Would I notice much difference with more RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by c073186, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    I know the obvious answer might be "yes" - but hear me out. I have a 2.8 GHz Octo Mac Pro with 4 GB factory RAM, 8800GT. I use my computer for mostly small tasks - Office, iWork, Internet, email, and gaming under Vista (okay don't get on me about why I have a MP for doing these things please). Would adding more RAM make a noticeable difference for me, considering what I use the computer for? I am thinking about adding more RAM but not unless I will notice an improvement. And how would things improve? Would applications start faster? Or would they actually run faster?
  2. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    open up activity monitor and click on memory. take a look at your page-outs
  3. nomar383 macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2008
    Rexburg, ID
    No! The amount of RAM after even 2GB quickly becomes irrelevent, especially for your use. Dont be fooled into think more RAM = more speed.

    RAM = multitasking abilities
    Processor = speed abilities
  4. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    So would having more RAM help if I had like 4-5 applications open at once? Or not really because, as you said, after 2 GB it is not such a big deal?
  5. nomar383 macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2008
    Rexburg, ID
    Depends. But, I have 2GB on my MBP and can open several apps easily at once. Do you ever notice a slowdown? What makes you want more RAM in the first place?
  6. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    at 4 gigs, you might not notice much a change.

    Expect more results from the same machine with:

    10,000 or 15,000rpm main drive
    4 hard drives in a raid array
    *upgrading graphics card

    *are there drivers for it on Intel Mac? is important to ask.

    Yeah, both our OctoPros are probably not going to feel much faster in those situations. Its when you have to work on large projects - like rendering multitrack audio or HD video - that more memory and more cores really feels miraculous.

    Ex. Same 2Gb Ram - 80 minutes of standard definition audio rendered from combining a series of mp3 files (Traktor 3). Using Powerbook, it takes about 40-45 minutes, using Mac Pro is takes about 10 minutes.
  7. zdobson macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    I would think that 4GB is plenty for you. Here is my activity monitor with 7-8 apps including photoshop. I have 2GB. [​IMG]

    You can see that I would probably benefit a little from more RAM because my page outs are about 1/3 the number of page ins. I've heard you want it to be close to 1/10. Even with this as it is, 2GB still feels pretty fast. I haven't really notice a slowdown except for the time I had all these apps + illustrator, acrobat, iweb and iphoto open. Then my page outs:in ratio was 1:1. Yikes.

    And for anyone wondering, I did reboot my machine this morning, so these numbers are after about 6 hours of usage.
  8. mattmac macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    I got a 2.8 octo on release and put in an additional 8GB from OWC a couple of weeks later. General day to day email, internet, iphoto etc, absolutely no difference whatsoever. Keeping regular apps and Photoshop and Illustrator all open at the same time is only slightly easier. No difference in bootup and file opening speed.

    My main app is Strata CX which is a 3D program similar to Cinema 4D and Maya etc. It is 32 bit app so it cannot take more than 4GB. The extra ram again makes no difference with render speeds. Actually quite dissappointed but maybe it shows just how good the MP is at handling what memory you do have.

    I originally wanted to run 16GB in total but have now realised that I can get away with 6GB quite comfortably. The only reason I would get more ram now is if I wanted to keep every app open all the time. I wiil spend the leftover ram money on a faster HD possibly the Samsung F!.
  9. suprajoe macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I am about to get a MP around the July time frame. I am saving up the cash..also waiting to see what they do with the Blu-ray and processor. My concern has been about memory as well. I use Parallels and VMWare for courseware development uses. I teach and develop courses for the Microsoft MCTS and MCITP (this pays the bills) and the Apple ACHDS and ACSP (this is for fun). I was looking at getting around 16GB of memory for my MP cause of the virtual machines that I run. I'm really looking at getting the 32GB....just so I know that memory will never be the issue. Besides Leopard being installed, I will also have Server 10.5. So, in my case I think the extra memory will be needed. Any thoughts?
  10. macz1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    A very memory hungry thing is virtualization. If you want to use Leopard and a Vista instance at the same time, they shold have their 2GB each to run confortably. I ran out of memory very quickly when I tried VMware. An argument to upgrade to 4GB for me...
  11. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Going from 1GB to 2GB makes a HUUUGGE difference.

    from 2GB --> 4GB you get a good benefit too, but not as much as initially going to 2GB. Pretty much anything over 3GB won't make much of a difference unless you are really running a TON of apps at once, and doing heavy memory taxing operations (Photoshop, Maya, FinalCut, Aperture) and the such...heavy memory operations.

    I have a 20" iMac here which I have maxed out at 4GB...also maxed my MacBook pro out at 4GB. I would definately see getting a much greater benefit on a monster machine like the Mac Pro with upping to 4GB from the base 2GB or 1GB (versus the iMac line), but, with the Mac Pro, I see a minimum of 4GB as a necessity. Basically I see (and I have tested a few Mac Pro 2008's) that when you go from 2 to 4 you see a big speed jump, with basic stuff like loading Safari, booting, loading other apps, and navigating the OS...but any major RAM upgrades over 4GB will be done to give your apps the extra horsepower to heavy duty operations.

    Hope this helps,

Share This Page