4GB Feels Like 2GB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by alansmallen, May 7, 2008.

  1. alansmallen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    I recently upgraded from stock 2gb of ram to crucial 4gb. I really can't tell the difference. Any ideas why?
  2. PilotWoo macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2006
    If you weren't paging much with 2gb ram, an extra 2gb won't make any difference, hence no perceived difference. You obviously didn't need it for your normal usage.
  3. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
  4. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    It's not "normal usage". On a daily basis, I run most apps from final cut studio, adobe cs3, plus normal apps like itunes, mail, etc.

    When in photoshop or final cut, i don't feel a difference.
  5. Powermax macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2006
    It might simply be because you don't need the extra RAM.
    If you're using your mac for things like surfing, chatting, mailing and so on, 2 gigs are quite enough.
    Edit: ok forget what I said. :cool:
  6. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    2GB + 2GB = 2GB (for now)

    It's easy to get caught up with the idea that 4GB of RAM is a must have for your MBP when you see so many people talking about it in this and other forums. Posts along the lines of: "Just ordered a new MBP from Apple but don't worry 4GB RAM from OWC / Newegg / Crucial is on the way."

    It gives the illusion that everyone, on purchasing their laptop, NEEDS to upgrade their memory straight away when of course for most people this is simply not the case. The people who normally upgrade need large amounts of memory for LARGE photo / video editing, virtualising multiple operating systems at once, simulation work etc. Even using FCP and CS3, as you've said, may not eat up as memory as you think if you're not working on very large size files or a large number of them.

    Just look at how much memory you're using in Activity Monitor and you'll no doubt have loads free. On my MBP I never got anywhere near even the stock 2GB of memory. Hell on my PC right now I've only got 1GB RAM and I'm only using up half of that in Windows XP!

    Going from 1GB to 2GB would've been noticeable but 2GB to 4GB, just like those going from dual core to quad core processors, will only be appreciated by a handful. So it shouldn't be a surprise you don't notice the difference ... YET. You should be happy, you've got loads of spare capacity and at least you've future proofed yourself ... ;)
  7. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    you may not necessarily "feel" a difference, but benchmarking your computer will reveal that it does change it, if by a small margin.
  8. alansmallen thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    So, I'll feel the difference once I do more?
  9. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    You'll notice the difference when you're actually using more than 2GB of RAM. If you download a program like iStat you'll probably find out you're not using that much running the applications you are since you probably don't have a lot open at once. 2GB of RAM is plenty for running most single applications. It's when you start opening multiple heavy applications and leaving them open that you start to notice the difference.
  10. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    It's all good son ...

    This is what I suggest you do my friend. Open up Activity Monitor so you can see how much memory you're using. Then start opening up as many applications on your Mac as you can and see how the memory is affected.

    I bet you'll get a HELL of a lot of applications open before you use up all your memory. MBP's are powerful and well specced machines so you should be savouring the fact that you have so much memory not even being used for your normal day to day tasks. Basically you should be happy! :)
  11. OWC Larry macrumors member

    OWC Larry

    Apr 7, 2005
    Woodstock, IL
    We've done a variety of real-world tests and while sure - you need to have applications open to really feel the most - of a less 'tangible' nature is a reduction of spinning beachballs from OS X pauses when you've got more memory installed. OS X will use available free memory for its own optimizations. Applications like iPhoto hugely benefit from more memory for those with any decent number of photos in their collection. Apps like iMovie and iDVD again hugely benefit. You won't see it in every application - things like web browsing are typically bottlenecked by the internet connection before most recent processors or a low memory situation would impact prior.

    You can see the testing we've done with Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Macs here:

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