Apple to boost standard Mac memory alongside Tiger debut

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
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 Apple?s 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 company?s 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.


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 won?t interfere with Apple?s margins. However, the market is likely to work in Apple?s 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, doesn?t 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.


  • Reply 1 of 58
    ct77ct77 Posts: 49member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    ibook911ibook911 Posts: 607member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member



  • Reply 4 of 58
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    g_warreng_warren Posts: 713member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    commoduscommodus Posts: 270member

    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.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    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!
  • Reply 8 of 58
    No! Long live the one-button, scrollwheelless mouse.

    Now, a one-button mouse with an embedded iPod-style clickwheel would be an interesting addition.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 58
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 58
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 673member
    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)
  • Reply 12 of 58
    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
  • Reply 13 of 58
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 58
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    I'd say 1 gig of RAM if you seriously want to run more than one program at a time...
  • Reply 15 of 58
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    8 GB is the Max at this time.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member

    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.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member

    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
  • Reply 19 of 58
    nathan22tnathan22t Posts: 317member
    yeah it was weird telling my mom she shouldn't just buy a stock mini
  • Reply 20 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    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.

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