How much of a difference does more RAM really make?

dferigmu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 3, 2004
265
0
Washington, DC
I have a 15-inch 1.5 GHz Aluminum PowerBook G4 with 512 MB of SDRAM. My question is; sometimes I like to have 5+ applications open at the same time. Is it worth it to buy an additional 512 of RAM? How much will it speed things up?

Also, I need to send my Powerbook in to Apple to get something repaired. Will they install an additional 512 of RAM or do I have to buy and do that separately? I know Apple RAM isn’t cheap, but I’d like to keep it under my Applecare warranty.
 

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
3,272
0
Bookshop!
dferigmu said:
I have a 1.5 GHz 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook G4 with 512 MB of SDRAM. My question is; sometimes I like to have 5+ applications open at the same time. Is it worth it to buy an additional 512 of RAM? How much will it speed things up?
I find that 1GB runs heaps better than 512MB. I recommend it.

dferigmu said:
Also, I need to send my Powerbook in to Apple to get something repaired. Will they install an additional 512 of RAM or do I have to buy and do that separately? I know Apple RAM isn’t cheap, but I’d like to keep it under my Applecare warranty.
3rd party RAM doesn't void your warranty. Keep your original RAM so if something does go wrong, you can check to see if its bad RAM causing the problem, and if not, the Apple techs will repair it if it has the original RAM in it.
 

greenmac

macrumors regular
Aug 11, 2006
135
0
Adelaide
RAM makes a huge difference. If you are running 5 apps at one time, maybe even getting a gig stick would be worth it, especially if you are thinking of putting leopard on there too.
The difference in the RAM is the speed (MHz) get the right one for ur computer, It makes a difference.
Hope this answers 2 of ur questions
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
7
San Francisco
I really recommend upgrading to 1.5GB of RAM. Because buying an extra 512 only makes you want to buy more RAM after you see the increase in performance.

Do yourself a favor and upgrade that machine, it does make everything feel much more solid. The difference of using glue to hold something together vs. using concrete to hold something together. Just a much more firm and stable condition (does that analogy work here?).
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,097
1
Trust me, updating memory is the most important place u should spend money on a computer.
 

thedude110

macrumors 68020
Jun 13, 2005
2,479
2
Scarlet Fever said:
I find that 1GB runs heaps better than 512MB. I recommend it.
Agreed. I think you'll find a noticeable difference between 512 and 1GB.

Question might be what 5 apps you're running at once. At the moment I'm running two browsers, iTunes, RealPlayer and Office with no problem at 1 GB (light stuff).

I'd suggest you go to 1 GB first, and then to 1.5 only if you need it. The more RAM you have, the less you're going to notice the difference of an upgrade ...
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
The 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBook has had issues with faulty RAM causing damage to
the RAM slots.

I would definitely take great care selecting your RAM upgrades.

OWC macsales.com does sell Samsung, Apple Factory Original DIMMS

512MB Samsung Factory Original PC2700 DDR-SO 333MHz Cas 2.5 200 Pin Memory Module for all PowerBook G4 ... more
Brand: Samsung
OWC Item # OWC27SAMSO512
Same Day $74.99

1GB Samsung Original PC2700 DDR-SO 333MHz Cas 2.5 200 Pin Memory Upgrade Module for all PowerBook G4 ... more
Brand: Samsung
OWC Item # OWC27SAMSO1GB
12 Days $199.99

See how these prices compare to what Apple quotes you.

OWC also sells their generic DIMMS which are fully guaranteed to meet or exceed
Apple's requirements and carry a full lifetime replacement guarantee.

1GB (1024MB) PC2700 DDR SODIMM 200 Pin Memory Module 128x64 CL 2.5 for all PowerBook G4 'Aluminum' 12", 15" & 17" Models, all iBook G4s, iMac G4 1.0GHz+. Tested & Guaranteed! New, Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty. (OWC2700DDRS1GBA) $144.95
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
GimmeSlack12 said:
I really recommend upgrading to 1.5GB of RAM. Because buying an extra 512 only makes you want to buy more RAM after you see the increase in performance.

Do yourself a favor and upgrade that machine, it does make everything feel much more solid. The difference of using glue to hold something together vs. using concrete to hold something together. Just a much more firm and stable condition (does that analogy work here?).
Didn't help with the Big Dig.....

