2 GB Ram vs 4 GB Ram. Do I need 4 GB???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by akutad, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. akutad macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2008
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I just bought a refurbished MacBook Pro 15" C2D Penryn from apple for a great cost included with iLife '09 and Leopard which was a great surprise as I expected I would get the software that came with the computer at the time.

    Anyways to my question. With a refurbished machine I was unable to customize my ram and hard drive. My mac came with 2 GB of ram. I have an opportunity to purchase 2x2gb of ram for $70. I own a small business and use my mac primarily for spreadsheets, documents, iPhoto, kinda getting into iMovie since I own a camcorder. I do however play Call of Duty 4 in Leopard and Battlefield 2142 in windows using boot-camp about once a week. A year ago $70 wouldn't be a big deal. My ego would love 4 GB but would I benefit enought to justify the purchase or am I throwing my money away? Also as ram keeps going down in price would I be better waiting and buying later? Also another question that is unrelated. I have heard that my mac being MacBook Pro 4,1 can take up to 6GB of ram. Is this true. On apples site it say max is 4GB of ram.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    It depends upon whether or not you are using all of the RAM while you are working on your computer. It doesn't sound like you really need 4GB, although it probably would speed up your computer a bit if you got it. You could find out how much RAM you are using by having all of your day to day applications open (and work in them a bit) and then opening up Activity Monitor to check your RAM usage. And be sure to post it so we can help you along (Page Ins and Page Outs would be good in deducing if you need more RAM as well) :)
  3. xoggyux macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Wowowo easy you asking if you need 4GB and two seconds later you are considering 6GB? :D
    Lets start at the begining...
    If your system is "old generation" I mean DDR 667mhz (before unibody) then you can find ram for less than $40.
    There are many more options but I like kingston
    Whether or not you might benefit from it, only you can find out. That depends what programs you use, if its only for spreadsheets and documents in general 2GB will be enough and you "hardly" will notice any difference (even while playing at "regular settings" it should not make any difference except for loading times cut by milliseconds or a sec or two if lucky) however since is such a cheap upgrade ($40) I'd recomend it, specially since maybe a year from now you will consider it and probably (since by then its going to be "old technology") it will be even more expensive (dont believe me? check the prices of DDR, they more expensive than DDR2 :(. Also if by any chance you are planning on running virtual machines, then its a good idea since you would like the VM to have at least 1GB for itself at least (if you have 2GB only that would leave the host OS with only 1GB and that would mean crippled performance.)
    Also in my setup, I have all programs that I use at any time (nearly 20) to load up at login (most of them minimized if they offer that function) that way when I need them they are already loaded (to do this you need indeed ram, right now I have 18 programs running and almost 2GB of memory in use.
  4. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    I just recently went from 2 to 4GB on my UMBP.

    Using just a few programs like iPhoto or iMovie in conjunction with Safari, I would frequently get down to under 100MB of available RAM. And system slowdown would be frequent.

    Since adding the 2gigs, I have yet to really drop below 1.5gb available and everything runs a lot more stable.

    Just for kicks, I opened up about 15-20 programs at once, and they were all very responsive, and RAM didn't ever drop below 1gig.

    So you don't really have to be a power user with intensive apps to appreciate the extra RAM. Totally worth the upgrade.

    Oh, I also ran COD4 at FULL res and high textures, and it sure seemed to run a lot smoother also. Obviously with the 9600 rendering, but the extra RAM seemed to help.

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