Disappointing performance gain from increased RAM

I recently upgraded the extra RAM DIMM in my 800 MHz iBook G4 from 512mb to 1gb. I'd been hoping for a big performance bump, but I haven't really noticed much of a difference. I'm just curious if anyone has had a similar situation and if there might be something I'm failing to do to take full advantage of the additional memory.

The memory does show up in the System Profiler (128mb built-in plus the 1 GB DIMM).

I'm currently getting a 22.04 Xbench score. I tested before I upgraded the memory, but unfortunately didn't save those results. But I'm vaguely remembering a score of 19 or 20 with the 512mb DIMM.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 1

Comments:

in the real world?

is the computer faster doing stuff you want?

less beachballing?

I mean. it s still the same computer, but the extra memory will mean less swapping ....

by

When I'd done memory upgrades on other computers in the past, everything immediately felt snappier. This time, not so much. The computer feels as draggy as ever, particularly on the internet.

by

Add a comment

4 Answers

Chosen Solution

The best performance gain to be had in an iBook is to replace the harddrive - Apple Shipped iBooks with 4200 RPM Drives! slap a 7200 RPM drive in, night and day.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

There's an idea! But I'm looking at the ifixit guide, and this looks like a pretty formidable undertaking. Before I start, I'm wondering if I can get a sense of how much faster the machine would run by starting up from a 7200 rpm external firewire harddrive. Do you think that would approximate the speed of the computer with a 7200 internal hard drive?

by

You might get a bump, but you've already spent money, a HD will cost more plus labor, and the increase is just not going to be too dramatic. Whereas if you sell the computer for $200 on eBay and buy a 1.83GHZ MacBook for $450 on Craigslist, the $ won't be much more, yet you'll have a way more powerful machine that will last years. If you're looking at this as a fun project, that's awesome and I say go for it, but if the goal is to get done with this and use your computer, go with a MacBook.

by

Add a comment
Most Helpful Answer

You didn't mention what OS you have on this machine, but I wanted to mention that there is a huge difference between the performance of Tiger 10.4 vs Leopard 10.5 on a machine of this speed. Tiger does not require the same resources as Leopard, so if you have Leopard installed, you may want to downgrade to Tiger, and you may get at least part of the speed increase you're looking for.

Besides that, unfortunately this is an old and relatively slow laptop that isn't getting any faster, so you may want to consider upgrading to a used MacBook in the $500 range, which will be a night and day difference in terms of performance.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

I'm actually using 10.3.9. Do you think Tiger would be faster?

by

I haven't used 10.3 in ages so I'm not qualified to say, but I would guess 10.3 would use even less resources than Tiger and probably be even faster. I think what it comes down to is if you need significance performance increase, a new computer is in order. Memory helps, but is only one factor, i.e. putting new sport tires on a Honda Civic does not make it a Ferarri. :-)

by

Add a comment

For what it's worth, I upgraded RAM in a PowerBook G4 12" 1.5ghz (I think it was 1.5ghz) to 1.25GB when I upgraded to Leopard. I didn't notice much of a performance difference either, anecdotally. I agree with rdklincorporated's advice

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

Thanks -- at least it's nice to know I'm not the only one!

by

Add a comment

1GB still isn't that much, I myself only have 1 gig on my MB, and that can barely do anything. Added to the rather slow processor you have, I wouldn't expect much.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

mister790 will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 0

Past 30 Days: 0

All Time: 2,494