Is it time for More RAM?

aussie_geek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 19, 2004
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Sydney Australia
My PowerBook is getting a little sluggish. After opening Activity Monitor, I was surprised to see about 100000 page ins and 30000 page outs to / from memory. Am I right in saying that a page out is where my Mac does not have enough memory and is swapping it to disk?


Based on these numbers do you think it's about time to get some more memory. There is 1GB in it already. I think it's time to rip out a 512MB and throw a 1GB stick in there.

Has anyone else upgraded their PowerBook from 1GB to 1.5GB? Is there any increase in speed that I should notice?


aussie_geek
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
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For most users, 1GB to 1.5 is usually not really worth it. What programs to you use? Do you leave everything open all the time? How much free memory does the activity monitor say you have?
 

aussie_geek

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2004
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Sydney Australia
grapes911 said:
For most users, 1GB to 1.5 is usually not really worth it. What programs to you use? Do you leave everything open all the time? How much free memory does the activity monitor say you have?
It moves from about 150 - 200 MB. It can go as low as 15MB sometimes.

I am the type of person that tends not to quit apps. It is common for me to have about 7 - 12 open at the same time. Although I am not using them constantly, they are there in the background as I use them on and off during the day.

I have a fair few widgets on my Dashboard as well. Some of them are real Memory munchers.


aussie_geek
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
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After arranging/editing some of my (8Mpix) photos with iPhoto/Photoshop open, I notice that my page-out number is far over 500000! :eek:

I need more RAM? (I have 640 MB)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
eXan said:
After arranging/editing some of my (8Mpix) photos with iPhoto/Photoshop open, I notice that my page-out number is far over 500000! :eek:

I need more RAM? (I have 640 MB)
Ah, that would be affirmative, Houston.

You have 2 sockets in the eMac 700, currently 128 + 512 You can go to 512 + 512. It's a PC133 DIMM. Choose a reputable vendor who guarantees compatibility with your Mac and offers a lifetime warranty and a no-cost return if it doesn't work.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
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CanadaRAM said:
Ah, that would be affirmative, Houston.

You have 2 sockets in the eMac 700, currently 128 + 512 You can go to 512 + 512. It's a PC133 DIMM. Choose a reputable vendor who guarantees compatibility with your Mac and offers a lifetime warranty and a no-cost return if it doesn't work.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
Thanks for the help, but I talked today with my father about replacing 128 stick with 512 and he said that 640 MB is enough for me :(
 

eXan

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Jan 10, 2005
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OryHara said:
if your video editing there is no such thing as too much memory
What makes you think so? I belive video is stored/rendered on the hard disk, instead of RAM because video is so large, it cannot be fitted in RAM

EDIT: Thats why HD speed means so much when rendering video
 

skwoytek

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2005
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eXan said:
What makes you think so? I belive video is stored/rendered on the hard disk, instead of RAM because video is so large, it cannot be fitted in RAM

EDIT: Thats why HD speed means so much when rendering video

There's a lot more than just the storage and rendering. While the entire file is obviously not pulled into memory, the system will use what is available. Motion 2 is the most intensive of the Final Cut Studio and it recommends 2GB minimum.

Photoshop while not a video program has been noted to use up to 7GB on Tiger (BareFeats).

I'm going to agree with OryHara.
 

eXan

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Jan 10, 2005
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skwoytek said:
There's a lot more than just the storage and rendering. While the entire file is obviously not pulled into memory, the system will use what is available. Motion 2 is the most intensive of the Final Cut Studio and it recommends 2GB minimum.

Photoshop while not a video program has been noted to use up to 7GB on Tiger (BareFeats).

I'm going to agree with OryHara.
I ment only one app that I use in video editing. Its FCP and it it's system requirenments Apple states that minimal amount of RAM is 512 MB and only HD features require 1 GB. FCP 5 uses a lot of real-time things, so more RAM is required than in FCP 4, which im using. FCP 4 required 384 or 512 MB RAM

EDIT: Ah Motion... I wish I could use it, but my eMac would blow up if I tried :eek: Yes it need a lot of RAM!!!
 

g0gie

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2005
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I went from 512mb to 2 gb's on my powerbook, lemme tell you, OSX is a ram FIEND!!! Basically, if you have the ram, OSX will use it. going from 512 to 2 gigs, i definantly found the powerbook to be a LOT faster... booting didnt take more than a few seconds, as well as the launch of many programs( and in all cases it was the hard drive that was the bottleneck as it is with many computers). The longer you have your powerbook on however, the more ram programs and OSX will eventually use, and youll surley but slowley reach the point where u have to do some page swapping, so yeah, up to you i guess, I dont think there would be much of a diff if you have 1 gig already, but I have 2 gigs and im loving it. Maybe its just be, but I think OSX isnt as good with ram management as Windows is (GASP!!!!)
 

joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
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g0gie said:
I went from 512mb to 2 gb's on my powerbook, lemme tell you, OSX is a ram FIEND!!! Basically, if you have the ram, OSX will use it. going from 512 to 2 gigs, i definantly found the powerbook to be a LOT faster... booting didnt take more than a few seconds, as well as the launch of many programs( and in all cases it was the hard drive that was the bottleneck as it is with many computers). The longer you have your powerbook on however, the more ram programs and OSX will eventually use, and youll surley but slowley reach the point where u have to do some page swapping, so yeah, up to you i guess, I dont think there would be much of a diff if you have 1 gig already, but I have 2 gigs and im loving it. Maybe its just be, but I think OSX isnt as good with ram management as Windows is (GASP!!!!)
I thought OS X was better. I thought that if a program is open in the background, eventualy all the data for it in the ram is over written.
 

JupiterTwo

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2003
276
3
GB
My 1gb memory module arrived today, and boy can you tell a difference. With the base 512mb in my iMac it was using most of it, so with the extra 1gb it flies ! :)

Like most I would have thought 512mb enough for basic use, but I can't recommend the upgrade enough :p
 

lopresmb

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
289
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yeah, more RAM is always better. Espicially if you feel you need it and can afford it. It certainly won't make you run any slower...

--by the way, I like RAM from www.crucial.com, its usually really good stuff
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,154
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The Cool Part of CA, USA
512 will definitely do the job for basic use (actually, I think you can get by with 384), but if you work with photos or video, more is ALWAYS better, particularly under Tiger which seems to be even more agressive with RAM use. People sometimes complain about how they never have any free RAM in OSX, but that really just means it's getting as much use as it can out of what you've got.

I've got 2.5GB (from Crucial--good company) in a G5 tower, and it's done well for me. I did recently run into the limit of how far that'll get you, though--trying to open and work with 250 megapixel satelite images is not a fast process, even with that kind of RAM, and I probably could've used even more.