Honest question about RAM

Pharmscott

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 13, 2011
624
2
Sacramento, CA
Why do so many folks care so much about how much RAM is in the next iPhone or iPad? Let me be clear: I love my Apple products and I love tech in general. But Android devices have had more RAM than competing Apple devices and I still don't care. I think it's about the device experience and my iOS Apple gear works great regardless of how much RAM. What gives?
 
Last edited:

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
They're too insecure with their own devices that they must pit them against others' to make themselves feel better. That or they're demanding perfection from an imperfect world.
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
50
I think it's about the device experience and my iOS Apple gear works great regardless of how much RAM. What gives?
Agreed. My 5 refreshes many things way to much for my taste though. You can't compare different OS's, they are completely different animals. Impatiently waiting on the 5.5" iPhone that won't come.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,729
2,926
Here
They're too insecure with their own devices that they must pit them against others' to make themselves feel better. That or they're demanding perfection from an imperfect world.
The OP didn't make it clear if it was an Android or existing Apple users doing the complaining.

I don't think that it would hurt to add more (I have IM apps getting flushed out of memory or games restraint that gets annoying), but to argue across OS's that one is better because it has more RAM is foolish.

But I love your "demanding perfection from an imperfect world" comment. :)
 

CosmoFox

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2014
145
0
Apple knows how much RAM their devices need. It's optimized, so more RAM would suffer from law of diminishing returns.
 

Pharmscott

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 13, 2011
624
2
Sacramento, CA
The OP didn't make it clear if it was an Android or existing Apple users doing the complaining.
I was referring to people talking about future iOS products. I've seen so many "the next iPhone/iPad better have 2GB of RAM or else..." posts. I find it silly but maybe I'm missing something.
 

boomhower

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2011
1,559
50
Apple knows how much RAM their devices need. It's optimized, so more RAM would suffer from law of diminishing returns.
I just plain disagree. I'm an Apple fanboy but still think they gig ram for profits. Just don't get me started on the 16GB deal.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,729
2,926
Here
I was referring to people talking about future iOS products. I've seen so many "the next iPhone/iPad better have 2GB of RAM or else..." posts. I find it silly but maybe I'm missing something.
Oh, well as I said it would be nice, but I don't think it is make or break it like people make it out to be. My iPhone 4S runs well with 512MB of RAM on iOS 7. Granted the 64bit apps have increased RAM usage. I don't think it ruins the current experience.
 

Thrifty1

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
213
26
I just plain disagree. I'm an Apple fanboy but still think they gig ram for profits. Just don't get me started on the 16GB deal.
I agree with you. My iPhone 5 and iPad 3 can have more apps / safari tabs open than my iPhone 5s / iPad mini (retina). I assume the new chips in the newer models (64-bit) take up more RAM and Apple made the decision to keep costs lower / margins higher by not increasing RAM to a level that keeps the performance as high. I also make a lot of $$ trading AAPL stock/options so as an investor I understand and appreciate the margin concerns.

I do worry Apple is beginning to emphasize margins over product quality. I have loved their high quality products and best in class customer service. I have been willing to pay a premium for this. However, I have had more problems with recent products and more difficulty in resolving the problems. I feel like they are losing that "best in class" edge in order to keep margins higher in the competitive phone / tablet markets.
 

RoboWarriorSr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2013
882
45
Oh, well as I said it would be nice, but I don't think it is make or break it like people make it out to be. My iPhone 4S runs well with 512MB of RAM on iOS 7. Granted the 64bit apps have increased RAM usage. I don't think it ruins the current experience.

While the 512 MB of RAM is "good" for most programs, I've noticed with a lot of games that I frequently play to reboot the device in order to play them. For example, Colin McRae needs a reboot if you have been using the device for more than 24 hours to clear RAM and some unreal engine 3 games put up a message telling users to reboot to clear memory (no way around this, really annoying). I've also noticed more heavier apps like some night sky maps tend to have stability issues due to low RAM. At least the more noticeable developers have fixed these issues.
 

magilla

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2013
223
0
I was referring to people talking about future iOS products. I've seen so many "the next iPhone/iPad better have 2GB of RAM or else..." posts. I find it silly but maybe I'm missing something.
That's the classic "could'a - would'a - should'a" "what if" conundrum. No matter WHAT technology you buy into, it's already out-of-date by the time you purchase it. There's always a "newer - better - faster" model in the pipeline so you basically have to make the best choice you can make with the info you have at the time and learn to live with it.

