iPad RAM even an issue?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Darkfox3889, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Darkfox3889 macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    Hello everyone!

    I have wanted an iPad since it's launch, but already owning a 3GS at the time, and now an iPhone 4, I could never justify the $500 price tag for second iOS device.

    With the upcoming release of the iPad 2, either the new version will have additional features that will more warrant owning it along side an iPhone, OR I will pick up an original iPad on the cheap! =)

    Anyway, here's what I'd like to ask of you current iPad owners.

    Aside from gaming, does the smaller amount of RAM in the iPad affect real world usage at all? Also, is going from looking at the iPhone 4's retina display to the iPad a noticeable downgrade?
     
  2. Saberon macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #2
    If anything, web browsing is a bit sad with the current RAM setup. Other than that, it's not terribly frustrating. Playing an intense game will and then going to Twitter/Mail will cause it to reload from scratch (which only takes about 0.7 seconds longer than normal)

    The iPad display is a "downgrade" from the retina in my opinion, but its certainly not bad by any means. Heck, 960x640 isn't even that much lower than the MBP 13 2011! (1280x800)
     
  3. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #3
    The 1990s level of RAM in the iPad is a huge limiting factor (seriously, how could they have thought this was a good idea?). Forget about having more than ~6 tabs open in any browser, and if you forget to close apps after you exit them they will continue to use up RAM and everything will slow down.

    It's still a great device though, as long as you don't try to do too much at a time.
     
  4. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2009
    #4
    Yea, the meager RAM is a huge problem. Apps constantly crash when they run out of memory(especially prevalent with RSS readers in my experience) and forget about trying to open more than 2 tabs without reloading.
     
  5. GDF macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2010
    #5
    My biggest disappointment with the iPad is the web page loading. On larger web pages where you need to scroll down, it does not come up instantaneously like my Macbook Air does. I sure hope they make it more instant on the new iPad.

    I really like the iPad, but that one issue has me contemplating selling it, since to me it is a big drawback if you use it for web surfing a lot.
     
  6. 62tele macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #6
    I've had an iPad since the first day. I use it so much that I gave my Macbook Pro to my daughter. I have rarely experienced any browser crashes or App crashes.

    Speed is fine. Will 512 or a gig be better? Sure, but the iPad functions perfectly fine with its current configuration!
     
  7. poloponies macrumors 68030

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    May 3, 2010
    #7
    For some, RAM is clearly an issue, for most - it's not even on their radar. The iPad has become a fixture in my wife's life. Ask her if she needs more RAM and she'll give you a deer-in-the-headlights look. I know about 15-20 people who use iPads regularly and my unscientific conclusion is that 2 or 3 would know or care about RAM (and I count myself in this minority - I know about RAM but it's not a deal-breaker for me).
     
  8. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #8
    Serious question for those who don't think the iPad is slow for page loading, web browsing etc, have you ever used a fast computer so you could compare the differences? I think the iPad is a great device but I think it is slow in many instances and could be made faster with more RAM and an upgraded processor. A device can never be fast enough. :D
     
  9. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

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    #9
    Fixed that for you. Two tabs is an exaggeration.

    Yes, I have used a fast computer. But battery life on an iMac is... Two different devices. I don't expect the iPad to perform like a desktop. BUT, I would like to see my back button load a page from cache. I am hoping for a gig with version two, that might persuade me to upgrade.
     
  10. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3

    AppleScruff1

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    Feb 10, 2011
    #10
    I agree that you wouldn't expect an iPad to perform like a desktop, but you have to admit it can also be as slow as molasses regardless of how many that claim otherwise.
     
  11. Durious, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Durious macrumors 6502

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    #11
    page refreshes are terrible, switching to different tabs and it refreshes can be frustrating. I can do in app stuff alright but for the tablet touted as the "Best web browsing experience" by steve during the demonstration it needs a bit of beef for the patty.

    More ram in iPad 2 should fix it... unless of course iOS 5 release sucks it dry haha! whenever that'll be.
     
  12. glowrider macrumors regular

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #12
    I'm sure (hope?) the iPad2 will make it abundantly clear that the ram on the iPad is a limiting factor. The Xoom sure makes this clear - I expect Apple will at least equal this.
     
  13. JulianL macrumors 65816

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    London, UK
    #13
    Sure, more RAM will lessen the issue, but I think the real culprit is Safari. I use iCab and it refreshes tabs far less than Safari does.

    As well as more RAM, increasing bandwidth to flash would be a huge help because it would allow more stuff to be done with swapping and/or paging. Given the choice of 512MB of RAM and double the bandwidth to flash, or 1GB of RAM and the same flash performance, I'd take the better flash subsystem since it would also speed up application cold-start times.

