RAM 2GB or 4?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by cjenkins505, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. cjenkins505 macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I am going to be getting the higher end macbook, but dont know if I should get the 4Gb ram or the standard 2GB. I use the internet a lot, I like to put videos on my Itouch with software, and only plan on buying one game. Blizzards Diablo 3. Is 4Gb really worth it?
  2. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    I'd say go for it if you can afford it. You don't save that much (if any) buying it and installing it yourself.
  3. Kelly the Dude macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2008
    It use to be that Apple charged a crap-load for their RAM. I hear that it's not as bad anymore. I'd check it out, but as a rule of thumb it's always cheaper to buy it separate and install it later. That way, you save money, and have a spare set of memory chips. That might have changed.
  4. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    From what you use your Mac for, you don't need 4GB.

    I use my first gen Intel iMac for all kinds of things simultaneously, from Java and web development to music and photo management and DVD ripping. I only have 2GB and I only push the limit when I'm running Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

    If you were doing Photoshop work or running VMs, I'd say go for 4GB, otherwise spend the money on a larger hard drive.
  5. nomorevista macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2008
    well had mine for 2 weeks now - the base model 2gb/2.0

    lastnight ran handbrake coding mp4 3.5hr magnolia movie last night ipod hirez setting, while surfing the net and listening to online radio at same time - machine did not even get hot, could not even tell it was coding. took about 2 hrs to run in background. Was thinking of going to 4gb- now dont see the need - may be in 12 mths when prices drop

    Hope that helps
  6. hmai18 macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2008
    Keep an eye on Activity Monitor and see how many page outs you get in a given day of use. That'll give you an indication of whether you need to get more memory.
  7. Luke1robb macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2008
    Cambridge, MA/Smithfield, RI
    What about for a 2.0GHz Alu Macbook?

    What do you guys think of whether I should have 2 or 4 GB or ram in my 2.0 late 2008 macbook? I use the internet a lot, and sometimes get a good amount (5-7 programs) open at once. Thanks for your help.

  8. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    If you plan on using Parallels or Fusion get 4gb for sure otherwise you're probably fine with 2GB. Upgrading later is cheaper and easy anyway. You can order 4GB from Crucial.com for less than upgrading from 2GB to 4GB with Apple.
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    the average user really needs above 2GB. But seeing as you are gonna play a game, the highest RAM configuration is always the best.

    Go with the 4GB. Besides, you never know when those extra 2GB can come in handy...;)
  10. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Go with the 4GB if you're gonna install Vista 64-bit. It has a SuperFetch technology that scales the speed with more RAM better than "old" XP technology.

    Don't get this one.

    Rip Off! It says it's "new" but it doesn't look like they changed much and that price is ridiculous for those specs these days. $999
    Netbooks are better than that and some are 1/3 that price. I don't think the other 2/3 is worth an aluminum case. rofl!
  11. cjenkins505 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2008
    wait so i shouldnt get the 4gb option? Instead buy one somewhere else? IS that worth it
  12. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    No one can tell you what is best for your needs.
    However, I think Apple is charging a very reasonable price for the RAM upgrade nowadays. It won't be much cheaper getting it yourself.
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    No. For the first time, buying Ram from Apple is actually same priced to a 3rd party. Ram at Apple for the (2x2GB) modules costs $150, elsewhere it is around $141.95 without shipping. So for convenience sake, its much more affordable Apple and much less hassle.

    So get the 4GB at Apple (that is if you get the new Aluminum MacBook).
  14. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    From your description it doesn't look like you need it. If you need it in the future, then buy it, but for now, I think 2GB is enough for your needs.
  16. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    when i upgraded my aluminum macbook to 4gb i noticed a significant performance difference, not only in heavy applications, but light ones too. i say its definitely worth the upgrade and will keep your computer up to date for at least 2 years...
  17. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    Always just get the stock MacBook. If you feel like you need to upgrade the RAM or HD you can always do so later.
  18. Yuppi macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
    I bought a 2GB version and ran into a store to buy 4GB. Is about the same price as the online option from Apple, BUT you still own the old 2*1GB :) So in theory I could sell it on eBay or something.
    Azureus/Vuze are huge wasters of RAM, also Safari can grow up to 500M at least for me. So there is 1GB gone only for those guys. With my current apps running the memory consumption is:
    Safari: 451M (3 open tabs with no special pages)
    Finder: 113M
    NetNewsWire: 87M
    Skype: 80M
    iTunes: 72M
    Mail: 62M
    Adium: 42M
    Ical&1Passwd: 21M
    All in all the current usage is Active+Wired=2.1GB

    On my iMac At first I only had 2 GB, then upgraded to 3GB until the prices went down and just recently upgraded to 4GB. The upgrade from 2GB to 3GB was a hell of a difference. The upgrade to 4GB was nice when running heavy stuff like lightroom, PS, vmware.

    Upgrading RAM is most of the times the easiest way to get a felt better performance. Because Applications that are not in use by you can be swapped out (written to harddisk). When you then switch from the front most to another application it might be a little unresponsive for some few seconds.

    My recommendation: If you want your MacBook quickly buy the 2GB Stock and upgrade when you feel the need for it. Upgrading unsymetrically to 3GB is not such a bad option as people will tell you it is. But it allows you to explore how much RAM you really need and buy cheaper later.
  19. nomorevista macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2008
    so out of interest - i know its $150 to upgrade when building to 4gb but how much if you go back to the store say a month later to get it upgraded
  20. gotzaiPhone macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Tinley Park, IL
  21. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    If you install 64-bit Vista, it will use up like 1.2-1.5GB base I think. So that would leave you little room for something like Diablo 3. It actually uses up all your FREE RAM to store files as "common files disk cache". So if you have less disk cache space, that doesn't give Vista a chance to do it's speed boosting algorithms so you won't get that edge. And it seems from accounts that Vista without an extra RAM overhead is SLOW. Though the new Macs (not the $999) seem to have a high bus speed (with DDR3) so that might help a little.

    You can also use a technology called ReadyBoost, where you stick in a flash drive and it will let you use it as disc cache. But you need fast flash for it to really make a difference and real world tests show that it's not as good as RAM and is only noticeable when you are near your cap. But that's a option.
  22. errol macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2008
    I would get the 4GB for sure. It's really easy to upgrade, and its cheap. Never know when it will come in handy.
  23. RTiii320 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2008
    Long Beach, CA
    Are you familiar with the phrase: "The bigger the BETTER"???

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