Macbook RAM: 1gb vs 2gb?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by deen456, May 16, 2007.

  1. deen456 macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2007
    Hi all,

    I just made the big purchase.... finally switched over to mac, and waiting for my macbook to arrive any day now. I got the new 2.0ghz macbook that comes with 1 gb ram... my question is:

    What's the real performance difference between 1gb and 2gb of ram? Is it noticeable, and is it worth it to upgrade? I use my computer for most of the day, but would not consider myself someone who does graphic design or whatnot. I use it for basic purposes -- i.e. schoolwork, internet, iTunes, downloading, etc.

    Would it be a good idea to upgrade to 2gb ram? Thanks!
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    nah, 1gb will be just fine for those apps you listed. if you were using the adobe suite, then 2gb would be worth the buy.. but not for the standard stuff.
  3. ronni3 macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I bought a stock 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook about two months ago, and I went from 512MB :eek: to 1GB :) to 2GB :eek: and I saw performance increase dramatically. Even if all you do are light tasks, if you want to be able to keep several windows open at any given time...the more memory, the better. I say go for 2GB if you got your pocket padded :cool: at the moment, you won't regret it, I didn't!

    Plus, you will never have to think about upgrading your MacBooks memory, because 2GB is as far as it goes. :D ;)
  4. Dutch13 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2005
    Actually, it looks like the C2D Macbooks can go up to 3GB
    ...very tempting
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Get 2 GB. Apple's academic markup is only $158 for the upgrade. It's not that bad.
  6. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    OSX is a wonderful system; the more memory you have, the better the system can take advantage of it. Just like a layman would have thought of it. But it's not something one can take for granted; Windows has always had trouble with memory management, and it cannot give more than 3GB for a single application. It would suck to use Windows, but us OSX users things look great.


    Always put in as much RAM as your budget allows.
  7. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    come on now - such a long-standing member and still recommending that someone buy RAM from Apple? :eek:

    If you DO go to 2GB, OP, then buy it 3rd party. Even crucial (probably one of the most expensive RAM suppliers) has a 2x1gb set for only $102. The cheapest you'll find is around $80 for 2GBs (GSkill from Newegg), but with Crucial so competitively priced, you might as well go for the best, I'd say.
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I keep my original 512 MB stick around for warranty purposes. If you suck it up and buy it from Apple you don't have to worry about selling or keeping the original RAM and you're under warranty. Apple can't just toss out your claim on 3rd party RAM.
  9. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I think 1GB will be plenty. I base this on using the original Intel iMac "17 for about six months at my last job. At 512MB it was slow--even just using Word. After going to 1GB it would not slow down even with a lot of things open. For example, I'd have a couple of large documents open in Word (these docs were story boards with lots of large bitmaps--over 20MB each), Entourage, Flash with several very large documents open, Director, many Safari windows, BBEdit, etc. Everything kept moving along nicely.

    There are some specific reasons to get more RAM though:
    * Parallels virtual machines. If you use Parallels you'll want to give your virtual machines hundreds of MB.
    * ? I'm not sure what else but others might know. Probably video editing. Probably intensive photo editing. Some games.
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The difference is not between 1GB and 2GB, it is between "not enough" and "enough". How much is enough for you depends on what you do. If you have enough memory, 2GB will make no difference. If you have almost enough, it will improve things. If you have nowhere near enough, the machine will crawl.

    Make sure that the machine you buy has 1 GB in a single chip so you can just add a second one. Use the machine for a while, check if you have any delays, use Activity Monitor which can give you some hints whether more memory would make any difference. Adding another GB later is no problem with the MacBook.
  11. emoore3 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2005
    Upgrading your RAM does not void your warranty.
  12. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    1.5 is the current standard

    1GB is about right for basic users.

    1.5GB for people that will use iLife.

    2GB is best option.
  13. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2006
    Ive got 1 GB in my iMac and it runs just fine. I usually have up at any time, Mail, Camino, iTunes, iChat, Azerus, and Word, with the occasional Photoshop CS. Even with two of those applications being PPC I never really have too many page outs. I would really love 2GB but for now 1GB is okay. I say though if you can afford it go for the 2GB, it is the easiest and biggest performance gain you will see.
  14. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2005
    For the reasons listed, 1GB is fine.

    You can always upgrade later, if you start getting into games or editing then your going to want the 2GB for now just enjoy the Mac Experience :cool:
  15. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    How much RAM to get largely depends on how you set up and work with your computer. If you usually open and close each app as you need it, 1 GB will work fine. Someone like me, on the other hand, tends to keep applications open in the background so they come up quickly when I need them. I have a script that opens up all of my 'standard' apps after my iMac boots... the following apps, plus 3 widgets, take up roughly 750MB RAM at boot: Mail, NetNewsWire Lite, Safari, iChat, iTunes, iCal, SBook (notebook), Quicksilver, and Activity Monitor. However, once I open a few other apps, watch some QuickTime videos, and do a day of surfing in Safari (<-- a huge RAM hog if you don't quit it regularly), my 1.5 GB will be used up and I'll start swapping. So, it all depends on how you use the computer.
  16. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    1GB of RAM will work, but I strongly suggest going with 2GB, just because technology moves fast, and I think that things are going to become more and more demanding...
  17. eyebeaz macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2006
    I agree completely. I just made the decision to go with 2GB instead of 1GB for this reason.
  18. filmgirl macrumors regular


    May 16, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I would also go ahead and upgrade to 2 GB, even if you don't need it now. Why? Well, it's been my experience to always get a little more RAM than is "standard" so that your machine can be a little more "futureproof" -- plus, now that 1 GB is pretty much the decided upon "standard" (read: minimum), software publishers like to start upping the ante. Get 2 GB now and you won't have to worry in the future.
  19. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2005
    Laguna Beach
    just wait like 4 months and then upgrade, it only gets cheaper and if you don't need 2gb yet, don't get it.
  20. TequilaBoobs macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2006
    ask yourself, if the RAM upgrade is worth 100-150 extra dollars? to put that in perspective, that's about 15-20 lunches, about 250 beers, about 1/4oz good bud, about 10 visits to movie theater, about 1 whole beef tenderloin, about a couple nights at a strip club, about 1 really nice dinner w/another person, etc.
  21. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    Yes. But why not wait until you really need it and the price is lower.
  22. Mac-Addict macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2006
    I have a MBP with 2GB or ram and its a very fast machine for the stuff I do (I do alot of video editing) but for just doing the normal stuff 1gb is fine. I hope you enjoy your new machine :D

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