    - Julian
     
  14. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

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    #14
    Neither iOS or Android use swap files. I think swap file would be a benefit on iOS.
     
  15. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Flash memory has a limited amount of writes and swap file constantly writes data which reduces the lifetime of flash storage.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
     
  16. JulianL macrumors 65816

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    #16
    True, but they've solved that problem well enough on SSD drives for PCs for them to be pretty common as system drives now. Smart controllers do wear-levelling but maybe the basic flash cells are rated for more write cycles as well and so probably more expensive. Given that a large portion of most iDevice's flash will be mainly static stuff like apps and media that's a quite good environment to do wear-levelling on.

    Maybe the technology used in desktop SSDs is too expensive for mobile applications right now (and maybe it isn't, I don't know) but, if it is possible on desktop systems, then I suspect that it's only a matter of time before it is viable on iDevices if it isn't already.

    - Julian
     
  17. SamFisher macrumors member

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    United Kingdom
    #17
    Ive never really seen that much of an issue, although 512 mb would be nice as it's more futureproof. :D
     
  18. puercaeli macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2008
    #18
    So is it just Safari?

    So is only Safari a problem with 256MB RAM? or is it also frequent App crashing? Not that I would not mind having more RAM but from my multiple short acquaintances with iPad I never experienced sluggishness per se... so much so I actually felt iPhone 4 a bit slower.

    As for why iPhone 4 came with more RAM, I have one theory about it. I think it's because of the background process that runs in iPhone to find better cell signal(I noticed iPhone becomes sluggish when it is trying to search for cell signal)

    Anyways, I am in the market for new iPad and would like to know if this is RAM thing is a real problem so please enlighten me!
     
  19. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #19
    1990s level of RAM? I hardly think so. My first laptop in 2002-03 came standard with 128MB and I upgraded to 256MB. To get 512MB in that laptop would have ran at least another $100+. It wasn't till 2003 when DDR2 memory debuted that module sizes went up, especially in laptops.

    Although I do agree with you that it severely limits the iPad, that is why I am waiting for the second one. 256MB was just not enough for me, I could tell the difference between my iPhone 4 and the iPad.
     
  20. spammerhamster macrumors 6502

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    Feb 5, 2010
    #20
    The iPad would certainly benefit from more ram, it'd work fine as it is ow, but it'd be even better with more ram.
    Apps will be able to stay in memory for multitasking, so you don't have to reload/resume an app. Especially large games.

    And.. More images can load on a webpage.
     
  21. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

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    Sep 12, 2009
    #21
    This. Only with web browsing it sometimes can be annoying, and since that is what I do most on my iPad I recommend you to get the new iPad. Knowing that iOS 5 might use even more RAM.

    I also had a 3GS and now an iPhone 4 (and than an iPad - yet I'm an active Windows user). You will definitely see a difference between the screen of the iPad and iPhone 4, but luckily you keep the tablet further away than the iPhone so the difference is than not really huge. It's not a real issue.

    There is however one big difference. In my opinion the screen on the iPhone 4 is very close to the glass (like when you touch an app icon, it really looks like you are touching the app icon), but on the iPad there's some more space in between so you are kinda floating above it. It's not annoying, but the colours will look better on an iPhone 4 than on an iPad when viewing from a wide angle. It's not a huge difference, but there's a difference. They say the iPad 2's screen is closer to the glass so that would be nice.

    I think you won't regret it if you wait for the iPad 2, but I also think you will be happy if you buy the 1st gen.
     
  22. Darkfox3889 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #22
    Thanks for all the great replies everyone! =D

    The tabbed browsing limitations do seem like a bummer.
    Good point about the slightly more recessed screen too, one of my favorite things about the iPhone 4.

    Should be interesting to see if the iPad 2 simply catches up to the iPhone 4 with 512mb, or takes the lead with 1gb (Would make more sense to me).

    I'm also interested to see how much more fragmented the App Store will become in terms of backwards compatibility if the iPad 2 has a decent spec bump over the original!
     
  23. cmvsm macrumors 6502a

    cmvsm

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    Nov 12, 2004
    #23
    This is the only thing that confuses me with Apple. The iPad is their most expensive, portable, flagship device, and yet, it has taken a back seat to the iPhone in terms of hardware.
     
  24. chrishemley823 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2011
    #24
    Uh.. you are ****ing aware that the iPhone screen is 3 times smaller than the MBP's screen?
     
  25. MrWillie macrumors 65816

    MrWillie

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    #25
    Are you aware that modern SSDs have a MTBF rating of 1.5 million hours ?
     

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