512MB RAM Macbook is a slow piece of $#&* - rant.

kdum8

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Sep 8, 2006
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Maybe not news to anyone here; but omg 512MB of RAM is way insufficient for this machine. :( Makes me wonder why it shipped with it in the first place.
Even running a few apps it beachballs far too frequently, (Speed is very important to me). For computer novices who don't understand much about RAM (like my friend who owns this MB) it makes OSX look very poor.

I just hope when I buy my 2GB RAM MBP it runs without ANY slowdowns. Anyone with 2GB RAM MB/MBP care to comment about the performance?

OK, I feel better now. :p
 

kdum8

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Yeah not only is all that extra RAM expensive (OK not the end of the world) but if it requires 2GB of RAM now to run as one would expect, what potential does that leave to upgrade in the future as programs become more resource hungry? Are we going to find that 2 years down the line 2GB isn't enough anymore? Apple's products are generally great, but at the price they ship for I can't upgrade very often.
 

Mackilroy

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Jun 29, 2006
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Funny… I can run 7+ apps with no beachballs, and I only have 512 Mb of RAM…

*shrugs* 2 gigs would certainly speed things up, in any case.
 

ITASOR

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Mar 20, 2005
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kdum8 said:
Yeah not only is all that extra RAM expensive (OK not the end of the world) but if it requires 2GB of RAM now to run as one would expect, what potential does that leave to upgrade in the future as programs become more resource hungry? Are we going to find that 2 years down the line 2GB isn't enough anymore? Apple's products are generally great, but at the price they ship for I can't upgrade very often.
It doesn't require 2GB at all. People just figure while they're upgrading, they'll get a 2GB kit for cheaper, usually.

Adding a 1GB stick would be fine....

Heck, I'm using it with 512 now, running Parallels with XP and Photoshop in Tiger at the same time and I live.
 

kretzy

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Sep 11, 2004
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Canberra, Australia
There's always the Rosetta factor to consider. My iMac is plenty fast with only 512 when running Universal apps. Open a few PPC only things and there's a noticeable slowdown.
 

iBookG4user

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Jun 27, 2006
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Seattle, WA
My parent's intel iMac is a slow piece of junk whenever I try and run transmission on it. Transmission makes it seems like and old quadra running OS X, heck even my iBook with 768MB of RAM can beat my parents iMac in the speed department because the difference is very noticable. 512MB of RAM isn't enough anymore, that's why I'm getting 2GB of RAM when I get my MacBook Pro on wednesday.
 

kdum8

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Sep 8, 2006
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Does Rosetta run in the background when a PPC program is opened without any input from the user? So are some of the slowdowns here due to the fact the a lot of the software wasn't written for intel macs?
 

kretzy

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Sep 11, 2004
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kdum8 said:
Does Rosetta run in the background when a PPC program is opened without any input from the user? So are some of the slowdowns here due to the fact the a lot of the software wasn't written for intel macs?
Absolutely - the PPC apps wouldn't run without it. Rosetta requires a lot of RAM and if you're running a lot of PPC apps then that's the reason for you slowdowns.
 

kdum8

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iBookG4user said:
My parent's intel iMac is a slow piece of junk whenever I try and run transmission on it. Transmission makes it seems like and old quadra running OS X, heck even my iBook with 768MB of RAM can beat my parents iMac in the speed department because the difference is very noticable. 512MB of RAM isn't enough anymore, that's why I'm getting 2GB of RAM when I get my MacBook Pro on wednesday.
OK might explain something. I am running Transmission quite a lot in the background. Might that be slowing everything down a lot? :confused:
 

kdum8

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max_altitude said:
Do you have the Universal version of Transmission?
That I don't know, although it says it is Version 0.6.1 (480), don't know if that would be the universal version or not.

So what is going to happen to all these PPC apps, i.e. most of the apps that we all use at the moment? Will they gradually be converted to native Intel Mac status? Will that increase the speed that they run at significantly, or just marginally? To take an example, MS Office 2004 can take a very long time to startup at the moment. Not very good really, considering how often I use it.
 

