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Apple to boost standard Mac memory alongside Tiger debut

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
By mid-year, Apple is likely to include a minimum of 512MB of RAM in each of the Macs it sells, double the amount of standard memory shipping in most of today's models.

Sources say Apple intends to complete the move by mid-year, around the same time it begins shipping its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger."

Although Tiger will not require 512MB of RAM, insiders say the boost in memory spec will assure consumers a smoother experience running both Tiger and Apples iLife 05 digital lifestyle software suite. They added that the upgrade is much needed.

Last January, the Mac maker begun offering 512MB of built-in memory across its PowerBook G4 line; some of the companys higher-end Power Mac desktops also ship standard with this higher memory capacity. But for the most part, the standard configured Macintosh includes only 256MB of RAM.
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For a typical 256MB RAM upgrade (to 512MB), Apple currently charges a modest $75, of which it pockets a significant profit. But doubling the amount of RAM in all its computers will still carry some additional costs for the company. For this reason, insiders claim that the final stamp of approval -- on a per product basis -- will remain contingent on the ever-fluctuating DRAM market. This will assure that a sudden DRAM price hike wont interfere with Apples margins. However, the market is likely to work in Apples favor, as prices of DRAM are headed for an inevitable price cliff-drop.

Samsung last Dec. said it expects to see prices of its dynamic RAM chips fall by 30 percent in 2005. These sentiments were later seconded in a Gartner research report release just weeks ago, which forecasts that DRAM supply will exceed demand until the end of 2006, possibly driving prices even lower.

But is such a move by Apple unwarranted when trendsetters like Dell continue to ship as little as 128MB of memory with some of its products? Shane Rau, an IDC research analyst, doesnt see it fair to equate the two.

Apple's customer base has a higher concentration of users working with high-end applications, so this group would likely have higher average memory requirements than another PC manufacturer's customer base, the analyst told AppleInsider. By contrast, he expects that other PC manufacturers, such as Dell, will maintain products with more modest memory configurations.

In June, when Apple is hoping to have completed the full-scale memory boost, DRAM prices should be even cheaper than they are now. Rau says DRAM prices typically soften in the middle of the year, as demand tends to decline.

The boost would make Apple the first major PC manufacturer to include half a Gigabyte of memory in all of its CPU-based products.
post #2 of 59
Good for Apple -- this is long overdue.

Somewhat more difficult to convince friends and family to switch when the first thing I have to do is tell them to buy more RAM.
post #3 of 59
Yes, this will be a good change. I think a lot more people who walk into an Apple store and never do anything with teh computer, will end up a lot happier with the performance now.

This also makes me think that the Powerbooks may not be updated in June, as some had hoped. They updated them to 512 in January, where they are targeting June, as the execution date, for most of the products, including most Power Macs.
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post #4 of 59
It's.
About.
Time.
......
post #5 of 59
hopefully they use one 512 chip and not two 256s... if they use two, then one is a waste as many people would upgrade one to a larger chip anyway.
post #6 of 59
Looking forward to buying a new Mac in the summer then. I had been planning on a new iBook, PowerBook, Mac mini or iMac, so this will save me a bit of money as I'd be buying new memory straight away. Long overdue - shipping 256Mb is a bit of a joke, it is ridiculously slow.
post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by alternapop
hopefully they use one 512 chip and not two 256s... if they use two, then one is a waste as many people would upgrade one to a larger chip anyway.

On the iMac and especially the PowerMac, you'd ideally get two 256 MB sticks - both systems can see a speed boost through dual-channel memory usage, after all. The PowerBook G5 will probably end up using a single 512 MB stick just because it's less reasonable to ask someone to swap out two laptop sticks than two desktop ones.
post #8 of 59
This is LONG OVERDUE!!!!!

The only thing left for Apple to do after this, to get it easier to switch people to the Mac, is to ship their computers with a TWO-BUTTON SCROLL WHEEL MOUSE!

The 512 MB of memory and 2-button mouse are BOTH LONG OVERDUE!
post #9 of 59
No! Long live the one-button, scrollwheelless mouse.

