Finally

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SkyBell, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #1
    At long last, I finally spent the $20 to bring my eMac from 1.5 to 2 GB of RAM! :D

    I put it off for so long because I really didn't think it would make that much of a difference - Activity Monitor showed that I wasn't even close to running out of memory at 1.5 GB. But wow, the extra half-gig actually gave a very noticeable performance boost - namely, both iTunes and TenFourFox have much smoother scrolling, and switching between them and the desktop is instantaneous now. TFF also is much quicker switching between and opening new tabs.

    Needless to say, I am very pleased! :)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    That's great! Yeah, more ram, no matter how little always makes a difference, even if it's small. Something like a smooth transition between two apps really makes the upgrade worth it.

    I only wish Apple hadn't decided to cripple the Quicksilvers and reduce max ram to 1.5GB. The DAs and the MDDs have a 2GB max. I'll never understand the reasoning behind that.
     
  3. tdbmoss macrumors regular

    tdbmoss

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    The DA G4 is 1.5 GB maximum too - the Gigabit before it had four slots with a maximum of 2 GB, while the DA lost one of the slots for some reason - the fourth slot only returned with the MDD.

    Likewise I wish they'd kept the big case of the Power Mac 9600 rather than shortening it for the beige G3 too, the 9600 could take 1.5 GB whereas the G3 can only hold 768 MB.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    I must have my naming mixed up then. The two G4s I have at work, one a 350 PCI and the other a 450 AGP are capable of 2GB. Both have considerable less performance than my QS but they can hold more RAM.

    As a buyer from that era I'd have been annoyed to know that an older machine was more capable than the brand new box I was buying!
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    The PCI G4 can physically have 2GB installed, but it is only able to access and use 1GB. It is a limitation of its Grackle memory controller. Just like how the MDD can physically have 4GB installed, but only be able to see and use 2GB.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #6
    Thanks!!!!
     
  7. tdbmoss macrumors regular

    tdbmoss

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    The Sawtooth and Gigabit (the first two AGP G4s) can take 2 GB, your 450 sounds like a Sawtooth - the Digital Audio was the last "graphite" G4 and only has three memory slots.

    *looks for dual processor and four drive option on the new Mac Pro* :p
     
  8. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #8
    My iMac G4 has 1.5 and I wasn't sure if I was going to bother upgrading to 2. I think I'll have to give it a try.

    Hopefully it's only $20 as well.
     
  9. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #9
    One of the primary reasons that increasing physical RAM gives you a notable improvement, is that it allows the system to rely less on swap space.

    If you install MenuMeters, or a similar tool, prior to your upgrade, note first how much space you are using of swap, how many swap files your are using, the total swap space, the total swap in use; and the VM statistics.

    After your upgrade, again make a note of these values. You should see a smaller amount of swap used, fewer pageins/pageouts, and possibly fewer swap files in use.

    With the older systems, that use ATA/100 (or ATA-4/ATA-5), the swap performance is very poor: Between the drive speed, the ATA bus speed, and the general bus bottleneck, there is a wide field of difference when you lessen the system load on swap, by increasing physical memory, as physical memory does not have the same constraints.

    The Northbridge on these systems has a 2GB limitation, and may have allocation limits bundled into this. Between 1998 and 2002/3, there weren't many very good NB chips, which is a problem that I ran into, while designing for the PPC architecture. I would think that the Digital Audio could handle 2GB of RAM on the controller, but there is nothing wired to do this.

    I ran the Platinum G systems, and was also mystified by the odd, 768MB limitation, that I believe could have been lifted to 1.5GB or 2GB, but at the time, RAM prices were still quite high, and filling 768MB was still very costly, combined with the minimal need for more than 256MB of RAM for even moderate users.

    Keep in mind that 8.5 was still the OS to run for those models, and very few programmes were demanding of physical memory; those that were, either used VM, or used their own swap files (e.g. Photoshop 6).
     

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