Tiger RAM Requirements & Issues...

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I'm not sure how to put this into numbers or names... But since my PowerBook went through several configs with Panther and Tiger, I can safely say that:

- 512 MB of RAM are almost unusable under Tiger.
- 512 MB of RAM are usable under Panther.

(This comparison kinda freaked me out...)

- 1024 MB of RAM is perfectly usable under Tiger & Panther.

I think Apple should - with Tiger - push the requirements up. 256 MB of RAM might be enough to work with one application open, but as soon as you're actually using 5 or 6 apps, it seems like 512 won't do it any longer. I guess this might be a part of the explanation why we've had very different reports on Tiger's performance when going from Panther to Tiger. If you have 768 MB or less, you might not find Tiger a very good performer. If you however have 1024 MB or more, Tiger's quite definitely faster than Panther - at least for me.

Has someone made similar experiences with Tiger? I.e. changed the RAM configuration (added/removed)?
 

cory1848

Registered
Well I have 1280 megs of ram and Tiger is still jumpy for me...I do notice that photoshop uses about 400 of those megs pretty consistantly when fles are open....so there would be no way 512 would be acceptable...
 

quiksan

awesomer...
my 17" powerbook (rev1) at 1ghz with 1gb ram isn't too bad, but it does bog down at times. Granted, I roll with usually at least 6 or 7 apps open at once. I just ordered 2gb of ram to max it out. It'd better make it a noticable difference...
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
But would you agree that Tiger's memory requirements _changed_ from Panther? At first I really didn't notice it, since I _did_ have my gig installed when I first upgraded... Now if I get somebody to buy an iBook 12", I don't know what to tell them. Until Tiger, 512 MB was a fine system for basic iLife, Mail, Safari stuff...
 

Stridder44

Universal Traveler
Crap...looks like I need to snag another 512 for my iMac. Panther for me has seemed about the same I'd say, I usually roll with 5 apps open or so, or just huge iMovie projects.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Yes, Tiger definitely wants more RAM (especially if you want to use Dashboard). I'm stuck with 256MB, which was usable in Panther (although Panther wanted more, too), and really bad in Tiger. At least, I assume that's why Tiger's performance is so painfully slow. Although really, it can't be the only reason, because there certain tasks I've benchmarked that the RAM just shouldn't effect much.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I don't think the actual requirements should be upgraded to 512 from 256, but I definitely know for a fact that Tiger uses more RAM (effectively, I hope) than Panther.

Tiger with 256 is definitely usable. It doesn't rock, and it won't blow your socks off, but all the iLife apps work well enough and casual daily use for a home user is fine. I wouldn't recommend going absolutely crazy with tracks and effects in iMovie or GarageBand, nor attempting to find out what the maximum amount of photos/music iPhoto/iTunes can handle, and of course it will run better/faster/quicker with more RAM, but it will run pleasantly with 256.

My buddy's got a mini (beatutiful machine!) with 256 and I got the chance to use it for about 1/2 hour. It blew my G4/500 with 1024MB RAM away, plain and simple. I would take a mini with 256 over my trusty G4 with 1024 anyday for the kind of work I do -- programming, designing, editing, surfing. I didn't try using PhotoShop, Illustrator, Mail, iTunes, iChat and Safari all at once, as I'm sure that would be an unpleasant experience, but for 2 or 3 medium-weight apps, it handled them smoothly and efficiently. I politely suggested looking for a good 1GB module as it would only increase the usefulness of the machine.

At any rate, I do think that Apple needs to "upgrade" their position on included RAM, or perhaps examine their philosophy a tad -- it seems that, while not "behind the times," they need to review their stance and think of the future, much like they did with the processor. I don't think the amount of included RAM is/was a deal-breaker for a any significant portion of Apple consumers.

But yeah -- the moment I get to try Tiger on a G5 with a few gigs o' RAM may just be the day that I have to splurge and rid myself of my aging G4.
 

Jeffo

Registered
i have 640 in my ibook and it is very usable, but not as smooth as panther was, but then again my dual 867 with 2gig of ram is not as soon as panther was either, nothing major, but just a bit more stuttery in the graphics.
 

