Will More RAM Speed Up My Mac?

One of the most ideal ways to significantly speed up a Mac device is to simply replace its old hard drive with a SSD or Solid State Drive. For the most part, this process is very easy on both Mac Pros and MacBooks, and even for iMacs and Mac minis. On the flip side, you can also opt to speed your mac by upgrading your Mac’s RAM or Random Access Memory.

Upgrading to a new ram is pretty inexpensive and relatively easy. You need to spend a relatively cheap price for enough Random Access Memory to operate OS X Yosemite without encountering any issues. Of course, if you get to a higher Ram, expect your Mac to run better for many years.

Most of the time, upgrading RAM doesn’t really void your device’s warranty, except for certain units out there. In addition to that, the only tool you need for upgrading your ram is a small screwdriver.

So without further ado, let’s see if having more ram will really speed up your Mac. Stay tuned!

Understanding RAM

Random Access Memory or simply RAM usually refers to a small replaceable component of your Mac. RAM is a circuit board full of memory chips, engineered to provide your mac a high-speed temporary work output.

RAM is a place where data and applications are being stored while you are actively utilizing them. Most of the time, more RAM also  means bigger space for your application and thus eliminating the need to continuously load data from your Solid State Drive or hard disk.

Most recent model of Macs is usually ship with four or eight gigabytes of Random Access Memory. Nowadays, if you don’t get at least eight gigabytes of RAM, and you are using OS X Yosemite, you won’t probably get the most out of your Mac experience.

See, four gigabytes Mac devices are very restricted in operating multiple programs at once, while sixteen gigabytes Mac devices are not that much of a different from eight or twelve gigabytes devices except when running a high-graphics program.

Now, if you’re current Mac device is using OS X Yosemite then you should definitely upgrade it to at least eight gigabytes of RAM.

For the most part, Apple normally makes Mac RAM upgrading very simple with just a use of a small screw driver to open a panel where you just push down on clips in order to release the Random Access Memory Boards. After that you simply pop the new RAM into the right place.

Most Mac devices nowadays come in two RAM slots. All Mac Pros and many iMacs out there come with four slots. Even though iMac utilizes top-notch but consumer-quality RAM, the Mac pro normally utilizes some of the priciest Random Access Memory available.

Advantages and Disadvantages of RAM Upgrade

Evaluating Upgrade Needs

A Mac device with four gigabytes of RAM and a 5400 RPM hard drive would benefit more by integrating a much faster hard drive because the more efficient the hard drive, the faster transfer of file data is.

If you want to check if you actually need more Random Access Memory, just open the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder then choose the “System Memory” tab to see your available Random Access Memory. Just let the app open while working normally in order to see the necessary upgrades.

Just choose the “Disk Activity” tab to see the rate of data read and written. After that, search for hard drive with higher read and write speed if you want to upgrade your Mac’s hard drive.


Integrating new parts to your device’s system can significantly increase the temperature of the machine. But a more efficient hard drive can help cool down your device’s system.

Nonetheless, integrating extra Random Access Memory yet again increases the temperature of your PC. See, without enough cooling, your machine may experience some lags and of course using it won’t be that much comfortable especially if you’re travelling.

Furthermore, extra RAM can also significantly decrease your machine’s battery life by consuming more power form your system.


If you upgrade the RAM of your Mac device, you can always utilize the old memory in your older Mac device. Nonetheless, you might end up paying more for your device in the long run.

You see, each part in your device serves a certain purpose, and upgrading your memory might not really help your device perform better if you have some missing parts. The graphics processor, hard drive data transfer rate, and the processor speed all have a significant effect on your device’s performance.

You can‘t just upgrade the graphics card or the processor, thus you may want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a new device if you already have an older unit.

Upgrade Options

While upgrading your Random Access Memory can significantly speed up your computer performance, certain units don’t let you upgrade the memory just by yourself. Two good examples are the 13” and 15” MacBooks that are incorporated with Retina Display that also support up to sixteen gigabytes of memory.

However, you can upgrade their memory after acquiring them because Apple solders their RAM to the logic board. On units that you can upgrade, you can verify the max memory on your system by simply searching for your unit number on the Apple Support website.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, how much Random Access Memory you need actually depends on your purpose of application or how long you want to keep the device. Not to mention that other factors such as your budget must be considered.

Integrating extra RAM to any Mac usually increases power consumption by significant amount. However, this shouldn’t be a problem for many users out there. In fact, it is also a good thing to have a bit too much of a Random Access Memory than little.

Apple’s MacBook Air comes with four gigabytes of RAM, but most of the systems from other prominent brands such as OEM, HP, and Dell begin at eight gigabytes. Of course, that doesn’t mean that four gigabytes of RAM is not good, it’s just that eight gigabytes is much better.

So, does having more RAM boost your Mac’s system performance? Well, most of the time, the answer is yes. However, it’s not that much. In addition, it actually depends on your device’s workload, system components, and whether you are using some integrated graphics.

How about you? Do you agree that having more RAM speed will improve the speed of your Mac device? If so, please share your feedback in the comment section down below.

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