4gb of RAM < 2gb of RAM

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GoGoPoCoSo, May 14, 2008.

  1. GoGoPoCoSo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    Having just bought a new blackbook, just a few hours ago I upgraded it from 2gb of ram to 4gb. Needless to say, I was a bit saddened to see that not only did I not see a performance boost, but programs seem to load SLOWER than when it was 2gb...(and this may seem silly, but it irks me to see that when I open up a program, when the icon bounces, on the first bounce it "stutters" - before, when I had 2gb, it was smooth...yes, silly but it does irk me just a tad).

    Checking the dashboard, it shows that I have about 2.7gb of "free" ram. Does this mean I am just not tapping into using my full amount of ram? How do I make full use of the 4gb of ram upgrade? (My main reason for upgrading was recently getting Adobe CS3 design suite).
     
  2. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #2
    check about this mac from the apple menu, it should show you at 4 GB.

    Also, I have found the dock to be a bit slower when first started up, and then smoothes out once the computer has been on for a while.
     
  3. Dan Harkless macrumors newbie

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    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, California
    #3
    Does "About This Mac" (in the Apple menu in the top-left) show 4 GB? What are the other numbers it lists after "Memory"? How did you make sure this was the correct type of RAM for your Mac -- did you use a configurator like the ones on crucial.com and kingston.com, or buy at the Apple Store?

    If your total RAM shows as 4 GB, I wouldn't be too concerned that it's saying you have 2.7 GB free. Presumably if you load lots of huge images into Photoshop you'll see that number go down.
     
  4. GoGoPoCoSo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 9, 2008
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    Seattle, WA
    #4
    About this Mac does show that it is 4gb. (4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM). And the RAM I bought was from OCW, which they specifically said on their site that the RAM was mac compatible. The only concern I have is that when i screwed in the L-bar after upgrading the RAM, the last screw didn't go in all the way...but yeah, small concern.
     
  5. JunBug119 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Cerritos, CA
    #5
    i upgraded my macbook RAM to 4gb by crucial and it displayed the same symptons with the "stuttering" icon bouncing. it also displayed little video glitches. it turned out that one of the RAM modules was bad even though it showed up with an OK status in the "about this mac" menu.
     
  6. GoGoPoCoSo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Seattle, WA
    #6
    how did you figure out that one of the ram chips were bad? i would like to check.
     
  7. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #7
    Did Crucial take it back/exchange? What happened?
     
  8. JunBug119 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Cerritos, CA
    #8
    at first, i re-seated the RAM modules but still had the glitches and stuttering effect. so i simply performed process of elimination: removed RAM from slot 1, turned on the macbook, and did a simple performance check; re-installed removed RAM into slot 1 and removed RAM from slot 2, turned on the macbook, and did another performance check.


    i bought the RAM from Frys and they exchanged it with no problems.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    There is a shareware program called "Rember" that you can download from versiontracker.com to test RAM.

    Don't worry about the readout of "free" versus "inactive" RAM -- OSX will allocate RAM dynamically as your programs need it. You won't see full RAM usage until you start multitasking multiple programs. But don't worry on that account.

    IF a screw won't go in all the way, or the L shaped strip is bowed outwards, there's a chance you haven't fully inserted the RAM module (s). When the RAM slides in, it goes in about 1 inch and then stops. You have to get both thumbs on it and push it in another 1/8 inch (2 mm) or so to properly seat the contacts into the socket. You have to push fairly hard - your thumbs will have dents.

    Try removing and re-inserting the RAM taking care to see they are fully seated into the socket. The L bracket is NOT intended to push on the RAM in any way.
     
  10. GoGoPoCoSo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Seattle, WA
    #10

    I am fairly confident that the RAM modules have been inserted fully, I think it's just that the L-shaped strip is offset slightly. However, just in case I will check later, but if I passed all the tests on Rember (which I did), isn't that enough? Also, I don't experience "glitches" so to say, just that the performance improvement is hardly noticed. Can a laptop even run with a RAM chip not inserted all the way?

    Also, Junebug, is there a way to verify if I also may have video glitches? If I watch some avi files and see that they are alright, is that enough? How did you encounter your video problem?
     
  11. GoGoPoCoSo thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 9, 2008
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    Seattle, WA
    #11
    Okay, just went to try and put it in any further and it was futile. I compared it with the chip on the left and they seem identically in. The third screw still won't go in all the way. Now, when I say "all the way", I'm talking about 1 - 1.5 more rotation left..it's still well in (to the point that the battery still goes in without the screw interfering is a good sign, right), and adding to the fact that Rember is still passing all my tests...even with the stuttering bouncing programs (though it goes away when I quit the app and then run it again, or if the computer has been on long enough) and that it shows up on my "About this Mac", perhaps it is safe to say that all is well...hopefully.
     
  12. JunBug119 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 24, 2007
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    Cerritos, CA
    #12
    whenever i moved the pointer back and forth across the dock the icons would glitch with a momentary "white box" surrounding each icon.
     
  13. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #13
    Just a note about ram, performance and drive cacheing.

    My mbp with 2gb reacts nearly instantaniously. I hear almost no hd cacheing.

    If your OS is not cacheing to the hd,, then adding memory will not help anything.

    For a single OS Mac running normal browsers and productivity apps, the benefits of 4gb (even if its working properly) are negligible.

    If you are running parallels or vmware, 4gb allows you to allocat a good chunk of ram to the guest OS. So 4gb could help a lot in that situation.

    Obviously large photo or video editing tasks would also be helped by the extra ram. But again, if you are running 3 tabs of firefox and neooffice word processor, you wont notice a difference.

    Don
     
  14. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #14
    Thanks donmei for your insight - I use Parallels regularly with 2GB of RAM on a MacBook Pro. I only have the default RAM allocated to Windows though (512 MB), and it seems to perform just fine.
     
  15. billmister macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    #15
    What r u going to be doing on your computer that requires 4gb of Ram??

    The thing is, i have 2gb ram on my imac and 2gb ram on my BMP. on my iMac my computer runs ALL my apps with NO problem, NO lag, NO anything. All my imovie, iphoto, safari, email, Word, Powerpoint, DOOM3 game runs without any problems and quick like day one.

    On my MBP i run normal apps with my 2gb and they all run just like my iMac, smooth and FAST with great graphics. 2 nights ago i actually had almost all of my apps and expose and they worked great with no lag.
     
  16. matttrick macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #16
    RAM does not make your computer run faster. it only allows you to do more at once without slowing down. adding ram only helps when you are reaching capacity on what you already have at a given time.
     
  17. Dan Harkless macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, California
    #17
    You might also try the Apple hardware diagnostics on one of your installation CDs. I have never used Rember, but it sounds like it runs while the system is booted to the normal boot HD? The Apple program runs from a CD and is not a full OS X boot, so it may be able to test some memory locations that aren't testable when the full OS is resident.
     
  18. nigrunze macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #18
    You're half right about that. Rember normally runs from within Mac OS X, meaning that a fairly large chunk of RAM is in use and can't be tested. But, since Rember is based on a slightly old version of MemtestOSX, you're able to use Rember from single user mode if you know some unix/linux commands. This way far there is far less memory in use.

    Luckily, Memtest86+ the well known memory tester for PCs claims to be Intel Mac compatible as of their latest version from about 3 months ago. Memtest86+ is probably the best way to go for testing memory.
     
  19. Dan Harkless macrumors newbie

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    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Irvine, California
    #19
    Cool, didn't even know OS X supported single-user mode.

    Ah, very nice. Yeah, I've always had great results with Memtest86+.
     

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