What difference does RAM make?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Matt01792, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Matt01792 macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm going to be ordering an iBook G4 soon but as I'm a Mac newbie (currently running windows) I have some questions, if anyone doesn't mind answering them:

    Firstly, what difference does RAM make? I'm currently running 256mb SDRAM on my pc and it's fine, do I need more with an iBook?

    Secondly, will the Macromedia Web Design Studio MX 2004 (wow, long name!) work with just 256mb DDR RAM? Or will I need to max it out to 640?

    The reason I'm asking is that money *is* an issue. I'm going to get both the RAM upgrade (from Crucial) and the Studio eventually but I don't know which order to get them in...

    Will the iBook run any better with 640? Because I won't be using it for anything other than some freeware apps and the programs that come with it.

    Many thanks, in advance,
    Matt.
     
  2. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #2
    The rule is: The more RAM the better. OS X knows how to use all the RAM you can give it, and it uses it well, especially when running apps for professional use.

    The iBook can actually be maxed out at 1.15GB using a 1GB chip. This however is quite expensive... $450.
    If you decide that it too much, and are getting this Build to Order from Apple then i would suggest getting the full 640MB from them. Its only $35 more than ordering from someone else, and once you figure in shipping costs youre looking at about $25 and the risk of a bad chip makes that worth it IMO.
     
  3. Matt01792 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    hmm...

    Well ordering off Crucial it's £85 (don't know that in $ sorry) for a 512 chip and it has free shipping.

    Am I wrong in saying that Apple gets the RAM chips they put in their computers from Crucial?
     
  4. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    Oct 6, 2003
    #4
    Apple currently uses both Crucial and Samsung as suppliers for the memory that they sell.
     
  5. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

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    #5
    What difference does RAM make in a G4 iBook?

    1. OS X itself uses about 128MB of RAM
    2. If you have Macromedia Web Design Studio MX 2004 running, add that.
    3. Add some more assuming iChat, MS Explorer browser and Entourage email are all running.
    When you figure it out adding 512MB RAM chip is a very good idea.
    But, whatever you get at DISCOUNT when you buy your Mac, take advantage of any substantial discount. Like MS Office, FinalCut Express, etc.

    A recent Macworld review regarding RAM demand and efficiency in the new G5 Macs showed that all sizes of G5 began to funtion optimally at the 2.5GB point out of 8 slots (512 x 8) = 4GB (1GB chips are still very expensive; and rumor has it a G5 will handle 2GB chips when they are available for a total max of 16GB!) Unless someone is using a G5 to edit video or extremely large image files in Photoshop, more than 4 to 8GB would be a waste and prohibitively expensive.

    Considering your expected load, a 512MB RAM chip would suit you fine. Upgrade later if that becomes a problem, but I doubt that it ever will.

    LATER, save your money and BUY :cool: AppleCare before the end of the 1st year to cover your iBook (LCD screen, laser drive, battery, hard drive, keyboard, etc.) for the 2nd and 3rd years. If anything goes wrong :( on the 366th day, your bill would easily run between $250 and $850 USD.

    I have a G3 iBook 700MHz and think the G4 iBook is awesome! Good choice. ;)

    Also, MAX out the size of the Hard Drive to 60GB, you only have ONE internally.
    PLUS unless you pre-order Bluetooth ($49 usd) when you buy it, it cannot be installed internally later. But, do you need it?
    :) Enjoy your iBook, and let us know what you decide to do.
     
  6. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    as a rule:

    1) do you have enough RAM?
    2) can you afford more?

    Q1 is always a no (unless you a got a G5 w/8GB). If Q2 is a yes look at this:

    Whay is the biggest stick my mac can take (iBook: 512/1G PBook:1G PMac 512->2G eMac:512).

    Do not ever cheap on RAM as you can never have enough - sure the G5 these days can have more RAM than the Hard Disks of only 4-5yrs ago - but you can always use it.

    The more RAM you give a modern OS (yes, even windows) the more effeciently it will run. Thye just load mroe of the system files into it for faster access.

    If your getting a iBook G4 look around - somewhere is selling 1GiB chips for them (giving them a 1.12GiB limit) - you will want to max your RAM first time (not from apple - EVER) because you only have one slot.

    Yes it aint going to be cheap but you will tahnk yourself for doing it three years from now when you are still using that iBook and having watched your friends go through 2 pcs (and all the new RAM)
     
  7. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2003
    #7
    1 GB module QUITE expensive

    While benixau suggested you buy the 1GB module over the 512MB module and seems to make sence, cost is a factor.

    You can get a 512MB for not much over $100, while the limited 1GB module is $425. So while you may be "throwing away" the $100 (leaving aside resale on Ebay) if you decide that 640MB total is not enough, chances are that the prices of the 1GB modules will fall in the future with more competition.

