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Author: TwoCybers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 65300  
Subject: Re: Memory upgrade? Date: 4/4/2013 8:02 AM
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Wot as you say, RAM is cheap and it solves a lot of issues. 4 GB is plenty to run a few basic applications. But many Apple users tend to keep a lot of applications open and these boxes generally go days without rebooting.

Apple gives us a great tool to determine if RAM is the problem. Fire up Activity monitor. When it is in the Dock, Right Click and make sure there is a check mark to keep it in the Dock. Next in the Right Click Menus, go into the "Dock Icon" item and choose "Show Memory Usage". Green is the what you really want. Blue is also OK. Red and Yellow represent RAM that is not available to you for new tasks.

When my Red/Yellow sections get over 50%, I think about actions to relieve RAM connection. I have found Safari is my #1 culprit. All I have to do Quit and Restart Safari. Your specific use patterns will determine what applications are the biggest RAM users. I happen to use a Virtual Machine for Windows. That can also be an issue for me.

Here is a link that will provide some useful background.

Another item in the equation is how full your HDD is. Different folks have different views - I personally think a HDD is getting full if the empty space is much less than 25% of the total -- now if a person has a 1 TB drive that is too conservative. As I recall the basic 2011 MBP came with a 500GB drive - If that were the case, I would say once free space gets under 100GB, time to think. The options are:

#1 Get a larger HDD (if you are going to keep it for significant time - that means you have space to grow)
#2 Clean out stuff. Large email attachments and videos are typically items I suspect.

I had a mid/late 2009 MBP and upgraded RAM for 4 to 8 when I had 10.6 for an OS. That made a significant difference.

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