Worth getting a RAM upgrade for my MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iEirikF, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. iEirikF macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2011

    I own a MacBook Pro mid-2012 (I believe, is there a way to confirm?). Lately, my Mac has run really slow and it can't really multitask well. Yesterday, I edited a movie for a school project, and it was horrible! :mad: It lagged really bad and loaded slow. I did get the job done though, after a lot of swearing and rage.. :p

    I mostly use my MacBook for school work and sometimes watch movies, play videogames or just surf the Internet.

    So my question to you is: Is upgrading my RAM to 8 Gb what I need? I'm not some computer guru, so I'm not entirely sure.

    Also, what are the benefits of upgrading the amount of RAM in a computer?

    Anyways, thank you! :)
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can find specs on all Apple products, including maximum RAM:
    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.
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
  3. iEirikF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2011
    Thank you for the quick reply. However, how can I check the page outs in the Mavericks (10.9) version?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  5. 24Frames macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    I would update to at least 8GB and preferably 16GB.
    Video editing is very demanding on memory.
  6. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    Video editing is also very IO intensive. If your project is stored on a slow hard disk, it will lag, because even with 16GB of RAM, uncompressed high resolution video will likely not fit in RAM anyway.

    Another thing is the type of encoding used. Some video codecs are very CPU intensive to decode, so if you notice high CPU/GPU usage while you are working on your video, this could be the problem. Most video editing suits will let you transcode your source into an intermediary format that takes more space on disk, but requires less resources to work with afterwards. This will take a while to do at the beginning, but then you can jump around the video, apply effects and so on much faster.
  7. Honza1 macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2013
    My experience after 4 different Macs and various upgrades to them in last 5 years... Here are my suggestions (in order of preference and increasing cost). Each step _may_ result in major improvement at reasonable cost, so try them in this order:

    0. - very important - if you do not have TimeMachine backup, get external drive, DO IT NOW. Before you do anything else (ASAP).

    1. Check the drive for errors. Mac drive with any errors will slow down seriously. Boot you computer with cmd-r held down and run disk tools on the main drive. Repair any errors (AFTER YOU BACKUP WITH TIME MACHINE). Also fix permissions, but that is usually not much help for speed. This is free.

    2. Buy more memory - beef it up to 8Gb (2x4Gb) unless you must have 16Gb. Buy Apple compatible memory with easy way to return/exchange. I have some memory which works, but is not recognized properly in my 2011 MBP. Has to be mixed with other memory which is recognized. Go figure... Not sure about cost, but likely $50-$80?

    3. Buy Solid state drive and move data on solid state drive. More or less any will be fast enough for 2012 MBP - and much faster then regular drive. This is major improvement in computer speed (you will NOT recognize it). Use Carbon Copy Cloner to mirror your drive to external enclosure with the Solid state drive (there are good step procedures online how to do this). The cost depends on the size of disk you need - as low as $100 for $128Gb to may b$800 for 1 Tb I saw for sale few days ago.

    With this you should have new Mac useable for next 3-5 years.

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