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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

I feel Apple RAM-starves, am I wrong?


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GratefulMac

 
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Don't get me wrong, I *love* the Kool-Aid, but I truly do feel that Apple RAM-starves their products. First thing I did was bump my MBP up to 8GB. I bumped my daughter's MacBook White up to 4GB pulled from my MBP, and my wife's new MBA 11" page-outs like a madman with only 2GB. And now, it seems the new 4s will still "only" have 512 RAM. Am I wrong in my feeling that for the most part, Apple seems to under-power in this respect? I *know* that their OS's are FAR superior in RAM management than Windows, but I have to go by page-out %s, and I *had* to bump up all our laptops to avoid this, in particular my wifes MBA, still sitting at 2GB and occasionally doing 75% page-outs, gotta bump that. So, again, am I worried about the "wrong thing", or if I am *not*, why do you figure that the RAM seems to be below-par? Just a question, that's all.
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osxx

 
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You can look at it this way when Tiger came out the MacBook came with 512MB of ram and worked fine and that was at 667MHz now the iPhone has 512MB (eDRAM) at 800MHz and it does not run a full blown OS.
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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What exactly are you doing with your Machines that you need more than 4GB of RAM?

4GB is more than enough for everyday computing.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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GratefulMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
What exactly are you doing with your Machines that you need more than 4GB of RAM?

4GB is more than enough for everyday computing.
When I go to really fooling around in Photoshop, or leave a bunch of apps and tabs open it comes into play. I guess I'm just a "too much of everything is just enough" kind of guy.
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chas_m

 
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I run my 2007 Blackbook with 3GB of RAM (the most it can use) and it just FLIES.

But of course, I'm one of those crazy nuts who quits apps they're not using and doesn't check my email every minute or two.
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GratefulMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
I run my 2007 Blackbook with 3GB of RAM (the most it can use) and it just FLIES.

But of course, I'm one of those crazy nuts who quits apps they're not using and doesn't check my email every minute or two.
Well you're "right", RAM-starving *can* easily be avoided. However, a couple of things: A)Since I bought a "super-computer, and it IS! , I *want* to use it as such. B)Due to so many factors, mainly the INCREDIBLE UI and INCREDIBLE programs, I am finding my actual, "true production" to be EXPONENTIALLY higher than I could ever have conceived of in Windows-Land. Therefore, I now enjoy leaving apps open, I often flit pics between CS3, Aperture *AND* Gimp, utilizing them ALL towards a desired affect. Also run Safari, my preferred browser, with MANY tabs open, but I also run FF wide-open, as this is the browser I use for music collecting, due to the "Download Helper" add-on. I could go on and on. As for my 8GB, I sometimes get down to "only" 1 or 2 GB "spare", so you can see where 4 was inadequate. My daughter has no need at all for the 4 I bumped her up to, but as it was "spare", I gave it to her. However, as my wife is now starting to discover the joys of CS3 on her Air, I may swap the RAM back out of my daughter's white MacBook and put the 4GB into her Air, as my daughter never even comes CLOSE to utilizing her RAM, whereas the Air *often* gets hugely disproportionate page-outs, as I have described.

The larger question, or "point", is the common "argument" some use against Macs vs. a Windows machine: that is, higher price for "similar" specs. Of course, they fail to take the ENTIRE picture into consideration, in that the MBP line may ONLY be compared with the high-end business machines, due to build quality and flawless hardware execution due to the "closed-shop", and that the processors at this level are usually identical. However, it is a simple *fact* that Mac specs out their machines with pretty much half the RAM of even a truly comparable Windows machine. Now, it MAY OF COURSE be due to that they wish us to upgrade using THEIR RAM, but most will not use that, when perfectly comparable RAM may be had elsewhere for far less than half what Apple charges. Again, I just sort of always wonder why they under-RAM, and in comparison, they *do*. Not a criticism, because an Apple machine TRULY DOES outperform at these RAM levels, but some folks, like, just like things to be top-ended. Always better to have more. Kinda like when ya go out to buy beer. It is OK to be done drinking, and have beer left over. It is NOT OK to have no more beer, but be unable to go and get MORE!
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Frankly, I think the base memory for a "Pro" machine should be 0 GB. Let us decide for ourselves how much memory to install.

But Apple has a different definition of "Pro" than I do; mine is short for "Professional," where Apple's is closer to "clueless n00b with lots of money to spend."
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@GratefulMac, two comments. The first is style. Can you drop the CAPS, "quotes" and *emphasis* marks? It's hard to read what you are trying to say with all of those extraneous marks.

Second, I don't know how you, or anyone else, can compare the Mac line with the mythical Windows machine. There is no such thing as a Windows machine, there are just vendors who sell equipment with Windows installed. I suspect the higher memory on those machines is there to overcome the fundamental waste of memory that comes with Windows. To get performance from Windows, you have to have lots of memory. OSX, on the other hand, can run quite well in less space, so Apple chooses to install what they think the average user will need. I tend to close applications when I'm done with them, recovering the RAM, so I don't hit any ceiling with the 4Gb of RAM in my MPB. I did upgrade my iMac from 2 to 4Gb, but that was after I had had it a while and wanted to use CS4 on it. I used third party RAM from OWC for that upgrade and it was very easy to do and stay within warranty.

The same logic on RAM in the 4S is applicable. They used what is required, not more. Given that the machine has tested out with a 68% increase in speed over the 4, I'd say that they got it pretty close to right.

So, if you want/need more RAM, go for it, but I don't think the charge that Apple starves their offerings of RAM is warranted.
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GratefulMac

 
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Dang. Rough room. Thanks for the replies though, I guess.
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All we're saying here is that your use of your Mac is not really the same as the typical user, so for the average person, the 2GB that comes pretty standard on most machines these days is more than adequate.
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You've gotta say in a machine costing anywhere between £1000 and £2000+ and with the price of a 4GB DDR3 module costing £15 (at least here in the UK, price to apple considerably cheaper) they could easily double the standard config to 8GB.
In my opinion there is no excuse not to do this.
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Have you been keeping Safari open for a while? Close it when you don't finish, and clear out the cache frequently. Safari is a HUGE memory hog. As of right now, on my mbp, Safari is taking up this much out of 8gb's that I have:

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius
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Yeah Safari has a known issue at the moment you can read more here

Dropping Safari for Chrome | Browsers | Macworld
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazanders View Post
You've gotta say in a machine costing anywhere between £1000 and £2000+ and with the price of a 4GB DDR3 module costing £15 (at least here in the UK, price to apple considerably cheaper) they could easily double the standard config to 8GB.
In my opinion there is no excuse not to do this.
I agree. I shouldn't have to spend almost 2,000 to have to go and drop another $200 right off the bat to upgrade the HDD and memory. I have always had a Windows computer (just recently switched to MAC), and when I purchased a new computer it already had the HDD and memory installed that I needed, AND was half the price of a MAC, if not more.
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I still only have 1gb of ram in my old iMac, and I'm just fine with it as is.
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