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

MacBook Pro - How much better 4GB RAM over 2Gb


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Ricky55

 
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How much better does the mac book pro run with 4gb ram rather than 2gb, with the 2.4ghz core 2 duo cpu?
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tobywuk

 
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Well if you currently have 2GB of ram and you never use 100% of it then it dosent make any difference at all.

It will only make a difference if you ever need to actually use 4gb of ram at one time.
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Oistrakh

 
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^when would you use 4GB ram for example?
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Kash

 
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For video or photo editing where large scratch files are needed, and best put on RAM rather than on the hard drive.


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goobimama

 
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CPU speed and RAM both serve two different purposes. If it's large files that you work with, the more RAM the better it will be. I'm satisfied with 2GB RAM, although at times when I open a large file I do feel the need for more RAM.
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JerrfyLube

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky55 View Post
How much better does the mac book pro run with 4gb ram rather than 2gb, with the 2.4ghz core 2 duo cpu?
In OS X, not that much better unless your doing very intensive photo or video editing.

In Vista, makes a huge difference!!
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brian67

 
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There is a slight speed increase from 2 to 4 even in normal use.
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Geeky1

 
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I agree with brian, although I would say that it's more of a dramatic speed increase than it is a slight increase.

It will depend on how you use the machine. Right now my MBP has Firefox open (with 6 tabs), Colloquy (in 4 channels on 2 servers), Adium (2 conversations), Skype, Hardware Monitor, Stickies, TextEdit, Calculator and Acrobat open. For me, that's actually a pretty light load... usually I have multiple FF windows open with 15 tabs or so each, and 10-15 IM conversations.

The major difference I noticed going from 2GB to 4GB was that the machine no longer lagged when typing in text boxes such as this one while an application (such as Colloquy) bounced in the dock trying to get my attention. I also found that the machine now feels about as responsive as an XP system with a virtually identical CPU on 2GB of RAM does; with 2GB it felt extremely sluggish by comparison.

You might also check out my RAM buyer's guide, specifically the first section titled "How much ram do I need?" located here:
http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83260

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D3v1L80Y

 
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RAM does NOT "speed up" your computer.

I'll state that again.....

RAM does NOT "speed up" your computer.

Up to a point, adding more RAM can cause your computer to seem faster on certain types of operations. This is because adding RAM lessens the use of the Virtual Memory Manager's swap file. It doesn't magically make your processor or hard disk any faster.

If you don't have enough RAM, then your VMM swaps data to the virtual RAM on your hard disk. Swapping data to the hard disk takes longer than if it were simply stored in actual (not virtual) RAM. More actual RAM can mean less swapping to the hard disk, which means that some applications and programs that require it will run smoother.

There is where you have your "perceived" speed increase.

Also, if you had 2GB of RAM in your computer, and you didn't use applications that required all of it, the VMM would have plenty of room and you would never see it swapping anything. If you then added more RAM after that, it would have no effect.

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Oistrakh

 
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^what "speeds up" your computer then, that you can easily upgrade?
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Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it an increase in usability.

No, going from 2GB to 4GB will not magically make your 2.4GHz C2D into a 3.0GHz C2D or whatever. It will not make it equal the performance of one in any way, shape or form. It will also not remove the fact that the HD is (ignoring the optical drive) the single largest bottleneck in a computer in most cases.

HOWEVER, it can certainly make a system more usable. Right now, of 4GB available, I have 2.4GB free. So I'm only using about 1.6GB. Know what? If I take one of the sticks out (or swap in the old pair of 1GB sticks) I'll go back to a system that in certain, select cases can't keep up with my typing. I have tried going back and forth, it is reproducible EVERY time.

I don't disagree that it is highly dependent on how the machine is used, nor would I say that adding RAM is a cure-all. But I noticed a significant increase in usability on this machine from the upgrade. Significant enough that I was considering selling or returning the machine when I bought it (with 2GB) because it was a slug compared to a fresh install of XPSP2 on my desktop (C2D E6600/2GB DDR400 on an i865/6800GT); it was driving me absolutely insane. I don't have that issue after upgrading.

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh View Post
^what "speeds up" your computer then, that you can easily upgrade?
A computer's actual speed is based mainly on the processor and the hard drive. If you have a system where these things are upgradeable, then you will notice an actual increase. For most of your average tasks though, this increase would be almost unnoticeable with the exception that they would load up faster. You wouldn't really see the dramatic difference until you used applications that are processor intensive. Things like games, or other high data-crunching apps.
Otherwise, the 200Mhz to 400Mhz boost really isn't a huge deal.

A faster hard disk would speed up the VMM when using the swap file.

Those things add real speed, but for the average user, they are overkill.

Don't get me wrong with my last post, adding RAM isn't a bad thing. A computer that operates more efficiently (due to added RAM) is in many ways better than a true "speed demon". It all depends on what you plan on using the computer for.

Generally speaking, if your choice was between a 2.2 Ghz or a 2.6 Ghz processor, then go for the slower processor and boost your RAM.


@ Geeky:
Quote:
Significant enough that I was considering selling or returning the machine when I bought it (with 2GB) because it was a slug compared to a fresh install of XPSP2 on my desktop (C2D E6600/2GB DDR400 on an i865/6800GT)
You are comparing similar hardware setups, yet two very different operating systems. They each use the hardware in unique ways and how efficiently or fast they run on a certain set of hardware will vary greatly. You really cannot compare the "speed" of OS X to the "speed" of Windows when the hardware is similar. OS X is a bit more of a memory hog than Windows. Granted it handles the RAM more efficiently, it just tends to use a little more of it for some tasks. As you stated, it all depends on how the user utilizes his machine.

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Ricky55

 
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Of course RAM speeds up your computer!

It may not make your processor physically go faster obviously not but if your computer under heavy load (loads of apps open etc) is wrting to the swap file because there is not enough Ram then by increasing Ram the swap file is used less this will therefore make the computer feel more responsive and faster.

Every processor also needs a certain amount of Ram to feed it smoothly with data.

So I think you are wrong to say that Ram doesn't speed things up.
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Ricky55

 
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its not a "perceived" speed increase its an actual one if this computer is not churning away writing to the swap file.
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tobywuk

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
RAM does NOT "speed up" your computer.

I'll state that again.....

RAM does NOT "speed up" your computer.
He is right, RAM does not speed up your computer. The only thing RAM does is determin the ammount of applications and processes you run. If you Run lots of applications and you upgread your RAM it will seem faster because it can cope with more processes running at the same time and does not have to use Swap space which slows the whole procss down.

You have to remember the use of swap files is only a back up procedure if your system runs out of RAM. With out Swap Space your computer would just crash if you go over the RAM limit.
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