Is it worth upgrading 1.5ghz powerbook to 2gb ram?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mattyturner, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #1
    Hi, i've got a 1.5ghz 15" powerbook with 1gb ram right now.
    It's sometimes annoying to hit a slow down in photoshop when i've got a lot of stuff going on but apart from that will I notice a difference to speed if I upgrade from 1gb of RAM to 2gb?

    The work I do is web dev mostly chopping up photoshop files, so i have photoshop, mail, textmate, firefox, safari, RDC, linotype font manager, a few widgets, itunes, preview and transmit open nearly all the time and i'm generally okay unless i open more 3 big photoshop files.

    It'd cost me 165gpb minus whatever I get for my two 512mb sticks on ebay, you guys think it's worth it?
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #2
    I don't know how much faster your apps can possibly run on a 1.5 ghz powerbook...You may want a faster hard drive, (assuming you have a 5400 rpm drive in there, you might want to get a 7200), or get 2 hard drives, one for the OS, the other for the files you work on (photoshop, etc). If you can afford 2 gigs of ram, go for it.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #3
    if you got the cash go for it
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Dorkmonger

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #4
    Matty,

    I have the same processor and I have 1gig of RAM. I usually run a lot of programs all at once (ie photoshop, office, iTunes, etc.) I usually find that the processor is limiting and not the RAM. 1gig seems to be plenty for me.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #5
    I have a 1.5 ghz powerbook. I normally have 1.5 GB of ram in this machine. I can tell you that for about 3 months i was down to 1 GB because the lower ram slot stopped working... during that time my powerbook sucked to use without that extra 512 to push it along. I noticed a huge slow down going from 1.5 to 1 gig of ram. When I got my 512 back I noticed a huge speed gain right back to where I used to be. I recommend getting the ram upgrade, however if you want to save money adding just an extra 512 would still help you out and probably be much cheaper.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    As a small test, I'd restart the machine and then run it for an hour, doing your usual workload. Then, open up Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder and post how many Page-Ins and Page-Outs you get. :)
     
  7. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #7
    i say go for it if you can afford it. i just put 2 gb in my 1.67 ghz pb. it helps
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #8
    Hmmm on my powerbook, when I went from 512 to 1gb I never noticed a difference personally. The most intense stuff I did was Call of Duty or minor XCode compiling. I would recommend checking your page outs in activity monitor. If you have none, don't bother, it won't make a difference. If you have a significant number of page outs, then that means if you had more RAM, the computer would use it.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #9
    Thanks for the help, checking page outs seems like the perfect way to determine whether the upgrade would help or not. I'd never noticed that there before!

    Faster hard disk would certainly help but i'm not so comfortable replacing that.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    yup,

    i put 2GB in my 1.5 15in powerbook a while back as i do a lot of photoshop work it really helps to have extra memory to keep bigger files open. also with all the widgets i run (with each taking up memory) its nice to have enough to spare.

    i picked up these Kingmax memory dimm from newegg last year. they ran me about $120 for 1GB so for $240 i had 2GB ram
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #11
    what does it mean "page ins-page out" in activity monitor?
    I have after 5 hours of working 26723/184.

    PB 12" 1.5Ghz 512 Ram rev. E
    iPod mini 4Gb
     
  12. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #12
    Page ins and page outs are a record of the amount of times a piece of data has been written to or from the memory to the hard drive. An excessive amount means that you are running out of RAM and getting more will almost certainly speed the machine up.

    Having said that dambro1978, yours is normal. Excessive amounts of RAM won't eliminate page ins and page outs entirely. :)
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #13
    I ordered my 2gb from Kingston (uk) for 165. I'll let you know how I get on after i've used it for a bit. Photoshop has been feeling the burn lately, if i have big files open it sometimes freezes when I do a save for web (after it's written the file).
     
  14. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #14
    well, not that it's exactly the same, but my gf, who has a 1.25 Ghz SP powermac G4, was using 768 RAM and just added 512 more. It made a *huge* difference. Everything is faster, fewer beachballs, pages load much more quickly, a lot less "hang time." Of course you see diminishing returns with more RAM, but 1 GB isn't that much, so I think going to 2 GB will give you a nice boost.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #15
    mine are
    411152/195228

    is that normal or what?
    i may be joining you mattyturner...
     
  16. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #16
    Yow.

    OK, you DO need more RAM, man. Pageouts are like 500 times what they ought to be, so you are regularly exceeding your physical RAM space.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #17
    rev D 12'' powerbook.
    512 mb

    is this going to shorten the life of my hard drive?
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #18

    I thought it depended on uptime though. :eek:
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    The Opium Garden
    #19
    agreed... if you can afford it, get it... it will help!
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    #20
    How many hours/days of operation was that for? 5 hours?
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #21
    hmm, didn't know about this page in/out stuff...Seems interesting. I have a new 17" PBG4 DDR2 and it's telling me that my page ins/outs is 52278/35842 after 5 hours... Is this bad? I actually have 2GB of Crucial RAM in the mail, atm. I hope I made the right decision on the RAM. =/
     
  22. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #22
    Yeah, that's quite a large amount of page ins/outs. The RAM was a good idea iHeartTheApple. You'll notice a nice speed bump. :)
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    Phew! I'm so glad. :D Now, just so I learn something from all of this, the page ins/outs specifies the number of times the compy transfers data from the RAM to the hard drive (ins?) and hardrive-to-RAM (outs?)? Just checkin'...Thanks for the info!

    EDIT: Just realized that you pretty much answered my question a few posts ago...oops!
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #24

    Actually you have it backwards.....

    I have 2GB in my G4 & do heavy PS work all day long, and NEVER have any page outs :p

    the page-outs are when data is being swapped TO the HDD because you ran out of physical ram, and THAT is the number you should be concerned with :D

    With 2GB, PS will keep more of your work stored in the ram instead of hitting the HDD, which in effect make it run a bit faster, BUT you have to set the memory usage amount in the PS preferences to ~65% of your total installed ram when PS is running along with other apps. If PS is the only app running, you could go a little higher but you always wanna have around 512mb for OS X by itself to make it run well too :)

    And YES, excessive pageouts to the HDD WILL shorten it's lifespan considerably!
     
  25. hkd
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    #25

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