Will more RAM make Yosemite run better?

thekayman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 23, 2014
290
47
I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is obviously different: a C2D in my MBP vs. i5 on the MBA.

Yosemite runs buttery smooth on the MBA but is slow, laggy and choppy on the MBP. Will upgrading the RAM to 8GB make it better though? I don't want to spend the money and find out it's still junk.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
It depends on what you use it for

I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is obviously different: a C2D in my MBP vs. i5 on the MBA.

Yosemite runs buttery smooth on the MBA but is slow, laggy and choppy on the MBP. Will upgrading the RAM to 8GB make it better though? I don't want to spend the money and find out it's still junk.
Meisters brilliant RAM thread should give you some idea about RAM and how it works in OSX and how to gauge how much you need.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1756865&highlight=meister
 

thekayman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 23, 2014
290
47
Usage is similar across the two machines. Memory pressure seems to stay in the green on the MBP.

I never had problems with Mavericks and Yosemite is a clean install but it's a so much worse experience. May have to go back.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is obviously different: a C2D in my MBP vs. i5 on the MBA.

Yosemite runs buttery smooth on the MBA but is slow, laggy and choppy on the MBP. Will upgrading the RAM to 8GB make it better though? I don't want to spend the money and find out it's still junk.
The GPU on the 2009 MBP is pretty weak, and so is the processor.
 

thekayman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 23, 2014
290
47
Disabling transparency and using the dedicated GPU improves things a bit... thanks for the suggestions.

So, when are the new MBP's coming out? :))
 

tfu07

macrumors newbie
Feb 12, 2015
1
0
I upgraded from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. On 4GB Yosemite was barely usable. Extremely slow and choppy. On 16GB? I haven't had one single problem whatsoever. Yosemite absolutely flies on 16GB! So I say YES! Upgrade your RAM. You won't be sorry. FYI, I also upgraded to a SSD which also helps but I think the main improvement is the RAM upgrade.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,836
30,357
Boston
I'd say that more ram for Yosemite is better. 4GB isn't enough now a days, I've heard too many complaints here on MR about Macs running too slow with 4GB on Yosemite.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
You seem to change you mind on this topic a lot.
8GB of ram is more then enough for 90% of what people need laptops, 16GB s overkill and a waste for (for most people).

There are plenty of people rocking with 4GB of ram and its more then enough.

Don't forget that OS X has swap space so it will never run out of memory.
I'd say that more ram for Yosemite is better. 4GB isn't enough now a days, I've heard too many complaints here on MR about Macs running too slow with 4GB on Yosemite.
Can you post a link to those complaints?

We have two macs at home running Yosemite with 4gb and they all run just fine.
The minimum is 2gb and I think you should back up this claim of "4gb RAM is not enough for Yosemite".

----------

I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is obviously different: a C2D in my MBP vs. i5 on the MBA.

Yosemite runs buttery smooth on the MBA but is slow, laggy and choppy on the MBP. Will upgrading the RAM to 8GB make it better though? I don't want to spend the money and find out it's still junk.
Like you have correctly observed, the mbas with 4gb runs buttery smooth, but the mbp doesn't.
You should find out what is causing the lagyness.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,170
5,528
Q. Will more RAM make Yosemite run better?

A. Perhaps, but what will be FAR more influential is using an SSD (instead of a platter-based HDD).

I'll assume that your 2009 MBP still has a platter-based drive inside.

THAT'S the reason for the sluggish performance. Put an SSD into it, and it will make all the difference in the world. Adding RAM will help a little, but unless you change out the drive, it won't help all that much.

Aside:
I still use -- and prefer -- OS 10.6.8 on my own 2010 MBPro...
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Read ...
I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM.
Q. Will more RAM make Yosemite run better?

A. Perhaps, but what will be FAR more influential is using an SSD (instead of a platter-based HDD).

I'll assume that your 2009 MBP still has a platter-based drive inside.

THAT'S the reason for the sluggish performance. Put an SSD into it, and it will make all the difference in the world. Adding RAM will help a little, but unless you change out the drive, it won't help all that much.

