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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:01 PM   #1
buysp
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Suitable RAM Amount for iMac

Hi, all

Just seeking the forums expert advice on choosing the right ram amount before i pull the trigger on a 21.5 iMac 2.7GHZ 1TB Fusion.

Typical work pattern would be work applications through the safari browser,itunes,word/excel and outlook only. I cannot see any change of this for the next few years.
My question is would the stock 8GB suffice for the next 3-4 years with the above usage pattern or should i pay the apple tax of $220 AUD and upgrade to 16GB.(yes i know i have to upgrade at purchase) My only concern is OSX and the thought that it will become more memory hungry in the future.

My thoughts are just play it safe and buy the base 27" with Fusion drive so i have the option of putting my 2012 MBP 13' DDR3 1600 memory in it later.( i have already upgraded from 4GB to 8GB so i have a spare 4GB(apple ram) sitting around

Any thoughts ladies and gentlemen

Last edited by buysp; Feb 12, 2013 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:09 AM   #2
jnowakphoto
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8GB is plenty for what you do. 4GB is plenty for what you do. If you really wanna future proof go the i7/27 inch route
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:17 AM   #3
buysp
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Thanks for your reply jnowakphoto but i'm under the impression that a ivy bridge i5 is all good for the next 3-4 years. If i was a heavy cpu user than it would be a differen't story. (i could be wrong!)
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:27 AM   #4
rkaufmann87
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Originally Posted by buysp View Post
Hi, all

Just seeking the forums expert advice on choosing the right ram amount before i pull the trigger on a 21.5 iMac 2.7GHZ 1TB Fusion.

Typical work pattern would be work applications through the safari browser,itunes,word/excel and outlook only. I cannot see any change of this for the next few years.
My question is would the stock 8GB suffice for the next 3-4 years with the above usage pattern or should i pay the apple tax of $220 AUD and upgrade to 16GB.(yes i know i have to upgrade at purchase) My only concern is OSX and the thought that it will become more memory hungry in the future.

My thoughts are just play it safe and buy the base 27" with Fusion drive so i have the option of putting my 2012 MBP 13' DDR3 1600 memory in it later.( i have already upgraded from 4GB to 8GB so i have a spare 4GB(apple ram) sitting around

Any thoughts ladies and gentlemen
Considering you cannot easily upgrade the RAM on a 2012 21.5" iMac if you plan on future proofing the machine at all, get it with 16GB and add a Fusion drive and you should have a nice machine for a few years. If you get the 8GB machine, while it's adequate today who knows in 2-3 years???
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:50 AM   #5
jnowakphoto
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Originally Posted by buysp View Post
Thanks for your reply jnowakphoto but i'm under the impression that a ivy bridge i5 is all good for the next 3-4 years. If i was a heavy cpu user than it would be a differen't story. (i could be wrong!)
Sorry. I meant to say i5/27 inch route with a base 8gb setup. You can always add more later yourself. And for $200 you'll make it a 32gb machine not 16.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:05 AM   #6
buysp
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Sorry. I meant to say i5/27 inch route with a base 8gb setup. You can always add more later yourself. And for $200 you'll make it a 32gb machine not 16.
Yeah I think that's the line of thought, at least with the 27 inch route I have the flexibility to upgrade the RAM on my terms. I have already taken out the stock 4GB RAM out of my Mid 2012 MBP which is DDR3 1600mhz which I would assume is compatable with the late 2012 iMacs?

Cheers Paul
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by buysp View Post
Yeah I think that's the line of thought, at least with the 27 inch route I have the flexibility to upgrade the RAM on my terms. I have already taken out the stock 4GB RAM out of my Mid 2012 MBP which is DDR3 1600mhz which I would assume is compatable with the late 2012 iMacs?

Cheers Paul
It will work, but it will of course run at the slower speed, as posted for what you do I think 8GB is ample...I do a lot of heavy video / photo related work so have 32GB in my new 27" but i have yet to see page outs and might have been okay with 16GB
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 04:30 AM   #8
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It will work, but it will of course run at the slower speed, as posted for what you do I think 8GB is ample...I do a lot of heavy video / photo related work so have 32GB in my new 27" but i have yet to see page outs and might have been okay with 16GB
But if I put each 2GB stick in a different channel it shouldn't hinder the speed?
So channel 1 is 4GB + 2GB and repeat the same for channel 2!

Cheers Paul
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rkaufmann87 View Post
Considering you cannot easily upgrade the RAM on a 2012 21.5" iMac if you plan on future proofing the machine at all, get it with 16GB and add a Fusion drive and you should have a nice machine for a few years. If you get the 8GB machine, while it's adequate today who knows in 2-3 years???
People these days are really out of touch with how much RAM they need. Even 4GB will be perfectly fine for several years if you don't do anything that requires lots of RAM. The OP does none of those things and neither do most people. Running virtual machines, video/graphics/3D editing suites, scientific calculation etc are the things that require plenty of RAM. For everyday stuff, my work computer, a 27" iMac with 8GB doesn't do any common task any faster than my Hackintosh with 4GB at home.

So yeah, just get the one with 8 GB and be done with it.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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mate check from activity monitor after a long day of usage if you had any pages out (really doubt you will have any).

In case you do not have pages out you are happy with your amount of memory and if your needs will change in 3 years time you can always pay someone (or DIY) to open the computer and plug some more memory...!
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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mate check from activity monitor after a long day of usage if you had any pages out (really doubt you will have any).

In case you do not have pages out you are happy with your amount of memory and if your needs will change in 3 years time you can always pay someone (or DIY) to open the computer and plug some more memory...!
Activity monitor on my mid 2012 MBP with 8GB of RAM gives me 5GB free and no page outs as of yet.

I have decided to go down the 27" route so more importantly will the 4GB stock apple memory (that i have taken out) be compatable with the late 2012 iMac.
They are both 1600mhz?

Cheers Paul

Last edited by buysp; Feb 13, 2013 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:28 AM   #12
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I think I have raised this question before and the anwer was yes they are compatible althoug if you computer usage will not change in the future it will stay idle there unused.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 05:01 AM   #13
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I think I have raised this question before and the anwer was yes they are compatible althoug if you computer usage will not change in the future it will stay idle there unused.
Thanks, that's clear, over and out.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 11:59 AM   #14
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I decided to max out my 27" and got the i7 with 3TB fusion and bought 32GB of RAM. While the processor and HDD might have been a good choice, the 32GB was absolutely overkill.

Having got the imac up and running, I thought I'd test it with ripping a bluray, whilst encoding another bluray using handbrake and playing itunes, copying files off a server, using safari, messenger, mail, importing into iPhoto and a using a massive spreadsheet in excel...checked activity monitor and it was barely using 6-7GB.

I don't regret the purchase - it wasn't that expensive and I plan to have the imac for at least 3-5 years and RAM requirements will increase over that time.
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