Shall I Upgrade My RAM Already - Please Advise!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DavidLeigh, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. DavidLeigh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I've only had my MBP 15 with 4gb of RAM for a few weeks and have not used it for much. I'm finding that it probably isn't running slow but the drive is starting to read a lot more often after i've installed a few more things, particularly some of the software updates. Safari isn't as fluid. This might be my paranoia after buying a brand new machine. I'm like that sometimes ;) I have yet to upgrade to Mountain Lion which i can do for free as well other updates like Safari 6.

    So i checked the activity monitor, and to my surprise found that i'm using over a half of my memory already. Free memory is only 1.67, wired is 644, active is 1.36 and inactive 356. My system is more or less idle. I'm only using it for browsing, iTunes, youtube etc. I'm basically not doing anything. Is my memory usage normal?! Where is the memory going? Are there some processes i need to quit?

    I've heard that upgrading the RAM is quite simple for MBP and checked some youtube videos. Seems easy enough and 8gb RAM is quite cheap. My only concern is about opening a brand new machine after a few weeks. I don't want to loosen anything or create additional noise and vibration issues! Is this necessary already?

    Cheers,
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Your memory usage is normal. Mac OS X will use all the RAM you have available, and manage it automatically. Unless you're getting getting significant page outs under your normal workload, you're not maxing out your RAM. You don't have to watch anything except page outs.

    To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    You can usually count inactive as free, so adding them up, you have almost 50% free RAM. You don't look like you need to upgrade.
     
  4. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    I noticed Safari was really slow when I was on later versions of Lion. 10.8 really helped out in that area. Also, you'll notice the biggest improvement in speed if you were to upgrade from your HDD to a SSD.

    Yeah, you'd like a SSD.
     

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