    FYI, I bought the 933 MHz G4 iBook at macconnection.com a couple of weeks ago, and it came with a free 512 MB upgrade. I've been generally quite happy with it (I really wanted a 15" 1.25 GHz Powerbook, but since they stopped shipping for a month and I was leaving the US for a project, I'm making due temporarily with the iBook.)
     
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #8
    It's true that more RAM is a good thing, but let's not scare the guy too much. If money is an issue you don't absolutly positively have to have more than 256MB today. My 700mhz iBook with 256MB runs just fine. I have run all the Macromedia apps on it and they'll work. Freehand can be painfully slow but it will still do what you want it to do. You'll want more RAM but it's not going to be a life or death matter.
     
  9. Matt01792 thread starter macrumors member

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    United Kingdom
    #9
    Thanks

    Thanks everyone.

    I'm going to order a 12'' iBook G4 with a 60GB hard drive and no bluetooth module (I haven't got anything that uses bluetooth and I don't think I will be having something that does so there's not really much point).

    I'm going to download the 30-day trials of the Macromedia apps to see how fast they run. If they're ok then I'll get them and wait for the RAM upgrade but if not then I'll order a 512 chip and get the macromedia studio at another time.

    Even if I did have enough money for it I don't think I should use the 1GB chip because Apple doesn't support it (they say the maximum is 640mb) and there must be a reason for that.

    Thanks again,
    Matt
     
  10. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    #10
    Apple reports the maximum RAM as at the time of release.

    The G5s can have 16GB of RAM yet Apple only states that they have a maximum of 8GB.

    Apple is being conservative and on the safe side. There are probably plenty (a fair number but not lots) of people who are using these modules.

    But as mentioned - cost is a factor and the 512MB chips have excellent MB/$ ratios while the 1GB chip has a ratio that it 1/4 of the 512MB.

    I always buy the biggest I can afford. I recommend you do the same.

    Also, it depends on how long you plan to keep the iBook.


    Sorry for this little rant (have ahabit don't I :D) but good luck.
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    I would suggest giving that machine the most RAM you can. 512 MB should be a minimum, not a goal. ;) With 256 MB, you'll be hitting the hard drive so hard for virtual memory, you'll think the machine to be a mistake.

    I have Macromedia Studio MX 2004 and the applications don't run partciularly well on Mac OS X, for some reason. Dreamweaver is particularly slow. Adobe's applications are somewhat better. What machine is this? It's a dual G4/800 with 1.5 GB RAM.
     
  12. joshuwa72 macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Chelsea, Michigan
    #12
    My dual 1.25 G4 came with 256 mb. It was ok for browsing the web and chatting and all, but iPhoto was slow and it was over-all somewhat sluggish.

    Code:
    running 'top' in the terminal showed only 5mb free
    A week ago I got a gig of ram from crucial.com, so now I have 1.25 gigs and it is FAST.

    iPhoto is not slow by any means, editing in imovie and dvd studio is super fast and the machine simply blazes through anything I throw at is...(i cant wait till I have 2 gigs!!)

    Code:
    running 'top' in the terminal now says I have over 900mb free
    Thats a HUGE difference. Nothing will make a bigger difference and have more of a speed impact on your computer than a good RAM upgrade.
     
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    Florida, USA
    #13
    Apple has always understated the maximum RAM for their computers, all the way back to the early PowerMacs (pre-G3). Even current machines such as the Beige G3 were released with a maximum 384MB, but almost everyone with a Beige uses more... the actually Max is 768. Apple wont support your RAM if you dont get it from them, and almost any Apple rep. will tell you that you can use the larger RAM chips because Apple isnt liable for any third party RAM.
     
  14. Matt01792 thread starter macrumors member

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    United Kingdom
    #14
    I looked on crucial and I couldn't find a gig of ram for the iBook...

    I'm in the UK, does anyone know where it's available?

    Thanks
     
  15. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

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    Phoenix AZ USA
    #15
    RAM for iBook

    Matt, 512mb is available and reasonable. Buy the iBook now and install 512 now.
    http://www.thechipmerchant.com/14363.html
    Wait until 1gb of ram is reasonably priced and readily available. Otherwise, forget it.
    If you need power, get a new iMac or a G4 or G5 tower, where large RAM really makes sense.
    For portability, a G4 iBook (and price) is hard to beat.
    Even if you could find a 1gb RAM board, spend the extra money you would pay above the 512mb on your favorite software NOW. If you cannot run the apps you love, what's the point in having a computer?
    ;)
     
  16. Matt01792 thread starter macrumors member

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    United Kingdom
    #16
    Yeah good point.

    And portability is an issue, as is money. I'd love to get a 15'' Powerbook but it's way out of my price range.