But yeah, buy at least 1 GB total, preferably 1.5 or 2. The performance gain is very noticeable.
 

Flyinace2000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2004
665
0
I have a 1.67ghz PB that i ordered with 512mb ram. I then bought 3rd part ram. My new total was 1.5gb. Computer has been keeping me happy ever since.
 

stuuke

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2004
216
4
Ram makes a much bigger difference than the 3% increase you will see getting a 3ghz processor over a 2.66ghz. Get as much ram as you can afford.
 

Phat Elvis

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2005
278
0
Phila, PA
I have 2 256 sticks in a 15 inch 1.25 PB - I know, weak. I'm going to buy a 1 gig stick from crucial. Is there any added value to putting in a 1 gig stick with a 256 in the other slot or is it better to run the 1 gig alone?
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Phat Elvis said:
I have 2 256 sticks in a 15 inch 1.25 PB - I know, weak. I'm going to buy a 1 gig stick from crucial. Is there any added value to putting in a 1 gig stick with a 256 in the other slot or is it better to run the 1 gig alone?
Putting in a 1 GB stick with a 256 MB stick won't decrease performance.
 

panamajack

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2006
74
0
Is going to 768 mg to 1.25 GB worth it ?

Hi there,

Might seem stupid to ask if adding 512 megs to my 12" Powerbook G4 will make things faster, but will it seriously be worth throwing away the existing 512 mg card? Damn you Apple and your soldered on expansion slot !


As stands the 12" 1.33 PB G4 is running Leopard fine ... actually noticeably faster than in Tiger. I do run into the BBOB when running tons of apps ... so I'm thinking it's time to max out the RAM.
 

panamajack

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2006
74
0
Is going from 768 mg to 1.25 GB worth it ?

Hi there,

Might seem stupid to ask if adding 512 megs to my 12" Powerbook G4 will make things faster, but will it seriously be worth throwing away the existing 512 mg card? Damn you Apple and your soldered on expansion slot !


As stands the 12" 1.33 PB G4 is running Leopard fine ... actually noticeably faster than in Tiger. I do run into the BBOB when running tons of apps ... so I'm thinking it's time to max out the RAM.
 

luffx

macrumors regular
Jan 8, 2007
143
0
WI
RAM is crucial. You can install quite a bit of RAM before you see diminishing returns.

Try this sometime...

Reboot your computer. Launch 'Activity Monitor'. Take a look @ your System Memory. It gives you a pie-chart, which is easy to understand. Start launching applications, and watch as your wired/active RAM increases & your 'free' decreases. With each app you open, it declares a certain amount of memory, and will take more as needed. When you get low on free & inactive memory your comp will heavily rely on paging and virtual memory, and you will see a significant hit in performance.

How much RAM do YOU need? That all depends on your programs and tasking ability. If you only use your computer for basic office use, then 512MB may be fine. If you like to do all of this @ once and use spreadsheets, then 768MB may be fine. If you do graphical editing, desktop publishing, music editing, etc...then perhaps 2GB is better. If you feel like your performance is fine with what you have, then don't worry about it. 'If it aint broke, don't fix it'. Just keep in mind that you can only benefit by having more RAM.
 

the Helix

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2003
184
0
yup!

Never worry about putting too much RAM in your computer! There's no such thing. Get as much as you can. If I were you, I'd max it on that PB.
That's good advice.

I maxed out my PB G4 15" to 2GB! and believe it or not, I run Aperture and Nikon Capture NX quite decently.

Sometimes I kick myself for having maxed the RAM because it has delayed me from upgrading to a MBP. At this point, the PB still has a lot of life in it.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,360
229
NYC
Since your Powerbook is still under Applecare warranty, I'd send it in and get the repairs done on it first.

After you get it back, go full monty on the RAM and buy two 1GB SODIMMs, if you can afford it. DDR prices are currently as low as they're going to get for a little while. Memory is a very affordable investment that will provide you with substantial performance returns when running multiple apps at once.

For Intel-based Macs running DDR2 memory, I'm pretty much defaulting to 4GB RAM configurations because 2GB DDR SODIMMs are absurdly cheap right now and it makes a big difference if the users are running any Rosetta apps.