I have a 13 inch MacBook Pro from mid 2009 (5,5). It's really slow when I switch applications, I'm using Google Chrome, Xcode 5 (I already disabled "show live issues"), and not many other apps: Cog (simple audio player) and f.lux and the Terminal.

Right clicking often takes 5 sec, creating a new Finder window around 3 sec.

I'm just asking if 4GB will really be enough since I use Xcode to compile a C++ project, or if I should get 8GB. I'm not very concerned about battery life, I'm just worried that 4GB would not be enough to be comfortable, OS X seems to use a lot of memory.

I'm just wondering what are the best websites to buy memory that is compatible with my Mac. I've looked at macway but it seems they don't have RAM for my model. I don't think I'll buy from OWC, it seems very expensive... Corsair also seems to make RAM for Macs.

I'm also ready to buy good performing RAM, I don't know if there are better performing RAM out there, or if a 2009 MacBook would really benefit from it.

Any advice?

I also tried to check my page out value, could not find it in the new activity monitor, here is the memory thing anyways.

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  • Should someone go through all these posts and correct Maverick to Mavericks?
    – GEdgar
    Oct 25, 2013 at 16:12

4 Answers 4


Mountian Lion uses 2GB RAM, Mavericks 4GB. Windows 7 2GB... I don't want to know what the new Yosemite is going to gobble (especially a bad move of Apple soldering RAM t logic board in new MacBooks... the idea of plug-in chips in soldered chip holders would have been a better solution if RAM cards were omitted), and avoiding it because of this issue and don't like its GUI design, which would put me off from the new features that are impressive...

I had a late 2008 Mac which was upgraded to 8GB, but still ran Mavericks slower than Mountain Lion and had to downgrade it so it can perform better, perhaps because Mavericks was designed specially for Retina based computers, which have a higher resolution. I now have a new Macbook Pro Retina with Iris Graphics,running mavericks. and is 8GB. It is always a necessity to have a computer that has its operating system using half of the physical memory for performance. It puts less strain on on the machine, and that free RAM would help with your creativity in photoshop, video editing, music creating and more... Logic and Garageband tend to spaz out when there is no free memory. Then if you thinking that a SSD would make virtual memory perform better, yes it would, but the downside is, continuous paging on your drive would decrease its estimated lifespan with wear and tear. Where paging is supposed to be only on occasion when your work maxes out physical RAM, not every time you use your machine. I would recommend a downgrade to Mountain Lion, until you have the plans and resources to get a new computer.

  • I'm using xcode 5, I'm not sure it runs on mountain lion. Anyways I did not buy that 2009 macbook pro, it was offered to me, I will never buy apple in the future.
    – jokoon
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:43
  • I don't think Mavericks uses 4 GB of RAM because I'm running Mavericks on a MacBook Air with only 2GB of RAM and it works pretty good with Chrome, Sublime Text, Terminal, Sequel Pro, MAMP, and some other apps running.
    – Nathan
    Nov 12, 2014 at 21:54

8Gb would be best if you can afford it. I've always used crucial.com for RAM and had no problems.

An SSD drive would also really speed up system performance.

  • I prefer having a lot of space, SSD are quite expensive. I don't think a SSD will speed things up if RAM is a bottleneck. SSD will never as fast as RAM. Increasing file access speed will not increase system performance, it will only improve boot time.
    – jokoon
    Oct 25, 2013 at 15:06
  • 1
    I agree that increasing RAM is more important than getting an SSD, but not with the "Increasing file access speed will not increase system performance" bit. Any application that does a lot of disk IO (the likes of Safari, XCode and iPhoto spring to mind immediately) will benefit massively. Oct 25, 2013 at 15:51
  • When RAM is low the system writes to the system drive. If you system drive is very fast. i.e. SSD then it will speed it up. A combination of 8GB RAM and an SSD would make drastic differences to your system.
    – DaveAtDog
    Oct 25, 2013 at 15:52
  • I had a 13" MBP (2009). I replaced the optical drive and put an SSD in there. It was a great machine. Fast boot drive and plenty storage.
    – DaveAtDog
    Oct 25, 2013 at 15:53
  • Yeah, but upgrading RAM is much more important than upgrading to a SSD. upgrading just a SSD will never improve unless I upgrade the ram first. A SSD will never be as fast as RAM.
    – jokoon
    Oct 25, 2013 at 15:56

I've always had good luck with Crucial's RAM. Go to their site, choose your Mac, then choose a kit.


You should go for 8 GB of RAM. I do development too using Xcode 5, Terminal, and have Chrome open as well. Chrome is a memory hog itself and when I had 4 GB of RAM OSX would be swapping to disk constantly. I upgraded to 8 GB and noticed a huge difference in performance.

  • Isn't this a chrome bug ?
    – jokoon
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:50

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