4GB of RAM, but the MBP never seems to use it

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by adversecamber, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. adversecamber macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #1
    I went to great expense upgrading my 2.5GHz MBP from 2GB to 4GB RAM but, taking the odd peek at iStat, the computer never seems to use more than 2GB of it.

    I've checked out "About this Mac" and the memory is marked as 'ok' but even when I get Photoshop doing some filters, iMovie generating thumbnails, iTunes playing a video, Google Earth staring into someone's garden etc., it still doesn't use much more than 2GB.

    Can anyone explain this? Was 4GB a waste of money?
     
  2. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #2
    You succumbed to the "max out your RAM" syndrome prevalent in these forums. It was probably a waste of money. 2 GB is sufficient for most people.
     
  3. Breegy macrumors 6502

    Breegy

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    #3
    Really?

    I was considering maxing out my RAM for a MacBook. Would it be likely that it would never be used or is it different for the MB because of integrated graphics?
     
  4. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #4
    So why would the MBP accept 4GB if it never uses it? It gets hot, it slows down, but it never uses the extra RAM.
     
  5. himansk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #5
    It is able to use upto 4 GB, there is no technical or software limitations that would force the system to use only 2GB out of the 4 you have installed. It must be that you are not pushing the system enough in your daily activities. Instead of memory utilization, page ins and page outs are a better judge of whether you need more ram. In a 2GB system if you see too much of memory swapping to disk, then you need more ram, otherwise for MOST people 2 GB is enough. I personally use parallels VM so the extra ram would benefit me if my mbp could support 4GB.
     
  6. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #6
    Certain processes are memory intensive, others are processor intensive. I'm not technically savvy enough to tell you which are which, but processor intensive seems to be the one to pay attention to. As for the MacBook's integrated graphics, I don't think an increase in memory will make any difference.
     
  7. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #7
    I think you have a problem, as My MacBook can use more than 2GB quite easily.
     
  8. NotoriousLefty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    #8
    I was once told that the ram chips you add to your mac have to all match. The reason is because it messes up the continuity and the computer will not utilize the added ram chip... im not a computer scientist. But it seems to make sense.
     
  9. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #9
    By "went to great expense" I gather you paid for the RAM upgrade when you ordered your MBP from Apple? Third party RAM is always cheaper and installation is fairly simple and straightforward. As others have suggested, your application usage doesn't require it.
     
  10. himansk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #10
    Not completely correct, but the difference between having a 2x512M or a 1x1G config is not too different in performance (maybe 1-2%), even in the macbook with integrated graphics.
     
  11. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #11
    Absolutely not - it's Crucial. But £50 is a great expense if it's not even going to be used.
     
  12. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #12
    Sorry, but your assumption is wrong. I use 3GB of RAM (1GB Apple, 2GB OWC). When I run a VM, my memory is utilized fully.

    The reason it is suggested to run "matched" RAM modules is for "Memory Interleaving" which increases memory performance as the OS will use memory banks from both Memory Modules simultaneously. If they are not matched, the OS will use Memory in a normal fashion.
     
  13. adversecamber thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #13
    So 215,000 Page Ins and 0 Page Outs probably means I don't need more??

    I've opened every single app and my RAM usage has gone up to 2.75GB, so the other 2GB clearly works but obviously just isn't needed.

    Perhaps a lesson for other MBP owners thinking of increasing the RAM. Maybe I'll eBay one of the chips.
     
  14. himansk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #14
    Now you have got this right. So maybe 3GB would have worked out as more than enough for you. But then you should think about the future as well. Now you wont need more RAM for a while even with more memory intensive applications in the future.
     

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