Now, a one-button mouse with an embedded iPod-style clickwheel would be an interesting addition.
post #10 of 59
The desktop hard-drives are still woefully anemic. 80GB is just barely passable in the high-end mac mini. 40Gb is pathetic. All iMac should sport at least 160GB HDD, and 250GB on the high-end models. Towers should have 4 SATA bays, and hopefully Apple will fix that too, when they redesign the board for PCI-Ex
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post #11 of 59
Definitely needed!

When I did a stint of Apple Demo Days at a large retailer, the stock machines were expected to show iLife. Even though they were selling PowerMac G5s, showing GarageBand with 256MB made things slow.

I asked the retailer why they didn't just load up the RAM, and they replied that Apple wouldn't let them, as the computer was to be shown as stock.

More memory will show Macs to be a best buy in terms of computing!
post #12 of 59
And then the light finally cameth from the clouds and shown down upon Apple, and it was good. Hallelujah! exclaimed the simple people. They now can play amongst the fray and be not afraid.8)
post #13 of 59
This is way overdue. Can't tell you how many reviews I've read that ding Apple for low RAM.

Also, agree with post above, 1 chip please- not 2X 256MB
post #14 of 59
It was time.
Nothing was more stupid for example to have a Mac mini with 256 MB of RAM : it's not enough, and it's very difficult to open it.

512 MB is the minimum of RAM for any mac running mac os X
post #15 of 59
I'd say 1 gig of RAM if you seriously want to run more than one program at a time...
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----- Fred Blassie 1964
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post #16 of 59
What's the max amount of RAM MacOS X can play with? I've heard with WinXP is like 2 GB. I can't say I've seen it though.
post #17 of 59
8 GB is the Max at this time.
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyastronaut
What's the max amount of RAM MacOS X can play with? I've heard with WinXP is like 2 GB. I can't say I've seen it though.

4GB per application. Some apps like Photoshop can only use 2GB from what I've heard.

Moving to 64bit will eradicate this issue forever.
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post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by Bigc
I'd say 1 gig of RAM if you seriously want to run more than one program at a time...

512 MB : minimal amount of Ram for working in good condition
1024 MB : recommanded
post #20 of 59
yeah it was weird telling my mom she shouldn't just buy a stock mini
post #21 of 59
Well it is about TIME!!!!!!!


Personally I don't care what Dell ships to support Windows users, Apple has the OS to make use of the memory. In fact the jump from 256 to 512MB is the incremental jump that can have the greatest impact on the majority of Mac users.

Now if we could only get them to solder that RAM into the Mini so that we don't loose the stuff in an upgrade. That is the second hurdle for Apple to surrmount. I have nothing agianst single slot memory expansion, just don't put your base RAM in there.

Dave
post #22 of 59
I am always amazed at the venom the majority of apple users here express. You would think apple is trying to stick it to you at every turn. Well they dont regardless to all those who are about to slam me would say otherwise. Be realistic how hard is it to order a stick of memory and slap into your rig.

Apple offers all of us elegant design, one of the best operating system ever compiled and IMHO the most thought out and best engineering in a box anywhere. Have I ever had any problem adding additional memory? Absolutely not. In fact I have always ordered my Macs with the lowest amount of memory possible and then add my own for a cost savings.

I applaud Apple for the memory increase I think new users to OSX will be better served, but come on with quotes like Well it is about TIME!!!!!!!.

With that being said I do agree with a minimum of 512 for the Mac mini just because this little go getter was not originally a user upgradeable box. But for the rest of the lines upgrade it your self or order it with more memory.
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post #23 of 59
Nevertheless, while 256MB of RAM is adequate for light use, 512MB is demonstrably better. You're a SuperDrive away from being able to run all the iLife apps.

And the ironic thing about Apple looking out for so many details is that you really notice the details they don't look out for. If the Mac sells as a value-added product—and it does—then more-than-adequate RAM is a pretty obvious value add.

