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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:50 PM   #1
virginblue4
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21.5" - 8GB or 16GB?

Planning on preordering the baseline 2012 21.5" iMac and am not sure if I need 8GB or 16GB.

Ill be mainly using it for web browsing, some gaming, videos, very basic video editing, iPhoto, pages etc.

I plan on keeping it until it dies, so am thinking about the future as well.

Any advice?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:56 PM   #2
MacMiguel
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Originally Posted by virginblue4 View Post
Planning on preordering the baseline 2012 21.5" iMac and am not sure if I need 8GB or 16GB.

Ill be mainly using it for web browsing, some gaming, videos, very basic video editing, iPhoto, pages etc.

I plan on keeping it until it dies, so am thinking about the future as well.

Any advice?
Do you have enough money? Then the answer is 16Gb... the more RAM you get, the longer your iMac life will be... It's easy, RAM make the difference
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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As its not user upgradable I would say get th highest spec machine that you can afford at the moment.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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Get 16gb because you wont be able to upgrade it afterwards on the 21.5.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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I bought my mid-'11 21.5" iMac with 4GB of memory, and for the first six months it was enough. However, sometimes needs change and so when I found myself wanting to run virtual machines on my computer, I upped the RAM to 12GB myself, which made all the difference, and only cost me about 50 bucks.

Since you won't have the option of adding more RAM later by yourself, I highly recommend you go for the 16GB now so that you are set for the future.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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16GB.
Easy answer. Why? Because you don't know what you'll be doing with the iMac in a few years time. And having 16GB is a nice way to help future proof your iMac for a while.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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16GB, although if it's like the 2012 Mac Mini, +16GB = +$300, which added to the price of the base 21.5" is $100 short of the 27" and its upgradeable RAM.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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Ok. This also answered my question, so 16gb it is. Next is the i5 vs i7 processor, is it best to have the i7 processor (meaning is it that much better)? I have an i& in my earl MacBook Pro, but dont know anything about the i5. Just trying to collect all the info I need prior to pre-ordering as this will be my first iMac
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Ok. This also answered my question, so 16gb it is. Next is the i5 vs i7 processor, is it best to have the i7 processor (meaning is it that much better)? I have an i& in my earl MacBook Pro, but dont know anything about the i5. Just trying to collect all the info I need prior to pre-ordering as this will be my first iMac
I personally would spend my upgrade money elsewhere, but that's just my computing needs. Maybe this will help:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/...e-extra-juice/
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:38 PM   #10
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Since you plan on keeping it as long as you can, I'd future proof it and get the 16GB so that you should be able to handle anything you need. I say better to have it Nd not need it, then to need it and not have it.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by glitch44 View Post
I personally would spend my upgrade money elsewhere, but that's just my computing needs. Maybe this will help:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/...e-extra-juice/
Thank you so much for this article! This is really helpful, guess I have my other answer. Looks like an i7 really isnt necessary and putting your upgrade funds into some of the other BTO's makes mores sense.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:52 PM   #12
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8gigs. For what you describe you will never even use the 8gigs you have. Anyone telling you otherwise is being a fool with your money.

An utter fool. There is no "future proofing" because I the future your graphics card, your hard drive et al will also all be out of date so you will just bottle neck somewhere else. But hey, if you've got 100$ just to blow away, go right ahead. At most right now, you are using 2 gigs tops doing the things you describe.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 07:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
8gigs. For what you describe you will never even use the 8gigs you have. Anyone telling you otherwise is being a fool with your money.

An utter fool. There is no "future proofing" because I the future your graphics card, your hard drive et al will also all be out of date so you will just bottle neck somewhere else. But hey, if you've got 100$ just to blow away, go right ahead. At most right now, you are using 2 gigs tops doing the things you describe.
Ok, now Im so do you think 8gb is good enough for someone who primarily will be using their iMac for the following:

High Internet surfing
iMovie-Light to moderate
iTunes-High (including music video and movie viewing)
MS Office for Mac
Pages, Keynote and Numbers
iPhoto
Facetime
**Ability to run the latest Apple OS software thats pushed out every year (it seems like anyway)
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 08:12 PM   #14
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Absolutely without any doubt. If you had 4gb it would be more than enough. It's actually easy to see how much ram you are using right now on your computer.

