Many Mac critics, as well as Mac proponents, say Macs just don’t have enough RAM in the standard, off-the-shelf configuration.
While RAM is considered cheap these days, does Apple put in enough RAM? How much RAM do you have? How about other Mac users? Our “RAM Poll” reveals all…
In the past, a common line of complaint from Mac critics and Mac users alike was the anemic standard RAM available on most new Macs. Nearly everyone agreed that more RAM is better, standard RAM was not enough.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a base iMac, Mac mini, or even an eMac or dual 2.5 ghz quad PowerMac G5, Apple doesn’t splurge on the amount of RAM supplied with each new machine.
How much RAM is in your Mac? That’ll vary Mac-to-Mac, of course. You’ll be surprised to know the standard amount of RAM on low end machines such as the Mac mini, even the eMac, is barely sufficient to run Apple’s standard iLife suite—GarageBand (the RAM hog King among iLife apps), iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD are all RAM lovers.
Computer critics have mostly great and glowing things to say about Apple’s new iMac G5—except for the standard 512 megs of RAM. Virtually every critic agrees that Apple should double the RAM in the iMac and PowerMacs, or lower the price for RAM.
You’ll also be surprised to know that your Mac runs better (not necessarily faster) with more RAM.
Here’s the standard configuration Macs and their RAM numbers (according to the Apple Store:
• iBook 12”: 512 megs RAM
• iBook 14”: 512 megs RAM
• PowerBook 12”: 512 megs RAM
• PowerBook 15”: 512 megs RAM
• PowerBook 17” 512 megs RAM
• iMac G5 (all): 512 megs RAM
• PowerMac G5 dual-core 2.0: 512 megs RAM
• PowerMac G5 dual-core 2.3: 512 megs RAM
• PowerMac G5 dual CPU dual-core 2.5: 512 megs RAM
Is that enough RAM to run Mac OS X and iLife applications? Many Mac users are probably content with browsing and email and occasional word processing chores. Even the standard 512 megs RAM will handle those applications one at a time; opening too many applications with only 512 megs RAM is asking for trouble.
The more RAM in your Mac, the more applications you can open without having to save parts of each application on the much slower hard drive. Minimal RAM means fewer open applications and slower response. More RAM means more applications can be open and with faster response.
Apple ships five very powerful applications in the iLife suite. Among them is the RAM hungry GarageBand. Trying out a few instruments in GarageBand is acceptable at the 512 megs RAM minimum. Anything more complex starts the change GarageBand’s colors and the need for more memory becomes obvious.
The iLife applications are somewhat integrated in that photos, music, can be shared. Opening all those applications in a minimum 512 meg RAM Mac usually slows down any Mac but the G5s.
So, how much RAM (random access memory) is in your Mac? If you’re not sure, click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your Mac’s screen, and select About This Mac… The pop up screen will tell you how much RAM is in the Mac.
The voting polls are open and the questions are numerous but easy. How much RAM? Should Apple include more RAM?
To let us know how much RAM is in your computer, all you have to do is click on the survey.
Surprised? Share your comments with other readers.
Carol Mary Miller
More is better, though Apple made many customers happy by moving the default memory to 512 megs RAM. I’ve tried iLife on a Mac mini and it works. Sloooooowly.
I’ve never fully understood Apple’s requirement to double the price of Apple ‘certified’ RAM. Not all RAM chips are created equal, so buyer beware. Cheap isn’t always good.
Even 512 megs RAM is OK for Mac mini and basic iMac use. If you add applications to you Mac and open more than three or four at a time, moving up to a single gig of RAM is smart.
Tera Jean Patricks
RAM is like a very large hard drive. More is better. Why? A large hard drive, as much RAM as you can afford, and updating to each new Mac OS X do wonders at extending your Mac’s life. By maxing out RAM and having extra large hard drives, I’m able to keep some Macs running for three to five years; double that of most PC users. Oh, BTW, I’m baaaaaaaack!
What’s your RAM? Take the poll, check the results and share comments below.