Do I need 4gb of ram in my MacBook? Running Parallels, etc...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RR08EvoX, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. RR08EvoX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #1
    I have a new 2.2ghz white macbook. I currently have 2gb of ram in it but am thinking about upgrading the memory.

    I use fairly basic programs on mac osx... just iphoto, safari, office 08, etc... and I just installed parallels with xp pro so I can use visual web developer 2008 for my web tech class.

    Windows runs pretty well but I've noticed that it's a little slower then I would like and scrolling around on internet pages seems to lag a little.

    If I upgraded my ram to 3 or 4gb would that make a difference? I know I can get ram pretty cheap so I'm not concerned about the cost. I already have a 7200rpm hard drive so I'm wondering if more ram would be my best option.
     
  2. DocSmitty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    #2
    More RAM is generally the cheapest performance enhancer you can get. (Clemens, you naughty boy, I told you to buy more RAM instead..)

    Check your system monitor when you feel things are slowing down a bit and see how the RAM usage is. It's possible that it's CPU rather than RAM slowing things down, but in general more RAM means more multitasking ability. It's so cheap these days there's almost no reason not to.
     
  3. rezonat0r macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #3
    I run XP under Parallels with 2GB just fine. I've disabled all the extraneous services in XP to where it only uses around 80-90MB of memory upon bootup. See http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm to tweak your XP installation.

    When you mention "lag in scrolling" under XP, you need to be more specific. I see lag when scrolling webpages under Windows because of the video driver emulation going on. To me it looks like the webpage "tears" in half slightly as I scroll. Don't think there's much that can be done about that. But you can tell if the lag is disk access related by looking at the Parallels status icons near the bottom right (when running XP in a window). If the lag occurs along with hard drive access, then more memory might help.

    Best thing to do is fire up Activity Monitor under OS X and look at how much free memory you have. That will be the best indicator of whether you are using more than 2GB or not.
     
  4. goose1873 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    #4
    if you're not concerned about the money...up the RAM to 4gb. How much free RAM do you have when running everything?
     
  5. fusionrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #5
    You know, Visual Web Developer doesn't take up a whole lot of RAM, and as Rezonator points out, if you're using XP, you should be able to run it without a ton of RAM assigned.

    We recommend that VMware Fusion users have at least 2 GB for exactly what you're doing, with more RAM required for running more apps at once.

    Do you have OS X apps running at the same time as when you experience your Parallels slow down?

    Ultimately, you need enough RAM for your OS X operating system core processes (which are always running), any apps you're running on OS X at a given time, enough RAM for your XP operating system processes (which, can be very little as Rezonator points out, if you trim down the miscellaneous stuff running in the background), and enough RAM for any apps running on XP.

    Based on what you're saying you do, it doesn't sound like RAM is your issue with your slowdown, in that you sound like you're only running OS X base services, Parallels, XP, and Visual Web Developer (since you're doing it in class, and likely not multitasking like crazy)
     
  6. ZacUSNYR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    #6
    If you had 1gb i'd say up to 4gb but since you already have 2 i'm not sure it'd even be noticeable. But that depends on your useage.

    If you're running a lot of virtual machines at once or want to dedicate more ram to the VM - then yea definately go to the 4gb (for less then $100 it's real easy to justify the upgrade)
     
  7. MacBookJoePro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #7
    goose1873 is right. If money is not an issue then it wouldn't hurt to upgrade. You can never have too much memory. :). I recently just saw a deal at local Fry's which had 4GB of memory for 80 dollars after taxes!!! If you see an excellent deal then jump on it. If there is no deal then just hold out until there is one.

    -JoE
     
  8. skyrider007 macrumors 65816

    skyrider007

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok

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