Are you on a Mac now? Just go to activity monitor. I do the same as you and have yet to use more than 2.79gb

That's with multiple web pages, iTunes, smart music, GarageBand, I producer, iPhoto and photo booth, face time, and ibooks author all open at the same time!

Last edited by Bargle; Nov 4, 2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:01 PM   #15
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Or just wait untill someone does a tare down (shouldn't be too long before they are in end users hands)

And then decide how hard its going to be to replace the ram in the 21" iMac.

If its too hard order max, if its easy order minimum

Is it really that hard a decision?
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
Absolutely without any doubt. If you had 4gb it would be more than enough. It's actually easy to see how much ram you are using right now on your computer.

Are you on a Mac now? Just go to activity monitor. I do the same as you and have yet to use more than 2.79gb

That's with multiple web pages, iTunes, smart music, GarageBand, I producer, iPhoto and photo booth, face time, and ibooks author all open at the same time!
WOW! Ok, I am sitting at 5.12 (Used) as of right now on my early 2011 MBP and have 8gb installed. So I guess if I am not at the 8gb limit on my MBP, 8gb on the iMac would suite my needs just fine. Just hate that you cant upgrade the 21.5", thats what worries me...
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 09:14 PM   #17
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Absolutely without any doubt. If you had 4gb it would be more than enough. It's actually easy to see how much ram you are using right now on your computer.

Are you on a Mac now? Just go to activity monitor. I do the same as you and have yet to use more than 2.79gb

That's with multiple web pages, iTunes, smart music, GarageBand, I producer, iPhoto and photo booth, face time, and ibooks author all open at the same time!
I can see how this makes sense, but what you want to look at in Activity Monitor is "Page outs," not "free." "Page outs" is when your computer writes data from memory to the hard disk, which is a slow operation, especially when it needs to load that data back into memory. It can write a large file out to disk and label the newly freed space as "free," but your machine still doesn't have enough memory.

I only have 4GB, and it says that I have 300MB of free memory, but my page outs are at about 350%. I do 3D stuff on my old MacBook Pro and I'm really hurting for a new machine in which I'll be getting 32GB. Your usage is different, but I would look into it.

If "Page outs" is 0, then you're good.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
8gigs. For what you describe you will never even use the 8gigs you have. Anyone telling you otherwise is being a fool with your money.

An utter fool. There is no "future proofing" because I the future your graphics card, your hard drive et al will also all be out of date so you will just bottle neck somewhere else. But hey, if you've got 100$ just to blow away, go right ahead. At most right now, you are using 2 gigs tops doing the things you describe.
Nailed it. The cheapest machine today, is better than the best machine of yesterday.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 11:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by virginblue4 View Post
Planning on preordering the baseline 2012 21.5" iMac and am not sure if I need 8GB or 16GB.

Ill be mainly using it for web browsing, some gaming, videos, very basic video editing, iPhoto, pages etc.

I plan on keeping it until it dies, so am thinking about the future as well.

Any advice?
16GB. No contest. Even if you don't need it today, eventually it will be required for software that your computer can otherwise meet the minimum system requirements for, such as a future version of OS X. If the 2012 21.5" iMac were like it's predecessors, I'd tell you to just go with the bare minimum and buy more RAM aftermarket, but the RAM isn't user-replaceable in the 2012 versions, so it's prudent to pre-max out the machine so that doesn't become an issue for you later on.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:04 AM   #20
the8thark
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8gigs. For what you describe you will never even use the 8gigs you have. Anyone telling you otherwise is being a fool with your money.
I disagree with you totally. You do not know the future no one does. Best example, I bought a 2006 iMac. Max accessible ram for it was 3GB. And for everything except hard gaming, it ran fine till 2011when I bought my 2011 iMac. Heck the 2006 iMac is still good today. Why did I upgrade? 3 reasons.

I wanted a better GPU.
Apple made it no longer run on the latest operating systems.
3GB was no longer enough for basic things being done all at once.