Xeem

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Feb 2, 2005
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iBookG4user said:
Transmission makes it seems like an old quadra
Hey, I resent that- my Quadra 660AV is still teh snappy! Anyway, I've heard that users' Transmission experiences can vary quite a bit, with some claiming it eats resources that it shouldn't on their computers and others saying it doesn't.
 

kdum8

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dreamsINdigital said:
I went from 512 MB to 2 GB in my MacBook and things are a lot better.
So can you have a load of apps open at once, do some intensive stuff and still not experience any slow-downs now then?
 

todd2000

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Nov 14, 2005
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My iMac with 512MB is kinda slow, Safari sometimes beacballs while opeing and browsing etc... and if I have more then a few programs running expecially if one is Safari I get lots of beachballs.. Of course Safari is a memory hog, but I love it LOL :). Im gonna upgrade it to 1G, should help a little.
 

iBookG4user

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Jun 27, 2006
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Xeem said:
Hey, I resent that- my Quadra 660AV is still teh snappy! Anyway, I've heard that users' Transmission experiences can vary quite a bit, with some claiming it eats resources that it shouldn't on their computers and others saying it doesn't.
I was talking about my old Quadra 650 not the 660AV. I've never checked to see if it's the universal version but all I notice is that when I don't have transmission open on the iMac everything is REALLY fast and when I have it open the dock freezes for several seconds sometimes, it takes longer to show up, everything is just A LOT slower. It's gotten to the point where if the computer is running slower they say I'm downloading something. Hopefully with 2GB of RAM it will solve this issue because I use Transmission quite a bit.
 

ormandj

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Aug 29, 2006
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Any modern computer running a modern OS with modern applications is going to run like doggy shoo-shoo with 512mb.

Get yourself some aftermarket RAM (don't waste your money on Apple's overpriced re-badged ram) from a reasonable dealer (Crucial makes good Apple-compatible RAM.)

If you're running non-UB programs, it's going to make your machine suck. You bought into the "new thing" which always has growing pains. For Apple, this is non-UB programs, running under Rosetta. I suggest seeking UB versions of your applications, and if you can't find them, contacting the devs. If they want to stay in the Apple marketplace, they will accomidate you as they can. :)

That said, I wouldn't run OSX on a machine (any machine) with less than a gig of RAM. I wouldn't run XP either. ;)

Fire up activity monitor from your utility folder to see what is sucking up memory/cpu. You'll very quickly determine what your offender is!
 

dreamsINdigital

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Sep 4, 2006
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kdum8 said:
So can you have a load of apps open at once, do some intensive stuff and still not experience any slow-downs now then?
No slow-downs whatsoever. As intensive as having Parallels running and being able to switch between that and applications in OSX without any performance drop. Also, running Adobe Photoshop through Rosetta and using other apps without any slow-downs.
 

kdum8

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ormandj said:
Any modern computer running a modern OS with modern applications is going to run like doggy shoo-shoo with 512mb.

That said, I wouldn't run OSX on a machine (any machine) with less than a gig of RAM. I wouldn't run XP either. ;)

Fire up activity monitor from your utility folder to see what is sucking up memory/cpu. You'll very quickly determine what your offender is!
Some good points ormand. I checked out activity monitor as you suggested and found opera using 90% CPU time, 1.1GB virtual memory and 250MB of RAM. Think I just found the culprit. Although, like you say, get more RAM.
Any one else use Opera here? Thoughts? :cool:
 

crees!

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kdum8 said:
Any one else use Opera here? Thoughts? :cool:
I just removed it from my Dock :D I only have it since I design websites. Other than that I use Safari all the time. BTW, I'm on a Powerbook (PPC) and use Photoshop, Garageband, Flash, Dreamweaver, iTunes, etc.. all without any slowdown. That's with 1.5GB of RAM though. I definitely noticed the increase in performance from the stock 512MB to when I popped in that additional 1GB.
 

kdum8

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Actually since I restarted Opera it seems to be running better and less resource hungry now. I am a new convert so I don't have much experience of browsers on the Mac. On PC's I always used Opera since it was fast and is so user-configurable. Firefox is mighty popular but isn't as good. I also like the fact that Opera enables one to navigate through the page easily using the keyboard, (shift and arrow keys).

What other (good) options are there for Mac browsers that people use/recommend?
 

ormandj

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Aug 29, 2006
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kdum8 said:
Actually since I restarted Opera it seems to be running better and less resource hungry now. I am a new convert so I don't have much experience of browsers on the Mac. On PC's I always used Opera since it was fast and is so user-configurable. Firefox is mighty popular but isn't as good. I also like the fact that Opera enables one to navigate through the page easily using the keyboard, (shift and arrow keys).

What other (good) options are there for Mac browsers that people use/recommend?
I use Safari primarily, with Opera as my secondary. Never encountered any such issues, but my "slow" machine had 1.25gigs of ram. :)