Aside:
I still use -- and prefer -- OS 10.6.8 on my own 2010 MBPro...
 

technosix

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2015
930
11
West Coast USA
My brothers MBP Mid 2010 has 4 GB with an SSD, whereas mine has 16 GB but it's a late 2014 so not a fair comparison, but rather a rough idea of effects with lots of ram and a moderately faster CPU.

His is very slow even though he did a clean install then re-installed his software from scratch in case his backup wasn't clean and free of minor corruption. The differences are stunning.
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,251
2,284
East of Eden
I ran this Mini on 4GB for a while before upgrading it to 8GB. My typical use is Safari with 20-25 tabs open, Word, Outlook and Acrobat Pro, sometimes Excel. Performance on 4GB was fine, and I didn't see any difference when I upgraded to 8GB.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,836
30,357
Boston
You seem to change you mind on this topic a lot.
Can you post a link to those complaints?

We have two macs at home running Yosemite with 4gb and they all run just fine.
The minimum is 2gb and I think you should back up this claim of "4gb RAM is not enough for Yosemite".
No, I think my two statements are compatible. 4GB can be enough, depending on what you're doing but more ram is better.

It all depends on usage.

I'll try to find the posts I came across of people complaining about performance on Yosemite.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
No, I think my two statements are compatible. 4GB can be enough, depending on what you're doing but more ram is better.

It all depends on usage.

I'll try to find the posts I came across of people complaining about performance on Yosemite.
Of course it depends on what they are doing.
The OP stated that what he does runs fine on a base mba, so we pretty much know that it is enough for what he is doing.
 

loon3y

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2011
1,223
123
I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM. The CPU is obviously different: a C2D in my MBP vs. i5 on the MBA.

Yosemite runs buttery smooth on the MBA but is slow, laggy and choppy on the MBP. Will upgrading the RAM to 8GB make it better though? I don't want to spend the money and find out it's still junk.
ram is pretty cheap though. probabaly less than 50 bucks. from what i remember.

but i had a 2010 MBP, it would still lag, but its only because i use parallel desktop.

besides that it would run OK, but it did still lag once in a while
 

diegie

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2014
46
0
I also have a 2009 MBP 15" with the 2,53mhz CPU in it.
A few years ago I updated it with 8gb and recently with an SSD (Samsung EVO) because I found Yosemite also slow and laggy.
After the update of the SSD it was good, everything is smooth again.
So probably the extra 4gb will help, you should have the same config as I do then...
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
I upgraded from 4GB to 16GB of RAM. On 4GB Yosemite was barely usable. Extremely slow and choppy. On 16GB? I haven't had one single problem whatsoever. Yosemite absolutely flies on 16GB! So I say YES! Upgrade your RAM. You won't be sorry. FYI, I also upgraded to a SSD which also helps but I think the main improvement is the RAM upgrade.
The main improvement was the SSD. The OP has a MBA with 4GB of RAM and it is fine. It's his MBP that has a weaker CPU and GPU than his MBA that is choppy
 

illusionx

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2014
326
0
Brossard, QC
I have a 2009 MBP 2.26ghz with 8gb ram. Overall usage is fine, but menus and mission control is laggy with a 7200rpm HDD. It was fast while i had a 64gn SSD in there, but I had to put in a larger HDD since i was lacking space.

I'd say that am SSD upgrade on OP's will make most sense for his usage to make it smooth again. On the other hand, extra RAM won't kill
 

alex0002

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2013
483
103
New Zealand
I have a 2009 MBP 2.26ghz with 8gb ram. Overall usage is fine, but menus and mission control is laggy with a 7200rpm HDD. It was fast while i had a 64gn SSD in there, but I had to put in a larger HDD since i was lacking space.

I'd say that am SSD upgrade on OP's will make most sense for his usage to make it smooth again. On the other hand, extra RAM won't kill
From the first post in the thread...

I have a 2009 MBP and a 2013 MBA. Both have SSD's and 4GB of RAM.
In this case, both machines have an SSD.
So perhaps something else is the limiting factor.

Disabling transparency and using the dedicated GPU improves things a bit... thanks for the suggestions.
We should wait for the OP to come back and tell us if he needs more help.