Do i need 4 gb of ram? never heard anyone ask this

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by benlangdon, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. benlangdon macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    i have read numerous threads around here about upgrading to 4 gigs of ram.

    but i have never heard, do i actually need it?

    i run iphoto, keynote, pages, Core image fun house, and other little things ( Safari, mail, i chat, itunes (40 gigs worth) and ical) all at the same time when i am doing projects

    see my ram goes to about 3/4 used, do i really need 4 gigs? (the computer does get a little bit slower)
    this kinda goes with it but, can you actually use all of your ram or is there a limit as to what you can use, and the computer os is using the rest ?
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    4GB will make things faster, and it will be kinda necessary in the long run, so if you feel your Mac is too slow and the price is right, upgrade.
  3. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    For the tasks you mentioned 2GB is plenty. RAM prices will continue to fall so when you really need it it'll be even cheaper than it is today. But the final word really has to come from you. Are you willing to spend more money so your computer will be faster when you're running a full program load?
  4. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    now, if i am not using all the two gigs and i get 4 will it improve other aspects?

    is it overall it will run faster or will it run better under load?
  5. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    No. If you're not using all of your existing RAM then adding more will do nothing and is just a waste of money :)

    If you're seeing a lot of page outs then you possibly could do with more RAM - but even then it's not black and white.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    I disagree. iPhoto slows down tremendously when the amount of RAM available is less than the size of the thumbnails you have in the Library. Its a matter of time until you catalog enough photos to drag it down

    If you are heavily multitasking, you will get benefits from 4 GB RAM - especially in the speed of switching between applications. If you are running only one application, you wouldn't see any much if any difference between 2 GB and 4 GB.

    If you buy 2 x 1 GB now with the intention of upgrading to 2 x 2 GB later, you will have to pull lout and get rid of the 2 x 1, so much of the money will be wasted.
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    It's never been officially asked, but I been saying it, you don't need 2GB of RAM.
  8. Crossbone macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2008
    RAM is cheap now, go for it. I went from 2 gigs on my MacBook to 4 gigs on my MacBook Pro. Big difference if your running PS, Logic Pro, etc. For just everyday stuff like Firefox, iTunes, iChat, still a difference, but you won't really notice it.
  9. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    ya mbp already is 2 x 1

    well i think i started this on my ibook because it was slow but forgot the real reason.
    i keep 6 different iphoto libraries.
    two of them are at least 3000+ photos
    but i keep these on my external so that might be the bottle neck
    hey on another note.
    is there a way to have events under other events? like on normal folders keep 5 folders under a folder
    i use events and not albums

    o well pretty much not going to get it unless someone throws me a hundred bucks for nothing:rolleyes:

  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    You won't miss it. If anything I keep telling myself I don't need the RAM and I should return it, but I already missed the RMA period so too late.
  11. ruckus macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2005
    You'll likely be fine with 2gb.

    The thing to remember about OS X and its memory usage readout is, OS X doesn't free memory unless it needs it. So, if you open a bunch of programs and close them again and keep your computer on for a long time, your "Free Memory" will be reported low, the the actual "free memory" will be your "free memory" and your "inactive memory" combined, since the inactive memory can be freed up whenever to make room for more.

    Windows I believe frees up memory rather quickly after a program is closed. So your free memory will always be your free memory.

    The reason OS X leaves it around is because if you decide to reopen on of those apps again, its memory pool will still exist.

    EDIT: Also, more RAM will NOT make your computer run faster unless it is swapping memory to the hard drive, which should only happen if you really run low on memory. Also, iTunes doesn't load all of your music into memory. Only the song playing is loaded into memory. You can monitor how much RAM each program is using as well and this should help in your decision.
  12. Starflyer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2003
    I have been telling all my friends about 3 of them have bought 2x2Gb from OWC and a lifetime warranty for like $96 shipped for their Macbook Pro.

    I think it is a great deal.
  13. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    4 GB is kind of overkill for anyone who is not doing serious media work.

