RAM 1GB or 1.5GB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kimi, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Kimi macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2005
    Newcastle, England/ Stirling Scotland
    I've got an iMac G5 (17" 1.9) and I'm looking to get more RAM. I've only got the 512MB that comes with it right now. I was going to buy a 1GB stick, but since the prices have gone up and I do not have enough money to for it anymore (I've got no income you see, I really should get a job...)

    I saw an article a week or so ago showing bench marks for a PC with 1GB and 1.5GB. The results were almost the same (with a slight edge to the 1.5GB). The only area I remember the 1.5GB winning by a fair margin was running Doom. It was on Digg, but I can't find the link.

    It got me thinking, is it the same with my iMac? I don't do any video work, or heavy Photoshopping. Or really anything that in greatly intensive other than ripping DVDs to .avi files (making my collection smaller for when I go to university).

    I've always installed 1.5GB on machines I've built in the past, so I was just going with that. But is it worth it? it's about £35 for 512Mb, while it's the best part of £100 for 1GB. Can anyone give me some advice?
  2. williamw macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2005
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I recently upgraded my Rev.C (20"/2.1Ghz) to 1.5GB and it is very nice and keeps things running well, i was able to find the 1GB stick for $65 (on Macrumors). And the install is super easy.
  3. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    The more RAM the better. OS X is programmed to take advantage of whatever RAM you have. Now, having said that: You'll probably see some improvement in 1.5 over 1 GB when you have multiple large programs open, but not a bunch. It's not like 1GB won't be sufficient, but I always purchase as much as I can afford at the time.
  4. macEfan macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    Yeah, you mind as well upgrade the mac now... there would be no point in buying a 512 stick an then replaceing it with a 1gb stick in a year- go for the 1gb stick now!
  5. McDude macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2006
    I'm also looking into RAM

    Yeah also looking into getting Ram, as most of my work is intensive animating and requires some more power under the hood...

    Obviously looking at getting alot!
    Just don't how much I have to get in one go!
    Running a Dual P G5 2.ghz.

    I was told in a shop, that I would have to buy two lots of Ram in one go as its dual...

    Is this Poo... or True?
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    On the tower G5s you absolutely have to install RAM in pairs.
    In the Tower G4's, iMac G5s rev A and B, eMac and the Powerbook 15" and 17" pairs are optional
    In the intel Core Duo machines pairs are optional but a matched pair will get you Dual Channel access.
    In the Mini, 12" Powerbook G4, iBook G3 and G4 and iSight iMac G5, you have only one socket.
  7. echeck macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2004
    Boise, Idaho
    I'm running 1.5 gigs in my DP 2Ghz PowerMac and I'm constantly using it all, I could probably due with having 2 gigs. I do a lot of heavy photoshop and video editing.

    I would suggest just getting as much as you can afford. If you have no income then it could potentially take quite some time before you can afford the 1gig stick.

    McDude, you do have to install in pairs with your machine, or any G5 tower, for that matter.

    EDIT: CanadaRAM beat me to it, that's what I get for hitting reply and then walking away. ;)
  8. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    I'm looking to order a new iMac. How does that dual-channel thing work? Should I order a certain amount from Apple preinstalled, then buy an identical SODIMM and up it myself?

  9. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    I've heard that dual channel 1GB isn't as good as 1.5GB no dual channel.

    So I'd reccomend getting the base 512, and then getting an extra gig on your own. Unless you're on a budget, then get a 512 on your own for dual, but make sure that it's the same as the default 512 stick.
  10. imac 20 macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2006
    I have 1 gb of ram, and my SysStat nano shows me as haveing 150-250 mb free just running itunes and safari. I figured 1 gb would be good, but looks like 3 days after purchase I've realized I need another gig.
  11. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    You probably have a lot of inactive RAM which is different than free RAM but very similar. Do a search in the forum on inactive ram and you'll get more information.
  12. imac 20 macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2006
    440 mb inactive. I've been out of the computer world long enough to not know if thats good or bad. I just know on the SysStat widget the memory bar is always almost pegged. Oh and thats just running safari.
  13. xyian macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2004
    Never go shy on RAM. The more is always the merrier.
    I got a 1GB stick from OWC for only $95. It flies now!
  14. dialectician macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2006

    Can someone explain why OS X is so RAM hungry? It would seem that if you're not doing any memory intensive tasks, it shouldn't require that much RAM, no?
  15. Marble macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2003
    Tucson, AZ
    "Ram hungry" makes it sound bad. Actually, OS X is making sure it uses all that RAM to good advantage. I'd be worried if it weren't giving as much of the stuff as it could to even smaller applications. Inactive (not free) RAM is a good thing.
  16. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    NewEgg has pretty nice deals on 1GB chips. Honestly, as said, I have to suggest 1.5GB but only because the more RAM the better. But hey, if you can't afford it, 1GB on a 1.9GHz G5 is pretty nice anywho. :)

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