How much difference will 4gb ram make compared with 2gb?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Anonymouslives, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Anonymouslives macrumors 6502

    Anonymouslives

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #1
    I have a Macbook pro 15'4 with 2gb of ram. How much of a difference will it make if I put a total of 4gb in? Are there any benchmark scores anywhere that will tell me ahead of time? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #2
    For 99% of users it won't make a difference, except less money in the bank.
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #3
    Really depends on what you are going to be doing with your MBP
    Normal stuff? Not much difference at all


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #4
    Wow, I wonder how you came up with that 99% figure. That's interesting and I think extremely high.

    If you intend to run Windows in a virtual machine (e.g. VMware Fusion or Parallels) it should make a night and day difference. Before I upgraded from 2GB to 4GB on my iMac, running Vista in Fusion would slow my machine to an unmanageable crawl. Now, with 4GB (2GB allotted to each OS) they both run at their native speeds and I can switch between them when I need to, instantly putting Vista in it's own full-screen space.

    It absolutely depends on what you're doing as to whether you need the extra RAM or not but more is always better and at the moment memory is dirt cheap so why NOT max it out?? It also increases the value of the machine if you ever decide to sell it.
     
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #5
    I think he rounded it up from 98.6% so it really wasn't quite as high as it looked

    Agreed, it depends on what you are going to be doing, but more RAM is always a good thing

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #6
    I'm assuming 75% probably don't care, so they don't need it.

    20% probably care, but they don't do anything that needs it. Even if they run Photoshop, and FC, etc, but they don't have files that really need it.

    4% are you and me. Ones who have it, but still don't use it. We think we need it, but we really don't. Sure we do stuff that we think justifies it, but it doesn't.

    And 1/100 is a very high ratio.
     
  7. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

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    Austin, Tx
    #7
    Your computer just flat runs better. I never get beach balls anymore with
    4gb of ram. Its only $90-95 for 2 x 2gb kits right now. Get it while its so cheap-it won't be a year from now.

    Now what most should be addressing is why they wasted $500-700 for a MBP over a MB. Thats where 99% of the
    people would never notice any difference.
     
  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #8
    I sarcastically alluded to it above but I sort of get the impression you're pulling these percentages and ratios out of your butt. :rolleyes:

    For the record, I explained quite clearly above how I "use it". 2GB is not enough to run OS X and Windows in a VM simultaneously. More often than not I'd get spinning beach balls of death and have to reboot the machine, often damaging the VM (which in my case is my Bootcamp partition) in the process.

    4GB was a night and day difference. Transitions between the two OSes are now smooth as silk. I run a LOT of background apps. 4GB makes a difference for me period. Your mileage may vary but do speak for yourself. :p
     
  9. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 25, 2008
    #9
    RAM is one of those things: buy more if you can afford it. Your computer won't say no.

    As far as future-proofing your machine goes, RAM is one of the easiest, cheapest and best upgrades.
     
  10. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    #10
    Go for it. You can get great deals on Newegg.
     
  11. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #11
    Do you "need" ram? Open your typically used apps and then open Activity Monitor -> System Memory and look at your page outs. Do your typical tasks, then check your pages outs again... if pageout = 0, you're not in need of additional ram. If the pageout >0 and the number keeps rising rapidly (as you continue to use the apps), then you could use more ram. A few pageouts, without the rapid rise in numbers, typically isn't a real problem.

    Unless you're using apps that use large data files (like a 2GB photo being edited in a photo app, etc.) or using a great many apps at once you're probably not in great need of 4GB or ram. However your system's "pages outs" will show whether you do really do (need ram) or not. If you don't "need" ram (pageouts, etc.) then you're not notice any great speed increase, e.g., adding ram to your machine won't auto-magically make it "snappier".
     
  12. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

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    #12
  13. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

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    #13
    One thing to keep in mind. If you plan on keeping the computer for a while you may want to future-proof it. As RAM changes and older chips are obsolete, they stop producing them and the prices for older RAM goes up. You want to buy while the production is high and demand is lower. That way you get the best deals. So look around different websites and try to get it at a good price.
     