    If you want it, can afford it and feel a general need to have it...then by all means get it as it's pretty cheap but I don't think you're going to see a dramatic improvement.
  14. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    That's not necessarily true. The per GB price will continue to go down, but that's not true for specific types of memory chips. Once RAM moves to the next generation/iteration, older versions get more expensive since the chip cos. slow down or stop their production. While it may get cheaper for some period of time, don't wait too long.
  15. dnenciu macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2007
    The only reason the ram is soo cheap now is the fact that there was over production. The prices that you see now are not sustainable in the long run as they are under or close to cost.
    Ask yourself this you can get 4gb now for ~$80-90 how much cheaper do you think it will go 60-70 so you would save $20 but on the other hand if the prices go up you will have to pay more.
    The reason I would buy 4gb is that OS X uses all your ram by caching data. What this meens is that even if you use one program at a time and close the others they remain in the cache and next time start faster. Also I like to leave programs open in a space and just switch to them when I need to. No need to keep closing and opening them.

    But it all depends on your budget if 80-90 is too much for you than 2gb should be fine.
  16. dwman macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2007
    San Francisco
    There's a saying: "You don't need what you don't have." I personally upgraded because I wanted it now rather then later. If 2gb works fine for you, then save yourself some $$$. If you happen upon $100 or so down the line and feel the need to upgrade, by all means, upgrade to 4gb.
    For the tasks you listed, 2gb should be fine.
  17. woodekm macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2008
    I bought and installed mine "now" just in case I need it later. Better to have than not.

    Got 2 x 2g at the egg = $90 w/ a $15 rebate ($75 tot) for Mushkin ram. Couldnt pass it up. Do I need it now? Prol not. Will I? Never know. I can always pull out the 4g's and replace the original 2 x 1g if I intend to sell, and use the 4 in my new machine (assuming things don't change).
  18. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    2 is probably fine (I only have 2 in my G5), but I went ahead and ordered 4 from crucial for my new MBP anyway. I guess my view on memory is "more never hurts" and its so cheap now, I figure I may as well max my machine out, then you don't have to worry about upgrading later.
  19. mctheriot macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    McHenry, IL
    IMO, even if you don't "need" 4G, it still improves performance. With 2G RAM, my RAM allocation shows 200 to 250 Meg as "wired" and with 4G, wired increases to over 400M. The OS spreads itself out a little more. How much this means . . . don't know!

  20. rychencop macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2007
    4Gb made mine a bit faster doing certain tasks. it awakes from sleep much faster and after the initial start of a program, programs open much faster. max it can get 4Gb for a mbp for just over $100....why would you not?
  21. Regis27 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2006
    There's a couple of ways to check if you need more ram or not:

    1. There's a program called "Do I need more memory?" It hasn't been updated in a while but seems to still work fine (at least on Tiger).

    2. But basically all the program does is monitor how often your computer has to swap memory out from the RAM and write it to the HD so that it can load something else. You can monitor this yourself with Activity Monitor. Under the memory tab there's a page in/outs statistic. Now this is all page outs since your computer was last restarted, so it's best to restart just to give yourself a baseline (i.e. 10,000 page outs over a month or a day are very different). You can google "too many page outs" but generally if it's around 10% of page-ins you're ok.

    Mine typically runs at 80% of page ins and 100k per day, which is why I have 4gb on the way. :)
  22. wk127001 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Not sure if this has been covered or not but...

    If you use either Parallels or Fusion 4GB RAM is a must.
  23. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    hey thanks guys
    i really appreciate all the advice
    when i get parallels i will prob get 4 gb

    ill be monitoring my page outs
    i never knew what all that meant
  24. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I agree with the posters above. My feeling is the specific type of RAM that the current MB takes will never be this cheap again. Expect prices to nearly double by the summer as the oversupply caused by the low takeup of Visa gets rectified.

    By the time of the next oversupply, probably next spring, the new cheapest most commonly produced RAM will be DDR2-800 or DDR3 or something that doesn't work with your macbook. The Montevina platform comes out this summer, which means a change of RAM specs.
  25. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832


    Jan 13, 2008
    nice to know. 800 would be nice for the mbp though

    buy soon

    o ya side note. 1 more post to have 500:D:D:D:D:D

Share This Page