How much RAM for MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macpeach55, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. macpeach55 macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, & the Rest of the known World
    #1
    Hi there,
    I have a late 2008 2.4 GHz 15" MBP. It is just under two years old so I need to keep it a while longer. However, I would of course love to get a little more performance out of it :)

    At the moment I have 4 GB of RAM onboard - I understand that for sure my MBP can take 6 GB, and OWC suggested that even 8 GB is possible:-

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/07...-support-for-8-gb-ram-on-late-2008-notebooks/

    In normal use Excel, Word, Acrobat, Mail, Safari are all open, and it is hooked up to a 22" exterior monitor so multiple windows are open on both screens.
    For leisure, Supreme Commander 2 or C&C 3.

    With this type of use, will I see any appreciable improvement in performance by going over 4 GB?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
     
  2. Tapiwa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #2
    I would suggest closely monitoring your ram usage.
    If you find yourself running out of memory frequently you'll most likely see a nice improvement.
    If not, you're basically wasting your money that would be better spent on a faster hard drive.
     
  3. macpeach55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, & the Rest of the known World
    #3

    Running my usual "spread" of programs/windows, and right now Istat Pro only shows 64 MB free, though 971 MB are inactive. I presume the inactive section is the part that will be releases if needed for another program, but does having more RAM absolutely free help the speed at all?
     
  4. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #4
    you use up nearly 4 gb of RAM with basic programs?

    or do you leave games running in the background?

    I've had far more windows open for more programs and an external monitor and had more memory open.
     
  5. macpeach55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
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    #5
    Looking at the Activity monitor, Safari has 710 MB and the Flash Player plug-in another 550 MB, so that's a chunk right there! :eek:
     
  6. macpeach55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
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    #6
    Accepting Safari, will I find an improvement adding more ram?
     
  7. Tapiwa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #7
    Yes inactive ram can be freed if necessary.
    Even though you do use quite a bit of memory, it doesn't really sound like it's a limiting factor...
    Probably not the answer you wanted to hear though :p

    If you find yourself doing more intensive multitasking sometimes or occasionally use memory hungry apps like photo editing, then it might be worth it...
    Your apps are not gonna run faster by adding ram if ram wasn't the limiting factor in the first place though..

    It's a pretty affordable upgrade so I guess it's worth considering before buying a whole new computer as long as you have realistic expectations about the result.
     
  8. Zeus86 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #8
    I'm thinking about getting 8GB ram for my i5 13' I just bought. I have Safari and iTunes running right now and have 2GB out of 4GB available. Not sure if I really need it right now. If I find for cheap I might just buy it.
     
  9. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #9
    A lot of people do upgrade their RAM and I do it as one of my first upgrades for any laptop that I purchase. However, if you have already been using your system for 2 years and haven't really noticed anything running slow or crashing due to lack of memory, chances are you are fine where you are.

    Will you notice improvements with an upgrade? Sure, otherwise no one would do it. Do you need it? Unless your computing habits are going to change drastically, you are probably fine.
     
  10. macpeach55 thread starter macrumors 6502

    macpeach55

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, & the Rest of the known World
    #10
    Thank you everyone for your input. I appreciate it very much.
     
  11. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #11
    Also make sure you're running the latest flash and safari.
    I've found a large difference in flash usage for the new one with the control panel in system prefrences.
     

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