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Apple's A5 CPU in iPad 2 has 512MB of RAM, same as iPhone 4 - report

post #1 of 264
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Though Apple has not officially disclosed how much RAM is found in the iPad 2, a Korean semiconductor analyst has claimed to know that the new A5 processor has 512MB of memory.

Responding to a query about the amount of RAM in the iPad 2, analyst Kakeun Lee claimed on Twitter (via Google Translate) that the new iPad will double the amount of RAM in last year's model. He also revealed that the new A5 processor features LPDDR2 memory, which is a speed boost from the LPDDR1 RAM in the first-generation iPad.

If true, the inclusion of 512MB of RAM confirms reports that the iPad 2 would pack the same amount of memory as the iPhone 4. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities also told AppleInsider that the RAM in the iPad 2 would run at a higher clock speed of 1,066MHz for greater memory bandwidth than the 800MHz memory in the iPhone 4.

Kuo also indicated back in January that the iPad 2 would have LPDDR2 RAM at a speed of 1,066MHz, corroborating Lee's more recent claims. Kuo said the memory would be supplied by both Samsung and Hynix.

512MB of RAM would be equal to the amount found in the iPhone 4, released last June. The amount of RAM supposedly in the new iPad is also half of the 1GB found in the Android-powered Motorola Xoom.

Apple prefers to avoid detailing technical specifications of its devices, instead focusing on features and usability. But the company did reveal on Wednesday that the new A5 processor is a custom-designed 1GHz dual-core chip with the same low power consumption as last year's A4.

The report also contradicts what a representative in London demoing the iPad 2 reportedly told Gizmodo: that the new iPad has the same 256MB of RAM as last year's model. However, the site was then told by another public relations person that they couldn't confirm how much RAM is in the new A5 processor.
post #2 of 264
Well BS that we need to get this info from a fourth party. Further it is BS in the sense that Apple does publish many specs for the iPads but prefers to screw over the consummer with respect to this one important parameter.

RAM is very important, if Apple has stayed with 256MB the upgrade would be worthless. From the day it debuted iPad one has suffered from the lack of RAM.
post #3 of 264
That's an odd way to put it. Is this just strange wording, or is it really the case that the RAM is integrated with the CPU?
post #4 of 264
Quote:
That's an odd way to put it. Is this just strange wording, or is it really the case that the RAM is integrated with the CPU?

Yes the RAM is integrated into the SOC, so its part of the CPU itself.

Honestly 512 isn't enough. If I'm buying a new iPad less than a year later, I want it to be able to handle stuff thats more memory intensive than what my phone can do. 1 gig should be the minimum. I'm still buying the new iPad, but 256 isn't enough on the current model, and 512 will soon not be enough on the new one.
post #5 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well BS that we need to get this info from a fourth party. Further it is BS in the sense that Apple does publish many specs for the iPads but prefers to screw over the consummer with respect to this one important parameter.

RAM is very important, if Apple has stayed with 256MB the upgrade would be worthless. From the day it debuted iPad one has suffered from the lack of RAM.

Gosh, imagine how much more I could have used my iPad these past ten months if it only had 512 MBs of RAM, instead of 256.
post #6 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

That's an odd way to put it. Is this just strange wording, or is it really the case that the RAM is integrated with the CPU?

Yes the A5 is a system on a chip which includes the high speed RAM.
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post #7 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iandanger View Post

Yes the RAM is integrated into the SOC, so its part of the CPU itself.

Honestly 512 isn't enough. If I'm buying a new iPad less than a year later, I want it to be able to handle stuff thats more memory intensive than what my phone can do. 1 gig should be the minimum. I'm still buying the new iPad, but 256 isn't enough on the current model, and 512 will soon not be enough on the new one.

What do you mean - most apps use less than 128 MB when running - iOS is very memory friendly unlike some of these other OS's.
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post #8 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Well BS that we need to get this info from a fourth party. Further it is BS in the sense that Apple does publish many specs for the iPads but prefers to screw over the consummer with respect to this one important parameter.

RAM is very important, if Apple has stayed with 256MB the upgrade would be worthless. From the day it debuted iPad one has suffered from the lack of RAM.

You speak the BS.

The iPad has not suffered from a 'lack of ram' - the only complaints I have heard about were Safari related and my understanding is that this was an application tuning issue.

