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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Help with memory (real and virtual)


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allieg

 
Member Since: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 5
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Hi, so first off I am new here, I hope I am posting this in the right place.

So I am techy in the sense of photography, cinematography, and final cut studio, things like that. But I'm a little lost when It comes to understanding memory and disk space.

I do a lot of final cut express editing and uploading photos from my cannon SLR which take up about 2.5 to 4.0 MB per photo.

I often run into the problem when editing that I don't have enough disk space on my scratch disk. I have an external hard drive that i put old/unused files on. But it barely makes a dent in the space my files take up.

So I was wondering exactly what I am running out of (virtual or real) and what I am making room for when deleting old files and things like that to make space.

Should I look into buying more RAM for my computer? Or is this not related to RAM? Does anyone have any solutions or workarounds for this?

Here are some stats on the computer, im not sure what is relevant or not.

I got my macbook pro in 2008, (15inch)

System profiler> memory>


Memory Slots:

ECC: Disabled

BANK 0/DIMM0:

Size: 1 GB
Type: DDR2 SDRAM
Speed: 667 MHz
Status: OK
Manufacturer: 0xCE00000000000000
Part Number: 0x4D342037305432393533455A332D43453620
Serial Number: 0x78327791

BANK 1/DIMM1:

Size: 1 GB
Type: DDR2 SDRAM
Speed: 667 MHz
Status: OK
Manufacturer: 0xCE00000000000000
Part Number: 0x4D342037305432393533455A332D43453620
Serial Number: 0x78327470



can anyone help? thanks in advance!
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chscag

 
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You can certainly add 2 more GB of memory which would help speed things up somewhat. You didn't mention how large your internal hard drive was? A large fast internal hard drive would also be beneficial. With 2 GB of system memory it's possible that you're doing a lot of swapping of virtual memory especially when editing large photos or images. The memory controller on your Mac uses hard drive space to swap virtual memory in and out. That causes slow downs.

Regards.
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allieg

 
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so i just looked up on apple how much that would be, and they apparently only sell 4gb of memory for the model I have... which would give me 6gb... Is that overkill? Its 200$ which isn't quite in the budget right now unless I absolutely need it in order to continue to do work. Do you know of anywhere else I can go to get it that will work in my computer?

Also, I have a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.

And just so you have an idea of how little space I have left even with deleting and moving everything possible to external hard drives, my computer has a capacity of 199.71 GB, and I only have 3.19 available.

Thanks!
allie
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chscag

 
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You're really in dire need of a larger faster hard drive. Also more memory would be a big boost for the type of work you do. I suggest going to Other World Computing (OWC) and buy your memory and a new hard drive from them. Stay away from purchasing from Apple.

Regards.
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mknabster

 
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Which year for the MBP do you have? I got a 4GB kit for mine at Crucial for $53, compared to Apple which, at the time, was priced at $289.

-Matt
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allieg

 
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@mknabster i have an early 2008 macbook pro

--

Also another thing, so i have 1gb in each slot of memory on my computer right? and there is two slots on my laptop... So if I buy a 2gb, is that 1gb each that i put one in each slot? because I already have that... or is it just one chip which is 2gb, which means i'll be leaving one of the 1gb in and replacing the other with a 2gb? but that only gives me 1 extra gb. do you think that'll be enough with all of the final cut editing and large photo storingi do on my computer? and if that is the case is it okay to mix gb sizes?

is there real memory on these chips? Will i be loosing files and need to back up my computer before I do this?

Also what will getting a faster hard drive do for me?

thanks again for all the help, truly appreciated!
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cwa107

 
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A brief explanation of memory and disk space:

People often confuse memory and disk space, and for good reason - in the case of "virtual memory", the two concepts dovetail.

Simply put, memory (or RAM) is a space where programs are loaded so that the processor (CPU) can process them. Memory is volatile. When your computer is shut down, it is purged.

Disk space (storage, hard disk drive, etc) is semi-permanent storage where things like your operating system, software and data are stored. It is non-volatile, but programs that are stored there must first be loaded into memory before the CPU can actually process them. This is where the term "load" comes from. Basically, the data is moved from your hard disk to memory, or "loaded" into memory for processing.

Virtual memory muddies the waters a bit. Once upon a time, computers had a fixed amount of memory -- and once you ran out, you had to shut down some programs before you could open any more.

Then along came the concept of "virtual" memory. Basically, the OS prepares a part of your hard drive (known as a "swap" file) to behave like real memory. Unfortunately, hard drives are several orders of magnitude slower to access than real memory, so once your computer starts using virtual memory, it begins to slow down dramatically.

Adding real memory prevents the computer from using virtual memory as often, thereby increasing performance. Adding a fast internal hard drive with lots of space can also help performance, since if you do have to use virtual memory, it's quicker to access. Additionally, the less full your hard drive is, the less prone it is to maintenance issues like fragmentation.

Hope all this makes sense - let me know if I can elaborate.

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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