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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Powerbook sluggish with 1gig ram?

Powerbook sluggish with 1gig ram?
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Bruck
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Jun 23, 2004, 10:33 PM
 
So I've been using my powerbook quite a lot lately. I've been using it to backup my dvd collection since my roomates are always scratching the originals up and then i'm stuck with un-playable movies.

I am wondering if another gig of ram would speed up the video compression stage (dvd2oneX) or the ripping section (doubt it) (dvdbackup) or maybe the burning stage (TOTALLY DOUBT IT).

Also it takes maybe 4 - 5 seconds to launch ms word/excel V.x. Is office 2004 quicker? Should i buy drive speedup program to optimize my hd since i keep writing 4gb files and deleting them.

Would my system speed up if i went to 2gb of ram??
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Ω
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Jun 23, 2004, 11:01 PM
 
Do you run MenuMeters at all?

This might give you an idea about how much RAM you are using at particular times. I have 1GB in my PB but very rarely use more than 512MB.

Might highlight if you need more oommph.

MM can be found at VersionTracker
     
d.fine
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Jun 24, 2004, 04:01 AM
 
I've read very often here on MacNN that a faster HDD would do you a greater good at speeding up the transfer of big files, and I think that that is the right way to go if you're looking for a speed boost ...

stuffing feathers up your b*tt doesn't make you a chicken.
     
Dr.Michael
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Jun 24, 2004, 04:23 AM
 
Originally posted by _?_:
Do you run MenuMeters at all?

This might give you an idea about how much RAM you are using at particular times. I have 1GB in my PB but very rarely use more than 512MB.

Might highlight if you need more oommph.

MM can be found at VersionTracker
Right, too much RAM is a waste of money.
Measurement can also be done with
http://www.hillmanminx.net/dinmm/

Faster hd tests can be found on barefeats. If you have a 4200rpm hd it might be a gain to put in a 5400. From 5400 to 7200 the profit seems to be not that wild.
     
Bruck  (op)
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Jun 24, 2004, 07:11 AM
 
Thanks, i have the 5400rpm drive
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macxtal
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Jun 24, 2004, 07:36 AM
 
Planning on running VPC, 1gb is a good idea. Otherwise 768mb is fine. You might as well add a 512mb module.
     
ibook_steve
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Jun 24, 2004, 01:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Dr.Michael:
Right, too much RAM is a waste of money.

Too much RAM is *never* a waste of money. You can never have too much. How could you say this?

Steve
     
sniffer
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Jun 24, 2004, 02:46 PM
 
Originally posted by ibook_steve:
Too much RAM is *never* a waste of money. You can never have too much. How could you say this?

Steve
Second that. OS X have the ram filled up "always", and swaps everything possible from the ram before it reads from the disk. But ofcourse, for light usage, the benefit might be questionable in some extent. (You don't need 1Gig+ for checking e-mails)

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Dr.Michael
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Jun 25, 2004, 03:05 AM
 
Originally posted by ibook_steve:
Too much RAM is *never* a waste of money. You can never have too much. How could you say this?

Steve
Easy, try the shareware I recommended. This will show you exactly how much memory your computer uses. And it will measure pageouts and based on this make a proposal how much more memory is necessary for your working style. You will be astonished how hard it is to fill 512 MB with application needs.

The unused part of your memory might be used as cache memory. I am not sure how OS X handles this. Linux uses it insted of a pagefile. This makes your computer a little faster but the paging process is a very efficient one.

So, if you want to exceed your memory beyond 1GB it is worth to think if this is really necessary. More memory might be useful for you computer but the price is not always worth the profit. If you don't know how to spend your money elsewhere, you are right. But there is a point where more memory increases performance below the threshold of noticability.

We have a linux box with 2 GB of memory and use it to process satellite telemetry. Its my application so I know exactly whats going on there. Telemetry is a huge amount of data flowing through the application - and I am not talking about 1 GB, I am talking about hundreds of GB. And after coding the critical parts efficiently the app uses not more than 70 megs of RAM.

If powerbooks are sluggish its not because they don't have enough RAM. Its because they are sluggish. Powerbooks run a great OS and have many advantages in my opinion. But their performance is slower compared to X86 machines. This can be best increased with a fast hd not with more RAM if you already have 512+.

But advice like this is too much depending on your personal needs. There is no general answer. My girlfriend uses her iBook only for eMail and 1 page Word docs. She is perfectly fine with the 256 MB factory installed memory. I am writing java programs and most of the time I also do not need more. Photoshop work needs more, no question. But my 768 MB are already overkill also for this.

But simply measure with YOUR applications and YOUR data, don't guess.
( Last edited by Dr.Michael; Jun 25, 2004 at 05:37 AM. )
     
SEkker
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Jun 25, 2004, 07:48 AM
 
I have 1 GB RAM and I don't find the wait to launch word or powerpoint a big deal. I keep them open pretty much all the time, as I have 1 GB RAM. This is one example where even 2 GB of RAM may be helpful to you -- you can run the DVD encoding in the background and still have memory free for these other applications.

I think you would fine a faster HD a little helpful as you make your copies. But it really won't speed up your DVD burning, which is likely one of the biggest single time sink in the DVD duplication process. Of all the steps, which one takes the longest?
     
Bruck  (op)
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Jun 27, 2004, 01:54 AM
 
actually , ripping takes about 30min, burning takes 25 and compressing takes 23 to 40min depends on movie size..
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