Living with older Macs

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pshufd, May 2, 2019.

  1. pshufd macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I'm stuck in the no-mans land of not wanting to buy the new stuff but worried about the old stuff. I've been pushing the limits of my 2015 MBP on RAM and found a solution that should work for a while. I run several webmail and other tabs on Firefox (Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, iCloud Mail, Outlook Mail, and I found that I can save about 3.5 GB of RAM but running Apple Mail instead of the web versions. I'm rather amazed that these web applications use so much RAM. When I was working on Firefox back in 2002, the entire program used up 100 MB of RAM.

    So, instead of leaving tabs open, I open them when needed. This seems to improve overall system responsiveness. The main reason for this laptop is to run trading apps which use a fair amount of memory on their own which is why I had memory pressure. So one way to keep the old systems running longer - get more efficient with your process.

    I didn't do this in the past because Apple Mail wouldn't work through our firewall but having a personal system and a work system means that the personal system can use Apple Mail while my personal work system is for work.
  2. Airboy1466 macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2015
    I really don’t think you are using that much ram as apple products tend to use as mush ram as it can

    Example when I had my 8gb ram MacBook Air the computer would use 6 GB of it, when switching to my 15inch pro with 16gb of ram it would use 13 doing the exact same tasks so Apple products just tend to distribute the weight no matter what. As long as your ram usage is staying in the green then trust me you are perfectly fine.
  3. pshufd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    You can go and see how much RAM various threads are using and add up the numbers. Yes, the OS will cache files but you can tell when you're using up a lot of overall memory.
  4. gretafour macrumors regular

    Aug 26, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I've got a late 2008 MacBook with 4GB. Runs Firefox just fine. Swapping out the hard drive for an SSD made more of a difference than addition RAM, in my opinion.
  5. pshufd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    With that little RAM, you're paging. So, yes, an SSD would improve performance because you're paging using a much faster device.

    I have a 2008 MacBook Pro with 6 GB of RAM. I was using it up until last year when the display died. I can still use it with an external display though. It is usable but quite a bit slower than my 2014 and 2015 systems. It won't run my trading applications. Those are slow to load, even on my newer systems.
  6. mylittlepwny macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2018
    Until I bought my 2018 15" MBP in November I was still using a Mac Pro 2,1 and a Macbook Pro 3,1. I put 32gb of RAM in the Pro, maxed the Macbook out at 6gb, and was running both on El Capitan with SSDs. The laptop is good only for basic web browsing, some youtube (720p or less), and iTunes. The desktop still handles most tasks as well as a new Air with the HD5770 from a later gen model. Definitely gotta watch how many tabs are open to keep RAM usage down with the laptop.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    A 2015 MacBook Pro is NOT "older".
    Not in my book, anyway.

    I prefer it to anything that Apple has put out since.
    I'll use it until and unless they again market a keyboard that is "usable"...
  8. Lee_Bo macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2017
    Greenville, SC
    I have a 2011 iMac and Mac Mini that I upgraded to 16 gigs ram and 500 gig SSD and both run fine with Lightroom and Luminar.
  9. dantracht macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2013
    Agree completely. Just picked up a 13" 2015 MBP and LOVE it.
  10. Donnation macrumors demi-god


    Nov 2, 2014
    Your trading apps must use some serious memory. Most people can easily get by on 16GB of RAM, with 8GB being enough for even more people.
  11. pshufd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2013
    New Hampshire
    One is written in Java so there's the CPU overhead of interpreted code but the amount of memory that it needs depends on what you are doing. I have a lot of real-time charts running (80 at the moment) and real-time charts seem to use up a lot of memory and a moderate amount of CPU resources. The other application runs under WINE as it's a native Windows app and it runs like a dog on the MacBook Pro. That may just be the WINE API software though.

    The previous program that I used, Medved Trader, would use up to 11 GB of RAM on one of my Windows desktops. I'm pretty sure that that was a bug in the OS or one of the Windows Framework APIs. I was paying something like $700/year for the software too and it made the system unresponsive after a few hours. It didn't reproduce on all systems.

    Some of this is that these programs run best on Windows. I'm happy that they run on macOS as running a VM is a bit of a pain.

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10 May 2, 2019