All iPads Sort the 1GB ram debate once and for all...

dj95

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2011
74
3
Is the 1GB of ram in the new iPads really the issue people here are making it out to be? Sorry to bring this up again but I searched the forums and couldn't find a definitive answer.

I'm planning on getting an iPad air (upgrading from a trusty iPad 2) but was wondering if the Air will hold me over another two years? I know its very speedy at the moment but 2 years down the line and with iOS 9 around, will it keep up without being severely limited by the 1GB of RAM? I personally don't mind tabs refreshing as I'm used to it on the iPad 2, plus the iPad isn't my daily driver so it won't affect my productivity in that sense. My other two options are to get the rMini but I'm not sure i'll like the smaller screen and I dont need the portability as I dont take it outside the house, or to wait till the iPad Air 2 comes out next fall with 1.5-2GB RAM, but that isn't much fun at all is it ;)

Any clarification or advice is welcome!
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
I am assuming this thread will turn out like all of the others. Some people saying 100% yes, it is a problem, others saying no.

I have had Safari crash on me once since I bought the Air (launch weekend). I also had my 3rd gen crash occasionally. It did not make either device unusable.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,228
2,121
US
Is the 1GB of ram in the new iPads really the issue people here are making it out to be? [...] Any clarification or advice is welcome!
My advice - buy a device from somewhere with a good return policy and try it out.

First of all, as far as I know nobody's yet truly determined the root cause for the safari tab crashing/reloading some are reporting. What I've seen is a lot of conjecture and assumption but no true evidence-based analysis showing that it is an actual hardware limitation rather than buggy code.

More importantly you'll find a bit of an "echo chamber" effect on MR where issues seen by some quantity of users get inflated to seem like an Earth-shattering matter. The reality is yes some people see an issue, but you may not ever see it. Doesn't mean it's any less real to them, but people without a gripe aren't as likely to post a bunch about their lack of troubles. So, take the reports here with a grain of salt.
 

Vertigo1

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2013
113
0
It's nonsense. Do you really think Apple would release a product that was seriously hampered by the amount of memory installed?

The Safari crashes are down to it being an early 64-bit version on iOS7. They'll shake the bugs out in future iOS updates and this whole memory thing will be forgotten about.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
My advice - buy a device from somewhere with a good return policy and try it out.

First of all, as far as I know nobody's yet truly determined the root cause for the safari tab crashing/reloading some are reporting. What I've seen is a lot of conjecture and assumption but no true evidence-based analysis showing that it is an actual hardware limitation rather than buggy code.

More importantly you'll find a bit of an "echo chamber" effect on MR where issues seen by some quantity of users get inflated to seem like an Earth-shattering matter. The reality is yes some people see an issue, but you may not ever see it. Doesn't mean it's any less real to them, but people without a gripe aren't as likely to post a bunch about their lack of troubles. So, take the reports here with a grain of salt.
All good points.
 

Charliebird

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2010
838
90
Really more of a problem with the whole tablet model. They're too expensive to be disposable devices however they're not really built to be fully future proof. I can buy a new PS 4 and know it would will be current for the next 4 to 6 years. However my rMini will start to feel outdated next year when the rMini 2 is released. Yes more ram would be nice but since all IOS device have 1 GB or less of ram your not only to see any problems because of it right now. And next year we'll probably get 2 GB of ram but we'll scream for 4 GB of ram. There's really no way around this problem with a tablet.
 
Last edited:

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
1,139
981
MacRumors is a great site, but there is a fair amount of hyperbole when it comes to specs and performance issues. For example, I owned an iPad 3 and continuously read posts about how it was a poor product. Yet for me, it was fantastic, and when the iPad 4 came out I had no desire to upgrade.

I did upgrade to the iPad Air, but my reasons were not really based upon performance. I wanted the lighter and thinner form factor. Also, I wanted to give my father-in-law my iPad 3, so he could use it to track my son's baseball team and FaceTime chat with my daughter at college.

I will admit that there have been a few crashes and stability issues with the Air, but I have no doubt that they will decrease with successive releases of iOS7. They always do.

As for future proofing.....there is really no such thing. Nevertheless, I don't think you will have any problem getting two years from a new iPad. Typically, they are good for at least two iOS updates, so that is three years (current iOS plus 2 updates). You might not get every update feature, but it won't be a deal breaker.
 

zhenya

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
6,364
2,835
Are there areas where it is a serious pain? Yes. Is it enough to get me to consider any other tablet? No way.