Otherwise the iPad was fine.
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post #9 of 264
I hope its 1GB and not 512MB, it would be more than enough for today but might lead to quick obsolescence, look at the iPhone 3G running iOS 4.
post #10 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iandanger View Post

...Honestly 512 isn't enough. If I'm buying a new iPad less than a year later, I want it to be able to handle stuff thats more memory intensive than what my phone can do. 1 gig should be the minimum. I'm still buying the new iPad, but 256 isn't enough on the current model, and 512 will soon not be enough on the new one.

What are you basing this statement on?

Seems to me you're making an assumption about the memory based on what you think is enough. The iPad is far more efficient with memory allocation than PCs or Macs for that matter. There's no point paying for more memory if it won't be needed.
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post #11 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple prefers to avoid detailing technical specifications of its devices, instead focusing on features and usability.

Uh, they trumpet the new "dual core 1GHz" A5 chip on the front page of the iPad site, and list basically all of the tech specs under "Tech Specs", except RAM - probably because it's the one area from a hardware standpoint that another device (ie Xoom) clearly outdoes it. Plus the fact that Xoom can both play and output 1080p content while the iPad can digitally output 1080p but can only actually play 720p (cleverly presented by Apple, i must say).

Anyways, Apple is all about the user experience, so until Android makes some serious improvements that get it up to the level of the iTunes ecosystem, hardware is something of a moot point...
post #12 of 264
People should look more at how it performs and not at the numbers.

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post #13 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post

The iPad is far more efficient with memory allocation than PCs or Macs for that matter. There's no point paying for more memory if it won't be needed.

What are you basing these statements on?
post #14 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

You speak the BS.

The iPad has not suffered from a 'lack of ram' - the only complaints I have heard about were Safari related and my understanding is that this was an application tuning issue.

Otherwise the iPad was fine.

Well, those complaints were pretty significant. I gave up on Safari for the iPad and only use iCab now. The constant reloading of tabs in Safari drove me crazy - and I would suspect that this is due to lack of RAM.
post #15 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegurgitatedCoprolite View Post

Gosh, imagine how much more I could have used my iPad these past ten months if it only had 512 MBs of RAM, instead of 256.

It's more a question of whether you'll be able to use apps written/updated in 2 or 3 years that are designed to run on iOS 5 or 6 or 7.

The iPhone3 and 3G are both noticeably slower when running iOS4 and extremely slow when running apps that were released for iPhone4. I borrowed a friend's 3G (running iOS4) the other day to send an SMS when my 4 ran out of battery, and it really surprised me; imagine if the Macbook you buy today slows to a crawl when you install Lion later this year or when Pages gets updated next year. I think the iPhone and iPad fall more into "computer" territory than "phone" territory in the way that I expect to be able to run whatever programs come out over the next 3-4 years without feeling that they're too old/too slow technology.

I don't know if having 1GB vs. 512MB memory means anything right now within iOS4.3, but I'm almost positive it would make a difference when iOS5/6/7 are released.

From Apple's perspective, it allows them to get under the $500 price point and keep their targeted profit margins, while we can see the Xoom is going to be more expensive, but maybe have more longevity on the per-user basis...
post #16 of 264
The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 seem to do fine with "just" 512MB...

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post #17 of 264
On the iPad, there's RAM consumed by the system, and a larger amount used for frame buffers and OpenGL.

So doubling the amount of physical RAM will more than double the amount available to applications.

C.
post #18 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkettpolitur View Post

Well, those complaints were pretty significant. I gave up on Safari for the iPad and only use iCab now. The constant reloading of tabs in Safari drove me crazy - and I would suspect that this is due to lack of RAM.

Yes, it is. And this is probably the most prominent area where you will notice the effect of insufficient RAM (insufficient for what you want to do at that moment, which is holding multiple web pages in RAM).
But I am hard pressed to offer any other app where you notice this effect. Note that basically all apps are designed with the RAM limitation in mind, thus they are designed to operate well with the existing RAM amount. Web pages however are usually not designed with the RAM limitations of the iPad in mind, for sure some are, but most are not.
post #19 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iandanger View Post

Yes the RAM is integrated into the SOC, so its part of the CPU itself.

