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MacBook - Will more RAM fix a noisy MacBook?


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Adam_X

 
Member Since: Apr 18, 2007
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Hi just a quick question my (2.0Ghz, 1GB RAM 80GB HD) White MacBook often creates a lot of noise due to the fan kicking in.

This happens more so when watching videos on YouTube, recoding video with iMovie HD, or using large programs such as photoshop

I am wanting to remedy this problem as it can be very distracting and annoying.

My question is; would upgrading to 4GB RAM easy the strain on my system enough to stop the fan kicking in as often? Or should I be looking for upgrades else where?

The only other problem that I can identify is that it is possibly the lack of HD space (currently I only have around 20GB free) but I believe that RAM would be more beneficial than a HD upgrade

I can provide screen shot of my memory usage if needed?

Any advice much appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Adam
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cwa107

 
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Probably not. Your fans kick up as the CPU generates increased heat. If they're loud, the bearings are likely failing in the fans and are in need of replacement.

Memory will make a computer that is starved for it, run more efficiently. But it is a common misconception that it will "add speed". If you open Activity Monitor and click on the System Memory tab, you should see a pie chart. Open up all of your most commonly used programs. If the majority of the chart is green, you don't need any more memory.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Adam_X

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Probably not. Your fans kick up as the CPU generates increased heat. If they're loud, the bearings are likely failing in the fans and are in need of replacement.

Memory will make a computer that is starved for it, run more efficiently. But it is a common misconception that it will "add speed". If you open Activity Monitor and click on the System Memory tab, you should see a pie chart. Open up all of your most commonly used programs. If the majority of the chart is green, you don't need any more memory.
Thank You very much for the reply and trying to help me with my system,

I appreciate what you are saying, its not noise from the bearings it is the noise of the fan as it whirls rounds and the air that is being expelled from the machine.

In response to your reply, if I am having to use lots of virtual memory this could generate heat from the HD if the HD is having to be used less this could create less heat and the fan won't have to used as much. So it is a possibility that RAM could help out a little?

Should a 2.0 GHz processor struggle and generate lots of heat when playing back YouTube videos?

It would seem my machine is super starved of RAM I have included a screen shot from Activity Monitor



If anyone could add any further advice or add to this conversation as to wether RAM would be a suitable option then please leave your thoughts in this thread

Many Thanks

Adam
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cwa107

 
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Absolutely, given the screen shot you posted, you are definitely in need of more RAM. With the decreased disk thrashing, and in-turn lessened load on the system maintaining all of that virtual memory, you should see a vast improvement.

I would max out the memory (not sure if your model will take 4GB, check on Crucial.com, use their Memory Selector).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Adam_X

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Absolutely, given the screen shot you posted, you are definitely in need of more RAM. With the decreased disk thrashing, and in-turn lessened load on the system maintaining all of that virtual memory, you should see a vast improvement.

I would max out the memory (not sure if your model will take 4GB, check on Crucial.com, use their Memory Selector).
Thanks for taking a look for me

I was planning on maxing out at 4GB and buying from crucial

So there is every possibility that the upgrade of RAM ***could*** curb fan noise by reducing heat from the HD and lessing the load on the system?

In essence RAM could be possible cure for my problem?

Leave me a reply and let me know your thoughts and I will shoot over to crucial and invest if you think it would be a good solution

Thanks again for helping me out and discussing this problem with me

Adam
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cwa is quite correct in that you absolutely could use more RAM with what you're using the system for and it will cut down on the accessing of the hard drive's virtual memory that is currently being required.

He is also correct in that it will probably not prevent your fans from kicking in. While there is some heat being generated by the hard drive due to requiring the use of virtual memory, most of the heat being generated by your system is from the CPU and GPU.

If you're playing video's and cranking the GPU, the fans are going to run to cool it down.

If you're recording or encoding video, you're ramping up the CPU and GPU, and the fans are going to kick into high gear to keep them cool.

To be quite honest about it, if you don't want the fans to run over their default at approx 2000 RPM, you'll need to quit watching video, recording video, doing any sort of encoding, using any of the advanced tools in Photoshop and any other thing that will make use of more than about 20% of your CPU or GPU capabilities.

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cwa107

 
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I agree with bobtomay, but I do think that there will be some impact on the fan noise. The fans will spin up, as we know, when the system is being worked hard.

I would venture to say that the majority of the work your system is doing is probably just managing all of that virtual memory that you're using. With an adequate amount of memory, that work load should decrease significantly. Now, I can't make any guarantees, but I suspect removing this bottle neck will yield a marked improvement.

In my experience, playing YouTube videos isn't particularly taxing.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Adam_X

 
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Just adding an extra quick question. I hope someone can offer some sort of answer to this;

If I am running a 2.0GHz processor and upgrading to 4GB of RAM, why is my system struggling with the playback of video?

It is not so long back that I was a PC user and run a 1GHz PC on around 512 of RAM and had no problems with video playback and encoding

In effect is this Mac inadequate at playing back video from YouTube with out it being a strain on the system? I am a little confused? What Mac specs (or Mac Machine) is best suited for video playback (from sites such as YouTube) with out the machine "complaining"

Thanks for helping me out and offering suggestions everyone

Adam
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_X View Post
Just adding an extra quick question. I hope someone can offer some sort of answer to this;

If I am running a 2.0GHz processor and upgrading to 4GB of RAM, why is my system struggling with the playback of video?

It is not so long back that I was a PC user and run a 1GHz PC on around 512 of RAM and had no problems with video playback and encoding

In effect is this Mac inadequate at playing back video from YouTube with out it being a strain on the system? I am a little confused? What Mac specs (or Mac Machine) is best suited for video playback (from sites such as YouTube) with out the machine "complaining"

Thanks for helping me out and offering suggestions everyone

Adam
From a hardware perspective, modern Macs are no different than PCs. So, given adequate RAM, considering the other programs you run simultaneously with your YouTube videos, this should be a fairly light load. As I said in my previous post, I think your machine is struggling trying to manage all the VM that's needed to run all of your stuff. YouTube videos stuttering is just one symptom of that problem.

Another thing you could try is to update your video codecs (do you use Perian or Flip4Mac?) and also ensure that Adobe Flash is up to date (which is what YouTube uses to play videos).

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Adam_X

 
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Just wanting to thank everyone who helped me in this thread!

My 4GB of Ram arrived yesterday (talk about super fast delivery!)

I now need to remove the L bracket from my MacBook but don't have a Phillips 00 screwdriver, does anyone know if there is anything else (a house hold item) that I could remove the screws with

Many Thanks

Adam
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I recently picked up both a Torx and Phillips set like this one from Home Depot - link

That's the Torx set, but they have one that is a combo phillips/slotted set also. Nice and small, easy to store, only about 4" long and all the heads store inside the body.

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cwa107

 
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Not sure if you have Radio Shacks around where you live, but they typically stock a precision screw driver set under the brand name of "Kronus". Not only does it have the #0, but lots of common Torx bits too. Very handy, it's about $10.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_X View Post
I now need to remove the L bracket from my MacBook but don't have a Phillips 00 screwdriver, does anyone know if there is anything else (a house hold item) that I could remove the screws with

Many Thanks

Adam
You definitely want to use the correct tool! If you don't use the correct tool...you may damage or strip the phillips head screw...and then your next posting will be...

"I damaged the phillips head screw on the "L" bracket when trying to upgrade my ram, how can I remove this damaged screw?"

Purchase the correct tool...and avoid headaches!

- Nick
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