How long will 2GBs of RAM last me?

iarejedi

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2007
40
0
Ok, this is the main thing keeping me from deciding between a Macbook and a Macbook Pro. The only reason I would get the MacbookPro for is being able to upgrade to 4GBs of ram in the future when need be. I wouldn't buy it for the bigger screen (13 is fine with me) and I wouldn't be using the graphics card either...so the main reason for me buying a MBP would be future proofing myself, being able to upgrade to 4gbs in the future.

Now heres the question, How long do you think 2GBs would last me before I would start needing more RAM? This is a very important question for me and probably a lot of other people in this situation. If I know I can last atleast 4 years with 2GBs of Ram then I would buy the Macbook for sure! But if its not going to last me that long, do you think its worth it to get the Macbook Pro.

Please help me out here, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
 

iarejedi

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2007
40
0
More importantly what exactly do you use your laptop for?
I'm starting college in September and my Major is graphic design, so I will be using some high end applications, along with other digital entertainment,and everything else. I use my computer for everything.

I really didn't want this to become a "well it's what you do" kind of discussion, but I guess it's kind of important. I'm more so worrying about later versions of OS where more and more is being needed and when more ram heavy applications start coming out.
 

iarejedi

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 22, 2007
40
0
How would you not be using the Graphics Card whilst majoring in Grahics Design?
Well i'm not doing high end video editing or gaming which is what most people use the graphics card for. Obviously there would be benefits to the graphics card. But from what I have heard the Macbook is perfectly capable of doing photo editing/design. There are people who can play world of warcraft and other games on the Macbook just fine (with lowering some of the specs in game) Plus, programs such as photoshop wouldn't utilize a graphics card anyway..
 

teflon

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2007
792
0
It really depends on what you plan to do with your computer, and what level of performance is acceptable for you. If you're just using Word, iTunes, firefox and such, the later versions will not require more than 2gb of ram. Later OS will almost definitely not require 2gb. But if you're using applications like FCP or PS, then 4gb of ram is useful even now. You have to decide if any of your high end applications are memory hogs, and if you can live with slower performance down the road.
 

Gandhi

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2007
160
0
TX
People are getting 4GB ram on their macbooks now. I believe leopard will recognize 4GB ram also.
Wrong. While you can physically install 4gb of ram, the system will only recognize 3gb of it. This is a limitation of the chipset - thus, Leopard will not fix the problem since there is no software fix.

To the OP, Apple will be releasing SR-equipped Macbooks (non-Pros) that will be able to take advantage of the 4gb. I would suggest you wait until then to purchase. AS to when SR Macbooks will be out - your guess is as good as mine.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Advanced graphics cards do very little for 2D programs like most print and web graphics software.

In terms of RAM, you would see an immediate benefit from Photoshop with 3 Gb, and smoother multitasking with Illustrator, Indesign, PS etc open at once.

So do you HAVE to go above 2 Gb? - No. Will you see benefit from it? Yes as soon as you saddle up the Creative Suite.

People are getting 4GB ram on their macbooks now. I believe leopard will recognize 4GB ram also.
Again--- the limitation on the amount of RAM that can be recognized in a machine is based on the memory controller hardware, NOT on the firmware or the OS. 10.3 could recognize 16 Gb in a G5 tower, for example, as can Tiger in a MacPro.

MacBook Core2Duos will work with 3 Gb RAM, you can put 4 Gb physically in it and it will be recognized as present but the chipset prevents all 4 Gb from being utilized by the system, only 3.3 Gb or thereabouts.

The MacBook Pro can utilize all 4 Gb because it is a different, SantaRosa chipset.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
Wrong. While you can physically install 4gb of ram, the system will only recognize 3gb of it.
The limit is 3.3gb.

To the OP, Apple will be releasing SR-equipped Macbooks (non-Pros) that will be able to take advantage of the 4gb. I would suggest you wait until then to purchase. AS to when SR Macbooks will be out - your guess is as good as mine.
How do you know SR macbooks will ever come out? Suppose the line goes straight to Penryn? No guarantee of a G5 Powerbook;)
 

jtrwallace

macrumors member
Jul 4, 2007
58
3
Santa Cruz, CA
I don't know, if you are trying to future proof yourself your best bet is to get the best thing now. You are talking 4 years... the 2500 MBP is pretty cheap if you are using it over 4 years. I noticed a huge difference between 2 GB to 4 GB right away so its already necessary in PS and the creative suite. There are so many advantages to getting the MBP that it's hard to even list them. It just seems to me that if you want to ensure productivity for 4 years you should not get the low end of anything right?
 

diadem

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2006
139
0
Glasgow
well I have a stick of 2mb Sram iv had for years and year like from the 90s.. lol 2GB or Ram will do anything you want for the next 2 year or more :)
 

L3X

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2006
511
0
Chesapeake, VA
if anything, get teh MBP now and you can always wait and upgrade to 4 GB in 2 years. That migth give you a nice refresh after you think your computer starts to feel slow.
 

ClassicBean

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
642
2
Torontoland
New Question:

I have a 15" MacBook Pro. It's a 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo - so the model before the Santa Rosa chipset.

Is mine upgradable to 4 GB of ram? Or is that just the Santa Rosa?

Thanks.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,594
3,217
exactly, the Macbooks can utilize more then 2GB ram though. 3.3gb is the number I think.
And take into account that when you reach the point that 3.3GB is not enough for you anymore, most likely a MacBook Pro bought today won't be fast enough for you either. And the harddisk will be too small, and the video card too slow, and so on.

In three years time, you can probably sell your MacBook on eBay for some money, and if you add what you saved by not buying a MacBook Pro today, you will likely get an Apple laptop that runs rings around any MacBook Pro you could buy today. I couldn't predict if it would be called a MacBook :D
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,594
3,217
New Question:

I have a 15" MacBook Pro. It's a 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo - so the model before the Santa Rosa chipset.

Is mine upgradable to 4 GB of ram? Or is that just the Santa Rosa?

Thanks.
You can plug in 4 GB, and about 3.3 GB will be used.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,093
218
If you don't have to run the latest versions of the software then you should be fine with a current MB with 2-3 GB of RAM.

I mean, let's face it, Leopard will still be a good OS in 4 years, and 10.6/10.7 will almost be guaranteed to run on any current machine in the Apple Store. So like I said, if you don't have to run the latest version of a program (ie: the older one still does what you need it to), you should be fine.

As a side note, my personal computer (not my work machine) is almost 5 years old and only has 384 MB of RAM installed - 48 of which is set aside for graphics. But I can still run XP comfortably, browse the web, play iTunes (though I think I'm stuck at 7.3 as each new version runs slower than the last), use Office (XP - not ver 2003 or 2007), and run AutoCAD 2006 at decent speeds. I even run Photoshop 7 on there to edit some photos.

Now then, for my needs, it's getting long in the tooth, and you may find that the MB seems slower in 4/5 years, but it will definitely last you through school. If your school has an OIT (office of information technology) find out what their minimum requirements are. Usually, they work with the professors in defining the minimum platform requirements to ensure that the computer you buy for this year will last 4/5 years for the required course work (not the latest games, tech trends, etc, but it will at least get you through).