Why Everyone Should Upgrade Their Mac to 8GB RAM

Posted by Mayank on September 11, 2011 in Apple,Mac

I purchased my Mac in 2009 and observed lately Mac spinning beach ball had become a regular occurrence. I did the regular troubleshooting tips to speed my mac and troubleshoot Mac spinning beach ball, however, the occurrence of the spinning beach ball was too common to be comfortable with.

I started using less and less applications at the same time and kept the Mac Activity Monitor on all the time. What I observed was interesting – Firefox and Safari consumed a lot of CPU and continued to eat my active memory even when not in use. Many a times I observed that closing tabs had no effect on CPU until I restarted the browsers. My Activity Monitor continued to resemble the picture shown below (very less Free CPU most of the time).

slow mac

I decided to upgrade my Mac. I found that if I were to take my Mac to an Apple Store or Best Buy to do the memory upgrade, it will set me back by $250 to $300. That was a huge amount considering how cheap memory is now-a-days. I went through the Mac Support documents and decided to take the matter in my own hands. First I needed to find out my current RAM configuration. Finding your current Mac configuration is easy : Click the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then chose About This Mac. The memory was a 2GB 1067 MHz DDR3 with a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

about macThen I started looking for best deals on Mac memory and I found it in Amazon for about $50. It was a Kingston Apple 8GB Kit (2x4GB Modules) 1066MHz DDR3 SODIMM iMac and Macbook Memory (KTA-MB1066K2/8G). Once ordered, the memory arrived within a week. I changed the memory and you can have a look at the video below for the procedure :

After changing the memory, I tried to verify the current memory and it showed 4GB instead of 8GB. There could have been 2 reasons for this – either I did not install the memory chip properly or I received a faulty memory chip. I decided to reopen the Mac and checked. Clearly enough, I had not placed the top chip properly and it was kind of loose. I placed it firmly in its spot and fired up my Mac again to check my current configuration. This time my configuration was what I expected it to be.

fast mac

It has been 2 weeks since I upgraded to 8GB RAM and I haven’t had a sight of Mac spinning beach ball since. This even when I have several applications running at the same time and my Dock looks like this.

Mac Dock

My Mac Activity Monitor continues to have a welcome sight as shown below. Now-a-days, my memory usage has been running high, around 4 GB RAM and even with that I’m left with 4 GB of free RAM.

fast mac

This has been a big productivity booster and saved quite a few minutes of my daily life when I had to wait for the Mac spinning beach ball to go away and my Mac comes back to normal. I can say that upgrading Mac RAM has saved about 5-10 minutes every day for me. On an annual basis, it corresponds to about a week in a year. That is huge and this is why I think everyone should upgrade their Mac to 8GB RAM.

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