5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 27, 2012 1:55 PM by John Galt
RachelJackson Level 1 Level 1

I have an early 2009 model iMac with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive (with approx 170GB free).

 

I can put up to 8GB of RAM into my machine, which I am considering. But before I do, can some of the more techy people out there tell me if my computer will run faster? I've got 'Lion' running, and everything is up to date, but I feel like it's running a bit slower than it potentially could. It certainly feels slower than when I first bought it. I think it could be something to do with software becoming more 'heavy' and my computer simply getting older.

 

I went into the Activity Monitor, and these were the page in/outs:

 

Page ins: 4.55GB

Page outs: 2.23GB

Swap: 236.9MB

 

I did read somewhere that you only need RAM if your page outs are higher than your page ins and that if it doesn't, you literally won't notice the upgrade in RAM in terms of speed quality.

 

Is this true? I have found a place that sells reliable hardware for Macs, but am wondering -- if my computer won't run any quicker, is it worth it?

 

See, I like playing games on Steam, but half the time I can't run them because of how darn slow the machine runs when I play them (on minimum settings - even on Minecraft!). Will RAM improve this?

 

Thanks


iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
Reply by John Galt on Nov 27, 2012 12:36 PM Helpful

RachelJackson wrote:

 

.. I did read somewhere that you only need RAM if your page outs are higher than your page ins and that if it doesn't, you literally won't notice the upgrade in RAM in terms of speed quality.

 

What really matters is the amount of pageouts that are actually occurring. The pageout number is cumulative and shows only past activity.

 

Read: Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used

 

Running Lion with only 2 GB is almost certainly going to be slow. Buy more memory. More is better. Purchase Mac memory from either OWC / MacSales or Crucial. There are other reliable vendors but those are the only two I have used personally and can recommend.

All replies

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    RachelJackson wrote:

     

    .. I did read somewhere that you only need RAM if your page outs are higher than your page ins and that if it doesn't, you literally won't notice the upgrade in RAM in terms of speed quality.

     

    What really matters is the amount of pageouts that are actually occurring. The pageout number is cumulative and shows only past activity.

     

    Read: Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used

     

    Running Lion with only 2 GB is almost certainly going to be slow. Buy more memory. More is better. Purchase Mac memory from either OWC / MacSales or Crucial. There are other reliable vendors but those are the only two I have used personally and can recommend.

  • RachelJackson Level 1 Level 1

    I figured it was Lion causing it (it was on... Leopard, I think, when I bought it). I did notice a system lag on upgrading. I think I might get the RAM anyway, certainly couldn't hurt!

  • RachelJackson Level 1 Level 1

    Wow yes I only have 300MB of RAM actually free O_o blimey, thanks for that -- I'm in dire need of that extra RAM! Thank you!

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6

    I think you will see a huge improvement if you are running Lion on just 2gb of RAM. Shove 8gb in the Mac and I bet it'll seem like a new computer.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    Your Mac is using an extensive amount of virtual memory, which is much slower than real memory. That explains its slowness. Gaming will slow things to a crawl.

     

    More memory is the most cost-effective way to extend the economic life of your Mac. Just buy it from a reputable vendor.

     

    Gone are the days when 32 MB in my SE/30 was enough to run the entire operating system in RAM and have plenty left over for several running programs.