Will Ram Do it?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Cloud9, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Location:
    between flesh and thought
    #1
    Hello,

    I gots me a PB G4 1.33, w/ 1 gb ram. I am not buying anything new untill my apple care runs out.

    Ive been getting into photoediting using iphoto and adobe elemennts, and I find I get beach balls a lot. I am in more debt then I want to be in, and I am wondering how much a difference adding more ram will be, If I bumb up 512mb will it be better, if I get 2 1gb sticks will I realy notice it? I am not using an external hardrive by the way. I am using just the lappys hd. Whats the cheapest way to get the best performance improvement?

    Thanks
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    As a general rule of thumb, more RAM equals better performance since there will be less disk access required. 2 1GB will trump 1 1GB and 1 512MB chip, although even the additional 512MB will help.

    However, there may be a couple of other things to consider when evaluating your current performance:

    - Are you running the latest versions of your application? Although not always specifically required, newer versions can be more efficient, especially with iPhoto, in my experience.

    - Do you have unnecessary things running in the background that might be chewing up processor cycles? Fun little apps that you use occasionally may be cutting into your production use of the CPU.

    - How much space is left on your HD? If it's a low percentage, that can effect system performance overall.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    I think a good price/performance spot with G4s on RAM seems to be 1.5gb... at least, from my experiences. Any more and in your financial situation, may be overkill.

    If it was me, I'd get an extra 512mb and see how that goes before deciding to get more.

    But don't expect miracles, just a little more smoothness.
     
  4. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #4
    the short answer is yes, more memory generally results in better performance. Get as much as you can afford, and don't skimp on quality (it matters more than you think)...I prefer Kingston, though I'm sure there are others in the forum who have other opinions about that.

    probably what's happening is this:
    you're running out of memory, so your applications are having to use virtual memory i.e. hard drive space. Apple laptop HD's are kinda chintzy IMO, and they usually spin at about 5200, which is a little slow. So your apps are having to find space (I'm assuming you don't have a dedicated memory partition) on your slow-moving HD, which is why you're seeing a lot of beach balls.

    get more memory...1GB really isn't enough for raster work.
     
  5. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Location:
    between flesh and thought
    #5
    So It seems Like I if got more memory and a fast external that would make a huge difference yeah?
     
  6. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #6
    fast external would probably not make much difference, as you'd still be limited by the speed of either the USB or FW bus, whichever you happened to choose. A fast internal would be more useful, though within limits...bus speed is your main enemy.

    having said that, an external is not a bad idea. MacOS (any OS, really) operates better when it has a lot of headroom. You would be wise to keep your system HD as free from clutter as possible, and use an external for big storage and misc., not-totally-necessary files...MP3's, for example, could easily be stored on an external.

    EDIT: more memory would be more helpful than anything else you could do right now. And like Blue Velvet said, don't expect miracles. You'll certainly get better performance out of more memory, but speed gains may only be marginal.
     
  7. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #7
    I will be the dissenting opinion here - it probably won't make much difference. If you have 1GB already and you have an iPhoto library with less than 5000 photos in it and you are getting beachballs, all the RAM in the world will not help. The truth is that a 1.25GHz G4 is slow. That's just all there is to it. You could have 100GB of RAM and the fastest RAID array in the world, and you would get great disk performance, which would help applications that rely on that, and you would never have to swap, and wouldn't even need virtual memory - but your CPU would still be slow and doing any kind of image editing operations in iPhoto or Elements would still be slow.

    The best way to improve performance then would be to get really drunk so that your nervous system slows down and time passes faster. But even then, alcohol costs money too. So I would say work on your patience and save your money. (I feel for you, I am doing the exact same kind of stuff on a 550MHz G4. :) )
     
  8. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #8
    I disagree - the 1.33 GHz G4 he's running should be more than capable of running iPhoto and Elements without significant beachballing. Heck, I ran Photoshop on a 1GHz G4 TiPB for 4 years, and while not blazingly fast, was passable. I did it with 1.5GB of RAM.

    Grabbing an additional GB of RAM (I'm assuming you now have 2 x 512MB) would be beneficial, and not extremely expensive. As BV says, it won't change the world, but you'll see some performance improvement out of it.
     

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