Honestly 512 isn't enough. If I'm buying a new iPad less than a year later, I want it to be able to handle stuff thats more memory intensive than what my phone can do. 1 gig should be the minimum. I'm still buying the new iPad, but 256 isn't enough on the current model, and 512 will soon not be enough on the new one.

Although I agree that the current iPad "seems" to need more RAM, its hard to know. My main gripe is in Safari, which, when I go pack a page, seems to waste a lot of time reloading the data. This seems to be more the case since 4.2.

But two caveats:
1. The real question is real-world usage. Are there stalls? or is it smooth?
2. If certain actions slow down, its hard to know the bottleneck.

It may turn out the the bump from 256 to 512 fixes most bottlenecks. Maybe not. We'll see.

--
I a related question. The keynote presentation made a big point about up to a 9x increase in graphics speed and 2x increase in general computation speed. Other than manipulating photogaphic images, where would the graphics speed increase show up?
post #20 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

From Apple's perspective, it allows them to get under the $500 price point and keep their targeted profit margins, while we can see the Xoom is going to be more expensive, but maybe have more longevity on the per-user basis...

As Steve has said many times, "They just don't get it."

And neither do you.
post #21 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Uh, they trumpet the new "dual core 1GHz" A5 chip on the front page of the iPad site, and list basically all of the tech specs under "Tech Specs", except RAM - probably because it's the one area from a hardware standpoint that another device (ie Xoom) clearly outdoes it. Plus the fact that Xoom can both play and output 1080p content while the iPad can digitally output 1080p but can only actually play 720p (cleverly presented by Apple, i must say).

Anyways, Apple is all about the user experience, so until Android makes some serious improvements that get it up to the level of the iTunes ecosystem, hardware is something of a moot point...

Apple has never stated the RAM of any of its iDevices on their webpage; not even the iPhone 5's


And the Xoom doesn't have a 1080p screen, therefore, it doesn't "actually play" 1080p as well.

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post #22 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 seem to do fine with "just" 512MB...

The Playstation 3 and Xbox don't need to be "future proof" - there won't be any new/larger operating systems installed on them, and they won't be expected to decently run Playstaion 4/Xbox 720 games when those platforms are released in a year.

Conversely, people buying iPad2's assume they'll be able to upgrade to the next OS (or next couple), and run the same programs that iPad3, and even iPad4 users to.
post #23 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

From Apple's perspective, it allows them to get under the $500 price point and keep their targeted profit margins, while we can see the Xoom is going to be more expensive, but maybe have more longevity on the per-user basis...

I agree with your interpretation of Apple's motives but I am not sure that long-term software support will be really a strength of Android devices. It currently really isn't, though that can improve in the future.
post #24 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by kube View Post

I a related question. The keynote presentation made a big point about up to a 9x increase in graphics speed and 2x increase in general computation speed. Other than manipulating photogaphic images, where would the graphics speed increase show up?

Games.
post #25 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

Apple has never stated the RAM of any of its iDevices on their webpage; not even the iPhone 5's

Moot point - the article broadly states "Apple prefers to avoid detailing technical specifications of its devices", which I refuted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

And the Xoom doesn't have a 1080p screen, therefore, it doesn't "actually play" 1080p as well.

When connected to a 1080p tv, the Xoom will "actually play" 1080p video. Conversely, while the iPad2 can technically output 1080p, it can only actually play 720p video, even when connected to a 1080p TV.
post #26 of 264
Why does everyone get hung up on the amount of RAM? People are way too used to Windows machines and the common missunderstanding that more RAM is better which is just plain wrong.

All RAM is is a high-speed staging ground for items waiting to be processed since PC's historically have used very slow (comparatively) magnetic storage. The iPad has its memory on the same chip as the CPU/GPU which makes it insanely efficient and fast since it doesn't have to traverse a usually slower bus. The inclusion of solid-state flash memory as a storage medium makes the amount of RAM also less important as the device can stage less.

Look at the Xbox 360 (512MB) and the PS3 (256MB CPU/256MB GPU), they do amazing things with what most consider "insufficient" amounts of RAM. If the OS of the device is efficient and tuned to fit the hardware, the amount of RAM in the traditional way of thinking is less important as it is to a generic OS made to work with a variety of hardware.

