Macbook - 1GB not enough?

mark88

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2004
509
0
Got a 2Ghz Macbook a couple weeks ago with 1GB ramm, have to say I'm not that impressed with performance. I get the spinning circle ALOT, just with a few apps open and often find my free memory is down really really low. Safari seems to use alot. Memory management doesn't seem that smart tho.

Is anyone else managing OK with 1GB? Is there anything I can do to improve performance?
 

Cybix

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2006
993
1
Western Australia
I have 2 gig in my MBP, and find the system rarely ever uses it... it's overkill for what I do really... but, I guess it's better to have more that you wont use, than not enough when you need it.. err yeah.

here's a hint, dont use your dashboard unless you really need to. I find i almost never use mine these days.. it CHEWS memory.. widgets eat it up
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
mark88 said:
Got a 2Ghz Macbook a couple weeks ago with 1GB ramm, have to say I'm not that impressed with performance. I get the spinning circle ALOT, just with a few apps open and often find my free memory is down really really low. Safari seems to use alot. Memory management doesn't seem that smart tho.

Is anyone else managing OK with 1GB? Is there anything I can do to improve performance?
On Activity Monitor under the System Memory tab, what are your Page ins/outs after being up for a few hours?

If you consistently have a lot of page outs, then memory would be one thing to look at.
 

zwida

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2001
587
0
NYC
aristobrat said:
If you consistently have a lot of page outs, then memory would be one thing to look at.
Out of curiosity, what does "page outs" signify?
 

Xander562

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2006
1,628
0
i have 1GB in my macbook pro, i honestly was expecting to have to upgrade to 2GB but i find it perfect the way it is... i RARELY get the spinning beach ball of death, but if your really THAT impatient i guess you could upgrade.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
zwida said:
Out of curiosity, what does "page outs" signify?
It means that a page of real memory was cached into the virtual memory disk file to make room for other data. It's one of the best indicators of whether or not you have enough RAM for what you're doing. It's much more useful than looking at the free RAM number, which is fairly useless in an OS like OS X.

This is important since, if you say, "is 1GB enough for me?" that's a very difficult question to ask. Some usage profiles will lead to no beachballing with 1GB and then there are people who do things with their macs for which 6GB isn't enough.

Forum search or MRoogle for page-outs... it's very informative, and you'll get a better understanding of how OS X uses RAM. :)
 

mark88

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2004
509
0
aristobrat said:
On Activity Monitor under the System Memory tab, what are your Page ins/outs after being up for a few hours?

If you consistently have a lot of page outs, then memory would be one thing to look at.
Right now it says 122302/128788...

means nothing to me? Just using 2 browsers, Opera and Safari and having Mail, adium open often causing the spinning ball of death. Clicking to close a tab in Safari will do it.
 

Steve Jobless

macrumors 6502
May 31, 2006
304
0
fwiw i find that the stock 512 is good enough for my basic needs, the only time i get the beach ball is when i use mozilla/my gmail ftp server but its slow with a 1gb windows machine....
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
mark88 said:
means nothing to me? Just using 2 browsers, Opera and Safari and having Mail, adium open often causing the spinning ball of death. Clicking to close a tab in Safari will do it.
That second number is the one you care about; it is rather high. The value of the page-ins is largely unimportant. But a few questions.

(1) how long has the computer been up?
(2) how many tabs / windows total between Safari and Opera? I think we underestimate how much resource consumption each tab has.... is there a lot of Flash content? Are you using a Universal Binary version of Flash? Also is your Opera 9.0 or greater?
(3) how much mail in GB do you have in Mail?
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
1,401
0
CO
I've got 1.5 GB; to be honest, when I have iWeb and iPhoto up simultaneously, I wish I would've gone for the full 2 GB - I have a LOT of pictures and my iWeb site is pretty large, so it would've been nice for those programs.

Otherwise, I never use more than 512 MB of Ram.
 

reubs

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2006
1,675
8
I got my 1.83 w/ the stock RAM b/c I knew it would be relatively inexpensive to upgrade. I upgraded to 2 gigs for about $150, and I'm really happy with it. If you have a few extra bucks and you plan on running your system for a few years, go ahead and max it out. Programs will become bigger memory hogs (I guess), and it never hurts to have too much instead of too little.

Just my thoughts.
 

Jeonat

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2006
159
0
United Kingdom
1.25Gb here and the machine is pretty fast at most tasks, the only time it slows down a bit is when I'm running Rosetta-fied applications like Word.
 

MisterEd

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2006
302
2
Yes, open Activity Monitor and scroll down all the processes. If there are any PPC processes running, this will slow down your system quite a bit and take up much more memory than any Intel processes.
 

sycobreaker

macrumors newbie
Sep 4, 2006
5
0
Melbourne, Australia
i got a macbook with 1g ram and it seems like it flies to me. i rarely get beachball actions going on even when i run imovie and garageband and itunes and safari at once. very impressed. i had the intention of upgrading to 2g but i dont think i will need it in the near future.
 

Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,798
167
Bergen, Norway
mark88 said:
Right now it says 122302/128788...
I have 91281/0 after 26-ish hours of uptime on my MacBook with 2GB RAM... :cool:

I think Apple's advice is actually quite sound:
AppleStore said:
The more memory your computer has, the more programs you can run simultaneously, and the better performance you get from your computer. How much memory is right for you?

  • Choose the standard 512MB of memory (two 256MB modules) to support most day-to-day tasks such as email, word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, and basic iLife '06 tasks.
  • Upgrade to 1GB of memory (two 512MB modules) if you edit large photos, create illustrations, or build complex presentations.
  • Choose the 2GB option (two 1GB modules) if you plan to use your system regularly for sound design, video editing, DVD authoring, animation, and other intensive tasks.
 

dreamsINdigital

macrumors 6502
Sep 4, 2006
289
0
So I have a 2.0 GHz MacBook with the stock 512 MB and my page ins/outs says 526537/196391 with about 13 hours uptime. So I should probably get more RAM huh? I do notice quite a bit of slowdowns.
 

mark88

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2004
509
0
Check out the attachment. Here I had Opera open with 2 tabs, Safari 2 windows with 1 tab in each. 1 Finder Window, VNC Client, Adium, Mail and Slush(converts video frames to images).
 

Attachments

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
dreamsINdigital said:
So I have a 2.0 GHz MacBook with the stock 512 MB and my page ins/outs says 526537/196391 with about 13 hours uptime. So I should probably get more RAM huh? I do notice quite a bit of slowdowns.
Only if it's a problem for you, yes more RAM would be a solution to the slowdown.

mark88 said:
Check out the attachment. Here I had Opera open with 2 tabs, Safari 2 windows with 1 tab in each. 1 Finder Window, VNC Client, Adium, Mail and Slush(converts video frames to images).
Slush is using loads of your RAM.
 

mark88

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 30, 2004
509
0
miniConvert said:
Slush is using loads of your RAM.
right, but even without that open things get bad. Safari seems to use alot too..?
 

brandon6684

Guest
Dec 30, 2002
538
0
I've got 1GB in my MacBook. Now do you have 1GB stick or RAM or 2 512 sticks. I may be wrong, but I believe that with DDR2 and the shared memory as VRAM on top of that, 1 stick will be considerably slower than matching sticks of memory.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,576
2,887
tch! you're all too picky. 12" PowerBook with 512mb ram and I'm running Final Cut Express, Garageband and all that. it does get slow but it's still manageable. still faster than the PC's I use :p
 

kevinliu4

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2006
160
0
i'm also fine with 1gb ram in my 2.16ghz mbp. but i also have a 7200rpm hdd which imo makes a big difference.