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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 28, 2007
    Buying my first mac... how much RAM do I need?
    Actually, I'm buying a Macbook for my wife, because she got a new teaching position and her old Dell laptop is pretty outdated. I'm going for the 2.0GHz model, but since I have NO experience with OSX I'm having trouble guesstimating memory needs. She'll probably want to run, simultaneously, PowerPoint (or maybe Keynote), Word (or perhaps Pages), an e-mail client, and a web browser. Maybe CrossOver occasionally to run Picasa2. Probably not going to mess with Parallels.

    For me, with XP, 1GB is the bare minimum, and 2GB is preferable because I like things to, as they say, "pop", however as I said before I have never used OSX so I don't know if memory requirements are similar between the OSes. Should I pony up the extra $160 for the 2GB upgrade? Or will the standard 1GB provide a smooth experience for her? Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2

    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Central New York
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    I like to think 1GB as the bare minimum to run OS X. It will run on 512 fine, but the benefits of more RAM are very nice. She would probably be fine with the 1GB, but it will be noticbly faster with 2GB of RAM. I noticed a huge difference when I upgraded my RAM from 512MB to 1.5GB.

    So if you can afford it, get the 2GBs.
    Blog and Photo Gallery:

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  3. #3

    mr g5's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 15, 2006
    Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad, 1GB RAM
    1gb should be fine. but you seem like the type who likes very high performance so maybe you should go for 2gb.

    OSX uses around 500MB for itself.
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  4. #4

    novicew's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2006
    Hamburg, Germany
    MacBook Pro | iMac(2.1 G5) | MacBook(2.16 C2D) | MacMini (1.67 CD) | iPhone 4 | iPad (3rd Gen)
    If she is intending to use the above mentioned apps. 1GB would be enough. However she may experience a small lag with ppt, since MS Office is not yet a Universal Binary (Native Intel Mac). 1GB should be fine.

    If you find 1GB not good enough, you can always look for a good offer from a cheaper online store and add it at a later stage.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Dec 31, 2006
    MPB c2d 2.16ghz, 2gb RAM, 120gb Harddive
    I would just go with the 2gb of ram cuase then you have it for the future...dude also don't forget she is a can get the educational dicount and save alot..not only on the price of the comp but also the upgrades cost less. if you aren't already doing this.

    Evasive-Media Group
    [ MBP ] 15.4" - 2.16ghz C2D - 2gb RAM - 120gb HD [ MBP ]

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jan 09, 2007
    MacBook Core2 Duo 2GHZ, G4 PowerBook 1GHZ
    I checked the Apple's educational website and to add 1gb it is $157 for students. I'm in that dilemma right now of adding 1 gb to my new MacBook, I have to buy a pair of 1 gb sticks to get up to 2 gb's and then be stuck with 2 sticks of 512 which aren't worth alot on ebay.
    Point being if you can possibly afford it, by it with 2gb's, $157 is not bad at all, highly recommended!!! OSX is a RAM pig!

  7. #7
    I would also recommend 1gb for bare minimum. I still only have 512mb in my MBP right now and it's killing me inside, I wish I had the money to get 1gb or if I find a decent deal I might just go ahead and get 2gb.

  8. #8

    tei727's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    Macbook 2.0 ghz white
    get as much as you can afford.

  9. #9

    Noxian's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 17, 2006
    MacBook Pro 2.2ghz, 3GB, 250GB - 16GB White iPhone 3G - 2nd Gen 1GB Shuffle
    1GB minimum, if you can afford it get 2GB.

  10. #10

    Member Since
    Jan 28, 2007
    Thanks for all the helpful replies. We ended up getting the 2GB. The best part is never having to wonder, "How much better would this thing work if I had got more RAM?"

    Now I'm looking for a KVM that works as well as my wife's Macbook, since she'd like to use her (very nice) USB keyboard and mouse and monitor with her Macbook while at home working on the desk occupied by her PC.

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