  14. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

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    Singapore
    #14
    The consensus on here leans towards "most people don't need it" but that seems completely wrong to me [edit: or not...]. I'm a new switcher on an MBP 17 2.5 with 4 GB ram with the following on: Vienna (RSS reader), Terminal, Quicksilver, Safari, Scribblet (text editor), Nocturne, and a bunch of dashboard widgets. Also iTunes but let's leave that out for now. iStat Pro indicates my memory consumption to be 1.5 GB and I'm not even running anything intensive!

    Add iTunes in the mix and the number goes up. Start importing CDs and I find myself progressively eating up more memory with each import. I was left with 700 MB after one session of imports. These are pretty basic functions yet drew on quite a bit of RAM -- nearing 2 GB or exceeding it if repetitive tasks like imports are done. So, my advice is, get the RAM as you never know when you're going to need it, and you might need it more than you think. The choice was easy for me though -- my MBP came with a free upgrade to 4 GB.

    EDIT: Having read a bit more, my concerns about ram usage appear to be misplaced. This thread explains things quite well.
     
  15. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #15
    Get the upgrade to 4GB. I don't know if the MBP uses the same ram type as the macbook, but I got 4GB from Kingston, a good name brand, and its about 60 dollars. Good investment, since activity monitor says that it hasnt swapped out the ram yet, which means clearing the ram, and swapping out idle parts for programs that need to use the ram. i used to have 1 GB.
     
  16. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2008
    #16
    Like others have said, it all depends on your needs. I don't run Windows on my MacBook. Whenever I need to use Windows (rarely), I just use my wife's PC. Most of the time, I have 1 GB (of my 2 GB) free.

    The biggest memory hog is Safari, seriously. After a while, it will start using a lot of memory. It's currently using 250 MB on my MacBook. Firefox 3.0 uses less memory.
     
  17. effer macrumors member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    #17
    I use 4 GB RAM in my MBP, and it's not uncommon for iStat to report a +1 GB swap file in use. Safari is a total memory hog, and it usually takes up 500 MB when I have a few pages/tabs going. OS X is nice and quiet when there's no activity, but loading up an app or some websites can produce significant HDD thrashing that isn't just solved by going to 4 GB RAM. If you always shutdown (not sleep) your computer, you can probably ease the memory usage, but that is totally not my style...

    If you want a noticeable speed improvement get a 7200rpm HDD. There are 320 GB 7200rpm drives by WD and Seagate right now that are very fast. Oh, and get the RAM because it's cheap and easy to install. You can't go wrong with that!
     
  18. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502

    BanjoBanker

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    #18
    All good Junkyard Dawgs love RAM....:cool:
     
  19. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    Aug 18, 2005
    #19
    99% of people don't notice the metal finish and larger screen?
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20

    Maybe, but he's probably within range of the actual number of people who know how much RAM is in their computer, cares about computers, and then, do enough stuff with their computer to notice a practical difference between 2 and 4 GB of RAM.

    People try to understand the "average user", but few people do. Even as a university student, most non-nerdy guys and girls don't know much about their computer other than "is it good enough to run this program?" They know the amount of harddrive space they have on their laptop because it affects how many photos and mp3s they can have on their computer.

    The guys who I lived with in residence only care when they need the extra power for playing games over the network.

    Most girls here don't know a thing about computers, and I'm sorry to generalize, but particularly the ones who who are working towards an Arts degree.

    The parents have no idea, and as expected, do not care as long as they can do the things they need to do.

    And then there are people like me, who are tech-nerdy enough to read the latest articles on MR, Engadget, Ars Technica, etc.

    Personally, I feel it's probably better NOT to care about such things, as long as your system can do what you need it to do. These people are normal. They don't care if it takes their computer 3 seconds to process something rather than 2 seconds, or that their computer fan turns on. People who notice the difference going from 2 GB to 4 GB are not. In fact, the large majority of the computer market never upgrade their RAM after purchasing their system. You're not going to find many people upgrade from 2 GB to 4 GB later on. Of course, these people buy a new computer when theirs is too slow, or has caught a virus.

    I think it's probably more like 95%, but yeah, around that.
     

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