At the moment on my 2011 iMac I (with everything i use open) chew up about 8-10GB of ram. I never hit the 16 GB limit. But I am so glad I have the 16 installed. And in the future I don't know. I might get closer to the 16GB. Having the 16GB is a very nice piece of mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZA View Post
Nailed it. The cheapest machine today, is better than the best machine of yesterday.
Correct. But why go out and buy the cheapest Mac every refresh when a few dollars for more ram today will tie you over for many more years to come. For every basic task you don't need the latest and greatest Mac. You're slightly old Mac with the ram will be perfect.

If you upgrade your Mac every refresh and never hit 6GB ram used then sure don't get the 16GB. But I think that's a waste of money. No need to buy new Macs so often when a touch more ram will tie you over for more years.

It's all about your usage habits and Mac purchasing habits. If you have to pick one option for everyone then 16GB is the way to go but not everyone will want or need 16GB. You have to see which is better for you.

If someone says you will not ever need more then 8GB they are dreaming. The fact if you have to work this out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bargle View Post
Are you on a Mac now? Just go to activity monitor. I do the same as you and have yet to use more than 2.79gb

That's with multiple web pages, iTunes, smart music, GarageBand, I producer, iPhoto and photo booth, face time, and ibooks author all open at the same time!
Oh wow lucky you. Right now I have these Apps open.
Safari (7 tabs open)
iTunes
Activity Monitor
Tweetbot
Messenger

And that's it. And I have 4.9GB ram used. Probably varies a little from person to person. I think you get my point. Think about it.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:07 AM   #21
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I disagree with you totally. You do not know the future no one does. Best example, I bought a 2006 iMac. Max accessible ram for it was 3GB. And for everything except hard gaming, it ran fine till 2011when I bought my 2011 iMac. Heck the 2006 iMac is still good today. Why did I upgrade? 3 reasons.

I wanted a better GPU.
Apple made it no longer run on the latest operating systems.
3GB was no longer enough for basic things being done all at once.

At the moment on my 2011 iMac I (with everything i use open) chew up about 8-10GB of ram. I never hit the 16 GB limit. But I am so glad I have the 16 installed. And in the future I don't know. I might get closer to the 16GB. Having the 16GB is a very nice piece of mind.


Correct. But why go out and buy the cheapest Mac every refresh when a few dollars for more ram today will tie you over for many more years to come. For every basic task you don't need the latest and greatest Mac. You're slightly old Mac with the ram will be perfect.

If you upgrade your Mac every refresh and never hit 6GB ram used then sure don't get the 16GB. But I think that's a waste of money. No need to buy new Macs so often when a touch more ram will tie you over for more years.

It's all about your usage habits and Mac purchasing habits. If you have to pick one option for everyone then 16GB is the way to go but not everyone will want or need 16GB. You have to see which is better for you.

If someone says you will not ever need more then 8GB they are dreaming. The fact if you have to work this out.



Oh wow lucky you. Right now I have these Apps open.
Safari
iTunes
Activity Monitor
Tweetbot
Messenger

And that's it. And I have 4.9GB ram used. Probably varies a little from person to person. I think you get my point. Think about it.
Really, it makes sense to eventually max out the RAM in your computer. Though on a computer where you can only max it out at the time of purchase, doing so is a no-brainer because, like you said, who knows what the future holds; really 16GB minimum system requirements are more than a few years out, but if the OP wants to use this machine until it dies, that's, without a doubt or question, the most sensible thing to do.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:15 AM   #22
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I cannot agree enough with everyone that says you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD get 16GB, and I'm kind of cheap.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:01 AM   #23
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It seems the people have spoken and the verdict is... 16GB of Ram!

And I'm with the people. I definitely recommend 16GB as you never know what you might end up doing with the machine or who you might be able to sell it to in the future.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:52 AM   #24
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Ok, in 2006 a guy needed 3gb of ram, and now in 2013 he's using 4.9.

So, your 8gigs of ram will need upgrading some time in 2050.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:10 PM   #25
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Thanks for all of your responses!

I have decided that I am going to go for the 16 GB of RAM in my new iMac. Just another quick question, will the baseline 21.5 inch iMac be powerful enough to run some basic games from the App Store and games such as SimCity, when it is released next year?
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