: Is more RAM A GOOD idea?


dru
Sep 24th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I have a single processor G5 1.8ghz 3.5gigs of ram. iPhoto runs so slow on it.. would it be beneficial to get more ram, and maybe a new video card.. would either/both of these provide a noticeable speed boost?

Just curious... but I would also love some reasons to be to buy a mac pro tower or a macbook air....

i-rui
Sep 24th, 2009, 10:41 PM
ram is always nice, but if you have 3.5gbs and it's still slow more won't really help.

I don't know too much about iphoto, but i DO know aperture bennifits greatly from the graphics card... but at this point i'd be reluctant to dump more money in a G5... you're better off upgrading to a newer machine.

Carter
Sep 24th, 2009, 10:45 PM
If your computer will take more, then YES :D
The more ram the better. You will not necessarily give a big speed boost but it will help with having more applications running and give applications that will utilize more memory to do things faster.


chas_m
Sep 25th, 2009, 02:45 AM
Have you updated to the latest iPhoto? How large is your library?

MacDoc
Sep 25th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Have you defragged/optimized your drive...that is certainly a factor if you have not.

Your drive could also be failing.

eMacMan
Sep 25th, 2009, 10:41 AM
Go to /Applications/Utilities/Terminal

Type:
top
and hit return or enter.

Along the top you will see a lot of information. Look for page ins and pages outs. If page outs are zero or very low compared to page ins then extra RAM will be of little or no benefit. If page outs are higher than about 2% of page ins then extra RAM is indicated.

eMacMan
Sep 25th, 2009, 10:43 AM
iPhoto is in effect a rather sophisticated data base. Do you have a lot of photos or do you RAW file format?

mkolesa
Sep 25th, 2009, 10:45 AM
if it's a prob that's slowly crept up on you, as others have suggested, you may be able to do some maintenance work (diskwarrior &/or defrag &/or archive&install the os) to get you back where you belong.

but i will say that when i went from my G4 iMac to my Intel iMac the performance improvement was so great I turned around and upgraded my laptop the same week...

CanadaRAM
Sep 25th, 2009, 11:11 AM
The thing with more RAM is -- it speeds up a computer just like taking your foot off the brake speeds up a car... That is, having more RAM removes a barrier to speed rather than increasing the intrinsic processing speed of the machine.

When you don't have enough RAM, the OS is forced to use swap files on the hard drive to move memory out of RAM and back in again - this causes a slow down because hard drives are many times slower than RAM. When you have enough RAM, that slowdown is eliminated, so the machine will increase speed up to the point of the next bottleneck in speed -- which may be hard drive performance (over-full drive, fragmentation) CPU speed, video card speed, whatever).

How much RAM is enough? It depends a lot on the programs you are using, how much multitasking you do, and the type of data you are handling. Large graphic files and large iPhoto libraries put a premium on RAM space. Photoshop can use 3 GB of RAM all to itself, so if you are using Photoshop, 4 GB is the practical minimum for optimum speed. Some programs in 3-D modeling and rendering, video production and engineering can exploit large amounts of RAM (8 GB and more). Check out Real World Speed Tests for Performance Minded Mac Users (http://www.barefeats.com) for tests of performance with higher amounts of RAM -- suffice to say that there are positive returns for high amounts of RAM, the returns are diminishing once you pass the 'enough' level.

RunTheWorldOnMac
Sep 25th, 2009, 11:28 AM
The thing with more RAM is -- it speeds up a computer just like taking your foot off the brake speeds up a car... That is, having more RAM removes a barrier to speed rather than increasing the intrinsic processing speed of the machine.


that is the best explanation I have seen to date... you in the memory business or something? :D

mguertin
Sep 25th, 2009, 12:03 PM
The thing with more RAM is -- it speeds up a computer just like taking your foot off the brake speeds up a car... That is, having more RAM removes a barrier to speed rather than increasing the intrinsic processing speed of the machine.

:clap:

Agreed, very well said. That's always a tough thing to explain and you hit the nail on the head with this one!

Niteshooter
Sep 25th, 2009, 01:02 PM
I'd check and see what your maximum is for memory. On some of those G5 Macs it was only 4GB (only 4 slots) so if you are already at 3.5GB it may not make a lot of difference.

I would look at your hard drive, if it's getting full that can also adversely affect performance. If you only have the one drive then it might be worthwhile to buy a second one that you can install internally in your second slot. 1 and 1.5 TB hard drives are pretty cheap these days, I'm seeing $76 for 1TB and $109 for 1.5TB at Canada Computers this week.

Kevin