I'm a classic example (and not to be laughed at quite so vigorously). I kept an old LG clamshell right up until this year because it did what I NEEDED it to do. Bought a 5s as a technology hedge - not for what i can use it for NOW, but for what I COULD use it for in the future.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
iOS devices need more RAM. Not having enough kills multitasking because you can't

This is especially problematic with iPads and Safari on all devices. It absolutely kills the experience.

Compare that with my S5, which just recently replaced my 5S. I could have 10 tabs open in 3 browsers and switch between them and not one will reload.

The constant reloading on iOS sucks. I absolutely hate it. At this stage, and especially with 64bit, iOS devices need at the very least 2 gigs of RAM.

It's the same with 16gb being baseline storage. How the hell are apps supposed to take advantage of retina displays and 64bit performance when only a handful of apps can devour all your storage really damn fast.

The instability of iOS7 with crashing apps and reboots is directly tied to RAM. It's just not enough.
 

Krimsonmyst

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2012
302
1
iOS devices would benefit from more RAM primarily from the multitasking angle. I'm currently using a nexus 5 and will likely not consider another iPhone until the RAM issue (amongst others) is rectified.

The biggest gripe I had with it is that at home I listen to all my music through a sonos system. I would start a song playing in sonos, then I'd start using other apps. When I decided to change songs, the lack of RAM meant the app would be closed, and I'd have to go through the whole 'finding sonos systems' thing all over again.

Things like that really bug me. My nexus 5 has 2gb of RAM and I can literally run dozens of apps without ever having to close any or wait for refreshes.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,729
2,926
Here
While the 512 MB of RAM is "good" for most programs, I've noticed with a lot of games that I frequently play to reboot the device in order to play them. For example, Colin McRae needs a reboot if you have been using the device for more than 24 hours to clear RAM and some unreal engine 3 games put up a message telling users to reboot to clear memory (no way around this, really annoying). I've also noticed more heavier apps like some night sky maps tend to have stability issues due to low RAM. At least the more noticeable developers have fixed these issues.
Ah, that's very interesting. I haven't had that happen to me yet, but I do know that I can only run like 2-3 apps right now without the rest being flushed out. I haven't got that notice though.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,086
2,055
Oregon
I do worry Apple is beginning to emphasize margins over product quality. I have loved their high quality products and best in class customer service. I have been willing to pay a premium for this. However, I have had more problems with recent products and more difficulty in resolving the problems. I feel like they are losing that "best in class" edge in order to keep margins higher in the competitive phone / tablet markets.
This isn't a new thing. With their computers, Apple has usually included the bare minimum of RAM and a fairly small HDD compared to what's available.
 

RoboWarriorSr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2013
882
45
Ah, that's very interesting. I haven't had that happen to me yet, but I do know that I can only run like 2-3 apps right now without the rest being flushed out. I haven't got that notice though.

It's for a few "unadvertised" Unreal Engine 3 games but a surprising number of games using in-house engines also have this pop up which can be quite frustrating, who wants to reboot a device just to try a new game. I can also multitask around the same number app though using heavy comic apps along with apps like AlienBlue, which have a built in browser, along with another tend to cause iOS to free RAM immediately. I'm hoping that Apple will make iOS 8 less resource intensive for the 4s if it does get it (which I highly believe).
 

Qrios

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2014
2
0
The reason Apple puts just enough memory in their devices could be their scheme to get people to upgrade phones as a new version of ios comes out since the newer one will require higher performance in order for user experience to be smooth enough. From my experience, main complaints from people with iPhone 4 was about the speed. Not too much from 4s tho.
 

sunking101

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2013
6,671
1,812
I didn't notice a lack of RAM on my i5 when it was running iOS6, and I bought into all the talk of iOS being well coded and 'optimised' versus Android. Apparently Android needs more RAM and good old iOS can whizz along on very little.
Well that just isn't true anymore. 1GB of RAM is pathetic with iOS7 if you use resource-hungry apps and thrash Safari. To launch the 5S with iOS7 and 1GB of RAM was an absolute joke, and the same absolutely applies for pushing it onto older devices.
 

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
Though more RAM looks good in a phone, I don't think people should be concerned about at this very moment.

Personally, I'm more concerned about processing power and camera capability. Unless Apple upgrades the future iPhone to a 1.5GHz+ quad core processor I'm probably going to move to Android for my next phone. They probably will, I've got another year and a half before I can upgrade.
 

zipa

macrumors 65816
Feb 19, 2010
1,442
1
When have you needed more ram on a current device?
Every time i browse the web. Or switch between browsing and a game. Or using the device as a remote for the Apple TV. Everything keeps reloading all the time. Not to mention the intermittent crashing of apps due to low memory.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trifid