Explain RAM to me...

tjwett

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 6, 2002
1,880
0
Brooklyn, NYC
I'd like to use OS X alot more but it always seemed so slow to me. people always seem to say that "OS X flys with a gig of RAM". Well i just installed a gig of quality RAM bringing me up to 1.256 gigs in my 733 and OS X is still annoyingly slow. infact, i have not noticed any speed improvements at all. what is all this RAM doing that i am missing? in OS 9 however, the machine smokes as usual and the RAM increase was clearly noticeable. maybe X just feels slow because i spend so much time in 9 but i would definitely not call it "snappy" or "blazingly fast" like i have heard from some. what does X do with the RAM differently? will OS X be this slow forever?
 

stoid

macrumors 601
I'm not an expert but...

OS X uses RAM dynamically, or something like that. Instead of allocating RAM to each application, it lets applications rake what they need when they need it. Also, there's something about protected memory shares that has something to do with keeping applications from using each others RAM space. I know someone else will come in a ive a real explaination that is technically correct, but I think I've got it pretty close.


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Beware the ghost chickens in the sky!!!!
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
While you're at it, what computer do you have? What type of memory is it? (222, 232) Is it all the same? Did you get the added memory from a reliable source, or from somewhere in Podunk?

IF you did an upgrade install of the OS, you may notice this bog down of speed.
 

oldMac

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
522
1
OS 9 *is* Snappy compared to OS X

Unfortunately, you're not going to notice a speed-up in OS X by adding RAM above a certain amount.

The reason that OS X is slow when it doesn't have enough RAM is the same reason why OS 9 is slow when it doesn't have enough RAM. Both of them will be using virtual memory if not enough RAM is present in the machine.

Virtual memory starts reading/writing data to the hard drive when not enough RAM is present in the machine. This is much slower than reading/writing data from RAM. This is why adding RAM can speed up a user's machine. People mention adding RAM for OS X because OS X tends to use more RAM than OS 9. Other than that, there's no fundamental difference.

With very few exceptions (those that involve disk caching), adding RAM to a machine above the amount that's used by your applications will NOT speed up the machine. This is true for any operating system.

So why does OS 9 feel so much faster? Because the GUI is much less complicated in OS 9 and requires much less processing power.

As well, the routines in OS 9 have been refined and optimized for many years. Therefore, they tend to be more efficient. In many areas, Mac OS X will take time to reach the maturity level of OS 9 and this will affect performance.

As others noted, you can often see a clear speedup in performance by doing a clean-install of any OS. This is true for a number of reasons and often makes a noticable difference. However, don't expect OS X to be visually on-par with OS 9 for some years to come.
 

dricci

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
537
0
A clean install should fix everything.. It shouldn't be slow at all, esspecially if you have a Quartz Extreme compatable card in your 733.
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,187
0
SFBA
the thing is that OSX isn't necessarily slow, its just that latency is very high. I keep on going back to OS9, and although it's quite snappy, it can't multitask like OSX so doing multiple things in multiple apps makes things appear to slow to a crawl. if you're ripping MP3s in the background while doing heavy work in photoshop, you'll prolly notice this pretty well. the nice think about OSX is that it's smooth and most things don't stop running when you open up a menu from the menu bar or drag a window or something while something else is going on. IMO the people who say it's "blazingly fast" are on to something, but are quite the optimists.

in addition to loading it up on RAM, you could try getting a faster hard drive, as this can speed up some access time, and it will be great if you ever do any graphical work.

and if you're running jag, ya a clean install for some reason or another seems to increase response, at least it did for me
 

tjwett

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 6, 2002
1,880
0
Brooklyn, NYC
Originally posted by King Cobra
While you're at it, what computer do you have? What type of memory is it? (222, 232) Is it all the same? Did you get the added memory from a reliable source, or from somewhere in Podunk?

IF you did an upgrade install of the OS, you may notice this bog down of speed.
it is Kingston memory purchased from Nerds. it is all 2-2-2. the machine found it just fine and it's not causing problems. it's just not giving OS X the boost i had hoped. i've done a clean install and am booting 9 from a seperate partition. i'm using the factory 7200 RPM ata drive from Apple to run the OSs and a SCSI 10,000 RPM drive in OS 9 dedicated to audio. don't get me wrong it's not like it's crawling or acting strange. it's the same as it's always been. i just thought the extra RAM would speed up OS X overall. oh well.
 

sparkleytone

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2001
2,307
0
Greensboro, NC
just have to ask...you are using jaguar right? a QE capable vidcard?? That should get you to a significantly "snappy" point, altho I'm happy with my iBook 600 with 8MB VRAM.
 

tjwett

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 6, 2002
1,880
0
Brooklyn, NYC
yep. Jaguar and a GeForce card with 32 mb. I've found turining off all the graphical options like text smothing, icon bounce and magnify, etc make it feel alot better. i think the throbbing and bouncing graphics just make the wait time more obvious. it still takes many bounces for most apps to launch and the "spinning beachball of death" is still here. i get so many hangups. i just watch the ball spin and spin and spin...I force quit more in X than i did in 9. hey, here's one good point for OS X, atleast Force Quit actually works;)
 

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
5,403
0
tjwett, I have 10.1 and OS 9 installed on the same partition of my Hard Drive, and have not gotten any conflicting speed issues specifically with 10.1. I have heard that if you use more than one partition you can F up your computer's optimial speed/performance/functionality more easily than with just a single partition. On my Cube with an ATI Rage Pro 128 and 16MB of video memory, I have not gotten such "hangups", except with certain apps that piss me off often. And I have both OSs on the same partition.

You may want to try and install both OS X and OS 9 on the same partition, but you may have to reformat the Hard Drive and back up all your data.