Random Access Memory, or RAM for short, is essential for any computer’s stable performance. In this day and age, the majority of computers ship with 4-8GB of RAM by default. People using memory-intensive applications, games, or graphics processors often require up to 16GB of RAM. Only imagine, 20 years ago, the default computer’s RAM was 8MB. It turns out, the modern productivity requirements have increased by 1000 times!
In the light of the above, users are often worried if they have enough RAM to sustain their Mac’s efficiency. So, how much RAM does your Mac actually need? Read on to figure out the most important RAM-related questions.
How much memory does your Mac currently have? The latest Apple Mac computers come packed with a default RAM of 8GB configurable to 16GB. Upgrading to 16GB on the 13’’ MacBook Pro will cost you about $200. The 15’’ MacBook Pro comes packed with 16GB by default, so you can get it all set for $2000. If you want to enhance the RAM capacity of your MacBook Air from 4GB to 8GB, get ready to spend an extra $100. Ask yourself once again: “Do I really need more RAM for my Mac?”
The sufficient amount of RAM a computer should have these days is 4GB. However, if you keep the latest technology advances in mind, purchasing 8GB is shrewd. The software development trends suggest that the applications will take up more RAM and add more features further on. Going for 8GB RAM is more cost-effective to keep your Mac alive and kicking as long as possible. People who don’t deal with memory-intensive design or video projects will consider 8GB of RAM more than adequate for everyday use.
There is a serious misconception about RAM which makes most people think it somehow speeds up their Mac. It doesn’t work that way since RAM only provides more space for applications to operate. Most people assume they should do something about their Mac’s memory in case it gets slow and sluggish. However, RAM is not necessarily the reason. The modern programs used for video editing, 3D modeling, or graphics-intensive video games need more than 8GB of RAM. All in all, having more random access memory will be beneficial for computationally intensive activities.
Are you certain your Mac notebook needs a RAM upgrade? Before you purchase extra memory, find out if your MacBook model has a removable memory. Most Macs manufactured in the past 5 years have the technical possibility of upgrading.
Follow the step-by-step instructions below to upgrade RAM on a MacBook Pro/Air. This guide applies to 13'',15'' and 17'' MacBooks manufactured in 2009 and later.
1. Switch off MacBook. Unplug all devices and disconnect the power adapter cable, Ethernet cord, security lock, etc.
2. Turn your MacBook over, and remove the bottom case covering the inner parts of the computer. For this, use a screwdriver to remove the ten screws connecting it to the shell. Note: all screws have different length, so you need to remember the locations to be able to put them back.
3. To ground (discharge static electricity from your body), touch the metal surface within the computer.
4. As a rule, the RAM modules nest on the left or right side of the computer. They are held by the levers in the memory card slot. To release the currently installed memory module, pull the levers sideways. The memory module will then pop up at an angle.
5. Next, remove the old RAM and install the new module with the gold contacts directed inside. Push the module down gently until it clicks. Note: do not touch the gold contacts on the memory module.
6. Install the bottom case to its initial position. Put all the screws back into their initial locations, and tighten them with a screwdriver.
7. Switch on your MacBook. In the Apple menu, navigate to About This Mac. Find More Info → Hardware → Memory to check if the newly installed RAM is recognized by the operating system.
Depending on the shell configuration and placement of the back/bottom cover, the above steps may vary. However, the procedure of RAM replacement or upgrade is similar for all Mac notebooks.
Having a RAM upgrade to make your Mac operate smoothly isn't a bad idea! A memory upgrade can cost you a pretty penny, so do it for a reason. 8GB of RAM is a sufficient amount of memory to support most applications. If you are engaged in computationally intensive activities or play memory-intensive games, consider the option of a 16GB RAM upgrade.
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Requires MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or later