I'm running on an i3 processor, 2010 model, 3.06 GHz.

enter image description here

I'm currently have 4GB of RAM, but if I were to upgrade to 16GB, would:

  • Applications open quicker?
  • FPS increase in game?
  • Overall performance increase?

Thanks for your help.

  • Just a bit of a rhetorical comment. Your Mac isn't even using all 4 GB it has with 1.29 GB of free, surplus, basically wasted RAM. If you needed to open a new program that took 1 GB of RAM, there would be no delay. Unless you regularly need to open large programs past what is open when this was taken, that extra RAM could sit there unused even though your Mac would be more capable in the "just in case I launch all of Office and Photoshop" situation. – bmike Feb 1 '13 at 14:36
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    I'm not near my Mac, but the page outs in your screenshot seem abnormally high (4 times more than your RAM). Paging happens when you run out of free RAM and a swap file (4.8GB in your screenshot) on your hard disk is used instead. Your hard disk is an order of magnitude slower than RAM so high page outs can indicate that you might benefit from some more RAM. osxdaily.com/2010/10/29/… – deizel Feb 1 '13 at 17:50

Looking at your memory usage you don't need more RAM.

To answer your questions:

  1. Apps may open faster if you are running lots of heavy duty apps, like Photoshop, Xcode, etc…

  2. I doubt you'd see much of an increase in the FPS in games. That depends on the video card and how well the game is written.

  3. Overall performance increase would probably be minimal. The biggest bottleneck is if you are running off a spinning disk, upgrading to an SSD would probably be the biggest performance gain, depending on what you use your computer for.

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  • Mark nailed it here. More RAM lets you do more things before the computer has to shuffle things out of RAM to disk. Things like games can have huge RAM requirements so that they pre-caclulate things and can then play them back later - just like Photoshop or Xcode can use lots of RAM to store work in progress. Most games where FPS is measured don't need RAM, but a fast GPU and CPU to draw scenes rapidly in reaction to changing game dynamics. – bmike Feb 1 '13 at 14:33
  • Looking at the swap space being used, a reboot will recover that space from your hard drive and speed up the machine, but this isn't really a fix if you are working on this machine all day. – Ɱark Ƭ Feb 1 '13 at 21:23

If you are using many programs at the same time e.g many browser tabs and you are left with little free RAM then yes, you will see performance increased.

It really depends on the usage. I can't work on a computer with less than 8GB of RAM (many, many chrome tabs, iTunes, and 3-4 programs open at the same time). But many people are OK with 4GB.

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Yes, it seems that from your screen capture you do need more RAM.

From the Apple support pages:

Tip: Page outs occur when the Mac has to write information from RAM to the hard drive (because RAM is full). Adding more RAM may reduce page outs.

So it seems that you're heavily maxing out your RAM. Check this value and try to determine when you're out of RAM, it could be a one off, but if you're always in the GB definitely upgrade.

Keep in mind that it won't be reset until you restart your computer, it's cumulative.

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