Kensaki

Registered
I got to the Mac store at my town and they just told me not to worry that Tiger had the same requirements and that it was so much optimized that it will run better and faster.
Truth is I installed it and with my PB-12", 1.3 GHz, 785 MB RAM, ran quite smoothly. Until I started to do some heavy work with many apps. It is the same experience but a less responsive. Particularly when opening finder or "Saving As" it takes long time to open the file dialog box to save. It has become a small anoyance in Office 2004.
I work a lot with VPC 6.1 and had a "virtual switch" error that does not let me use IPs other than the Natted one. On the VPC, it runs almost the same, again slower that before.
I do graphic design, programming and a lot of VPC for development.
If you are a poweruser, think on having at least 1 gig of RAM to switch to Tiger.

Before other people looked at my Mac and said how smooth and snappy the experience was. Now they look at it and say, "that is a little slow"...

Maybe Tiger is targeted to G5.....not G4...
 

sirstaunch

Registered
My eMac which won't install anything under OSX10.4 runs beautifully with 512mb Ram and never have any memory issues. The Virtual Memory is 4 gig on it's own set as default, which I haven't looked into if that's adjustable or not.

I read this forum just about everyday and a lot of problems have never happened to me, so guess this machine was made especially for OSX Tiger and if a new OS release happens I could encounter problems, who knows?
 

smithy

designer.
Hmm this is really interesting actually since the purpose of Tiger was to be faster than Panther on G5's and G4's.

How do you think Tiger will run on my eMac G4 1.25ghz 1gb ram, with Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, iTunes (music playing), Adium, Safari, Activity monitor running and with around 5 background apps? Confusing yes, sorry but thats what i usually work with all day, but when Photoshop and Illustrator is open at the same time i usually get pretty poor performance like my music will jolt and skip. Thanks, cause im really thinking of not upgrading to Tiger im just really unsure.
 

Viro

Registered
1GB should be fine for those apps. In a normal day, I have Mail, Safari, Adium, Netbeans, Xcode and a few other applications open at a time. On my 1.33 Ghz powerbook with 1.25GB of RAM, they run fine.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
With iTunes playing in the background, I can work in PhotoShop, Illustrator and InDesign all at the same time without a skip -- so I think it's probably your hard drive's speed rather than the processor/memory that's causing that to happen.

This is on a G4/500 with 1GB of RAM. I think it's probably because I've got multiple hard drives, and the music is located on a hard drive other than the boot drive -- so the skipping is probably due to the eMac's single, slow hard drive rather than the processor speed/memory.
 

sirstaunch

Registered
smithy said:
Hmm this is really interesting actually since the purpose of Tiger was to be faster than Panther on G5's and G4's.

How do you think Tiger will run on my eMac G4 1.25ghz 1gb ram, with Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, iTunes (music playing), Adium, Safari, Activity monitor running and with around 5 background apps? Confusing yes, sorry but thats what i usually work with all day, but when Photoshop and Illustrator is open at the same time i usually get pretty poor performance like my music will jolt and skip. Thanks, cause im really thinking of not upgrading to Tiger im just really unsure.
My Machine Name: eMac
Machine Model: PowerMac6,4
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.2)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.42 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.9.2f1

I use Safari, Mail and Adium, do use photoshop at times and run iTunes and bgscrensaver (screensaver as my desktop pic which keeps the cpu active) and don't have any problems.

I haven't gone as far to burn an actual DVD as yet but have watched converting movie files being time consuming but couldn't expect they would convert quickly anyhow.

At this time I am NetWorking through a Windogs XP system to a broadband cable connection (back on dialup on the weekend :()and no other external devices attached.

System Memory says 444.5mb used, so not much left on the physical memory.
 

smithy

designer.
So diablo you think it might just be because of my hard-drive? That sounds pretty much right. Im actually running out of space i've only got 12gb left (that finder says on the hd icon) but i don't know if that includes the vm 4gb capacity. So the solution would be to get a external hard-drive, so if i shifted some of my current apps over to an external one should i get some more performance off the boot drive ? What other optimization things i could do, i might install tech tool again just to see if everything is running okay.
 
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