Is more memory worth it?

iMacLover

Registered
Right now I have an 800 mhz flat-panel iMac running 10.2 with 512 MB of RAM. Would it be worth it to upgrade to 768 or even 1024. Like would I notice a speed difference or anything?

Thanks for all replies.
 

ThinkingDiff

Registered
Depends on how you are using your machine. Do the following test:

Open all of the applications you usually use.
Open a terminal window and type top
Find the line that says PhysMem

How much free memory do you have? There comes a point when extra memory will not help performance.
 

vanguard

Registered
That's not a good test. The OS does not free memory just because it can. It will free it when a new process demands it. In other words, you can have your memory nearly full but a lot of it hasn't been released because nothing needed it.

Here's a better test, run "vm_stat 5" (without the quotes) and watch the right column. That reports page outs. Ignore the first line and the subsequent "first" lines. (You'll see what I mean.)

If the right column is above zero very often you would benefit from more ram. Unless you like to work with a lot of large apps open I would guess that 1/2 gig of ram is more than enough.

Vanguard

PS If anybody tells you differently then ignore them. The mac community is filled with non-cs grads who pass on mis-information that they read on the internet. Trust me on this one, extra ram only helps you if you're currently paging out, regardless of popular belief.
 

martijnvandijk

Registered
I am currently running on 786 Mb and it is definately faster than the 512 that I used to work with on my old (ahum, 15" LCD iMac)

So I would go for those extra Md's!
 

ladavacm

Unperson Spotter
Originally posted by vanguard

Here's a better test, run "vm_stat 5" (without the quotes) and watch the right column. That reports page outs. Ignore the first line and the subsequent "first" lines. (You'll see what I mean.)

If the right column is above zero very often you would benefit from more ram. Unless you like to work with a lot of large apps open I would guess that 1/2 gig of ram is more than enough.

Vanguard

This is true, but there is more to it. What you are describing is condition on a brink of thrashing--condition when you MUST increase available RAM. However, RAM to be used as pure filesystem cache is advantageous far beyond pageout time: depending on your usage patterns (re-reading or modifying limited set of files) it can considerably reduce the number of pageins, and enable things otherwise impossible if you have slow disks. E.g. 1 Gig of RAM makes possible auditioning of 36 audio tracks simultaneously on a TiBook, where faster disk is not exactly an option (and FireWire does not help because it uses more CPU which is better used to process tracks in real time).

So, the bottom line is: it depends. If you are paging out, you pretty much MUST add memory. But, more memory can be beneficial in other circumstances, albeit in not so obvious ways.
 

pianophile

Registered
Add as much memory as you can afford. For all practical purposes there is no such thing as having too much RAM.
 

Urbansory

The Definition of...
Yea I'm about to Upgrade my memory too. I experience that unreleased memory one time too many. I can restart and have better performance with the same apps open before the restartm but more memory is in use. So that unreleased memory slows things down a bit.
 

OmegaMan

Registered
Originally posted by pianophile
Add as much memory as you can afford. For all practical purposes there is no such thing as having too much RAM.
Yeah....what ELSE are you gonna do with those empty ram slots? An empty ram slot is a terrible thing to waste. :D

I'm at 1024mb ram (933 Quicksilver)....256, 256, 512. In my case, I don't see the point of yanking one of my 256 chips to put another 512 (hmm....unless I sell it to my friend who has 768, on his dual 450 g4). And now that the new towers use ddr ram, no point in getting more.

Atleast I got my digital hub.....1gig ram, 933, 100gb, superdrive, 15"lcd (i know, I want the 22"....anyone wanna buy me one? hehe), photo printer, scanner (hp - classic mode only! Grr!), mini-dv camcorder, bluetooth cellphone.

Next on the list....dlink bluetooth adapter, and possibly an ipod. *l*
 
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