Mac OS X 10.7 Lion (aka "Dummed Down iFoney Stile Addishun") arrived this morning while I was at work, which is just as well because my 8GB upgrade of RAM hadn't been delivered, lost somewhere in the corporate mail room.
I finally got fed the hell up with the pokey-ass pokey Spinning Beach Ball of Death nonsense with only a few apps open. A Mac fanchimp whom I was smacking around at The Escapist was burbling that he had no problem running a zillion programs, but said perhaps I needed more RAM. Now I know that more RAM = better - I have 12GB in my home PC, DIRK V® - but I thought the magic thing about Mac OS X was that its lean Unix underpinnings meant it would run better on comparable hardware. A Windows PC with 2GB of RAM is fine for most users and substantial loads (i.e. short of heavy multimedia authoring or gaming).
I wasn't in the mood to spend too much more upgrading this silver elephant, so I was surprised to see that an 8GB Corsair upgrade kit (two 4GB sticks) was only $74 shipped. There were less expensive options, but the reviews weren't as favorable and I don't want to trade system instability and kernel panics for the $14 or so I'd "save."
Here's what the inside of the MBP looks like with the stock RAM out and the new stuff waiting to go in (click to embiggen):
It's too soon to tell, but it does feel peppier. I was able to load Lightroom, Safari, Firefox, and Steam and launch Plants vs. Zombies, a game that loads almost instantaneously on DIRK V® but could be timed with a sundial on the MBP, without much SBBoD activity. The first launch was as slow as ever, but quitting and relaunching was nearly as fast as on a real computer.
The point of all this upgrading is to prep the battlefield for the arrival of Lion. The reviews have been natural laudatory with fanchimps peeing themselves with glee at what Lord Jobs has bestowed upon them, with slightly saner ones (itching for hate mail) actually faulting some of the iOS conventions slathered onto a computer OS. As soon as I get the screws back in, I'll be throwing another $29.99 at this thing and I'll let you know how that REALLY goes.