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Old Feb 24, 2012, 12:06 AM   #1
BlackbookGuy
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Macbook 2,1 Runing Lion - Worth Upgrading RAM from 2gb to 4gb?

Has anyone found that a 2,1 running Lion runs faster after upgrading the RAM to 2x2gb (with a limit of 3gb)? 2gb is the minimum for 10.7 and is the only spec I can raise, so is it worth the cost? I currently have 2gb ram fyi.

It runs ok and I can play Minecraft and use iMovie and etc, but it is slower than it was with 10.6. But I love the convenience of iCloud and don't want to switch back to 10.6 and lose it. I don't know if the RAM is a major cause of the slowdown from 10.6 to 10.7, but as I said its the only variable I have any control over.

Any anecdotes re: this topic will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Last edited by BlackbookGuy; Feb 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM. Reason: omission
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 12:07 AM   #2
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To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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I've tried Lion on my macbook with 2GB of RAM on stock setup and then upgraded it to 4GB - it became much snappier after the upgrade
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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You should upgrade to 4GB irregardless of which OS your using.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 10:56 AM   #5
Medic278
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Ram is generally pretty cheap right now and generally speaking you will always have a better experience with more RAM. I would advise you to add it, just double check that you can support 4gb and if so then pull the trigger it should improve you user experience.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 04:53 PM   #6
malman89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbookGuy View Post
Has anyone found that a 2,1 running Lion runs faster after upgrading the RAM to 2x2gb (with a limit of 3gb)? 2gb is the minimum for 10.7 and is the only spec I can raise, so is it worth the cost? I currently have 2gb ram fyi.

It runs ok and I can play Minecraft and use iMovie and etc, but it is slower than it was with 10.6.
Using a system with the minimum requirements for an OS would naturally result in less than ideal performance. Upgrading the RAM would be the cheapest option to see if that'll do enough to satisfy your needs. However, a SSD would go a long way, but (to me) it's a pricey upgrade for such an old computer it might not be worth it.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the intelligent advice.

I have checked the Activity Monitor and it seems that more RAM would help but is not the only issue due to the page outs being around 550mb. I suspect the weak graphics is also an issue and maybe it's dusty and slow due to heat issues etc.

Anyways if I do find some cheap ddr2 ram in Canada I will follow up on this thread with the results in case anyone finds it useful.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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Always upgrade to as much RAM as you can afford. It is the cheapest way to noticeably (and sometimes greatly) improve your computer's performance. You can't lose.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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Definitely. Lion needs a minimum of 2gb and even then you'll run out of ram fast with just a few programs running. 4gb would be a worthwhile upgrade for sure.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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Just saying on my Macbook I did get about 10 more FPS in Unreal 2004 when I upgraded from 2GB to 4GB.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 05:51 PM   #11
Medic278
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The extra RAM will be useful especially running Lion plus if you check in the net a bit you can usually find ram cheap. You could check out ebay, I don't really know where to buy RAM in Canada, sorry.
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Old Mar 6, 2012, 09:58 PM   #12
BlackbookGuy
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Thanks again for the good advice people.

As promised, here are the results:

I checked the page outs and it was high, so I found a 2gb stick of DDR2 800mz ram and put it in my Macbook, and since doing so I haven't had any of the spinning beach balls! Using Lion is now as fast and hassle free as Snow Leopard was. 3gb of ram was definitely what my computer wanted (it can only use 3gb, thus one stick did the trick).


And it only cost 16.99 at Future Shop! Great success.
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