Minimal to no speed increase with more ram...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CraigB, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. CraigB macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    #1
    I just upgraded my 512 mb iMac to 1.5 GB. Checked the system info, and it's up to 1.5 GB alright.

    But boot-up speeds, application speeds, and a few photoshop tests, seem to have no increase in performance whatsoever

    For example, with or without the extra 1 gb, Photoshop CS opens in ~11 seconds. I did a full radial blur on a picture, and BOTH memory configurations completed the task in ~5 seconds.

    Is something wrong with this picture here? Or am I simply not taxing the system enough to actually see a decent speed increase? :confused:
     
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    May 26, 2006
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    Gainesville, FL
    #2
    I'm not an expert, but how much RAM do you have Photoshop set to use?
     
  3. CraigB thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 15, 2005
    #3
    50% of available ram
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    Opening an application and booting the machine don't have anything to do with RAM, they are primarily hard disk bound.

    Photoshop filters are primarily CPU bound.

    Adding RAM doesn't speed up a machine - it removes barriers to speed imposed by having less RAM than your OS and applications are requiring.

    It's like taking your foot off the brake does not speed the car up, it only removes an impediment to whatever speed the car would go otherwise.

    If you have only one program open, and the program, its data and the OS all fit within 512 Mb, then you will see little or no difference between 512 Mb RAM and 1.5 Gb RAM . Once your requirements go over 512 Mb, (running multiple programs, opening large data files) though, the 512 Mb machine is forced to swap memory on and off the hard drive --which is much slower than RAM. So adding the 1 Gb extra will avoid that slowdown... until you open so many programs that you exceed 1.5 Gb - then swapping starts happening again.
     
  5. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    Feb 2, 2006
    #5

    I am not sure what ram you are using, but there are many different types, and if you used the wrong type for whatever reason that could be the problem. I would make sure that its the right stuff (I don't doubt you are capable of ordering the right ram, sometimes they send you the wrong stuff...:confused: )
     
  6. mrweirdo macrumors 6502

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    Nov 21, 2005
    #6
    ya upgrading ram more times then not isnt gona produce a huge speed improvement. I was once told that the difference after u get to 512mb and higher becomes smaller and smaller the larger you go in size.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
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    #7
    It all depends what you are using the machine for. Final Cut Pro, Digital Audio, large Photoshop work, all benefi from extra RAM.
     
  8. Voidness macrumors 6502a

    Voidness

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    Aug 2, 2005
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    #8
    Exactly what CanadaRAM said ( I like the car analogy :) ). I have both an iBook and a Macbook Pro, both shipped with 512 MB of RAM. I usually have Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Safari, Mail, Adium, and now Parallels all open at the same time. The iBook was barely usable with 512 MB, adding the 1GB made me feel I bought a new Mac. The Macbook Pro was practically unusable with 512MB, especially considering the fact that Photoshop and Dreamweaver are PowerPC apps.
     
  9. CraigB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    #9
    Thanks for clearing things up for me. I just did a test with the iMac and Macbook, opening up Office/iLife/iTunes all at the same time, and while the Macbook is at 2.0 ghz, the iMac with 1 more gb of ram definitely shows much better performance (time it took loading them all, and switching between apps).
     
  10. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #10

    Well he is right on average that is the case. There are always exections to the rule as you listed.

    General add more ram only has a noticible improvement when you are handling more files and larger files. Then having the extra ram is nice.

    that or when a program is poorly made and has memory leaks out the rear it just deleys the restarting to the program. For gaming it about 1gig is about has high as the ram goes before on stop seeing improvements.

    But yeah the more ram you add the less of an improvment it going to get over the previos double. Like going from 256 to 512 is a huge boost but going from 512 to 1024 will not be as much of an improvement as the first jump and so on.
     

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