So recently some people in the office have been complaining there macs are intently slow. Now I dont know much about macs but because im one of 2 devs on staff I ofcourse Know all there is to know about IT.

My manager says its a Network/Server issue but I cant see how a server can cause Adobe/General Mac operations to slow.

The only common ground on all of these macs are that as the title mentions they all have the following memory setup: 2x 4gig sticks and 1 8gig Stick

From my windows experience although this works its a bad practice. I further Believe its this as my Computer is the only one in the office with 2x 8gig sticks and I have 0 Issues with my machine Doing way more intense tasks then any of the designers when I run simulated mobile devices in the few hundreds.

Anyone Can confirm that it is better to use the same Sticks in pairs A.k.a Getting everyones Ram switched so They pair 4's and 8's instead of mix matching?

  • Swap the memory (if you can) between your system and one of the slow systems, and see what happens.
    – aMike
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 14:47
  • I'd say that the difference between the RAM config is not going to be the limiting factor if people are complaining about slowness. Firstly, you'll find forum posts about Adobe apps being brick slow for years. Some people have it, some don't. Secondly - 8 Gb is not that much for a bunch of Pro apps. Are these iMacs with hard drives?
    – benwiggy
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 15:35
  • 1
    Why do you think it‘s a RAM issue? What kind of Macs are these, how does CPU and memory load show in Activity Monitor?
    – nohillside
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 15:35
  • @nohillside Generally its around 70% Usage where ram is at 14 Gigs/16. So as i mentioned im no expert so not to sure why they slow down like that Ive found that some Adobe products have their performance settings tuned to like 90% Ram usage. @ Bewiggy Yes They are, The issue is not just the adobe products but the entire machine slowing down as to where I have to wait 30sec- 1min for a Finder window to change fodlers as an example.
    – Someguy
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 6:03
  • 1
    @Tetsujin Everyone runs SATA 1TB SSD's I make sure no one uses more then 80% of the Storage
    – Someguy
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, always avoid mix ‘n match...

4 * 4 or 2 * 8 is much better.

  • Though it depends on precisely which Mac. Mac Pros [the old cheesegraters] can use RAM in triple-channel as well as dual-, so 3 of the same is better than 2 or 4.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 14:42
  • Currently every machine has a 8gig and 2 x 4gig/ Im just trying to come up with ways to speed everyones things up. And From my experience with windows machines 2 x 8 gig/4 x 4gig is a-lot better. Based on the activity Monitor feeds most people run out of ram. All of these are around iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012) to The bigger screened ones 2020
    – Someguy
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 14:45
  • A quick google tells me only the Mac Pros can use triple-channel. Everything else uses dual-, so yes, always in pairs. Basically, it doubles the communication speed between motherboard & RAM.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 15:05
  • if they are "running out of RAM", then it sounds like these Macs are just swapping out to their ageing hard drives, and that's where the slowness is. The machines with 16 Gb are faster because they've got more RAM than the 8 Gb ones.
    – benwiggy
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 15:39
  • OP says they are all 16GB machines - 2x4 1x8.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 16:29

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