Folks really need to read about the purpose of RAM before bashing a device because it has x amount instead of y. My 3GS can run just plenty with its 600MHz CPU and 256MB including Infinity Blade with little if any lag. My quad-core i7 with 12GB running Win7 has its moments of lag as much as my MacBook with its Core2 Duo and 4GB.
post #27 of 264
Can't wait to get my hands of this thing. I don't care how much RAM it has - My question is how does it perform. From everything I've read, it's a beast.
post #28 of 264
If you're bitching about the amount of ram while millions of users are enjoying their iPad2 without any complaints then know this... you're probably in a very very very small minority and maybe you should be buying a Xoon... whoops... I mean Xoom, or some other type of tablet that gives you the ram you require.
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post #29 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Uh, they trumpet the new "dual core 1GHz" A5 chip on the front page of the iPad site, and list basically all of the tech specs under "Tech Specs", except RAM - probably because it's the one area from a hardware standpoint that another device (ie Xoom) clearly outdoes it. Plus the fact that Xoom can both play and output 1080p content while the iPad can digitally output 1080p but can only actually play 720p (cleverly presented by Apple, i must say).

Anyways, Apple is all about the user experience, so until Android makes some serious improvements that get it up to the level of the iTunes ecosystem, hardware is something of a moot point...

Except they didn't "trumpet" it when the iphone 4 had 512mb, which was close to if not at the top of the smartphone spec world.

Your reasoning does not hold water.
post #30 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

You speak the BS.

The iPad has not suffered from a 'lack of ram' - the only complaints I have heard about were Safari related and my understanding is that this was an application tuning issue.

Otherwise the iPad was fine.

You may not have heard about it, but those of us that use the iPad heavily are more than aware of it. Hopefully in true Apple fashion the iPad 2 will *seem* like it has more RAM than it does and everything will be rosy, but the original poster is right in saying that iPad 1.0 "suffers from a lack of RAM." It stutters and stalls while multi-tasking and can't keep web pages or documents loaded in memory. Hopefully iPad 2 won't have this problem.
post #31 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

I agree with your interpretation of Apple's motives but I am not sure that long-term software support will be really a strength of Android devices. It currently really isn't, though that can improve in the future.

LOL! Very true....you can't count on EVER getting an OS upgrade unless you root your Android tablet.
post #32 of 264
I don't know that the iPad 2 is in need of more than 512MB of RAM from a usability stand point. It may work perfectly fine with just 512MB. However, from a marketing stand point, not having a 1GB of RAM is a huge mistake.

Apple's tablet competitors will, for the most part, all have 1GB of RAM. And they all will yell from the highest mountain top, that they have twice the RAM of the iPad 2. Add to that a large portion of consumers that spec shop and you have a situation where a lot of less smart consumers will make a buying decision partially influenced by the amount of RAM the machine has.

-kpluck

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post #33 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

You may not have heard about it, but those of us that use the iPad heavily are more than aware of it. Hopefully in true Apple fashion the iPad 2 will *seem* like it has more RAM than it does and everything will be rosy, but the original poster is right in saying that iPad 1.0 "suffers from a lack of RAM." It stutters and stalls while multi-tasking and can't keep web pages or documents loaded in memory. Hopefully iPad 2 won't have this problem.

That could have more to do with it only having a single core than having a 'lack of RAM'. All the memory in the world won't help if a process is tying up the CPU.
post #34 of 264
"So, I've said this before and I thought it was worth repeating. It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough - That it's technology married with liberal arts - Married with the humanities - That yields us the result that makes our hearts sing - And, nowhere is that more true than in these post PC-devices (iPod, iPhone, and iPad) and a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they're looking at this as the next PC - The hardware and software are done by different companies and they're talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs and our experience and every bone in our bodies says that that is not the right approach to this - That these are post PC devices - That need to be even easier to use than a PC - That need to be even more intuitive than a PC - And where the software and hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC- And we think we're on the right track with this - We think we have the right architecture not just in Silicon but in the organization to build these kinds of products - And so i think we stand a pretty good chance of being pretty competitive in this market"


This is what has allowed Apple to sell over 160 million iPhones - This is why Apple has over 60 billion in the bank - This is why Apple is the #1 tech company in the world, and this is why I'll be laying down my hard earned cash on March 11th.

Guess where you can shove your spec sheets...
post #35 of 264
Funny how last year when people whined about iPad only having 256 of RAM while iPhone 4 had 512MB. So they wished iPad 2 to have double the RAM to be usuable, while I said why not 1GB?.

