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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 27, 2010
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    19
    Do I need more RAM?
    I have an IMAC 20" bought in May 2009. I am operating a 10.6.8 system(snow leopard). 2 cores 2 GB memory2.66Ghz L2cache 6mb. My question is do I need more ram. When I first start my system memory is over a gb but very quickly drops to 500 or 400 or less free memory. I sometimes get a spinning wheel when I load some sites but not very often. If I do need more memory could you please suggest how and what I need. Thankyou so much.

  2. #2

    vansmith's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location
    Toronto
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    19,788
    Specs:
    Early 2015 13" rMBP
    That's a tough one to answer. 2GB is probably fine for most people who don't tax their system although bumping yourself up to 4GB probably wouldn't hurt if your comfortable replacing your memory (it's not all that hard). You can search the manuals here (which includes memory replacement instructions) if you don't have the manual that came with your machine.

    It would appear that you have the early 2009 iMac. If so (the model ID of the early 2009 iMac is iMac9,1 which you can check by going to  > About This Mac > More Info... > Hardware > Model Identifier), you're looking for "PC3-8500 1066mhz DDR3" memory. Your machine can support up to 8GB.
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  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 31, 2009
    Posts
    304
    Try running activity monitor too (applications / utilities…) and check your hard drive for page outs and page ins. That is when the OS uses the hard drive as a virtual memory when the real memory is full. Anything above about 10-15% and you may want to consider adding ram. I bumped my 2009 MPB from 4 gb to 8 gb recently for about 40 dollars shipped. The used Apple memory sells for around 20 box in my area. So…no matter what there is not a huge price tag if you DIY this sort of thing.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Victoria, BC
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    With the price of RAM being what it is I can't see any real point to even asking. If your machine can handle more RAM, just get it whether you need it or not.

  5. #5

    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
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    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    More RAM will probably help. 2GB isn't much with Snow Leopard. I'd recommend at least 4GB for Snow Leopard, and if thinking about going to Lion, 8GB.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Quote Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
    More RAM will probably help. 2GB isn't much with Snow Leopard. I'd recommend at least 4GB for Snow Leopard, and if thinking about going to Lion, 8GB.
    Oh that's just silly. I'm running Lion perfectly fine on a MacBook with 3GB (the max) RAM.

    I'm sure it's faster on newer machines (everything is), but the point is that Lion doesn't NEED 4GB of RAM and certainly doesn't require 8GB either. Nice to have, absolutely. Required? No.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    May 05, 2011
    Posts
    43
    I just tripled my RAM for just over $40 and 5 minutes. Got 8GB Crucial RAM from Amazon for $39.99 plus tax. Took maybe 5 minutes to install it. I probably don't tax my iMac enough to really need the extra RAM, but I've gone from the standard 4 GB to 12 for not that much money.

  8. #8

    Stretch's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    4,773
    Specs:
    15in i7 MacBook Pro, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, 500GB HD
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Oh that's just silly. I'm running Lion perfectly fine on a MacBook with 3GB (the max) RAM.

    I'm sure it's faster on newer machines (everything is), but the point is that Lion doesn't NEED 4GB of RAM and certainly doesn't require 8GB either. Nice to have, absolutely. Required? No.
    I'll put it this way, with my usage, numerous apps running constantly, plus Lightroom usage, the computer is much happier at said RAM dosages.
    Blog and Photo Gallery: http://philolin.me/

    Currently running OS X 10.10

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