A friend of mine has a MacBook Pro 13" Late 2011 that needs upgrading because it's very slow. We were thinking of buying an SSD and more RAM memory. The computer will primarily be used for Adobe Creative Cloud. The computer can handle a maximum of 16 GB RAM, but Adobe recommends 32 GB RAM for 4K editing in Premiere Pro, and he would like to edit in 4K. So my question is whether you think 16 GB RAM is sufficient for 4K editing or if he should buy a new computer?

  • Check the specs of the machine - will the graphics support 4k?
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 5 at 8:33
  • 1
    The newest macOS for your Mac is High Sierra. I do not think the current Adobe Creative Cloud can run on that version of macOS. Mar 5 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


Your friend will need a new computer.

Adobe Premier Pro requires Big Sur (released in 2020) at least; his Mac will only go up to High Sierra (released in 2017).

However, even if you could get Creative Cloud up and running: the hardware is just not up to the job.

The CPU has only 2 cores, which means there will be a bottleneck of processes waiting to be executed: you'll see stuttering, freezing and beachballing.

The Intel 3000 GPU is not powerful enough to cope with 4K video. Adobe also recommends 6Gb of Video RAM: the integrated graphics can only share up to 1.5 Gb of main RAM. Most crucially, it only supports one external display of 2560 x 1660.

It just doesn't have the power to do 4K video work.

Realistically, in order to satisfy both the software and hardware requirements, you're looking at an M1 or M2 Apple Silicon Mac. Note that Adobe gives 16Gb of RAM as the requirement for 4K video on M-series Macs, but 32Gb for Intel Macs.

Your friend might want to consider using DaVinci Resolve, as a professional but free alternative to Creative Cloud, and using the money saved towards a new Mac.

If you only wanted to use the machine for web browsing, mail, office-type apps, and music/video playing, then it would be worth upgrading to an SSD and more RAM; though you'd still be limited to software 'contemporary' with High Sierra. It's a nearly 12-year-old Mac. ;-)

  • Thanks, if the computer would only be used for web browsing. Is 8 GB RAM enough or should he buy 16 GB?
    – Sensha
    Mar 5 at 17:36
  • @Sensha 8Gb should be fine (unless you're using Chrome ha ha). But a quick Google shows 2 x 8Gb sticks of 204-pin PC-10600 DDR3 SO-DIMM for very little money -- particularly secondhand on eBay.
    – benwiggy
    Mar 5 at 19:22

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