8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2013 2:32 PM by Christopher Keiser
TiffanyFromNH Level 1 Level 1

I recently purchased a 13" MacBook Pro. It is a mid-2012 model. It currently has 4 GB. I connect it to an external monitor which makes it easier for me to use while editing. I always have the application sit and load with the spinning ball icon. I use FCPX, Photoshop, and After Effects on a daily basis. I was wondering if the RAM increase would help me create my videos more efficently. Thanks for all the comments and help ahead of time!

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X

    Yes, definitely more RAM, especially for Photoshop and AE. As much as you can stiff in.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    You should benefit from adding more RAM. How much is hard to say but at least to 8 GBs. You might know more if you observed your memory usage in Activity Monitor.


    About OS X Memory Management and Usage


    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory & determine how much RAM is used

    Memory Management in Mac OS X

    Performance Guidelines- Memory Management in Mac OS X

    A detailed look at memory usage in OS X


    Understanding top output in the Terminal


    The amount of available RAM for applications is the sum of Free RAM and Inactive RAM. This will change as applications are opened and closed or change from active to inactive status. The Swap figure represents an estimate of the total amount of swap space required for VM if used, but does not necessarily indicate the actual size of the existing swap file. If you are really in need of more RAM that would be indicated by how frequently the system uses VM. If you open the Terminal and run the top command at the prompt you will find information reported on Pageins () and Pageouts (). Pageouts () is the important figure. If the value in the parentheses is 0 (zero) then OS X is not making instantaneous use of VM which means you have adequate physical RAM for the system with the applications you have loaded. If the figure in parentheses is running positive and your hard drive is constantly being used (thrashing) then you need more physical RAM.


    Adding RAM only makes it possible to run more programs concurrently.  It doesn't speed up the computer nor make games run faster.  What it can do is prevent the system from having to use disk-based VM when it runs out of RAM because you are trying to run too many applications concurrently or using applications that are extremely RAM dependent.  It will improve the performance of applications that run mostly in RAM or when loading programs.

  • TiffanyFromNH Level 1 Level 1

    Would 16 GB be too much? I have been looking through the forums and people say you can go overkill with RAM.

  • TiffanyFromNH Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks! I am going to use the Activity Monitor to monitor it. So, you think adding more RAM would help? How much do you think would be overkill?

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X

    What forums? 16G is not too much. Especially with AE which does everything by holding images in RAM.

  • TiffanyFromNH Level 1 Level 1

    Okay, I only have 187 mb free when I am running just Final Cut Pro. So I could def. benefit from a RAM upgrade, right?


    This one:


  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10

    Generally, if you find not much free RAM and the computer seems to get sluggish, then more RAM will definitely be helpful. If you wish a more technical view then monitor the PageOuts() figure in Activity Monitor. If you see positive and growing figures in the parentheses, then you are running out of RAM and need to add more.


    8 GBs may be fine, 16 GBs may be overkill, but that's difficult to assess until you actually have 8 GBs installed or someone drops in here and says they run the same applications concurrently and needed more than 8 GBs.


    Tom Wolsky, who is a renowned expert in the areas of the programs you use, has suggested 16 GBs will not be overkill. I'd say that's good information.

  • Christopher Keiser Level 1 Level 1

    I have 16GB in my 15" MBP, wish that I could install 32.


    You'll never regret more RAM.