New RAM feels like its not doing anything.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by irishvic, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. irishvic macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2004
    I installed 512 MB of Ram (CompUSA ram 200 pin ddr sdram) into my ibook g4 on top of its standard 256. Thing is that I don't feel any real difference. Playing video still blows and programs dont feel any snappier. The RAM is there detected(says 768) but was I just expecting too much out of RAM or is it the fact my hard drive is 5400 rpm and 3/4 full (30 gig)?
  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    Adding more RAM like that is not going to speed up the computer, it will just allow you to run bigger or more applications. Unless you were regularly using Photoshop or some pro app, and preferably more than one at a time, you aren't going to notice a big productivity increase. People will tell you that you must have at least 512MB - 1GB minimum in OS X, for simple internet/word processing/iTunes you aren't going to notice a big speed boost, especially if your processor is at less than about 1.0 Ghz.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Adding RAM doesn't speed up a machine, it removes some barriers to speed.

    It's like saying taking your foot off the brake speeds up a car. No, it removes the slowdown.

    You'll see the benefits of more RAM in situations where you were formerly exceeding the limit of physical RAM -- running multiple programs at once, running programs that consume a lot of RAM, or large data sets. It won't do a thing for the hard drive read/write speed, computing speed of your CPU or your video card, so things that are dependent on CPU, video or disk access you won't see much of a change on.

    IF you were formerly getting a lot of pageouts because the OS didn't have enough RAM, there should be a general increase in snappiness in switching tasks, due to not having to go out to hard drive as often.
  4. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    Adding a gig stick made my iPhoto load about 5 to 6 times faster. It allowed me to have multiple programs open at once.

    But it did not make encoding video faster for instance. You could say that ram allows you to do more simultaneously but it does not allow processes to speed up.
  5. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    I agree with everyone here-- I just put a gig stick in my g4 ibook (on top of the built in 512) last week. Iphoto (with about 3000 photos) starts 4 or 5 times faster. I dont have to worry about closing apps all the time, or running fewer widgets to conserve ram. I can use osx like it is intended to be used-- with a bunch of apps on standby ready to go.
  6. superwoman macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    My experience with both a TiBook and AlBook is that 768MB seems to be the sweet spot. I consider myself a pretty heavy user, but I noticed from Activity Monitor that the Used RAM figure always hovers around the 700MB mark.

    Anyone else has the same experience?
  7. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2006
    New Jersey
    Yeah, i agree. I threw in 1 gig of ram to my PowerMac G5 that had only 256 RAM... let me tell you...everything opens up quickly now! Plus I have the convenience of not having to close apps to allow others to open.

    If you put in a 7200 Hard would actually speed up the access time of whatever you open up (i.e. files, searching for files, opening Finder windows, exploring folders, accessing files, copying files)

    the speed of opening Safari pages depends on ur internet connection, but RAM + HD speed does help it, but not as significant as your internet connection.
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    That's not the case for me and my 1.33 GHz 15.2 inch PowerBook. I've got 768 MB and 571 MB used right now, which is light for me but with the mix of things I run, it groans and goes out to the hard drive quite often because there isn't enough room. 1.5 GB was good for me on my PowerMac so I think it'll work better.

    Extra RAM doesn't add speed to the system it helps to keep the system from slowing down by not having to access the hard drive. This is especially important in laptop computers, which usually have slower drives due to space, heat, and power constraints.

    You'll probably run into a situation eventually where the extra RAM will help and you won't even realise it because you've never been in the same situation without it. :)

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