As mentioned, the hyperbole gets way overblown here. I don't believe that Apple, who is willing to go to great lengths to make the best products at any price in so many other respects is choosing to use 1GB RAM solely as a moneymaking venture.

Having a couple of Windows tablets for work, I honestly believe that Apple is keeping the RAM ceiling low, as well as the flash memory at 16GB base because that is a very powerful way to keep developers from bloating their programs. Historically this has been a huge issue on every computer platform, and it's why in many respects new computers don't always feel that much faster than their old counterparts. Given unlimited disk and RAM, developers will use it because it takes much more effort to write very efficient code.

Forcing developers to do this keeps the user experience much better in terms of speed, responsiveness, and battery life - all places where Windows tablets do measurably worse than iOS on much more powerful hardware.

Certainly a side benefit is that these devices can feel out of date for power users rather quickly - but the flip side of that is that in the Mobile market, Apple has a longer support cycle than anyone else. This is a tradeoff that I will take. The only place that I would really like a better solution is in browser tab reloading, and I think we will get it eventually, without resorting to massive amounts of RAM.
 

Mcdevidr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 27, 2013
607
145
My Ipad Air I bought last week has been running great for me. It has crashed a couple times. Hangouts has crashed once and Safari has crashed twice in about 20 hours of usage. The crashes did not effect my usage at all. I would buy now then sell later (this is what I will probably do).
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,016
Sunny Florida
I don't think the "debate" can be settled here, since some folks seem to be convinced 1GB is not enough because of some article or review that talks about 64 bit and some Safari crashes.

Me, I'll put my money on Apple engineering. I'm betting they know a heck of a lot more about their hardware than some online bloggers, and that they've designed their product to work. Call me silly.
 

From A Buick 8

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2010
3,114
127
Ky Close to CinCinnati
It's nonsense. Do you really think Apple would release a product that was seriously hampered by the amount of memory installed?

The Safari crashes are down to it being an early 64-bit version on iOS7. They'll shake the bugs out in future iOS updates and this whole memory thing will be forgotten about.
I guess i am not following your logic here.

Apple would not release a product that was seriously hampered by the amount of memory installed, but they would release an os that seriously hampers the newest model of hardware?

That being said, buy the air if you need to replace your ipad 2
 

Kobayagi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2012
796
1,568
It's nonsense. Do you really think Apple would release a product that was seriously hampered by the amount of memory installed?

The Safari crashes are down to it being an early 64-bit version on iOS7. They'll shake the bugs out in future iOS updates and this whole memory thing will be forgotten about.
Apple did it with the first iPad. 256 mb ram was far from enough to run it smoothy. And remember, with the first iPad you could only update to 5.1.1 so no iOS6 but it still kept crashing on many apps and even Apple made ones like Safari and the app store.
 

pocketpenguin

macrumors regular
Nov 29, 2012
117
0
1GB is not enough....

In my usage and diagnostics crash list, 23 out of 28 reports are due to low memory.

Safari crashes on me at least once a day. I use a lot of tabs because I like to go down a list of articles and open each one I want to read into a new tab. Every tab refreshes when I select it, even though it is already showing the content (some programmer needs to be flogged for that behavior).

Given that, I would say this is more than just iOS 7 growing pains.

My list of open apps is: Safari, chrome, settings and gmail. On rare occasions I may run minecraft PE to play with my daughter. But it's not like I have more than 4 or five apps open at once.

If 1 gig isn't enough to handle what I'm doing, then it isn't enough for most folks, in my opinion.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,016
Sunny Florida
...My list of open apps is: Safari, chrome, settings and gmail. On rare occasions I may run minecraft PE to play with my daughter. But it's not like I have more than 4 or five apps open at once.

If 1 gig isn't enough to handle what I'm doing, then it isn't enough for most folks, in my opinion.
I have no comment. I just wanted to highlight this little gem and stare at it for a while. :D
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
In my usage and diagnostics crash list, 23 out of 28 reports are due to low memory.

Safari crashes on me at least once a day. I use a lot of tabs because I like to go down a list of articles and open each one I want to read into a new tab. Every tab refreshes when I select it, even though it is already showing the content (some programmer needs to be flogged for that behavior).

Given that, I would say this is more than just iOS 7 growing pains.

My list of open apps is: Safari, chrome, settings and gmail. On rare occasions I may run minecraft PE to play with my daughter. But it's not like I have more than 4 or five apps open at once.

