Upgrade: RAM or Graphics?

Discussion in 'Macintosh' started by muzikool, May 4, 2005.

  1. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    I was just looking around on eBay to see what kinds of deals I could get on hardware upgrades. It looks like I can get an additional 1GB of RAM for $80-$90, which would bump be up to 1.5GB. I haven't really looked into a graphics card upgrade, but I've been thinking about it because I "feel" like my card is a bit outdated. Basically I'm just looking for an excuse to spend money. :p

    Anyway, just looking for some input on whether I will see a good performance increase from either of these upgrades. Most of what I will be doing is working in the iLife apps, editing images in Photoshop Elements, running iTunes and Safari. It's possible that I'll be doing some video editing later this year, but that's not certain. Also, it's likely that two user accounts will often be logged on simultaneously.

    My current specs:
    1.8GHz G5
    512 RAM
    64MB GeForce FX5200 graphics
     
  2. champ2005

    champ2005 | xs |

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    The FX5200 is fine for the tasks you are doing. 1.5 gigs of RAM would really come in handy when you video-edit, so thats probably the logical choice.
     
  3. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Any other recommendations? I was hoping to hear from a Mac user who has gone through a memory upgrade.
     
  4. lancer

    lancer There is no answer! Political User Folding Team

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    muzikool, i'll tell you straight out, unless you are processing hd level videos for hollywood, 1gb of good 3200 mem is enough, 1.5gb cant hurt but unless you really need it, for video editing i would go out and buy a better card.

    It all depends on how much you want to spend, you could buy both memory and a new card although perhaps a cheaper one. how much do you have to spend?
     
  5. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Well, from what I understand about memory handling in OS X, the full amount of RAM can be utilized. The way I interpret this is that performance will always increase with added memory. If that is truly the case then adding that memory is very appealing.

    What I'm uncertain of is what improvement I will notice with an upgrade from a 64MB to 128MB graphics card. I'm not a gamer or heavy video editor, so I'm not sure what reason I have to upgrade.

    As far as spending money goes, I've got the money to upgrade both memory and graphics, but I don't want to spend the money to upgrade both. I'm probably going to spend less than $100 with whatever I upgrade.
     
  6. Ohzopants

    Ohzopants My mom thinks I'm cool

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    i vote ram. I'm not a mac user, but if your graphics card works and you don't really game, why get a new graphics card?
     
  7. SPeedY_B

    SPeedY_B I may actually be insane.

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    In my PowerMac, when I upgraded from 256mb memory to 768mb there was a HUGE improvement in overall performance. Then when I went from 768mb to 2048mb again there was an improvement (not as noticeable at first as I didn't utilise it fully).

    However, going from a 64mb 9000Pro to a 128mb 9800Pro I didn't notice any improvement other than in UT2004, Doom3 and Exposé, however I am running at 1920x1200 and have a lot of windows open all the time.. the 9000Pro never liked that much :D
     
  8. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    I imagine that Exposé is the only thing that might noticeably benefit from a graphics upgrade. I see a lot of potential with an upgrade to 1.5GB of RAM, especially with Dashboard and maybe even Spotlight? I've got iLife '05 coming in today and will start playing with iDVD, perhaps apps like that would benefit from the memory as well. :)
     
  9. SPeedY_B

    SPeedY_B I may actually be insane.

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    iDVD, iMovie, Garageband, iTunes (With large collections) and even iPhoto will certainly benefit from more memory. :)
     
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  10. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Last edited: May 5, 2005
  11. lancer

    lancer There is no answer! Political User Folding Team

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    ok i thought you used the graphics a lot in that cae, upgrade the mem and dont bother with the memory, they only benefit to upgrading from 64mb to 128mb in your situation, will be that the graphics card can better suit or newly suit mpeg4 format, which is dvd quality making any movies in this format play better, but other than that, i wouldn't bother.

    Upgrade the mem instead.
     
  12. sean.ferguson

    sean.ferguson Moderator Folding Team

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    your using a mac; i would have thought all initial ideas would have pointed to RAM ;)

    So in that case jumping from 512, to 1.512MB of Ram will benifit you the most i feel :)
     
  13. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    Memory. The BSD virtual memory system will take care of the rest. The more ram you have the more it likes you :p.
     
  14. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    I got two sticks of Kingston 512MB PC3200 RAM in today. I'm at 1.5GB now and I definitely notice the difference!
     
  15. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    Sweet. I really need to bump my mini from 512MB -> 1GB sometime.
     
  16. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    No, you need to give me all your cash, and then let me do what i want to do :p
     
  17. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Rough times, X? :(
     
  18. lancer

    lancer There is no answer! Political User Folding Team

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    muzikool its always rough times :)
     
  19. X-Istence

    X-Istence * Political User

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    I don't have:

    PowerMac G5 Dual 2.7 Ghz water cooled
    2 x 30" Cinema Displays

    :p
     
  20. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Hahaha you sound like my brother. :p

    2 x 30" displays?! <-- ABSURD :yowch: