Yosemite on 2GB of RAM? - I just had to laugh

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by ZVH, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    I was looking at some of the manuals for Apple Support Network certification and the one for Yosemite lists 2GB as the minimal amount of RAM needed to run Yosemite. I almost started to laugh.

    Has anyone tried Yosemite with 2GB of RAM, and will it run? All of my systems have at least 4GB.
  2. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    Remove one of the 2GB sticks and try it yourself maybe? ;)
  3. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    With Safari, Mail, Pages, iTunes open, my used memory is 1.2 GB. Obviously someone who needs to do more (say photoshop, audio or video editing for example) will have more than 2GB of ram...

    Running Mavericks with 2GB seems as laughable no?
  4. ZVH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    That might be an interesting experiment, but it would mean I'd have to remember where I put the original RAM sticks.:eek::D

    Actually, when I think about it, it might really be a good experiment because it's quite possible the kernel may load stuff based on the amount of available memory, and cutting the memory may cause it to load on demand instead.
  5. Antoni Nygaard macrumors 6502a

    Antoni Nygaard

    Jun 23, 2009
    I have been running with 2GB of RAM in my MacBook Pro 4,1 the past 2 years. I was surprised that it actually ran pretty good with that small amount of RAM on Yosemiite, of course there were issues when I had to many tabs open in safari. I have recently installed 2GB more so its 4GB RAM now.
  6. c0LdFire macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2013
    I have:

    17 Safari tabs
    Mail (3 accounts)
    Xcode (tiny project, admittedly)
    and Transmission

    running at the moment. I am using 1GB out of 8.

    OS X is incredibly efficient with RAM. I could personally go way over 2 (or 8 with VMs..) when my workload is larger, but for a casual user, an old MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM still runs fine - I say this from experience with family that have that exact setup.
  7. PurrBall macrumors 65816


    Oct 25, 2007
    How are you guys measuring RAM usage? The kernel task alone takes around 1 GB.
  8. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    I too have 8 GB installed but I always seem to have very little left, like 100 MB or so.
  9. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I have a 2008 Aluminum Macbook and it has only 2GB of RAM. I did a fresh install on it and it doesn't run bad, but I don't do much either. I was thinking of putting 4GB in it, but not even sure if it's worth the money because how little I use it.
  10. SRLMJ23 macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    New York
    I have a Late-2010 MacBook Air that has an Core 2 Duo, with 2GB RAM, and Yosemite runs absolutely fine. I currently have 8 tabs open in Safari (one tab is Netflix), Mail, and iTunes open and my system is not sluggish at all. I think in systems like mine, the SSD has a lot to do with why things run so smooth and also as someone said in a comment above OS X is EXTREMELY good with RAM management.

    In fact I just replied to a post above about a fellow member wondering if his MBA with a Core i5, and 4GB RAM would run Yosemite fine. Clearly I told him yes as it absolutely should.

    As I told him, I occasionally have to run the Purge command in Terminal but that is very rare. I very, very, very rarely get system hangups...in fact I could not tell you the last time I had one. MacBooks are built phenomenal and OS X is just a superior operating system on most all levels, but especially RAM management.

    So I do not know why you are laughing, because my system runs absolutely fine and I am sure there are plenty of other users in these very forums who use Yosemite on the same system I have or other systems with only 2gb RAM that might even be older than my Late-2010.

  11. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    I have personally ran windows vista with 128MB of ram, a geforce 4 mx 440, and a garbage pentium 4.

    I have no doubts yosemite will run with 2GB of ram.

    A lot of it is being used for things that aren't necessary. If you have it you may as well use it. If it needs more ram then it just ejects the ram that isn't required and will use it for something that does require it though.
  12. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013
    Microsoft says the very same thing for their operating system. Yes it will work, but not very well. Those of use with half a brain will opt for more memory however.
  13. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Wow, insulting and wrong in the same post...obviously it is more limited in what you can do concurrently than a 4, 8 or 16GB machine but within that limitation runs fine, even for those of us with less than half a brain.

    Anyone can see that the minimum config has grown in time so anyone having a 2GB machine is highly likely to be continuing to get good use out of an old machine...:eek:
  14. saudor macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2011
    The purge command doesnt work as well in 10.9 and higher. Mavericks and I'm guessing Yosemite will quickly re-fill it up with the cache so you're back to square one.

    In earlier versions, that memory would stay "Free".

    Anyhow, purge is mostly useless in 10.9+ since unlike previous versions that would hit the swap massively/slow down (2gb, etc) even with 5 GB of "inactive memory", this doesnt happen anymore. In fact, it hardly even touches the swap until i hit about 10-11 gb usage on a 8gb machine
  15. OldGuyTom macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2013
    I replace 4GB of RAM with 2GB of RAM last night just to do this experiment after reading this thread. Yes, Yosemite will run but the performance is slower, and needless to say, the more you start doing on the system the worse it gets. Lots and lots of page outs, swapping an memory compression going on. A lot of people on the App Store Yosemite reviews are complaining about its performance. I wonder if this is the cause.

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