If 1 gig isn't enough to handle what I'm doing, then it isn't enough for most folks, in my opinion.

Here is the most accurate part of what you said.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
In my usage and diagnostics crash list, 23 out of 28 reports are due to low memory.

Safari crashes on me at least once a day. I use a lot of tabs because I like to go down a list of articles and open each one I want to read into a new tab. Every tab refreshes when I select it, even though it is already showing the content (some programmer needs to be flogged for that behavior).

Given that, I would say this is more than just iOS 7 growing pains.

My list of open apps is: Safari, chrome, settings and gmail. On rare occasions I may run minecraft PE to play with my daughter. But it's not like I have more than 4 or five apps open at once.

If 1 gig isn't enough to handle what I'm doing, then it isn't enough for most folks, in my opinion.
"I use my iPad to catalog my DVD collection, and if use it for that, then so do most folks. In my opinion."

Ummmm, no. Making it an opinion doesn't absolve it from being a... misguided ... comment.
I bought two and duct taped them to my bumper. I put them on white screens and use them as headlights, like most people.
 

ultra7k

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2012
251
35
Haven't had my rMini crash yet, though like many others I do wish it had 2GB of ram. That being said, I know I'll be good with this device for a while to come.
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
596
Los Angeles
Is the 1GB of ram in the new iPads really the issue people here are making it out to be? Sorry to bring this up again but I searched the forums and couldn't find a definitive answer.

I'm planning on getting an iPad air (upgrading from a trusty iPad 2) but was wondering if the Air will hold me over another two years? I know its very speedy at the moment but 2 years down the line and with iOS 9 around, will it keep up without being severely limited by the 1GB of RAM? I personally don't mind tabs refreshing as I'm used to it on the iPad 2, plus the iPad isn't my daily driver so it won't affect my productivity in that sense. My other two options are to get the rMini but I'm not sure i'll like the smaller screen and I dont need the portability as I dont take it outside the house, or to wait till the iPad Air 2 comes out next fall with 1.5-2GB RAM, but that isn't much fun at all is it ;)

Any clarification or advice is welcome!
My best educated/uneducated answer is "NO" and this is why... yes more RAM is nice, but not entirely necessary. Any issues like Safari crashing on iOS7 most likely isn't a RAM issue but an iOS/Safari optimization issue. I think in time when iOS 7 is more mature (quite possibly working out better with the 64 bit processor) we'll see less crashing issues and the whole RAM debacle will be put bed.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
2,462
2,521
Upstate, NY
In my usage and diagnostics crash list, 23 out of 28 reports are due to low memory.

Safari crashes on me at least once a day. I use a lot of tabs because I like to go down a list of articles and open each one I want to read into a new tab. Every tab refreshes when I select it, even though it is already showing the content (some programmer needs to be flogged for that behavior).

Given that, I would say this is more than just iOS 7 growing pains.

My list of open apps is: Safari, chrome, settings and gmail. On rare occasions I may run minecraft PE to play with my daughter. But it's not like I have more than 4 or five apps open at once.

If 1 gig isn't enough to handle what I'm doing, then it isn't enough for most folks, in my opinion.
I'm hearing ya. I haven't had any issues at all with my Air but I understand people are not too pleased with this issue. The key is that 23 of 28 diag reports were related to low memory. Interestingly, we don't know if that's really from a physical limitation or buggy& bloated code. The result is the same for the user but one of them is easier to fix than the other.

I hope that makes sense. One reason I believe it's more software related is that many graphic and memory intensive apps run just fine or even better than they ever have. So, could safari simply be a memory waster? Could some websites be the culprit? I just find it hard to believe that some high end game can run for days on end with no memory issues but a web browser brings the RAM to its knees. :confused:
 

007p

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2012
808
308
I bought two and duct taped them to my bumper. I put them on white screens and use them as headlights, like most people.
That must be annoying to have to pull over everytime the white screens crash from lack of RAM.
 

ab2c4

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2013
104
54
Safari crashes once in awhile due to lack of memory on my Air. I just launch Safari again and go on my way, I don't see it as a big deal to be honest.
 

C. Robert

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2013
704
19
Baltimore
It's easy to make apps crash. All I have to do is have about 5 apps open. I can use words with friends, then go to Facebook, open the browser, then back to word with friends and it will crash. It annoys the hell out of me.