If nothing else, it will silence the most consistent and universal criticism of their hardware line. It's especially important for the Mac mini, since the whole idea is that you just pick up the little box and go home. The default configurations should be the ones most recommended for general use.

The only reason Apple skimped on RAM before was so that their resellers would have something to throw in FREE. But they have to revise the baseline to keep up with software demands, or they'd still be shipping 32MB by default.
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post #24 of 59
Time for them to also realize that any desktop machine sold in this day and age for 999 or more, should have a superdrive and approx 160GB of storage as standard...
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post #25 of 59
With 512mb coming standard across the line means the the hi-end Powermacs will come with 1gb standard. That's great!
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post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyastronaut
No! Long live the one-button, scrollwheelless mouse.

Now, a one-button mouse with an embedded iPod-style clickwheel would be an interesting addition.

and a nightmare to actually use, unless you mean like a linear scroll wheel.
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by ipodandimac
and a nightmare to actually use, unless you mean like a linear scroll wheel.

A linear scroll wheel - (well, it wouldn't be a wheel anymore, would it?)... A linear scroll pad with underlying clickable areas like the iPod's would be interesting. I'd have to use a prototype tho, as in reality it may not work that favorably.
post #28 of 59
As soon as they upped the default RAM in the PowerBooks to 512MB,
most of us figured they would have to up the RAM in their top of the line
anyway.

Unless they change the RAM slots, I think you'll still need matched
pairs in the PowerMacs, so I'd expect a pair of 256's and not one
512.

If matched pairs ARE required then it's easy to see that a pair of 512's
would be the ideal minimum for each CPU.

I sure hope we see more than just Tiger and a RAM boost.
post #29 of 59
512M is a nice default especially if 499 gets you a base 512M Mini.

Although I am posting this from a 256M Mini which I feel is working fine, even with multiple apps open.
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by hugodrax
512M is a nice default especially if 499 gets you a base 512M Mini.

Although I am posting this from a 256M Mini which I feel is working fine, even with multiple apps open.

I agree. 256 is not the worst thing in the world, if you're just browsing the web, email, etc. However, 512 really makes things smooth.
*Powerbook G4 12" - 1.5 GHZ
*iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ (Mid 2007), *Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (Aluminium)
*iPhone 4S, Airport Extreme (2011) *MacBook Air 11-inch (Late 2010)
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*Powerbook G4 12" - 1.5 GHZ
*iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ (Mid 2007), *Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (Aluminium)
*iPhone 4S, Airport Extreme (2011) *MacBook Air 11-inch (Late 2010)
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post #31 of 59
Give me a break!

While 512MB would be great for running many apps at once, Mac OS X runs fine with only 256MB. True you don't want to run PhotoShop and iMovie, but you can run Safari, Mail, AppleWorks, etc all at the same time.

I have a 400MHz Blue&White G3 Tower with only 256MB and it's VERY usable.

As a test I even got it to boot and run a few apps with only 64MB installed. However, it was painfully slow. LOL
post #32 of 59
people, for the average consumer, 256mb IS currently enough. try 10.3.8, the newest office for mac 11.1.1 update, and you'll see itunes, iappz, office for mac, illustrator cs and photoshop cs run not too bad as long as you are not *constantly* swapping between apps, in which case you would be a power user and not really consider 256mb anyway....

but this move, if it really does happen, in middle of 2005, will secure more mindshare among Switchers because of :

1. outright value. 512mb as standard just looks good and appealing to consumers

2. performance of OS 10.4 with iLife '05. it will be a nice, smooth cruise

3. with G4 minimum speeds of, what, 1.2ghz at least across the range, with 512mb, this will pretty much guarantee new Switchers a pleasant first ride into the mac world

4. i for one compliment apple on maintaining profits while making use of massive price drops occuring for example, clearly, in the DRAM market.

5. i hope to see them exploit similar massive improvements and cost reduction in the GPU area... not because i am a GPU head but due to (A)core image and (B)overall rapid GPU advances.... but that of course, is covered in many other threads....

