Is iBook's 640 MB RAM enough?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Starbrow, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Starbrow macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2004

    I'm looking at getting a 14" iBook G4 but I'm interested in hearing from users whether the 640 RAM max is enough to handle all the applications that come with the iBook - GarageBand, iMovie, etc. I'm not extremely fussy, I just don't want to be sitting waiting for hours, or even minutes, while changes are processed or saved. An extra wait of a few seconds (compared with the PB) won't bug me, a minute or more on simple operations definitely will.

    Also, which would you rather have if you had to choose one or the other, a 14" iBook or 12" Powerbook? I love the thought of a bigger screen, but is the grainier resolution of the iBook really significant?

    Keep in mind I won't be doing anything fancy with my laptop, simply normal applications for the most part, the programs that come installed etc., plus possibly some simple games and MIDI software. Will the 640 RAM be enough? I don't want to buy extra memory that I'll never actually need or use, as might be the case with the Powerbook, and I'd really like to get as big a screen as I can and still be able to carry it around campus.

    (I only have a limited amount of money to spend, so I want to make the most of it!)

  2. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    If you really want to make the most of your limited funds, don't buy apple:p.

    However the Apple laptops are of an extremely high quality. With education Discount I'd go the 14" iBook, even though the Processor is on a 180nm die, and has half the L2 Cache, and only a 133MHz FSB. Get 128BM of RAM and buy a 512MB stick from somewhere else.

    The R9200 and GeForceFX 5200 are about equal, so there's a nonevent there.
  3. ij3ffy macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2004
    Keep in mind that there are 1 GB RAM chips avail. for those units. Go to they are expensive, but you can get a 512MB now, and try it out, and later when the price falls, or if 640 just doesn't cut it, buy the gig chip. I have a PB 12" with 768MB, and garage band runs fine on it. I haven't run final cut express or anything like that.
  4. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    My PowerBook 12" runs EXTREMELY WELL on 768MB RAM. Your iBook will do fine with 640MB. I can have 10-12 apps open (including Photoshop Elements) and not have any problems. That will be more than enough for GarageBand and stuff. Final Cut Express is brilliant too (although that ran well on 256MB RAM, I kid you not).

    Don't buy the 1GB module now - they are still very expensive and you will probably not notice any difference having that extra RAM. It's always an option when they are cheap in a year or two to go with the 1GB then.

    BTW, I have the 12" PowerBook and I love it. I love its small size and the screen is still bigger than you think. Bear in mind also that the iBook has no audio line in, although you can buy a USB audio interface (but at extra cost).
  5. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    I have a G3 iBook with 640 MB RAM and loads of apps at the same time, including Photoshop and I rarely get the annoying spinning ball thingy. Switching from app to app is ok as you can hardly tell it's accessing the HD. I guess with a newer G4 iBook w/ better RAM, it should be even smoother.

    If you're concerned about getting the most out of your dough, I'd personally go for the 12'. You get just as much screen real-estate (although in a smaller surface). Granted it'll be 200MHz slower, but you could use the extra cash to get one of those expensive 1GB chips. It may even be faster in that configuration. Plus the 12' is so much more portable...
  6. ac2102 macrumors member


    May 12, 2003
    Bristol - England
    My iBook soars on 640MB RAM. Multiple programs open, photoshopping, video editing etc. all are coped with fine.

  7. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    640 MB are more than enough. With 512 MB you'd be fine already. But since it's impossible due to the iBooks RAM configs, 640 is the choice to go.

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