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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - How much will 1gig of RAM help a computer?


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Historia

 
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I have a Macbook Pro, and I want to buy a 1 gig of dual channel RAM. I am wondering if any of you have done bought 1 gig or 1 gig of Dual channel ram, because I am interested in the difference in the speed of the computer after the upgrade. Can anyone help me out?
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I'm not sure whether the MacBook Pro supports dual channel RAM ... I thought it supports only one kind of RAM, though I am no expert.

What I can say is that 1GB of additional RAM will boost your perforamnce noticeably. I don't know how much you have right now, but I had 512MB which shipped with my iMac and upgraded to 1.5 GB about 6 months ago and I'm loving it. It actually makes the computer a LOT snappier, and rule of thumb states buy as much RAM as your purse allows.

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NanoBite

 
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Hi,

Here are a couple of interesting links which are relevant to your Mac Pro and any RAM upgrade you might be considering:

http://www.barefeats.com/quad09.html

Info on Mac Pro RAM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historia View Post
I am interested in the difference in the speed of the computer after the upgrade. Can anyone help me out?
One thing to keep in mind is that merely adding RAM does not make your computer faster. It will still function the same as it does now with routine tasks. Your web surfing will remain the same, your word processing will remain the same, email..etc. None of your daily mundane things like those will really change to any noticeable degree.

Where you will notice a difference is with applications that require large amounts of RAM. If you use professional grade apps like Final Cut, Photoshop, Illustrator, Logic Pro...etc.... basically any editing applications for video, audio, or images then you will see a performance increase.
You may notice an increase to performance with apps that aren't Universal binary yet, that need to run under Rosetta.

So to sum up... if you don't use editing apps like any of those mentioned, then you aren't likely to see any grand increase in performance.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that merely adding RAM does not make your computer faster. It will still function the same as it does now with routine tasks. Your web surfing will remain the same, your word processing will remain the same, email..etc. None of your daily mundane things like those will really change to any noticeable degree.
Obviously, you've never tried to do more than one of these things at the same time. These "little" tasks add up quickly...especially when running non-Universal apps on an Intel mac; Rosetta eats memory. It's certainly possible to hit a memory bottleneck with nothing but Microsoft Office apps, Safari, and maybe one or two other little apps, especially if you're on a deadline and have drunk more than two cups of coffee.

Whether you should buy more depends on how much you have and what you intend to do. But I'd say 1GB total is a good starting point these days. Double it if you're constantly switching between apps, or if you do heavy graphics or media work.

And if you're trying to do serious work in non-Universal graphics apps (Creative Suite or AfterEffects) on an Intel Mac...you may just want to max it out if you can.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technologist View Post
Obviously, you've never tried to do more than one of these things at the same time. These "little" tasks add up quickly...especially when running non-Universal apps on an Intel mac; Rosetta eats memory.
Yeah, I have. I have never seen any drop in performance using a machine (iBook G4) with 512MB of RAM with iTunes, Mail, 3-4 Safari windows, and MS Word all running at the same time.
I also did mention:
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
You may notice an increase to performance with apps that aren't Universal binary yet, that need to run under Rosetta.
I do understand that Rosetta is a RAM hog, and that if lots of those non-Universal apps come into play, then a RAM upgrade is a good idea.
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I don't want to step on any toes, but I remember my Mini G4 which shipped with Panther and 256 Megs RAM. I fired it up and let the updates install, then ran Mail and Safari then opened itunes. Itunes would skip if I did the least little thing as it was out of ram and swapping to the HDD. 512 is ok and with my iBook I can do all I want but I can at times tell it's running low, but to be fair I am a power user. 1GB seems to be a sweet spot these days but more can not hurt if you run a lot of apps at the same time and edit large video files and also if you run apps that need Rossetta.
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Dual channel is actually a motherboard capability meaning that there are two ram pipelines to the cpu to try and help the bottleneck caused by the system bus.

To get dual channel to work you have to have a matched pair of what ever ram you intend to use, it has to be an exact match.

Of course, the motherboard has to be dual channel capable in the first place, and I am not sure about the Mac Pro, although I would imagine it is.

If you want to upgrade to one GB, you need to purchase 2 identicle 512MB sticks of compatible memory and take any other memory out.

You will notice an increase in performance, but this tends to be subjective being dependant on what apps you are running at the time.

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CanadaRAM

 
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Dual Channel is supported in all of the intel Macs. The benefit is reckoned to be 6% - 8%, a bit more noticeable on the MacBook that uses main memory for video, a bit less noticeable on the MacBook Pro that has dedicated VRAM.

However, having more RAM almost always trumps having dual-channel RAM in terms of real world performance. If it is a choice between 2 x 512 Mb for 1 Gb total, or 1 Gb + 512 Mb for 1.5 Gb total, get the 1.5 Gb. Not only will the extra 512 Mb pay off in more programs being able to run in RAM at once, but when you want to go to 2 gb later, you don't have to thow away both 512's.

You can run a machine on 1 Gb or even 512 Mb RAM, if you don't run professional graphics/video/audio apps, and if you close programs when you are done using them. However most typical users leave 3 - 6 programs open at once and hop between them all day, which is a bad scanario for limited RAM. Having too little RAM causes the OS to swap memory on and off the hard drive more often. This is doubly bad on a notebook, because 2.5" drives are inherently slower than desktop drives, and it eats battery life to keep the hard drive spinning.

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More RAM is ALWAYS better and it WILL make things run faster.

What Devilboy is thinking is that more RAM won't increase the processor speed - and he is correct in that thinking. However as others have stated, when you have a memory-intensive app, or have lots of apps open, or have iTunes and just a few apps open, you're going to see a speed decrease with less RAM because they system is swapping hard-drive space and using it as RAM (in simple terms).

Applications will load faster with more RAM, videos will play smoother with more RAM and you'll have less spinning beach balls with more RAM.

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Yeah, if you think of ram as your desk space and the hdd as filling cabinets, the more deskspace you have, the more you can do without having to open those filling cabinets to store stuff, which takes a lot longer.

OSX is a lot better at using ram than windows i think so with everyday tasks,, i would guess up to 1.5gb/2gb ram would probably give you the fastest experience for your cpu speed.
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2 gigs should be sufficient, but 3 is the sweet-spot, IMO.

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