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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:40 PM   #1
SlickTheCat
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How much boost from 2mb RAM to 4mb RAM?

I have a new 2.8 24 inch iMac - it came with the standard 2mb of RAM. How much of a boost am I going to see if I upgrade it to 4mb of RAM? We primarily use the computer for iTunes, iPhoto, and web browsing, however there have been occasions where I have iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto and iTunes all open at the same time.

One other question if you feel like chiming in - do I need to get a virus/spyware software package for my new iMac?
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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Not much these days. Twice as many gigabyes of RAM is a decent speed increase, though.

And no anti-virus crap. That stuff IS a virus on a Mac.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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Macs are more happier with maxed out RAM. I upgraded mine myself (the process is very easy for an iMac).

Anti-virus is not needed for Macs.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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Does the extra ram have a big difference when running something like Paralles? My iMac seems to slow down a good deal when running both, and I was wondering if having double the ram would mean being able to run both at a good pace.

But I am guessing that it doesn't work quite like that?
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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I use VMware Fusion and can allot more RAM, since I have it. I set up 1.5g RAM for it to use.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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Is there much of a difference between 667mhz and 800mhz? A coworker is likely going to be able to get me 4gb of 667mhz ram for free, but if it is noticeably slower than the 800 mhz I would rather buy it.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlickTheCat View Post
I have a new 2.8 24 inch iMac - it came with the standard 2mb of RAM. How much of a boost am I going to see if I upgrade it to 4mb of RAM? We primarily use the computer for iTunes, iPhoto, and web browsing, however there have been occasions where I have iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto and iTunes all open at the same time.

One other question if you feel like chiming in - do I need to get a virus/spyware software package for my new iMac?
With your intended usage, not much of a performance boost. Most of the Mac memory performance gain is when you go from 1GB to 2GB. After that it depends the apps you run. The stuff you mentioned will not see much if any improvement. Most of it comes from the apps being cached in memory which makes relaunch times very short.

I have a mini that I bumped from 1GB to 2GB. Significant improvement overall. I also have a 3Ghz iMac, bumped from 2GB to 4Gb. With the stuff you mentioned I saw no appreciable speed improvement.

The real difference will be in large photo and video editing apps or apps like VMware Fusion or Parallels. It makes a big difference with them.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gibboIU View Post
But I am guessing that it doesn't work quite like that?
Actually, when it comes to virtualizing a second operating system, whether it's natively or through emulation, RAM does play a huge role.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibboIU View Post
Is there much of a difference between 667mhz and 800mhz? A coworker is likely going to be able to get me 4gb of 667mhz ram for free, but if it is noticeably slower than the 800 mhz I would rather buy it.
There difference is, in theory, the factor of speed increase. This is assuming that you always have extra RAM to spare. For example, if you have two computers, each with 16GB of RAM, but one running at 667MHz and the other at 800MHz, application data stored in RAM would in fact be loaded 1.2x as fast.

*But* this is assuming, like I said, that you always have RAM to spare. If those same computers then were spec'ed as follows: Computer 1: 2GB 800MHz, Computer 2: 4GB 667MHz, and you were running Photoshop and operating on a 3GB image file, then the computer with the slower (but more abundant) memory would most likely run faster, since 1GB of the image is actually being cached to and loaded from disk on the "faster" computer, which operates MUCH more slowly than RAM. Hope this helps, and if I'm mistaken in any way, please correct me!

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Old Jun 25, 2008, 08:00 PM   #9
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You can get by with 2GB, but everything runs smoother and faster
with 4GB.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 08:06 PM   #10
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Is there much of a difference between 667mhz and 800mhz? A coworker is likely going to be able to get me 4gb of 667mhz ram for free, but if it is noticeably slower than the 800 mhz I would rather buy it.
You didn't mention what kind of computer you are asking about so I'll layout both possibilities:

If you buy 800Mhz memory for a 667Mhz system you are going to pay more to do the same thing. Unless the system is designed to clock the memory at 800mhz it will not see a performance increase as the memory will run at the systems designed speed. If that is 667Mhz, that's the speed it will run.

Here is a reference at BareFeats testing the reverse.
http://www.barefeats.com/harper5.html
They are testing 667Mhz memory in a system designed to run 800Mhz memory. There is a performance hit, but that is only because the system is supposed to be running 800Mhz memory and the slower memory is acting like a funnel. It's not a huge hit, but notable.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 08:25 PM   #11
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I am using a 20" 2.66 iMac with 2 GB right now. I am going to upgrade to 4GB soon, but was wondering if I should buy 800mhz instead of free 667mhz. Since I won't really get to "test" which is better without buying the 800mhz, any info would be great.

Thanks for all the posts so far.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 08:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibboIU View Post
I am using a 20" 2.66 iMac with 2 GB right now. I am going to upgrade to 4GB soon, but was wondering if I should buy 800mhz instead of free 667mhz. Since I won't really get to "test" which is better without buying the 800mhz, any info would be great.
Your going to want the 800Mhz if peak performance is important. If you opt for 667Ghz you will lose a little speed. It won't be much. Free is sometimes worth a little speed. That's if it works, read here http://discussions.apple.com/thread....6561&tstart=73
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 09:10 PM   #13
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Your going to want the 800Mhz if peak performance is important. If you opt for 667Ghz you will lose a little speed. It won't be much. Free is sometimes worth a little speed. That's if it works, read here http://discussions.apple.com/thread....6561&tstart=73
That was a good read. Thanks.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:34 PM   #14
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For the measly $100 (Crucial) to double the RAM I considered it a necessity. Anyone need two 1MB sticks?
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 01:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Anyone need two 1MB sticks?
Yeah, i have an original Powerbook that hasn't been upgraded in over a decade

Quote:
Originally Posted by gibboIU
Is there much of a difference between 667mhz and 800mhz? A coworker is likely going to be able to get me 4gb of 667mhz ram for free, but if it is noticeably slower than the 800 mhz I would rather buy it.
If you're going to upgrade to 4GB, get the 800MHz stuff...getting 600MHz will be slower except for the times when you have a fair few programs open at once (e.g. VMware, Safari, iTunes, Dashboard, Office/iWork, CS3)
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 03:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SlickTheCat View Post
I have a new 2.8 24 inch iMac - it came with the standard 2mb of RAM. How much of a boost am I going to see if I upgrade it to 4mb of RAM? We primarily use the computer for iTunes, iPhoto, and web browsing, however there have been occasions where I have iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto and iTunes all open at the same time.

One other question if you feel like chiming in - do I need to get a virus/spyware software package for my new iMac?
I's send it back right now, since it only has 2mb of RAM!!

Joking aside, I'm going to upgrade mine to 4GB (when I finally order the iMac) since, although 2GB may be enough for my uses at the moment, you just never know what other things you might find yourself doing with the computer in the future, and software gets more and more RAM intensive.
Just my 0.02.
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