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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Is 1GB enough in a MBP?

Is 1GB enough in a MBP?
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Jul 19, 2006, 11:28 AM
 
Hi all,

For those of you that have a gig of ram in your MBPs - do you find it to be enough for what you are doing? I need to upgrade and I don't know if I should add another 512mb stick or just fill up both slots. I'd really rather not spend the money if I don't have to at this point.

I run entourage all day, and will be in/out of other MS applications. I have the occassional need to boot a window session in parallels, but for most of my windows needs I just go into bootcamp. Right not things bog down a LOT if I have entourage and words running with my usual other apps (Adium, iTunes, safari).

Thanks.
     
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Jul 19, 2006, 11:51 AM
 
Entourage and Word bog it down so much because they are not universal. Whenever these apps become universal, they will be nice and fast. It will be awhile until they are universal, so I would probably upgrade the ram some more.
     
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Jul 19, 2006, 12:58 PM
 
have 2GB of RAM , MBP and playing World of Warcraft, I mainly have around 900 MB free when not running anything else..
     
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Jul 19, 2006, 12:58 PM
 
why not just get a gig now...and if its enough, keep it as is until you need more umph. then you could pop in another gig stick later down the road (you dont need matched pairs in intel machines, although its said that there might be a performance spurt if done so).
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
wowway1  (op)
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Jul 19, 2006, 01:02 PM
 
That's what I'm thinking about doing iRez, thanks all for the feedback and suggestions.
     
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Jul 19, 2006, 03:02 PM
 
1gig enough? nope. 2isnt enough, unfortunately thats the Max I want 3 or 4 gig in my future MBP
I free'd my mind... now it won't come back.
     
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Jul 20, 2006, 05:44 AM
 
RevEvs I think 4 GIG will be supported when the price of a single 2GB ram stick is a little more 'affordable'.

Wowway1, have you thought about getting the stock configeration, then buying an extra 1GB ram stick? They're quite reasonably priced, and i think 1.5 GB should work great with the apps you have mentioned! Although as im sure you're aware, OSX will take as much ram as you can throw at it!
"Amidst all the hype of modern design and computers, we have remained true by generating the majority of our designs by hand, viewing the computer as a tool and not letting it dictate our designs." - Ames Design.
     
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Jul 20, 2006, 09:07 AM
 
I started with the stock 512 (sucked big time) upgraded to 1.5 gig and then could'nt resist getting another 1 gig stick.
     
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Jul 20, 2006, 09:44 AM
 
I'm at 1.5. I think it's perrrrrfect, but I dont do much.
     
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Jul 20, 2006, 12:06 PM
 
I consider 1GB of RAM to be the best amount for the everyday user -- with one caveat: Rosetta eats a lot of RAM, so on an Intel Mac, I recommend another 1/2GB.

So I'd say that 1.5GB would be good. 2GB would be ideal.

tooki
     
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Jul 20, 2006, 02:26 PM
 
i have 1.5 as of now and its only a taaaaaaaaaaddddddddddd slower than my cousins mbp with 2gb.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 12:40 AM
 
Macs love RAM. Rather then making programs run at the same amount of RAM no matter what, it divides up your RAM, meaning there's really no way to monitor very accuratley if you need more RAM. If you try opening more programs, it will allocate the other programs less RAM, and even it out.
I recomend having either 1.5 GB or 2 GB.

Chris
15" MacBook Pro (unibody), 4 GB RAM, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X 10.6.2
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 05:10 AM
 
If I remember correctly, the MBP (and the MB, for that matter) unofficially support 4 GB of RAM.

I don't know if this has been backed up by hard evidence, though.
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Jul 21, 2006, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by brokenjago
If I remember correctly, the MBP (and the MB, for that matter) unofficially support 4 GB of RAM.

