new RAM seems ineffective?!

ero87

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 17, 2006
1,196
1
New York City
Hey all, I could use your help.

I've been telling my gf for MONTHS now that to speed up her slightly-laggy MBP, she should upgrade her RAM from 512 MB. she finally bit the bullet and upgraded to 2 GBs. Obviously, she expected an extremely snappy result; however, she tells me that the computer feels exactly the same! RAM tests all come back positive... what's the deal?

Maybe the question I'm asking is; exactly WHAT tasks does RAM supposedly speed up? Where should she look for a speed increase?

Thanks!
 

Jiddick ExRex

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2006
1,469
0
Roskilde, DK
It should speed up all memory hungry tasks, for instance running a lot of apps at the same time and switching between them. If she only uses it to check her mail and surf, then it's good money wasted. Although as she has a MBP and not a macbook, I will assume that she actually uses it for work.

Have you checked the System Profiler to see if the RAM actually has been noticed by the system?
 

contoursvt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2005
844
0
ero87 said:
Hey all, I could use your help.

I've been telling my gf for MONTHS now that to speed up her slightly-laggy MBP, she should upgrade her RAM from 512 MB. she finally bit the bullet and upgraded to 2 GBs. Obviously, she expected an extremely snappy result; however, she tells me that the computer feels exactly the same! RAM tests all come back positive... what's the deal?

Maybe the question I'm asking is; exactly WHAT tasks does RAM supposedly speed up? Where should she look for a speed increase?

Thanks!
Well RAM doesnt actually increase the speed of a computer. It helps reduce the chance of it decreasing when you run multiple programs at the same time or open very large graphic files in photoshop (as an example)

Say if your computer has 512 mb memory and lets say your operating system takes 200mb of that. That leaves you with approx 300mb of memory. Now assume you open photoshop and a few pictures and it takes 200mb of memory. Now you have 100mb left. Now lets pretend you open up mail and browser and itunes. You could easily eat up that remaining 100mb. So now the computer will "simulate" more memory by using a portion of your hard drive as RAM. Hard drives are much MUCH slower than system memory so the computer starts to grind down to a halt...you'll hear the hard drive working hard at this point.

Adding more memory means it will not have to resort to using the hard drive as memory. You can have more programs open without the computer struggling. If you only run 1-2 programs at a time, adding more ram may not add anything that you can 'feel'.