Is Sierra usable on 2GB machine?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by dogslobber, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    I got wondering about this because I have a 4GB MBA 2010 that starts swapping upon running Safari with half a dozen tabs. Makes me wonder if a 2GB machine would start swapping immediately after booting.

    Anybody running Sierra with 2GB got any thoughts?
  2. MacBAir macrumors member


    Aug 5, 2016
    You don't notice a difference in performance if the system swaps less than 1 GB. Specially on a SSD. At all. It's normal.
    Look at this picture:
    - Plex, dropbox, 3 office apps, 4 chrome tabs + ABP, mail, preview, spotify, itunes, whatsapp, vlc, transmission, endnote.

    Green graph = no pressure. 100 MB of irrelevant Swap after a few days. 10.11.6

    Attached Files:

  3. MultiFinder17, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016

    MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    This is what my 2011 2GB Air looks like after a couple of days. That's with 4 Safari tabs, 3 word documents, two excel spreadsheets, iTunes, Discord, iCal, TextEdit, FirstClass, and Preview with a few multi-page PDFs open. The machine swaps a fair bit, but it honestly doesn't seem to slow it down in any real, noticeable way. I'm hesitant to bump it to Sierra, simply because I am looking for more information about its RAM usage relative to El Cap.
    Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 11.45.15 AM.png

    And here it is after a fresh boot.
    Screen Shot 2016-09-25 at 11.45.15 AM.png

    Attached Files:

  4. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    No idea about Sierra, but paging or swapping is an integral part of OS X's virtual memory system. Your swapping stats could be well within normal system behavior. The memory pressure graph should indicate if you're stressing your memory.

    Good explanation on the virtual system here --

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3 September 25, 2016