I don't know if this has been backed up by hard evidence, though.
Now that's something to look up
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 12:04 PM
 
It will, as will the PowerBook G4 15 and 17 inchers of the last rev.
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 04:29 PM
 
Anybody here aware of 2 gb sticks? Cuz as far as i'm concerned, i can only find 1 gb sticks!
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 05:58 PM
 
Look in the forums someone had posted a link to them. They were priced at $1000+.
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
Now there's a reasonable price...no thanks
I'm gonna be alright with 2 GBs in my Merom MBP then, i guess..
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 11:29 PM
 
Doesn't putting that much RAM in your MBP void your warranty ? Don't get me wrong I'd love to but I still wonder if it would or not .
     
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Jul 21, 2006, 11:56 PM
 
Nope.
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Jul 24, 2006, 02:24 AM
 
I think 1 gig is a minimum. I have had my MBP for over two months and I have gotten many crashes on Adobe tools because of the emulation and I have 1 gig in mine. I just ordered another gig for $80 and I am not sure why I waited so long. I am guessing it will be a lot better but you can always use more ram

-mx
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 05:13 AM
 
I vote you buy a 1 gig stick, giving a total of 1.5gigs. That way, you aren't wasting the stick that came with the MBP, and you don't have to spend all that much for the 1 stick. Also, if you ever decide you want the full 2 gigs, then you wouldn't have wasted any money buying a smaller chip and having to throw it away.
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Jul 24, 2006, 06:05 AM
 
I thought intel macs ship standard with matched pairs od ram?
This is first I hear they ship with 1 stick. Is this true for all intel macs or some ship with 1 stick otheres with matched pairs of ram?
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 07:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by macwebcam
I thought intel macs ship standard with matched pairs od ram?
This is first I hear they ship with 1 stick. Is this true for all intel macs or some ship with 1 stick otheres with matched pairs of ram?
iMacs and MacBook Pro's ship as standard with 1 x 512 stick. The higher end MBPs ship with 1 x 1GB stick.

The MacBooks & Mini's ship with 2 x 512 as standard for 2 reasons; 1) Its cheaper, 2) Because of the integrated graphics, Apple want the GMA950 to go as fast as possible, and because the Intels take advantage of dual channel mode for RAM, matched pairs makes memory access faster, and hence graphics slightly better.
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MrK
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Jul 24, 2006, 10:10 AM
 
It was only $150 to put in 2 GB. Yes, I have a useless set of 256 MB chips from my MacBook now, but OSX and Rosetta eat RAM like a Japanese hot dog champion. Well worth the extra $75.
( Last edited by MrK; Jul 24, 2006 at 12:03 PM. )
     
wowway1  (op)
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Jul 24, 2006, 10:12 AM
 
Thanks all, I'm going to drop a gig in it now and another gig in a couple months.
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 10:21 AM
 
It's not really the ram..it's the damn cpu.
I have an intel core duo(20" iMac), with 2gb's of ram, and i'll tell ya the powerpc's were faster.
What do i mean by faster. I'll give you the simplest example.
Having a few applications open such as photoshop, safai, mail, and itunes;
When Pressing the decrease(and the increase) volume keyboard button, I get pauses of sometimes 1.5 secs before the icon is displayed on screen an dhte action is performed.
I don't know if this 'interrupt' is indicitve of Intel chips or what, but ever since I've gotten this intel imac, I've felt like I've been using a damn pc...all these pauses and interrupts are very annoying, never happened to me using a g4 or a g5.
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 10:27 AM
 
Check out www.ramseeker.com - keeps track of current prices and sources for RAM.

NeoOffice 2 should be freely available in about a week - an Aqua port of OpenOffice, Universal Binary, and MS Office compatible - that will take care of the most prevalent Rosetta user, Microsoft Office.

www.neooffice.org

1.5gb barely cuts it for me, but I have lots of apps running at the same time, multiple virtual desktops, and background processes going on all the time. UNIX in general (OS X, specifically) performs best with the most real memory available. RAM is cheap, especially for the performance boost that it gives you.
     
