Will Yosemite run well on a 2GB MBA?

Ultra AleM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 22, 2012
585
19
Italy
Hello, guys. I have a 2GB Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4Ghz) MacBook Air. It's on Snow Leopard (10.6.8). Since it's not updated by Apple anymore, I was considering to upgrade to the latest OS X version, but I am scared by the impact it may have on performance. How does Yosemite run on a system like this? Thanks a lot for your suggestions.

Specifications:
- Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4 Ghz)
- 2GB of DDR3 RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 320m
- 64GB SSD
 
Last edited:

kwokaaron

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2013
530
144
I don't think it will run terribly well unfortunately. I would say hold off for as long as you can or upgrade to a slightly older OS like Mavericks to get security updates (do a clean install).
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,849
716
Auckland
I would try it on Yosemite. My thinking?

1. Yosemite has memory compression which may make your 2GB effectively 3GB
2. RAM management better IMHO than even Mavericks, you may end up swapping more than ideal but then you have an SSD so even swapping may not appear noticeable.

I run a 64GB/4GB MBA on Yosemite, it runs fine even with 3 users logged-in and swapping around 0.5-1GB.

Single user I think it may be quite acceptable for you. Worth a try IMHO.
 
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Davidglenn

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2014
72
24
I have a 2011 MBA with 2 GB of ram and running Yosemite. It is fine for email, surfing the net, I airplay to my Apply TV. Used Photoshop but only to do small jobs and also Dreamweaver.

So yes it does work.
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,849
716
Auckland
I have a 2011 MBA with 2 GB of ram and running Yosemite. It is fine for email, surfing the net, I airplay to my Apply TV. Used Photoshop but only to do small jobs and also Dreamweaver.

So yes it does work.
Thought it would, out of interest would you mind posting a screenshot of the Activity Monitor Memory tab just to see what the figures are and how Yosemite sees its RAM pressure on 2GB of real?
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,962
4,550
I think the weak CPU/GPU will be more of a problem. At any rate, 2GB is a bit on the low side for a computer in the modern environment :)
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
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716
Auckland
I think the weak CPU/GPU will be more of a problem. At any rate, 2GB is a bit on the low side for a computer in the modern environment :)
Yes OP best to turn off transparency, that will help with the graphics...sorry forgot to mention that before...
 

Davidglenn

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2014
72
24
Thought it would, out of interest would you mind posting a screenshot of the Activity Monitor Memory tab just to see what the figures are and how Yosemite sees its RAM pressure on 2GB of real?
Sure



With Mail and Safari open
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,849
716
Auckland
Looks pretty good, I expect loading up iPhoto etc might stress it into the Red pressure zone.

To compare, here is mine when pushed, you can see I have 16GB virtual being served out of 8GB real RAM. Swap is up around 1GB but there was no appreciable performance hit (OS runs of an SSD). If I try I can get pressure up into the Red but I have to go outside what I would normally run concurrently.
 

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Ultra AleM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 22, 2012
585
19
Italy
Okay, we updated (from 10.6.8 to the latest version of Yosemite) and it runs really well! What a surprise :) thanks to everyone for your advices.