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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Will 4GB RAM upgrade increase performance?


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NewtotheMacs

 
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I've had my Macbook Pro (Mid-2009) for almost 3 years now, and have never had a problem with it until recently. I only had 8GB of disk memory left, so I bought an external to free up some space with the hopes of an increase in performance. It didn't work, and my Macbook Pro is still running slow.

Some people have recommended that I increase my RAM, and have said that will help. What do you all think? Why all the sudden do I need more RAM? The computer ran fine when I bought it.

Your feedback and or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Weapon: Macbook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009)
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harryb2448

 
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Use a cleaning utility such as Onyx. Do you have any AV software or Mackeeper installed? Whilst increasing the memory will bring some improvement do not expect it to match a faster processor.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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NewtotheMacs

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Use a cleaning utility such as Onyx. Do you have any AV software or Mackeeper installed? Whilst increasing the memory will bring some improvement do not expect it to match a faster processor.
I do not have any antivirus software or Mackeeper. Do you recommend getting both? If so, what is the best free antivirus software available for macs?

I appreciate your help.

Weapon: Macbook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009)
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtotheMacs View Post
I've had my Macbook Pro (Mid-2009) for almost 3 years now, and have never had a problem with it until recently. I only had 8GB of disk memory left, so I bought an external to free up some space with the hopes of an increase in performance. It didn't work, and my Macbook Pro is still running slow.

Some people have recommended that I increase my RAM, and have said that will help. What do you all think? Why all the sudden do I need more RAM? The computer ran fine when I bought it.

Your feedback and or advice would be greatly appreciated.
How much ram do you currently have in your MacBook Pro? Depending on what you currently have...a 4gig ram upgrade may or may not help.

Also. You mentioned having only 8gig of free space on your MacBook Pro's hard drive...and that you purchased an external drive to try to free up some space on your MacBook Pro HD. How successful were you...how many gig's of free space do you now have?

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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cwa107

 
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In addition to Pigoo3's advice, I would say that if you're running your system partition at less than 10-15% free space for an extended period of time, you could be experiencing fragmentation issues, even after space has been freed.

Before spending money on memory (as opposed to - say, iDefrag), I would run your most commonly used applications and then open up Activity Monitor (Applications => Utilities). Click the System Memory tab and check the pie chart. If there's not a significant portion of green or blue space in the chart, then it's likely that a memory upgrade will significantly help.

If, however, you have plenty of free memory with your most frequently used applications open, then chances are you just have a fragmentation issue that needs to be sorted out. If you don't want to buy a product like iDefrag, TechTool Pro or one of the other products that can defrag, you can instantly defrag your disk by running a full backup with a product like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!, boot from the back up drive. Then use Disk Utility to format the internal drive and then finish by restoring the backup.

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Assuming it came in the default configuration with 2GB of RAM, doubling it to 4GB will make a difference, especially if you're running Lion or Mountain Lion - but even Snow Leopard will enjoy more RAM.

The next best thing, or perhaps even a better upgrade, would be an SSD - that will make a huge difference to disk performance.

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And keep well away from commercial AV software and Mackeeper.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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NewtotheMacs

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
How much ram do you currently have in your MacBook Pro? Depending on what you currently have...a 4gig ram upgrade may or may not help.

Also. You mentioned having only 8gig of free space on your MacBook Pro's hard drive...and that you purchased an external drive to try to free up some space on your MacBook Pro HD. How successful were you...how many gig's of free space do you now have?

- Nick
Thank you for all of your responses. It's greatly appreciated.

I currently have 2GB of RAM, which is what it came with (Macbook Pro 5,5). I'm looking into upgrading to 8GB of RAM but don't know if I want to make the investment.

I freed up some some of my HD memory using my external and now have 25GB available.

I'm really getting frustrated with this Macbook Pro. What about a disk defragmentation? Is there even a way to do that on a Mac? Will that improve my computers performance?

Thanks for all of your responses. I appreciate it.

Weapon: Macbook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009)
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dtravis7

 
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What version of OSX is installed? Have you upgraded the OS at any point?
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NewtotheMacs

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
What version of OSX is installed? Have you upgraded the OS at any point?
I have Snow Leopard and have not upgraded my OS. I was thinking about upgrading to Mountain Lion but haven't yet.

Weapon: Macbook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009)
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtotheMacs View Post
I currently have 2GB of RAM, which is what it came with (Macbook Pro 5,5). I'm looking into upgrading to 8GB of RAM but don't know if I want to make the investment.
I would upgrade to at least 4gig of ram. 8gig would only cost $50-$60 bucks…so 8gig would probably be the better choice IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtotheMacs View Post
I freed up some some of my HD memory using my external and now have 25GB available.
25gig of free space on your HD may still not be enough. Mid-2009 MacBook Pro's came with somewhere around a 320gig HD. So 25gig free is less than 10%.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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MrBobb

 
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Quote:
Why all the sudden do I need more RAM?
All of a sudden? No. Between then and now you have added "STUFF" to your machine. Everytime u get an update of something, invariably the new software code tend to be larger and require more horse power. It's a conspiracy between software and hardware vendors.

To know whether more ram will help, look at your PAGE FAULT. This number tells you whether your machine is swapping a lot, more ram will minimize the swapping (swapping = machine repeatedly uses the HD as a virtual memory holder when u ask it to use more actual memory than it has. HD access=slow things down).
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NewtotheMacs

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post
All of a sudden? No. Between then and now you have added "STUFF" to your machine. Everytime u get an update of something, invariably the new software code tend to be larger and require more horse power. It's a conspiracy between software and hardware vendors.

To know whether more ram will help, look at your PAGE FAULT. This number tells you whether your machine is swapping a lot, more ram will minimize the swapping (swapping = machine repeatedly uses the HD as a virtual memory holder when u ask it to use more actual memory than it has. HD access=slow things down).
How do I look at my Page Fault? Thanks for your help by the way.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtotheMacs View Post
How do I look at my Page Fault? Thanks for your help by the way.
Just ignore that. It's not that he's wrong or that it's a bad suggestion, but Snow Leopard runs MUCH better with 4 GB RAM and always has. I also think overanalyzing this is a bit much for your level of technical know-how. I also agree you really need a bigger hard drive. It's packed so tight and likely very heavily fragmented. Defragging will probably help, but that's a short term solution for you at best. I would, at the bare minimum, get a 500GB or larger drive for now (assuming your existing one is 320 GB). Once you have your system cloned over to that and have had a chance to see how well things are working, you can then consider if you need to upgrade the RAM.


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I added a memory card and now Safari crashes all the time. Any advice?



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