MrK
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Jul 24, 2006, 12:05 PM
 
See also dealram.com

RAM is pretty cheap and really makes a difference under OSX. It is worth the investment, far more than say a 7,200 rpm drive, for the average user.
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 12:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by 2Four
It's not really the ram..it's the damn cpu.
I have an intel core duo(20" iMac), with 2gb's of ram, and i'll tell ya the powerpc's were faster...
Having a few applications open such as photoshop, safai, mail, and itunes...
Just by itself Photoshop will use 4 GB RAM, and is running under Rosetta as well. Expect some slowness from PS until PSCS3 is out. However, in general MBPs do run "snappier" than Powerbooks. Your gripes sound to me like you have bad installation(s) on your MBP. The kind of thing we see when Permissions are not always repaired immediately before and after every install, or when the box is not allowed to run 24/7 (or Cocktail), or when applications of questionable quality are on board.

The OS and apps like RAM and will need more as time goes on. Even 2 GB of RAM will have become a significant bottleneck for almost anyone in a year or two, so RAM purchases today should plan with that likelihood in mind.

-Allen Wicks
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 02:06 PM
 
Well if it's true that the actual motherboard on the MBP can handle up to 4GB then I think I'm going to get mine with 2GB and then upgrade in a year or 2 to 4GB. That should keep my mac running happily .
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon
Just by itself Photoshop will use 4 GB RAM, and is running under Rosetta as well. Expect some slowness from PS until PSCS3 is out. However, in general MBPs do run "snappier" than Powerbooks. Your gripes sound to me like you have bad installation(s) on your MBP. The kind of thing we see when Permissions are not always repaired immediately before and after every install, or when the box is not allowed to run 24/7 (or Cocktail), or when applications of questionable quality are on board.

The OS and apps like RAM and will need more as time goes on. Even 2 GB of RAM will have become a significant bottleneck for almost anyone in a year or two, so RAM purchases today should plan with that likelihood in mind.

-Allen Wicks

I'm quite religious about repairing my permissions. So no worries there.
However, it seems that the rosetta issue is the problem here. Thanks for pointing that out!
Running ALL native apps. The hiccups if ya will, seem to disappear...no more lag.

Guess I'll just have to wait till Abobe CS3(native) comes out...lord knows when it'll finally be here tough.
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 04:40 PM
 
If you were to go with 1.5GB configuration on ANY of the new Core Duo systems, you will experience roughly 20% slower performance than if you were using a mateched pair of RAM.

As an example:

- my Mac mini 1.6Ghz, with 2GB of matched pair RAM ended up being faster than my MacBook 2.0GHz with 1.5GB of non matched RAM. In fact, the apparent slowness of the MacBook bothered me until I noted the memory configuration.

- Once I replaced the memory with a matched pair of RAM for a total of 2GB, the MacBook made a significant jump in performance (not to say 'snappier'), and now runs closer to what I expect.

Also, the MacBook has a 4200rpm drive, while the Mac mini has a 5400 rpm drive, also a sinificant point of performance.

Thus, for all of you:

- make sure you are using matched paris of RAM
- make sure you are using the fastest possible drive.

ZD
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 04:50 PM
 
So if I went ahead and got 1 GB of the Crucial memory from Crucial instead of Apple the RAM should be matched shouldn't it ? Since Crucial supplies Apple with it's RAM.

Assuming I match the Crucial RAM I'll be getting the 7200 RPM drive in my MBP so I should have a snappy performer .
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by ZinkDifferent
Also, the MacBook has a 4200rpm drive, while the Mac mini has a 5400 rpm drive, also a sinificant point of performance.
ZD
Both the Intel Mac Mini and the MacBook have 5400 rpm drives.
iMac Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 1.25GB RAM | 160HD, MacBook Core Duo 1.83 Ghz | 13.3" | 60HD | 1.0GB RAM
     
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Jul 24, 2006, 08:12 PM
 
My MBP came with the TOSHIBA MK1032GSX, which while being a 5400rpm drive (my bad on misquoting my specs), and allegedly having 16mb of cache (well, it does), has terrible performance. Either way, I'm about to replace this drive with a 160gb drive from Hitachi, and the perpendicular drives should have better peformance.