So I'll say it again folks wishing iPad 2 to have 1GB of ram: Why not 2GB or 4GB? Will it make my iPad go faster like RAM does on the PC?
post #36 of 264
My 2 cents is that it's somewhat unimportant whether the old iPad suffers / suffered from a "lack" of RAM with it's single core. Now that RAM is doubled. Problem solved right? Maybe not because they also double the CPU cores. So, one could say that each core gets only 256MB if it's 512MB. That's pretty awful these days. RAM isn't that expensive, especially for what Apple is probably paying for it.

It also doesn't matter so much now since there aren't many apps to take advantage of the dual core nature but there will be. Any app that performs poorly will likely never make into the app store anyway. This device is already on the road to obsolescence. This is possibly a stop gap device to stem the tide of competitive devices (the copycats) while iPad 3 is prepared for us this year or early next year. It'll likely have a quadcore processor with the 1GB that everyone wants but by then with 4 cores it probably should be 2GB.

For those wondering, I think 512MB would have been plenty if Apple had stuck with a single core design. Anyone agree / disagree with the following?

256MBx1 core=meager, 512MBx1 core=average, 1GBx1 core=above average, 512MBx2 cores=meager, 1GBx2 cores=average, 2GBx2 cores=above average.
post #37 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post

The iPad is far more efficient with memory allocation than [...] Macs for that matter. There's no point paying for more memory if it won't be needed.

It is? How so? Is there a special USE_MEMORY_EFFICIENTLY flag in Darwin designed especially for the iPad?
post #38 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by epakrat75 View Post

For those wondering, I think 512MB would have been plenty if Apple had stuck with a single core design. Anyone agree / disagree with the following?

256MBx1 core=ok, 512MBx1 core=good, 512MBx2 cores=ok, 1GBx2 cores=good.

I'll let you know after March 11th.
post #39 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post

Funny how last year when people whined about iPad only having 256 of RAM while iPhone 4 had 512MB. So they wished iPad 2 to have double the RAM to be usuable, while I said why not 1GB?.

So I'll say it again folks wishing iPad 2 to have 1GB of ram: Why not 2GB or 4GB? Will it make my iPad go faster like RAM does on the PC?

Of course it'd be great to have 2GB or even 4GB, if we just look at Ram alone. But people are only asking for 1GB because that's what they expect the iPhone 5 will have and probably needed to run iOS5 smoothly. People are not trying to be unreasonable and ask for iPad 2 to match the specs of iPhone 6/7 in Ram, but I think asking to have same Ram as another iOS product in 3 months isn't a lot to ask.
post #40 of 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

What do you mean - most apps use less than 128 MB when running - iOS is very memory friendly unlike some of these other OS's.

The main need for more ram is multitasking and even more importantly web browsing. When there's not enough memory you can't have multiple tabs open, and even going back on a website can require loading the page again instead of just instantly bringing it up from memory.

512 is OK (I can't believe people were insisting it was still 256 for whatever reason) but a gig would be much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

The iPad has not suffered from a 'lack of ram' - the only complaints I have heard about were Safari related and my understanding is that this was an application tuning issue.

Just because you didn't hear about the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There were MANY reports of slow web browsing due to pages having to reload.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 seem to do fine with "just" 512MB...

And I'm sure if the iPad only ran games and not apps (especially stuff like GB and iMovie) it would too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillermcp View Post

Why does everyone get hung up on the amount of RAM?

Because the lack of ram made iPad 1 slower for web browsing. Did you even read the thread before posting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

If you're bitching about the amount of ram while millions of users are enjoying their iPad2 without any complaints...

News flash - the iPad 2 hasn't shipped yet. Maybe 512 will be enough, maybe not, but we don't know if there will be complaints when it shipped. Despite the millions sold, there WERE plenty of complaints about the original iPad, one of the biggest being bad user experience due to not enough ram.

If nothing else, more ram would give users the freedom to have more apps open without losing performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillermcp View Post

That could have more to do with it only having a single core than having a 'lack of RAM'. All the memory in the world won't help if a process is tying up the CPU.

Nope. If that were the case, you'd see those problems on the iPhone 4 which has the same processor. Instead you don't because it has twice the ram.
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