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The minimum requirements for RAM for Yosemite is 2 GB as stated in apple literature.

What are the optimum real world requirements for Yosemite to achieve a noticeable improvement.

In particular for an early 2011 MBP 2.3 GHz which currently has 4 GB.

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Absolute minimum is 2GB... though 4GB would be a more tenable minimum, 8GB more comfortable, 16GB would be able to breathe properly.

8GB really is the 'minimum sensible' for a modern OS, whatever the official spec says.

  • how noticeable will the difference between 8 GB and 16 GB be? – smashtastic Oct 31 '14 at 22:09
  • @smashtastic it depends on what you do on the computer – user151019 Oct 31 '14 at 22:30
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    where did you get those numbers from (source) – Ruskes Oct 31 '14 at 22:36
  • No source, just practical experience. We have some 4GB machines here on the same hardware as some 8GB machines. The 4s struggle long before the 8s. The 16s & over don't suffer at all. – Tetsujin Nov 1 '14 at 7:24
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    @Bern I suspect your MacBook Pro has a hard disk rather than an SSD. Yosemite runs fine with 4GB of RAM, but it struggles on hard disks -- it really needs an SSD. My 4GB MacBook Air with SSD used to run much faster than my 8GB iMac with a hard disk, until I replaced the iMac's hard disk with a hybrid drive. – Mike Scott Sep 22 '15 at 7:16
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I have several MBP. Yosemite runs fine with 4GB of ram, very comfortably with 8GB of ram. One of my MBP has 16GB of ram, and has consistently much ram free. Even with photography apps, I am not using 3D apps.

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I have MacBook Pro with Yosemite 10.10.3 with 4 GB RAM. It runs so slowly and it take ages to load the system. I recommend at least 8 GB RAM.

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4GB on my 2010 MacBook Air is fine. More is better, and I've upgraded my iMac to 20GB, but there's no real point going above 4GB unless you have an SSD. If you don't have an SSD, you'll get a much better performance improvement from adding an SSD than you will from adding RAM.

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I don't think add more ram can do much to load the system. As Yosemite can compress physical memory efficiently, 4GB of Ram actually enough for most of the task unless you need to work with 3D or super high-res photo. Save your money to upgrade to SSD, you will feel like you are having a new machine. I have 2 MBP at home, Machine A is an i7 with 16G ram. Machine B is a core2duo with 4G ram. Both of them are replaced with a SSD. Compare boot time, they are almost the same (within 3 to 5 sec. difference). Booting Yosemite at around 20 sec. So don't need to bother much on adding ram if you want notiable performance. Replace the harddisk to SSD you will more then satisfied on the result.

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