Out of RAM? Using 1.98/2.00Gb

GodSTIlla

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2014
4
0
So my girlfriend has an older Macbook pro a 2010 model I believe, and it has 2GB Ram, and a 160GB HD.

She has to have The Mac Version of Microsoft Word for school as well as Excel and power point, (she refuses to take my advice of doing it in Pages and exporting to a WRD doc).

But anyway ever since she got it about a year a go it has been running so slow it's almost not worth it to use it, color wheel every 2 minutes for about 30 seconds at a time. Just tonight we got Mac Keeper and found out that at any given time it would be using 1.90/1.98 out of 2.0GB if ram. When we clean it out, it may free up .40 for about 10 min but it creeps right back up. So Now I'm not really sure what to do.

Here's what we've tried already.
Factory Reset
Repairing the HD
Backing up and Partitioning the Drive
Quitting all programs not being used (did that and it was still at 1.7)
Giving up and Using My Computer. lol

Any advice would help, Just not really sure what the next step is except upgrading to 4GB! Thanks!
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
I would suggest discontinuing the use of MacKeeper. It is borderline malware. What operating system does the machine currently have on it?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
If the memory pressure is green, it does not need more memory. More memory is only needed if the memory pressure is red. Don't forget, on UNIX derived operating systems like Mac OS X, free memory is wasted memory.
 

AxoNeuron

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2012
1,240
847
The Left Coast
If the memory pressure is green, it does not need more memory. More memory is only needed if the memory pressure is red. Don't forget, on UNIX derived operating systems like Mac OS X, free memory is wasted memory.
There are some situations where that is not the case. 2GB just isn't enough today.
 

GodSTIlla

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2014
4
0
Thanks guys, I'll go ahead and get it off, and that makes sense with the unix and RAM.
However, it's still slow as snot, any other things I can do to speed it up?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,258
2,695
Delaware
2 GB RAM, with Mavericks on a hard drive? Sounds almost scary slow.
I suspect that your g/f has a 2009 13-inch MBPro, as that's the last one that came with only 2 GB, and a 160 GB hard drive.
As Intell suggested, check the Activity Monitor, memory tab. I suspect that 2GB would not show just green but would be almost constant yellow, and often red, particularly with the spinning hard drive.
 

GodSTIlla

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2014
4
0
2 GB RAM, with Mavericks on a hard drive? Sounds almost scary slow.
I suspect that your g/f has a 2009 13-inch MBPro, as that's the last one that came with only 2 GB, and a 160 GB hard drive.
As Intell suggested, check the Activity Monitor, memory tab. I suspect that 2GB would not show just green but would be almost constant yellow, and often red, particularly with the spinning hard drive.
Definitely will do, I'll have to get back with you guys on the status of the ram with Activity Monitor, I'm sure it'll be red or yellow.
Would it be worth it to upgrade the RAM or would it be better if she just got a new Computer
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,309
1. Look at the activity monitor
2. Make sure she runs Mavericks
Never use any google apps or mackeeper or the likes.

Despite what the ram crowd says, office will run smooth with 2gb ram.

i suspect the hdd. so if ram pressure is green get a cheap ssd and put it in.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Pretty much this

1. Look at the activity monitor
2. Make sure she runs Mavericks
Never use any google apps or mackeeper or the likes.

Despite what the ram crowd says, office will run smooth with 2gb ram.

i suspect the hdd. so if ram pressure is green get a cheap ssd and put it in.
I would also add that if her (rather small) HDD is very full this will impact things.

While 2gb of RAM will run office and mavericks fine if she has a lot of stuff happening in the background that will slow you down.

As suggested check your memory pressure graph, if it is green and you have no or low page outs then your RAM is fine.

The HDD could well be on it's way out as well and an ssd will turn it into a new computer.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,688
33,574
Boston
What does Activity monitor state regarding your ram usage.

2GB is rather anemic these days, and you should be able to improve performance with an upgrade, especially with using the office apps, i.e., they are resource hogs.

Using 2GB does not really equate to running out of ram, since OSX will use all ram, i.e., free ram is wasted ram. Its the swap ins/swap outs that will illustrate whether the computer is running low on resources.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,334
10,095
California
...color wheel every 2 minutes for about 30 seconds at a time.
Even with 2GB of RAM and a hard drive you should not be seeing this.

Like others mentioned, it may be the hard drive dying. This is a classic symptom.

Open Activity Monitor and and check at the bottom of the memory section for green under memory pressure. If it is green, memory is not your problem.

Also look in the CPU tab and sort by CPU% and see if you have any process there chewing up CPU cycles and tell us what it says.
 

Atomic Walrus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2012
878
433
Considering the age of the machine that HDD is probably on its last legs. A slowly dying HDD will create a lot of IO waits that freeze the entire system (already been said, but just reinforcing it).

If you want to upgrade I actually think an SSD comes first over more RAM, though whether or not it's worth it is something you'd have to decide after pricing some options. Apparently that's been said too, I guess I should try reading. Well consider this another vote for an SSD.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
So my girlfriend has an older Macbook pro a 2010 model I believe, and it has 2GB Ram, and a 160GB HD.

She has to have The Mac Version of Microsoft Word for school as well as Excel and power point, (she refuses to take my advice of doing it in Pages and exporting to a WRD doc).

But anyway ever since she got it about a year a go it has been running so slow it's almost not worth it to use it, color wheel every 2 minutes for about 30 seconds at a time. Just tonight we got Mac Keeper and found out that at any given time it would be using 1.90/1.98 out of 2.0GB if ram. When we clean it out, it may free up .40 for about 10 min but it creeps right back up. So Now I'm not really sure what to do.

Here's what we've tried already.
Factory Reset
Repairing the HD
Backing up and Partitioning the Drive
Quitting all programs not being used (did that and it was still at 1.7)
Giving up and Using My Computer. lol

Any advice would help, Just not really sure what the next step is except upgrading to 4GB! Thanks!
If using Mavericks...
Minimum RAM of Mavericks is 2GB, what you have, and that lags. I tried that once. Mavericks almost always uses all your RAM for performance (unused ram is wasted ram), so don't rely on that if you have enough. In Activity Monitor, look at the color of the Memory Pressure graph. If it is green, you don't need more RAM, if yellow, you may want to install more RAM, if red, you really need more RAM. Your graph is probably yellow.

So what you need to do is install more RAM. Simple as that. As you upgrade your OS, the OSes require more minimum ram, and eventually you hit the minimum. I think your computer came with Snow Leopard, and SL requires 1GB RAM, which is half of what you have, and it should run better. Mavericks requires 2GB, which is all of your RAM, leaving no extra RAM. So you could downgrade your OS to Snow Leopard (you must do a fresh install, you cannot just simply downgrade as it is). This is not recommended though as some of your apps you use may not work in SL. So you should upgrade your RAM.

Do NOT and NEVER again use MacKeeper. It's just crappy Malware, and if anything it would make your situation worse by hogging RAM. Also, do NOT and NEVER use Memory Clean, this is a complete lie, it just makes it worse.

Never determine if you need more RAM by looking at how much is used. Mavericks almost always uses up all RAM for performance. Look at the graph instead.
 

Anitramane

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2013
430
0
If the memory pressure is green, it does not need more memory. More memory is only needed if the memory pressure is red. Don't forget, on UNIX derived operating systems like Mac OS X, free memory is wasted memory.
Don't forget, a computers speed can increase if it can load in more common files to memory. The more memory it gets the more it will use.
If Mavericks runs with green memory preassure and having more memory is ****ing stupid, how much memory do you have?
 
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