Either way, the point I was making is that making sure your memory pairs are matched can make one hell of a performance difference -- so, don't try to save a few bucks by using unmatched pairs.

fuzzball - all 'matched' means is that the specs on both RAM modules should be identical.
     
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Jul 25, 2006, 12:45 AM
 
For those of you who are soon to purchase a stock Macbook Pro and think 1 gig of RAM is adequate, you should check out this thread

http://forums.macnn.com/59/marketplace/300561/512mb-ram-stick-macbook-pro-imac/
     
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Jul 25, 2006, 09:57 AM
 
what kind of question is that, why don't you go ahead and open a post about the meaning of the word "love" and what came first, the bacon or the pig. if you only check your email and talk to your buddies online, a gig is even an overkill, if you're serious about graphics and multitasking many apps (if there were any for your mbp) you would probably need more. There's nothing wrong about having "too much memory", its like garlic, u never have enough.

Originally Posted by wowway1
Hi all,

For those of you that have a gig of ram in your MBPs - do you find it to be enough for what you are doing? I need to upgrade and I don't know if I should add another 512mb stick or just fill up both slots. I'd really rather not spend the money if I don't have to at this point.

I run entourage all day, and will be in/out of other MS applications. I have the occassional need to boot a window session in parallels, but for most of my windows needs I just go into bootcamp. Right not things bog down a LOT if I have entourage and words running with my usual other apps (Adium, iTunes, safari).

Thanks.
     
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Jul 25, 2006, 01:39 PM
 
Is 1 GB enough for a MBP? My answer as the owner of the first 2Ghz model that had 1GB standard is a resounding NO!

I went from a PBG4 1.25Ghz with 1.25GB of RAM to the above-mentioned MBP. Quite honestly there were some instances where the MBP was more sluggish and less responsive than my old PBG4. This was quite a shock to me and also a disappointment as I was only short 256MB of RAM and I was running mostly the same applications I was on the PB.

Also, I hardly ever have the need to run an app in Rosetta; occasional use of Word or Photoshop only. My typical app-open load includes Mail, Camino, Adium, Add Book, iTunes, iCal, Quicksilver, and Stickies. Oh and a few Dashboard widgets.

Needless to say I was forced to upgrade to 2GB before I got so frustrated with my brand-new machine that I beat it into the desk. Since I have upgraded I have been pleased with the performance.

So I would say if you went for a MBP instead of a MacBook based on your usage needs, then odds are that you need more than 1GB of RAM.
     
wowway1  (op)
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Jul 25, 2006, 04:08 PM
 
Just ordered a matched pair of 1gb sticks for 2gb total from OWC. Should be here tomorrow, I'll post my comments after upgrading.

Right now 512MB ain't cutting it. Entourage/Adium/Omniweb (UB beta to boot) and trying to launch anything else and the system just crawls. Lots of spinning beach balls. I actually had all the above, skype beta (idle), fireworks and photobooth up and I was surprised the system didn't crash.
     
wowway1  (op)
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Jul 28, 2006, 10:00 AM
 
So this just in...MBPs like a lot of RAM.

I got my 2GB upgrade from OWC (very great company to deal with BTW - I ordered at 3pm ET on Tuesday, picked overnight, and shipped to my door it was $225, got there then next morning as expected, very nice instructions, snap to install). The RAM makes all the difference in the world. In fact, I think I could have done nicely with 1GB, as running Encourage, Word, OmniWeb, Adium, iTunes and Transmit at the same time reports that I have about 1500mb free which is hard to believe.

The Office apps are still dogs, though Entourage runs better with the memory and the latest office update. When I say dogs I mean dog slow to load, hopefully Universals are coming soon.
     
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Jul 29, 2006, 01:56 PM
 
2 gigs is he way to go.. RAM is cheap...online
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