Beachballing - Will More RAM Help?

Wander65

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2017
8
0
I have a 2010 Mac Pro with a 1Tb HDD running Mavericks,
2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
Memory 6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC

I got this from an office closing and I think the former employees may have taken some of the RAM out before the machine was shipped to our office. Multitasking is darned near impossible because if you copy files to an external drive it beachballs and just freezes. Same thing if you open more than 4 hi res images while surfing he web...you get the picture. This machine would have been used for hi res photo editing and archiving in the old office so I can't imagine anyone having any patience to use this machine with the freezing going on. So how much RAM should I be looking at adding in here. Right now there are 6-1Gb sticks with 2 slots open. I principally need it for photo editing in Photoshop and doing layout and design in InDesign.

Thanks
 

usna92

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2011
99
11
Seattle
My first answer would be as much as you are willing to buy minus the cost of a moderate SSD to put the OS on. You almost assuredly have RAM pressure, especially if you intend for this machine to be a photoshop and indesign machine. An SSD will just make the entire user experience more palatable. If you need a better gauge, I would recommend a barest minimum of 16GB and whatever SSD you could afford after that. I run 32GB in both my 2010, but I don't use photoshop all that regularly, but I haven't really run into RAM pressure with that amount either.
 

Wander65

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2017
8
0
My first answer would be as much as you are willing to buy minus the cost of a moderate SSD to put the OS on. You almost assuredly have RAM pressure, especially if you intend for this machine to be a photoshop and indesign machine. An SSD will just make the entire user experience more palatable. If you need a better gauge, I would recommend a barest minimum of 16GB and whatever SSD you could afford after that. I run 32GB in both my 2010, but I don't use photoshop all that regularly, but I haven't really run into RAM pressure with that amount either.
Great answer, thanks. I'm not too worried about the cost. I just put an SSD in my 2010 MBP 17 and I love the performance improvement.

Md
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,766
5,577
Hong Kong
The very first thing you need is a SSD.

And 8x4GB RAM is so cheap now. If you want a bit better performance and believe that you don't need 32GB, 6x4 is a very good option. N.B. server pulled DDR 3 ECC RAM is cheaper and better than normal DDR 3 non ECC PC RAM.
 

mp2017

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2017
123
58
You need to determine if memory is being exhausted. You can do this by using the "Activity Monitor" program located in the Utility folder within the Applications folder.

Click on the "Memory" button and check the "Memory Used" section. If this exceeds the "Physical Memory" installed in the system then chances are good that you need more memory. In addition the "Memory Pressure" graph will also give you a good indication of what is happening with memory. If the graph is constantly red then more memory is likely to be helpful.

Here is some additional information from Apple:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

SSDs are something to consider but are not a substitute for a memory shortage.
 

Wander65

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2017
8
0
The very first thing you need is a SSD.

And 8x4GB RAM is so cheap now. If you want a bit better performance and believe that you don't need 32GB, 6x4 is a very good option. N.B. server pulled DDR 3 ECC RAM is cheaper and better than normal DDR 3 non ECC PC RAM.
Thanks for the tip!

Md
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You need to determine if memory is being exhausted. You can do this by using the "Activity Monitor" program located in the Utility folder within the Applications folder.

Click on the "Memory" button and check the "Memory Used" section. If this exceeds the "Physical Memory" installed in the system then chances are good that you need more memory. In addition the "Memory Pressure" graph will also give you a good indication of what is happening with memory. If the graph is constantly red then more memory is likely to be helpful.

Here is some additional information from Apple:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

SSDs are something to consider but are not a substitute for a memory shortage.
Having just lived through a catastrophic HDD crash with my MBP and replacing it with an SSD I don't need to be convinced on that score. Thanks for the info on the Memory!

Md
 

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
812
713
SoCal-Surf City USA
96 GB here and I wish I had more...... For Photoshop 32 GB should be more than enough.... macOS 10.13 will eat 6 GB like candy - None left for your applications....
 
Last edited:

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,766
5,577
Hong Kong
96 GB here and I wish I had more...... For Photoshop 32 GB should be more than enough.... macOS 10.13 will eat 6 GB like candy - None left for your applications....
IMO, High Sierra has best memory management so far. I really like it. 48GB RAM here, the system can always fully utilised 100% of them (plus a little bit memory compression), but never require SWAP.

I have 2 profile logged in, running as a media server, plenty of Safari and Chrome tab, also running photoshop with video encoding at the background. The system / application usually take up ~30GB or memory, the remaining used as cache.
 

DearthnVader

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2015
889
4,857
Red Springs, NC
You need to determine if memory is being exhausted. You can do this by using the "Activity Monitor" program located in the Utility folder within the Applications folder.

Click on the "Memory" button and check the "Memory Used" section. If this exceeds the "Physical Memory" installed in the system then chances are good that you need more memory. In addition the "Memory Pressure" graph will also give you a good indication of what is happening with memory. If the graph is constantly red then more memory is likely to be helpful.

Here is some additional information from Apple:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464

SSDs are something to consider but are not a substitute for a memory shortage.
I'll add a little to this, also take a look at the Swap Used.

The place I like to buy Mac Ram is OWC, have a look at the chart for your Mac. 64 Gigs for $330-$360.

Even if you don't feel you need 64 Gigs, you may yet in the future. I would go with the 4x16 GB modules, that way if you ever push beyond that need, you have four open ram slots, and don't loose any ram if you go with more.

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#1333-memory
 

MarkJames68

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2017
394
246
Not knocking OWC, but 1333 RDIMMs are cheap as chips on eBay. Going price for 64GB is around $200 or less.

The trick is ensuring compatibility - that’s where OWC shines as they guarantee it. But their prices are high (1866 RDIMM prices are truly ridiculous at close to $500 for 64GB, don’t even mention 128GB).
 

DearthnVader

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2015
889
4,857
Red Springs, NC
Not knocking OWC, but 1333 RDIMMs are cheap as chips on eBay. Going price for 64GB is around $200 or less.

The trick is ensuring compatibility - that’s where OWC shines as they guarantee it. But their prices are high (1866 RDIMM prices are truly ridiculous at close to $500 for 64GB, don’t even mention 128GB).
True, but you often get what you pay for.

Larry has always taken care of me, so I'm willing to fork out the extra $.
 

MarkJames68

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2017
394
246
True, but you often get what you pay for.

Larry has always taken care of me, so I'm willing to fork out the extra $.
Customer service is always a good reason. But their solution for Mac Pro SSD replacements (the Aura) is less than optimal, and seems disingenuous when a 1TB Aura is not only more expensive than OEM, it is also massively slower. And the Envoy Pro solution to repurpose the original SSD is USB rather than TB.
 
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