Who exactly is the RAM for? Marketing ploy or for lazy developers?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Zombie Acorn, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #1
    I see computers being advertised with 6-8 gb of RAM now days everywhere, even at walmart. I am wondering who is perpetuating this, is it the OS/application developers or is it some sort of marketing ploy to sell more memory? Every recent customer I have dealt with thinks they need 6 gb of RAM for word processing and internet/email minimum, good luck trying to explain to them, not only do they not understand what memory is, their friend down the street has 8 gb of RAM and their computer is so fast!

    Anyone else notice this weirdness lately? Maybe its an offshoot from Vista being such a large pile of crap.
     
  2. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816

    Bennieboy©

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    #2
    people inevitably want more, i wouldnt waste ya time trying to explain to them that they dont, once ya start getting technical especially about windows and the 32/64 bit difference and operating systems they just wont listen,
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    I don't do a lot of heavy lifting and my MacBook can easily use all 4GB of RAM, well, nearly all. I don't see buying 6 or 8 as overkill for a lot of people.
     
  4. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #4
    I only have 3gb on my iMac (DDR2?) and 2gb on my Macbook (DDR3? Its faster anyroad) and I've never really had much need to go over. I run games, lots of photoshop, a big iPhoto and iTunes library... usually all at the same time too. But I don't hit any performance snags.
    Infact under bootcamp if I alt+tab out of a game to view the Windows desktop I'm usually back in the game in 5-10 seconds. It takes my friends with real gaming systems a lot longer, up to a minute sometimes to get back into the game. Then again I use XP.
     
  5. charlesbronsen macrumors 6502a

    charlesbronsen

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    #5
    Kind of funny to come across this as I just listened to a co-worker tell me how critical it is for her new comp to have at least 8 gigs of ram. All she wants the computer for is e-mail and web browsing. I have no clue where she got the 8 gigs from but she wont budge. BTW this is her first comp and she is mid 50's
     
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #6
    I see nothing wrong with getting as much RAM as possible. The changes in apps and internet content make more RAM almost a necessity. Also RAM is relatively cheap these days. It's not like we are talking about something that will add an extra $1000 to the cost of the system.

    Heck, you could probably take this thread back to the mid 90s and complain about people wanting 512MB of RAM when for running AOL and Hypercard, 128MB will do. :D
     
  7. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #7
    It's all marketing. Its the same thing with cars and cameras. More = better.

    Since when does the average family need a 250+ hp sedan. I'm sure 85% of the population thinks going over 3000 rpm will kill their engine instantly.

    Same with P&S cameras, I really don't get why they need 12 megapixels.

    :confused:
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    This.
    In the end people want more though. You as a Best Buy employee would be better served not worrying so much about it. :)
     
  9. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

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    Apr 10, 2008
    #9
    there's also future proofing. not everyone buys a computer every 6 months or every year. Some people keep their computers for several years and in order to keep up with more demanding applications why not get as much ram as possible? Just because all you do is check email and surf the web now doesn't mean that a year from now you wont take up video or photo editing as a hobby right? If you can afford it then why not have it there in case you need it. Now if you are going to miss next months rent just to add ram then thats a whole different story.
     
  10. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Pasadena CA
    #10
    I'm currently processing images that at 90,000 x 40,000 pixels, and regulary look at images 20,000 x 100,000 pixels.

    There is no ammount of RAM which I would consider excessive. I have 8 on my workstation PC, 4 on my UBMB.
     
  11. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #11

    Damn, where are you getting your porn? :D
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    Pa
    #12
    This

    Applications get more functions, which requires more code, which requires more RAM to run. Part of it is marketing, but you pretty much can't use a computer - any computer - with less than 2gb of RAM anymore.

    having 4 is good. that's what I have.

    Having 6 or 8 is good for people who tax their systems more.

    Someone compared RAM to megapixel's in a camera. True, nobody needs 200mp point and shoot cameras, but you do notice a difference between 6mp and 12mp, just like you do notice a difference between 3gb and 6gb of RAM.
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #13
    ^^ I've only got 2GB in my MacBook, I've actually got another 1GB RAM to put in, but I haven't bothered yet.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    Probably both, marketing and lazy developers.

    I've from the era that we tried to eek out every last byte from a program. Now it seems many developers don't seem to even consider how their code is impacting ram utilization and/or trying to write tight code.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    I think geeks are at fault, in part, too. It seems like I'm always hearing some story (and to be honest, not infrequently on MacRumors), where someone says up front that they don't know anything about computers, and they ask their friend who's the "resident expert." They always seem to get inflated recommendations, that are sort of in a la-la land, e.g. never mind that a 1.6GHz Atom and 1GB of memory can run Microsoft Office passably well.

    But, I think, mostly, it's that there's a series of numbers on the sheet, consumers don't understand what any of them mean, but they're schooled to believe that if the numbers are higher, they're also implicitly better.
     
  16. Zombie Acorn thread starter macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #16
    What do you consider "heavy lifting?" I usually have illustrator dreamweaver and photoshop all running in the background with my mail and firefox up. The only way I max out 2 GB is if I am working with a lot of files.

    The only time I have ever thought "I wish I had 8 GB of memory or more" is when im working on my desktop in 3dmax/zbrush.

    Either way I wouldn't really consider that "casual use". To think that someone is going to use up 4x that amount is a bit nuts.
     
  17. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #17
  18. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    #18
    Recently I've found my Macbook crapping out a lot more when just using Photoshop and Illustrator - some of the files I use are massive, and this hogs so much RAM that often after just an hour and a half of working my page outs will be in the hundred-thousands - and I have 4GB too. I could probably really do with 8GB; how I ever got along last year using 768MB on my old Powermac I will never know.


    Whatever floats your boat man... ;)
     
  19. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #19
    I upgraded my Macbook Pro at work to 6GB and I actually needed. When I had my usual work stuff up and running, including a Vista VM, I was using most of my 4GB. If I had to open anything out of the ordinary, I started getting a bunch of page outs. Bumping up from 4 to 6 GB of RAM gave me more breathing room. I don't always use every bit of it, but it is nice to have it there. Then again, I am a network admin and serious geek. Most of our normal users could actually use a thin client with 1GB of RAM and no hard drive and not be able to tell the difference.
     
  20. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #20
  21. R.Perez macrumors 6502

    R.Perez

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    #21
    I have 4gb in my iMac atm, I still can't decide whether to plop down $100 and upgrade to 8gb, or spend the real money and go to 16gb.


    Then again, I am big on multitasking, and will often have Aperture, Photoshop CS4 and Photomatix open all at the same time.

    Trust me, when you're working with photomergre making a panorama that is a 4gb uncompressed tiff file, you want the extra ram.
     
  22. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    #22
    Hmm. Should we be trustin' newbies? :p
     
  23. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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