on 3 different desktops and it was still coping okay.

    i'd say anyone with a PowerBook should have at least 768MB RAM, minimum 512MB.

    also... i might try that start-up speed-upperer. :D not that i actually reboot very often anyway. :p
     
  13. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

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    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #13
    Whenever I see a "do this simple thing to make your computer faster", I HAVE to ask the other simple question - "Why didn't Apple design it this way?"

    What's the trade off in this? The risks?
     
  14. Sparky's macrumors 6502a

    Sparky's

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #14
    More RAM...

    There is one thing you're overlooking (I think) all RAM chips are rated as to speed. I wish I could remember the issue I read the article, but in "MACAddict" they stated that when you up-grade or increase RAM you need to pay attention to the speed designation on the chip itself. There are several catagories that they are rated, I believe 1 being slowest, 2 faster etc. up to 3. Anyway if someone out there can recall the article HELP!

    That said if your RAM is say a 2 rated access speed and you buy new RAM rated at 1, then your machine will access the RAM speed at the 1 level, and you have virtually slowed your machine down!!

    I think this link may help you further:

    http://kbase.info.apple.com/mainpage
     
  15. Sparky's macrumors 6502a

    Sparky's

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    #15
    OK i'm exhausted and I can't find the damn issue of MAC Addict that had that article, but I did do some more research and found several sites, this one included,

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article....mous|10983185&kbhost=kbase.info.apple.com:80/

    that may be of interest.
    Good Luck

    PS the numbering I was thinking of is a 3 didgit thing like 221, or 233, or 222 each one refering to RAM access speed, and like I said if they are mismatched the machine will access all RAM at the lowest speed.
     
  16. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #16
    Re: How much does RAM affect your machine

    It Boost preformace. A hell of alot.
     

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