Previous 1 2 3 Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2013 7:27 AM by ramen jeneven
Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

We have a 20" iMac that we got around the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009. It came with 1GB RAM. I installed Snow Leopard on it when it came out, and performance was snappy (but we didn't do virtualization, Adobe CS, or heavy multitasking). I upgraded it to 2GB RAM. Now, I'm wondering if I should install 10.8. I know it's more memory-hungry than 10.6 (but less so than 10.7).


I'm not interested in hearing from people with 4 or 8 GB RAM saying that you need more RAM to do anything. Is there anyone out there who actually has used ML with 2GB RAM (and not with a SSD)?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Late 2008, 2GB DDR RAM, HDD
  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    Specifically, how does performance of 10.8 compare with 10.6?

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    They probably can't answer because either there system is bogged down or there Hard Drive has died from disk thrashing. 


    Adding that a 50 or $60 RAM upgrade is far cheaper than a $150 + the labor Hard Drive replacement from (disk thrashing) excessive VM paging.


    Upgrade Apple iMac Memory & more – Easy Guide, Free Installation Videos.


    Crucial Memory Upgrades for Macs - Apple Memory

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10


  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    Is that supposed to mean something?


    Seeing as my iMac is supported and meets the minimum memory requirements, den.thed, I think you may be exaggerating a bit.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    It wasn't supposed to mean anything negative, I just had a bit of a smile reading den's reply, because I hadn't thought of that, but could be possible.


    Personally I find Apple's Minimum Requirements BARE Minimums, if not laughable.


    I'm not sure yet, but possibly I've found somebody that tried it with the minimum RAM...



    Sorry if you took any offense, there was non intended.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    Mac OS XP wrote:


    I think you may be exaggerating a bit.


    OK maybe a little. However you really should watch your Page outs and Swap use because excessive totals will put lots of unnecessary ware & tare on your Hard Drive.


    Screen shot 2012-07-30 at 5.12.10 PM.jpg

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    Nope, the other person has plenty of RAM, 8 GB, some other problem, but see how little is Free?

  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    No worries, thanks for the info.


    But if a computer has 8 GB RAM, isn't it possible that the user and/or system is more liberal than necessary with its allocation?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    I think that any diff would be tiny, can't say it'd be no diff.


    From my experience I'd say Apple's Minimums should be doubled if you want to say use a Browser these days, & tripled for even better performance.


    10.8 does seem a bit better with RAM than 10.7, but 10.7.x didn't do well on my iMac with 4 GB, 4 times the minimum, upping it to it's max 6 GB made a big diff.


    Not on it at the moment, but I don't think I've ever seen 10.8 use less than 3 GB+ just running very little.

  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    Well me right now with email, web browsing, and a full day of usage, I'm using 3.04 GB out of 4GB in Mountain Lion. I had Lion before with the 4GB RAM and it was fine, but then again I have an SSD.


    Wasn't 4GB only double Lion's min requirements?


    I would go back and say again, with Snow Leopard (1GB RAM requirement) on the iMac and just 1GB RAM used, performance was just fine. I'm just trying to get an idea of how that would compare to 2GB RAM in ML.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    Ah yes, you're correct Lion was 2 GB!


    An SSD would make a big diff, did you have that with 1 GB in 10.6?

  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    No, actually the SSD is in my MBP which came with 4GB RAM and Lion (now Mountain Lion). The 1GB (now 2GB) of RAM iMac with 10.6 has a hard drive (part of my hesitation in upgrading it).


    You see, I really want to take advantage of iMessage, Versions, Dictation, and all the other improvements, but on the other hand I don't want to spend another $60 for 4GB of RAM. So I'm trying to get an idea of what to expect.


    I suppose if it came down to it and 10.8 was being too RAM-hungry I could revert via Time Machine, but I've never restored from Time Machine so I'm a little nervous.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10

    I don't think you can revert using TM as far as I've read, seems some block on Apple's part to going back to it just works, a bootable clone is the only way to go back, & have it disconnected when installing 10.8, as the Install does things to every drive connected.

  • Mac OS XP Level 1 Level 1

    !? Then what's the point of Time Machine??? Does it matter if I have a bootable 10.6 DVD? I mean that's strange, no matter what is on the HDD I should be able to boot into the restore disk and connect my Time Machine backup.


    By the way, I saw someone else in another thread who said shortly after a restart and with Safari running they had 1.13 GB RAM used and less than 500 MB wired.

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