is 512MB enough for basic apps?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by WillMak, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    Is the stock 512 ram that will come with my ibook enough to do most of the basic tasks? Or should I just order a 1GB stick or ram now while I'm still waiting fo rit to be shipped to me.
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Define basic tasks. I bet you would get many answers from different users.

    512MB is a nice amount of RAM if you plan on running a couple/few apps at a time (email, web, chat). Would probably experience more spinning beach balls than you want. 1GB will make any system snappy.
  3. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Lots of folks will tell you you should get more RAM if you can afford it (heck, I'm one of them), but honestly, if you're going to be sticking mostly to Safari, iTunes, and Office, more memory might be overkill. If you're not sure you need it, try with the stock 512 for a few weeks. If you get lots of beachballs, or you think your Mac is sluggish, you might spring for another stick.
  4. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Bought a new stock 14" iBook and 512 MB RAM is definitely enough for basic tasks. But yeah, it was a bit of a change from the 2 ghz, 2 GB RAM dual Powermac G5 I use at work :p I'm going to get another gig stick in about a month or so.
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I get very well by with 640 MB on an iBook G4@800MHz, so if you don't run too many apps simultaneously and with a couple of other precautions you should do very well.
  6. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    sweet thanks guys. I really can't imagine what I could possible use my ibook for other than some itunes, word proccessing and internet (I feel like I'm wasting the whole ilife package).
  7. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    wow after reading your post, I think I pretty much need to order that stick of ram to make my ibook 1.5GB. I remember the old days when 512 ram was considered a HUGE amount.
  8. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    So it sounds as though you are going to go with more RAM. I think that you will be very happy. ;)
  9. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....Bill over at Mac's Only has done some testing on the whole RAM issue since the whole "only 256mb" with the Mini complaining started (now since changed to 512mb of course....his tests seem to indicate that for *most* users even 256 is okay....I am not totally sold on it and as you can see in my sig I have a little more RAM that that...heheheh...but then I do a lot of higher-end audio.....but anyway....I suggest having a rad through some of his benchmarks and comments.....oh yeah!
  10. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    wow duffman, that sites awesome. I'll have to cancel my crucial order of ram now.
  11. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....well, before you jump to that conclusion I would make certain that you really do fall into that "basic stuff" category - and when we say that we not only mean *which* pgms you want to run but how you want to run them....if you tend to open a pgm, do your work, close it then open the next'll be just fine with 512MB....but, if you like open up lots of stuff and keep them all active and switch between them then more RAM will be better, so if it does not hurt the pocketbook too much you still may want to buy. Of course you've nothing to lose by waiting either....see how it runs for you...if you find it is too sluggish for what you are doing then think about spending the extra $$....oh yeah!
  12. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    For "basic" apps yes. I can run Photoshop on my G4 with 512 and do pretty good, although another stick of 512 would help.
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    And you can't be too rich or too thin... sure more is better, but a half a gig is fine for most things. Just remember to log out or reboot once in a while, or when the Mac starts to get bogged down. No matter how much RAM you've got, you will build up virtual memory swap files, and they really hurt performance.
  14. Bowser macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2005
    ive been playing with my ibook for a few hours, and while it runs decent with 512, i can just tell another 512 would be just right.
  15. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    I was surprised to find that on my wife's iBook 256mb was just fine... as long as you only have one app open at a time. Once you have Safari, Mail, iTunes, and iChat all running, be prepared for frequent and random beachballs. Adding another 256mb seems to have eliminated the beachball problem.
  16. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    An apple's like a porsche. (It really is - I used to have a boxster and i get the same happy feeling when i use my Powerbook as i did when i drove my baby.) When you have a porsche, you spend the extra $$$ for the premium gas and the Pirellis. The reasoning is that you spent $50k on your car, what's a few more bucks for some stuff that will let it live up to it's potential. So yeah, you can live with 512meg, but you really shouldn't. Buy the gig and let your Mac live up to it's potential. Only reason not to is because you're selling or upgrading soon. You're lucky RAM's cheap. I remember when I had to cough up $250 to put 8 more megs in my Next Turbo. Ouch!
  17. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Not only do I do the normal stuff, (WP, surfing, chatting, etc.) I also do medium video editing in FinalCut and heavy graphics work in LiveType on a 512 MB base and it runs fine. It's just that I tried to do all of that on my G3 on 128 MB, not that doesn't work.
  18. ansalmo macrumors regular

    May 23, 2005
    Why not just look and see how much you're using (RAM and swap) with your representative applications open? Rather than going on the 'feel', go on the hard facts. I've seen so many people spring for a gig of memory because they've been told it would make their machine faster, when they only ever use a few hundred meg. For most users, 512MB is the sweet spot.
  19. WillMak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2005
    Doh!! Well I bit the bullet and ended up ordering a gig of ram "just cause." So how many applications does this mean I can open up now? Can I open up word, ichat, Itunes, Garage band, iphoto, idvd, and imovie all at the same time with minimal decrease now!?!?!? :eek:
  20. Hattig macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2003
    London, UK
    One thing I've noticed is a resource hog is Dashboard. Considering that I don't really use it, I think I'll disable it on my soon-to-arrive-hopefully iBook.

    One reason the VM size might be large (referencing the other poster) is that the applications are all asking for large blocks of memory, but aren't using them. On most systems this means the OS won't actually tie up any memory until the application starts using it, but it will report how much is allocated. I was astounded yesterday at work when apparently 11GB of VM was being used! Yet the machine was reporting that it had over 1GB of memory still unused.
  21. MacSA macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2003

    There is a mistake in that article... all Macs DO NOT ship with 512MB RAM The eMac, oddly, still has 256MB.
  22. nomad01 macrumors 68000


    Aug 1, 2005
    Birmingham, England
    I've been using a G4 Powerbook (1.33) with 256Mb for over a year.

    I even used iMovie to put together a 2 hour holiday video and to transfer things off VHS to DVD and it all happened pretty smoothly.

    I couldn't really have anything else loaded while I was doing this but it still worked and worked well... wonderfully well compared to my PC movie editing!

    That said, I've just grabbed a deal for another 512Mb so I should see things getting even easier shortly. :)

  23. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2005
    I want my new iBook to run as long as possible and and as smooth as possible for the next 4-5 years which I intend on keeping it. That is why I am getting 1GB of RAM and a 60GB harddrive. I have used 1GHz eMacs with 512MB of RAM on 10.3.9 at school and got beach balls every now and then and that was just with multiple tab Safari and Word opened. I want my iBook to be good to me.
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Dude, you are okay with 512MB of RAM.

    I ran my slower PB using 512MB of RAM for over a year, and it worked perfectly with iTunes, Safari, Messenger, Word, and 2 or 3 PDFs open at once. Never had too many issues. It's when I started working with over 5 large PDFs at once when I started having issues.
  25. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Well it sounds like you've already ordered it so my advice is probably too late!

    I was going to say, why don't you wait until your iBook arrives and get used to using it with 512 before deciding if you really need to spend the extra money? I'm sure 512 would be sufficient for basic tasks. You can upgrade at any time later should the need arise.

Share This Page