Does 512 MB of ram really make a diff?

iEric

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
817
10
Vancouver
I was thinking of adding a stick of 512 MB ram into my PB (G4, 1.5ghz, 128vram).

But I was just thinking...Do I need another stick? (I know, more memory is ALWAYS good, but is it NECESSARY?)

The apps that I usually use (or have open) are Msn Messenger, MS Word, Safari, Mail, iTunes, iCal.

I already have 512 MB (2x256) in the PB already. So do I need more? Will it make it "faster"?
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
Yeah, that's the rub of buying the 2x 256 configuration.

I gotta say, having a gig of RAM in my PB has been great. I run what I want when I want with no complaints from the machine.

Depends on your needs though. You might open Terminal, type in 'top' and see if you are getting a lot of pageins and pageouts. That's an indication that the computer is using your HD to swap programs in and out of memory and that you should up your RAM.
 

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
660
0
Bay Area
Yeah, it's not worth it to just buy a 512 MB stick. You should either buy 2 x 512 MB sticks or a 1 GB stick. The 2 x 512 MB config would be cheaper, but if you bought the 1 GB stick you could add even more RAM later without losing your investment.
 

Militar

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2005
85
0
I upgraded my stock 256MB PowerBook to 768MB and I noticed a huge difference. I think 512MB or 1GB would make a big difference.
 

iEric

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
817
10
Vancouver
Okay, let's say that I am going to put in a 1GB stick in. So it makes it 1.2 GB of ram.
Will I notice a significant difference?
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
iEric said:
Okay, let's say that I am going to put in a 1GB stick in. So it makes it 1.2 GB of ram.
Will I notice a significant difference?
Depends entirely what you do with your machine.
If you just go on email and do word processing, maybe no difference. If you like having multiple programs open at once, if you do digital audio or video, if you use Photoshop, etc then it can make a big difference in the speed of the machine and the speed of switching between applications.
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,937
169
Madison
I went from 512 to 1.25 GB of ram, and I dont really notice a difference. I just have a ton of unused ram, and inactive ram.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Koodauw said:
I went from 512 to 1.25 GB of ram, and I dont really notice a difference. I just have a ton of unused ram, and inactive ram.
I did the same but I did notice a huge difference. I can now keep apps like iPhoto and Photoshop open but hidden in the background so that they're just there. Safari et al rarely beachball - sure, I have some unused RAM at times but it's made my Powerbook much more responsive.
 

Demon Hunter

macrumors 68020
Mar 30, 2004
2,245
38
Just thought I'd chime in to say, if you are getting a lot of page-outs, you are also eating up your battery life, so in such a situation more RAM would actually improve your average cycle.

You may also need more RAM if your computer begins saying the rosary. Yes friends, the "beach-ball" is actually a colorful bead. In extreme cases, the Virgin Mary may descend upon your memory controller, causing your CPU to access an infinite amount of bits, thereby heralding the apocalypse.