Running Lion with 3GB of RAM

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Drew017, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Drew017 macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    May 29, 2011
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    #1
    What kind of speed would I get with 3GB of RAM? Right now with only 2GB, running Snow Leopard is great. I'm just not sure if I'll get the kind of speed I have now with Lion, which is why I'm considering this. Any thoughts or suggestions? I really don't have the money to buy 4GB along with Lion. It would have to be one or the other...
     
  2. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Lion will run just fine on 2 GB of RAM. The OS overhead in terms of system memory isn't greatly increased over Snow Leopard. Upgrade to Lion first, then ask yourself if you really need more RAM.
     
  3. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #3
    Wow! Ok then... thanks for your answer- I think that's what I will do.
     
  4. Paradoxally macrumors 65816

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    #4
    On the contrary, Lion is terrible even with 4GB. My 2009 MB Pro frequently pages out, the memory management is terrible. This never happened with SL.

    You can try it out yourself, but don't be surprised if the same happens to you (it will probably happen 2x faster because you have half the RAM).
     
  5. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #5
    I believe RAM depends on what you use the Mac for...
     
  6. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Completely correct.

    There are a lot of people out there that think they need 16 GB of RAM to play Facebook, browse 9GAG, and watch the porno.
     
  7. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #7
    Yea... possibly it also has to do with the computer's age/ HD size/ or what you have on it. I have a 3 year old macbook, well taken care of, and only a handful of Applications on it. I think I'll be OK. If I feel more memory is needed, I'll buy it. Thanks for the input, guys! :cool:
     
  8. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #8
    Before you go and wipeout your Snow Leopard install you might want to re-partition your boot HD into two partitions. You can do this without loosing any data from the partition where Snow Leopard is installed. Once the boot HD is re-partitioned, install Lion on the new partition. Reboot the Mac to the Lion install and play around with it and see if the RAM installed is causing you an issue. If it does not work then all you have to do is reboot to the Snow Leopard partition and remove the partition where Lion was installed.
     
  9. Paradoxally macrumors 65816

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    #9
    All that Flash content will kill off a Mac faster than you can say Lion.
     
  10. tmanto02 macrumors 65816

    tmanto02

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    #10
    I hear there are issues with performance for using two odd RAM sticks however. Apparently it's much better to have two of the same RAM modules.
     
  11. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #11
    That's a good idea... I think I'll do that
     
  12. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #12
    If your machine is currently fine on Snow Leopard, I'd buy 4gb of RAM (instead of Lion) and hold off for Mountain Lion.

    4GB will do more for performance for you than Lion will.


    However, if your machine can take 8gb (its about 50 bucks), I'd save a little longer, upgrade to 8 and then move to Lion later. Unless you have some pressing need to get Lion?

    Lion and mountain Lion will use more ram than snow leopard, application sandboxing doesn't come for free.
     
  13. emoore macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2003
    #13
    I have a 2007 MacBook running lion. I have 4 GB ram installed but only 3 is addressable. It's slow. Lots of page outs with just using iTunes and Firefox. Never had this issue with snow leopard. I should go back but don't want to deal with the hassle. I would suggest not upgrading.
     
  14. Watabou macrumors 68040

    Watabou

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    #14
    I ran Lion on 2GB on my early 2008 macbook pro. I wouldn't recommend it. I had so many page outs, it was basically unusable.
    Once I upgraded to 4GB, Lion was much more fluid and certainly faster.

    So unless you use one or two active apps, I would not recommend 2GB. SL is much faster than Lion on 2GB. I suppose 3GB's okay but you lose the benefit of dual channel memory, unless you get 2x1.5GB sticks. 4GB is, I would say the minimum for a nice overall experience.
     
  15. windowstomac macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2011
    #15
    I agree, I had 4gb under SL, and had to upgrade to 8GB to get equivalent performance back.
     
  16. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

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  17. dacoolest macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2011
    #17
    I have 4 GB and I see a bit of page outs and I'm thinking of getting 8GB.
     
  18. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #18
    Okay, so a bit of an update here...

    I decided I'd wait to see if 2GB of RAM was enough for me, and I'm doing fine with Lion surprisingly! I'm actually very pleased with its performance. I will get 3 or 4GB at some point, but for now, 2 is enough... I haven't even had 1 page out!
     
  19. cubbie5150 macrumors 6502a

    cubbie5150

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    #19
    Same here, except mine is a late 2006 C2D MBP (purchased from Apple in March '07). My experience has been weird. Some days my normal activities work flawlessly, most other days, however, lots of beachballing/system freezes. I've clean installed Lion 3 times now, & while 10.7.4 has been the best by far for me (other than the 1st 48 hrs or so for whatever reason), I feel like my 3 GB of (slow) RAM just doesn't cut it.
     
  20. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    Los Angeles
    #20
    I get beachball only if you are working on FCPX with Seagate GoFlex USB external so I had to go with GoFlex Firewire 800 the beach ball is gone so I thought my 4GB ram is not enough but everything else seems speedy. I believe the internal hard drive that is slow (5400)
     
  21. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
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    #21
    10.7.4 has improved performance a lot.

    My mini currently runs Lion server and browsing in safari with it is usable.

    You'll still get vastly improved performance with even 3 or 4 gb though.

    I had 3gb in my mini for a while until one of the DIMMs died and i only had a 1gb dimm spare to replace it :-\
     
  22. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    My gf has a MBA with 2GB of ram and it runs beautifully.
     
  23. Drew017 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Drew017

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    #23
    yea, those guys run fast! It also has to do with the SSD drive i think! They are lightning fast!
     
  24. MuktownMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    #24
    The Secret to Running Lion with low RAM

    I have a MacBook Pro vintage 2006 running 3GB RAM and months ago tried installing Lion, got frustrated because it was so slow!!! Ended up reverting back to Snow Leopard. Recently, as a last ditch effort to get maybe one more year out of my old Mac, I decided to try cleaning out my hard drive in preparation to re-installing Lion! I freed up approx. 100GB of space where previously I was running with maybe 10 - 20GB of free space. Now I re-inastalled Lion and it is running like a new machine!!! Unbelievable what a difference it makes having lots of freed up hard drive space! I truly believe that this is the secret to anyone attempting to run Lion on an older machine! Try it!!!
     

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