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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

yet another RAM question...

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I'm buying a new powerbook in a few weeks and need some help figuring out how much RAM I really need. I have everything else picked out and essentially set in stone, but I'm still unsure if 1GB of RAM (2x 512mb dimms) will be enough when I'm doing heavy multitasking.

I generally have several programs running in the background no matter what (right now it's AIM, iTunes, firefox, occasionally outlook) in addition to whatever else I'm working on. When I get the PB, it'll be iChat, iTunes, Safari, and sometimes Mail. In addition to this, I'll be running Adobe PS CS2 pretty often, Dreamweaver, Flash, FireWorks, Word, Excel, PowerPoint... things like that. I definitely see myself working in more than one cpu-intensive app at a time, though not *all* the time. Right now on my Windows machine (XP Pro, 2.4 P4, 1gb RAM, Radeon 9700 Pro 128mb, etc), the most I can have running at once without significant lag is usually AIM, iTunes, a FF window, and PS CS. I'd like to at *least* be able to do this with the PB, but I'd prefer to have enough power to be able to do this plus have one or two other apps open (Word, PP, Dreamweaver, whatever...). Will 1GB be enough for this, or should I consider getting the base 512mb and adding 1gb of aftermarket RAM, or even expanding up to 2GB (aftermarket)? The specs I pretty much have set in stone:

15" 1.5ghz PB
64mb Radeon Mobility 9700
80gb hdd
8x SuperDrive
all other standard stuff (airport extreme, etc)

MS Office for Mac (student/teacher)
Macromedia Studio (Dreamweaver, Flash, FireWorks, FreeHand)
Adobe PS CS2
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if you can afford it, go for 2gb of ram. with 1gb, running apps like photoshop, flash, and fireworks will be sluggish. I had 1.25 GB in my 12" PB and it still seemed kinda slow. you can get really inexpensive ram from

i got my PB ram from them, and it worked like a charm. good luck with your powerbook!
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Mac Specs: 15" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook Black, 15" iMac G4, 24" iMac (soon!)

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I multitask fairly extensively and have 768MB of RAM. This seems to be quite sufficient. I've got 1GB on my Mac Mini and that seems to be fine as well. However, if you're going to use Photoshop and/or Final Cut Pro or something similar, I'd go with 2GB...

Roger Michaels
Apple Certified Consultant
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I have 1 gig and I run both final cut pro and photoshop, only time i find it to be sluggish is if i am running any of those programs and another program at the same time, but with just that one program open (and aim which doesn't really count) It runs perfectly.
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I have a 15" with 1GB RAM. My brother has a 17" with 2GB RAM. I have never had any "sluggish" problems, but I am not really doing any extensive running of programs. I'd say if you can afford it, get 2GB if you plan on doing some major programs.

My advice is just get the best RAM possible. Even if it may be an unnecessary amount, you never know what you'll be doing in the future. In my past experiences, I end up settling for a certain number thinking it will be fine and later regret it. That's why I chose the 1GB even though I really don't need that much at this point. Good luck!

Powerbook 15
Powerbook 17
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Mac Specs: My setup: 17in SD iMac G5, 1GB RAM & 12in iBook, 1.5GB RAM (Both computers standard config.)

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I guess if you have the money then you could get the 2GB.

If it was me i would probably buy a 1GB strip and see how i like it. Then later if i decided that was not enough i would go get another 1GB strip.

Just my $.02
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