6. dell offers 128mb of ram in their base model? what? that's dissapointing to me. personally i hope that lawsuit against them gains some ground

....epilogue....
with my dad's iBook g4 933mhz 256mb ram, i'm just biding my time until the end of this year, when it hits its 2-year old birthday, to dropkick the 128mb out of the slot and slot in a nice 512mb, bringing it up to 640mb... that will be a nice cruise out to it's 3rd birthday.... a few months after it's first birthday, we got a nice new LCD screen (thanks to AppleCare and the LCD conveniently dying after white spots started appearing....) bwah ha ha ha ha
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by gugy
With 512mb coming standard across the line means the the hi-end Powermacs will come with 1gb standard. That's great!

with a nice little (0.1 - 1) ghz speedbump too...? ;-)
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by schizzylogic
Give me a break!

While 512MB would be great for running many apps at once, Mac OS X runs fine with only 256MB. True you don't want to run PhotoShop and iMovie, but you can run Safari, Mail, AppleWorks, etc all at the same time.

iMovie and GarageBand are bundled free with every mini. Apple flogs iLife more than either OS X or the mini, and never mind Mail and AppleWorks.

How lame is it that a machine can't effectively run the applications that it ships with? 256MB is perfectly adequate for light use, but Apple is trying to get people into the whole digital lifestyle thing. They can't do that if their digital lifestyle apps run poorly.

It's much more Apple like to pick up the box, plug in the machine, and have everything usable just like that.

Quote:
I have a 400MHz Blue&White G3 Tower with only 256MB and it's VERY usable.

As a test I even got it to boot and run a few apps with only 64MB installed. However, it was painfully slow. LOL

Apple isn't going to sell machines on technical definitions of usability. The Mac mini, in particular, will be the first impression many people have of an Apple computer. Why not make it a nice one? "There is no step three," remember?
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post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
iMovie and GarageBand are bundled free with every mini. Apple flogs iLife more than either OS X or the mini, and never mind Mail and AppleWorks.

How lame is it that a machine can't effectively run the applications that it ships with? 256MB is perfectly adequate for light use, but Apple is trying to get people into the whole digital lifestyle thing. They can't do that if their digital lifestyle apps run poorly.

It's much more Apple like to pick up the box, plug in the machine, and have everything usable just like that.

Apple isn't going to sell machines on technical definitions of usability. The Mac mini, in particular, will be the first impression many people have of an Apple computer. Why not make it a nice one? "There is no step three," remember?


well in any case the 256mb argument has gone on these boards for long enough... long live 512mb as standard...!! well, not too long...!!
post #36 of 59
come on apple, release it, I really need J2SE 5.0 for my project...

Damn has to use ugly windows machine....
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by hanxu
come on apple, release it, I really need J2SE 5.0 for my project...

Damn has to use ugly windows machine....

virtual pc 7 not an option for you? performance issues, yeah, i know, but
1. dont have to use ugly windows machine
2. dont have to worry about and maintain ugly windows machine
3. you can backup 'drive images' quite easily incase your windows get infected or you/someone/something f8ck up the registry somehow

just an idea....
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by monkeyastronaut
No! Long live the one-button, scrollwheelless mouse.

Now, a one-button mouse with an embedded iPod-style clickwheel would be an interesting addition.

I find, one button mice are sooooo impractical,when surfing and reading long documents, and the right-click function is a god-send in most "pro" apps.
As for RAM, I have one point to make. Why do Apple expect users of one-slot machines to either throw away or try to sell their "base" memory from their machines, in order to house the bigger RAM chip which they HAVE to purchase to make the computer's performance sufficient for their needs?
Some say this is Apples way of offering comsumer choice. I say this is Apple operating on the cheap. As for video cards on "pro" G5s.. ppllleeeaassee..
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by DGNR8
I am always amazed at the venom the majority of apple users here express.

Maybe you'd be happier over at Macrumors.com?
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
and hopefully Apple will fix that too, when they redesign the board for PCI-Ex


Bit confused doesnt the 2.0 G5 upwards have PCI express or are you talking about something else? I own the 1.6GHZ G5 so im in the dark here... Do you mean PCI-X as standard?
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