2GB RAM + 10.7 vs adding RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by doorframes7, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. doorframes7, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    doorframes7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #1
    I'm getting some white 2009 Macbooks (7,1 IIRC) donated to a non-profit. 2x1GB DDR3 (first model with DDR3), Core 2 Duo, Nvidia 9400M. 10.7 runs fine, while 10.8 and 10.9 keep running out of RAM and are slow as a result. I don't think it's a matter of a bloated upgrade install, seeing as these came from a cart at a school, were all based on the 10.6 image, and the one I tried upgrading to 10.9 ran slowly and ate all the RAM (plus yellow memory pressure with nothing open), while the one I upgraded to 10.7 ran fine and barely uses any RAM than 10.6. Plus, a 2011 Mac Mini in the family ran fine on the stock 2GB and shipped with 10.7, but it took a RAM upgrade to keep it from being lethargic once 10.8 was installed.

    My concern about keeping these on 10.7 is support. How long are 3rd party apps likely to support it for? The alternative is having them spend the $40/machine to upgrade them to 4GB, and then I'll install 10.9. Or even $20/machine to go to 3GB. They're pretty low budget, though considering the cost compared to new machines (and the fact that they happen to like Apple), I get the feeling they might be willing to shell out the money.
     
  2. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    How many machines are we talking here? I personally am in favor of 4gb of RAM and then running 10.9. 10.7 isn't bad but it's getting old and there's really no reason to use it as software and security support is dropping. 2gb of RAM isn't really enough if you plan on doing any meaningful multitasking.

    If these machines are for kids and the most they'll be used for is MS Office and Google then I suppose 2gb would suffice, if only for now. But I would definitely start setting aside money in the budget for future upgrades.
     
  3. doorframes7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #3
    We're probably talking 3 of those Macbooks, plus an early 2009 20" iMac (which already has 4GB RAM). These are for their general use, keeping finances, etc - not for students. So, they'd basically be paying $120 to move these from 10.7 to 10.9.
     
  4. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020

    TacticalDesire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Well in that case, if there is no immediate need to go to 10.9 and everything works fine on 10.7 with 2gb RAM then you should be ok for now.
     
  5. doorframes7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #5
    Well, how long do you think 10.7 will be supported for by most 3rd party apps? Considering most major things still support 10.6 and organizations tend to be slow to migrate, yet Apple seems to be trying to quickly drop support for old versions by making the new ones free. I don't see a problem short-term with 10.7 and 2GB, but long-term I'm worried...
     
  6. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Brasil
    #6
    If you're planning keeping your macs for a couple of years or more, upgrade them all with SSDs. Even with memory pressure ok, actually you'd find the system overall slow on Mavericks. I have friends who own Core i Macbooks and have slow systems even with 8GB installed under Mavericks. My white macbook was like 2009 hardware with 8GB and without a SSD. Now it looks more towards current technology.

    I know these kind of upgrade is way more expensive, but it's the only way to have smooth performance under moderns OSX versions...
     
  7. doorframes7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    #7
    Remember though that these are going to a low-budget non-profit and they'd have to pay for any upgrades. Also, the early 2009 iMacs with C2Ds, 9400M's, and HDDs run 10.8 subjectively as smoothly as most HDD-based systems run nowadays (including win7 core i machines). I know, SSDs are nice (I use them in my own machines), but they're likely not in the budget here.

    Just a thought though - what makes 10.8 and above so resource heavy compared to earlier versions anyway? Is there any way to disable things like the notification center that didn't exist in earlier versions, and that aren't particularly needed? I don't have a lot of hope for RAM use in 10.10 with the news of more features (such as iOS integration) either.

    Edit: Funny to note that you have the exact same models of SSDs I do, although the capacities of mine are different. 500GB 840 Evo and 120GB M500 here.
     

Share This Page