powermac g4 400mhz + 512mb of ram = not enough?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kenmasters8319, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #1
    i am the only one that thinks 512mb of ram is simply not enough for a powermac g4 400mhz running osx??

    all was fine and dandy for a few days now i am starting to use a program called memorystick and it states this..

    wired..60mb
    acitve...165mb
    inactive...344mb
    free..16mb

    its running slow as crap..

    i assume i need a gig of ram right? will that be enough or should i go for the whole 2 gigs a gigabit model can handle?

    i wanna know what others are running.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    No, you certainly are not. Also, you didn't need to find and download a third party app to tell you that. This information, as well as other useful information can be found in Activity Monitor, located in your Applications -> Utilities folder.

    More RAM is good, yes. At 400mhz, though, a faster processor should be priority.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Jarooda

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa
    #3
    Thats like saying I downloaded a program that tells me what files and programs are installed on my computer ;)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #4
    Inactive ram is what you should be looking at. Perhaps you should put in a bigger/faster HD. I am guessing yours may be over 90 %. Adding more ram would be like adding nitrous to a Geo so it can tow an Airstream. Try a clean wipe or at least clean the crap out of your drive.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #5
    i am still using the stock drive,,,would that have anything to do with it?
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #6
    Yes, as shu82 already mentioned. Having a full or nearly full hard drive will cause your computer to become really slow and perform poorly. Also, the speed of your hard drive should effect in the performance (ie 5400 rpm vs 7200 rpm vs 10000 rpm)

    It can also depend on what version of OSX you are running. I have an iMac G3 with 384 MB of RAM running 10.3 Panther pretty well, but to run tiger, you generally need more than 512 MB to run it well. So you probably want to upgrade the hard drive (or reinstall the OS) and get more RAM if you are running 10.4 tiger.
     
  7. macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #7
    As a general rule of thumb, the more RAM the better. I recommend 2GB of RAM for Mac OS X 10.4. 1GB is really the minimum amount for Tiger in my opinion. :)
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    way77

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Location:
    Chronos
    #8
    640 Mb Ram

    I have a G4 400MHz with 640Mb ram running 10.3.9 and it runs pretty fast all things considered. I have 2 newer hard drives ( 80 and a 60Gig) that are both 7200rpm. Get a new hard drive and add to your second bay and see if that helps.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #9
    Poppycock! I have tiger running fine on 192 MB of ram. It is an imac that I only have as an itunes box (Tiger/itunes always on). But I have ran ibooks with 256 before just fine. PPC macs are not big ram hogs. He himself was only using 226 mb of ram, doing god knows what. Tiger is only using 60 mb to run itself. It makes you remember the old days when you could only do one thing at a time. As long as you dont load all your programs at once you should be fine.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    I'd like to take this opportunity to completely disagree with everything you just said. I'm one for older Macs as many here know, and my two OSes of choice are 7.6.1 and Tiger. I often find myself using slower and underpowered configurations for personal enjoyment.

    But I can personally attest to the fact that Tiger running on 256 MB (or less!) of memory is not something I would ever recommend anybody live with. With memory being so inexpensive, especially for the older systems on Tiger's compatibility list, there is simply no reason to subject yourself to this torture.
     
  11. macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #11
    And there lies my problem, I usually have many programs open at once. :eek: :)
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    localoid

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    America's Third World
    #12
    Run "vm_stat" from terminal, and the PageIn/PageOut ratio will show how HD swapping is slowing down your 192 MB of RAM system. :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    Drive Space

    If you are still using the stock drive, there is a good chance that you have much free space available. I find performance takes a massive hit if there isn't at least 5Gigs free for virtual memory usage.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #14
    I have a 400 mhz g4 and did not see a significant boost in speed when I went from 512 to 768 mb RAM. I'm running 10.4.9.

    I originally only had 384 mb RAM and going up to 512 mb was a great improvement, but going from 512 to 768, much less so.

    I think the slow processor is really the limiting factor, alas.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #15
    Depends...

    on what you are planning to do with it. Surf the web? Your probably okay as long as you only have the browser open. How boring is that? If you plan to use Photoshop or any other graphics program, you would be better off downgrading everything. Go back to OS9, or maybe Panther. Use an older version of Photoshop or any application you use regularly. Modern OS's and applications really need a gig of ram and that with a faster processer than what you have.

    Better yet, throw your computer on ebay and order a new one.

    If you want to play with the big kids you need to shell out the bucks. By the way, how does the dust taste that you are getting left in?
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #16
    Yep I could use earlier versions of photoshop but the newer versions (CS2 onwards) are simply unusable. Still, browsing etc is better with Tiger so the upgrade in OS was worthwhile for me.
     
  17. macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #17
    Upgrade the processor to at least 1 Ghz and you'll see a major difference. You should be able to get one cheap from NewEgg, OWC or Sonnet. I did that with my old G4 Sawtooth and CS2 worked great. I would also up the RAM to at least a gig.
     

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