    I could get myself an eMac I suppose, but that wouldn't really be portable...

    A real shame about the Macromedia apps though, cause I use them at the moment and they're really good (I use DW 4/ FW 4 etc.) and they're more affordable than the Adobe programs (because I'm a student I can get the macromedia stuff for about £175, whereas the Adobe stuff is £400 :().

    Is there anywhere I could get Dreamweaver 4 and Fireworks 4? I've been looking around the UK sites but I can't find them anywhere.

    Thanks,
    Matt.
     
  17. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #17
    I have a 600mhz (now overclocked to 900mhz) ibook that came with 1298 mb ram so resisted geting another 128 and saved up to get a 512 chip and havent regreted it now my ibook beats my teachers 2.4 ghz celeron laptop in nearly every thing!!!!!!!!!!
     
  18. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

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    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #18
    Re: What difference does RAM make?

    RAM is very important especially for designs of large graphic files...
    The thing is, for ibook, you might as well just max it to 640 from apple - it costs $135 with student discount. There is no reason to mess with crucial when we are talking about ibook. 512mbs ram for ibook costs $116@crucial.com plus they will charge tax. so you will end up playing close to what you'd end up paying at apple's site for it. but you'd have to wait and install it urself...
    So it's up to you...
    12"ibook with maxed ram and airport extreme and 60gbs hdd is $1270 with student discount..

    P.S I'd also recommend you Adobe Creative Suite over Macromedia Studio 2004. Adobe photoshop is by far superrior to fireeworks as well as illustrator is superrior to freehand. and GoLive can easily match to Dreamweaver.
    Besides, you aslo will get inDesign and in premium edition, will get Adobe acrobat pro.

    P.S You can get student editions of either at www.superacademicstore.com
    (they are the same as full versions exactly, but you wont be able to upgrade them. But Adobe CS just came out, so it will last atleast 3 years before next version. And you can get it for as low as 200bucks for Macromedia and 300 for adobe cs. (370 for premium)
     
  19. Matt01792 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 20, 2003
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    United Kingdom
    #19
    ..

    Things are different in the UK, the RAM from Crucial costs just £85 whereas from Apple it costs £120.

    The other thing is that money is definitely an issue and I'm not ordering from the Apple education store for various reasons. And I won't be getting Airport Extreme for a while either.

    Does anyone here use the Macromedia Studio MX 2004? If you do could you tell me how fast it runs? If it runs at a reasonable speed then what spec is your system?

    Thanks
     
  20. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

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    Connecticut, United States of America
    #20
    Like I said I'd recommend Adobe Creative Suite over MX2004. I have it and it rules.
    But then again, i have G5...:D


    BTW, i hope you do know that using student discount at apple store doesn't mean your computer will be different.
    You get exact same thing but with discount, thats all.
     
  21. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Macromedia programs eat ram. They've got some memory leak issues. You'll want at least 512mb of ram for them to run comfortably.
     
  22. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

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    Connecticut, United States of America
    #22
    Illustrator CS
     

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  23. Sheebahawk macrumors member

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    Location:
    Long Beach California
    #23
    Ram

    Good choie on the omputer, (I'd personally make the sacrifie to get bluetooth, you never know if you migth change your mind, and logitek has some nice wireless optimice, it would futureproof your purchase, and probably increase the resale value, espeially if theres no way to add bluetooth later.

    More Ram's the cheapest way to increase your computer's performance, but it should run ok with what it comes installed with. Order it from crucial, apple' raises their prices exhorbantly. I'd definately go for 512 additional megs. You an always get more if you need it, it will be cheaper in the future.

    Apple Care is begining to anoy me. Apple used to have some of the best ustomer service in the world, and if they really Care'd they'd offer it cheaper, or free, or at least extend the warrenty to two years. I've never gotten it because I've always been sure of the quality of the omputer I buy, and for me the risk is worth the money, but like mercedes, Apple's quality is seeming to take a lazy dip. Doesn't apple still have 4.5bil? use some of that to provide customers with a better repair service, I'm sure it would bring customer satisfation back to the steller levels it once was at. probably wouldn't hurt marketshare either.
     
  24. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #24
    Where are you - buying?

    Matt
    Aaron probably knows where -
    ask via iChat AV (text/audio/video)
    AIM: kiwitheiwik
    in UK near London (Thames)
    :cool:

    MacRAND
    AIM: randmacdonald
    iChat AV (text/audio/video)
    Phoenix, AZ USA
     
  25. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

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    #25
    Beautiful apples, Rezet.

    Rezet,
    Absolutely beautiful ! :)
    Will you share?
    Can you post images 07 and 08 in your folder @ .Mac or send via iChat, or something?
    Don't have Macromedia in OS X, just Photoshop 7.

    MacRAND
     

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