is 512MB enough for basic apps?

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
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.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,511
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.
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
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.
 

MUCKYFINGERS

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
769
15
CA
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.
 

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
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).
 

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
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.
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.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
WillMak said:
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.
So it sounds as though you are going to go with more RAM. I think that you will be very happy. ;)
 

Duff-Man

macrumors 68030
Dec 26, 2002
2,976
2
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!
 

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
Duff-Man said:
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!
wow duffman, that sites awesome. I'll have to cancel my crucial order of ram now.
 

Duff-Man

macrumors 68030
Dec 26, 2002
2,976
2
Albuquerque, NM
WillMak said:
wow duffman, that sites awesome. I'll have to cancel my crucial order of ram now.
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 one...you'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!
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
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.
 

Bowser

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2005
45
0
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.
 

Flowbee

macrumors 68030
Dec 27, 2002
2,944
0
Alameda, CA
Duff-Man said:
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.... <snip> .....oh yeah!
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.
 

tristan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2003
765
0
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!
 

iMacZealot

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2005
2,238
3
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.
 

ansalmo

macrumors regular
May 23, 2005
140
1
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.
 

WillMak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 29, 2005
957
0
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:
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,432
50
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.
 

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2003
1,803
5
UK
Duff-Man said:
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!

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

nomad01

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2005
1,656
10
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. :)

Steve
 

bodeh6

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
772
0
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.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
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.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
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.
 
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