32GB vs 24GB RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nosnhojm, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2011
    So why is everyone going with 32 GB RAM (aftermarket) in their new iMacs? I ordered one with 8 GB, and intend to add 2x8 GB more, bringing it up to 24GB. I'm just curious whether I'm missing something critical (like not mixing stock and aftermarket RAM), or whether people really think they'll need that extra 8 GB that the 32 GB RAM provides?

    FYI - I ordered 2x8 GB from Crucial, so the CL should match the stock RAM.
  2. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Well for me it's like pokemon...you wanna catch 'em all...for £60 upgrading to the max ram and increasing it by a third was worth it :)
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2010
    For me it's partly need and partly ego. I use a lot of VMs and do lots of encoding, so the more ram the better. With 16GB kits so cheap, it's a quick way for my ego to know that I've filled my computer up to the max and I'm all set for the next 5-6 years.
  4. righteye, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    With the Mac Pro there was supposed to be small performance gain by using 3 out of 4 RAM slots (4 or 6 core) which is the configuration i have at the moment 3x8 Gb, there are 16Gb sticks for the Pro so its possible to crank it up to 48Gb as i believe that is the max limit for a hex core.
    Wether the 3 out of 4 slots makes any difference in an iMac i do not know but unless you are working with massive photoshop files (this may be true of video as well but iam a stills guy so i do not know for certain) with a lot layers or in the habit of having every App you own running at the same time 24Gb should cover most peoples needs.
    As others have said the cost is minimal so i would RAM it the max.
  5. macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2012
    Glasgow, Scotland
    depends what you need really, i think most mac users (not all) use them for video editing or a stable system to run VM images on.
    and with RAM so cheep why the hell not :p

    i have put in 16Gb into my imac for VM images i think i will put in another 16Gb so i can run 2 or more images at once

    ( i did try running my after market ram with the 8Gb included and i got the morse code for igive up)
  6. macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2012
    My current machine is maxed out at 8Gb and this is clearly not enough, running out of memory quite frequently...
    My plan is to assess what my real need is after a few weeks of running 32gb, and setup the rest as a ramdisk so nothing goes to waste.
  7. macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Cornwall, UK
    It may be a bit 'un-PC' in the current economic climate, but for £60 why not?

    It does run great with 16GB, I'll wait and see if the 30GB video edits I have been doing speed up with the extra 16GB.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I'm upgrading to 24 also. No reason right now to add the extra 8, as the cost for each set is the same. I'm upgrading from 16 in my current iMac, so it's still better.
  9. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2012
    Apple charges $200 for those 2x4GB "original" sticks.
    If you can find an expert who values Apple's "original" part and sell it for the price your Crucial's 2x8 - why not (at 50% discount, compared to Apple)???
  10. macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    I opted to stop at 24gb and so far see no compelling reason to go any further. With Lightroom editing an NEF raw file and Handbrake ripping a DVD I was still under 8gb of used memory in the activity monitor.

    The need for more system resources will undoubtedly increase in the future so I can always pop out Apple's 8gb and put in 16gb more OWC memory should the need arise. It will be even cheaper then.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2011
    If your machine comes with 2x4, it's wise to upgrade to 24 first and see if you need the extra 8. Thats what I've done.
  12. macrumors regular


    Oct 11, 2012
    I purchased my 27" with 8GB installed and added 2x8 Crucial.

    24GB seems like enough for everything I've been doing. The most intensive task so far was using 3D tools in Photoshop on a (231MB) multi-layered 240ppi file. The processor was cranking and Memory usage peaked (system wide) at ~16GB. Had other apps open.
    Not too shabby.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2003
    My only problem with the 'set for 5-6 years' comment is that in 5 years, any program or computer activity that's so intense that it eats up 20-30 gigs of ram will be so demanding that your (non-upgradable) processor won't be able to handle it anyway.

    > How's that 'future proofed' 1.8ghz core2duo with 16GIGS of ram doing for you these days? (doesn't mean crap if the rest of the computer can't keep up).

    Except for the rare case of a photoshop pro (and a rare few other programs that few regular people use) NO program uses even close to 8 gigs of ram, let alone 16, or god-forbid, 32. I've loaded up my iMac with 10 programs running, including photoshop with a few big files, and it still doesn't even use 8 gigs (according to system monitor).

    So, I would submit that in most cases, people buying more than 16 gigs of ram is ALL ego, and no real world need - either now, or '5 years from now".
  14. macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2007
    Music production: you have streaming libraries which can and are gbs and gbs of data, and having them all loaded in RAM while within a project does make a hell of a difference. Try a big orchestral library.
    Same stuff with video-editing.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    I'm planning on adding 2 8 gig sticks as well (to bring it to 24 gig). My main use is Lightroom and Photoshop so I will see how it runs at 24 gig. If I want to add another 16 (and remove the stock 8) I can always do that at a later date...
  16. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Im still running the stock 8gb and have not had 1 pageout yet lol, hell i was using 4GB fine until now.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    I upgraded to 32GB crucial for $155, and then sold the 8GB Hynix that it came with for $50. For $105, I went from 8GB to 32GB. Couldn't afford not to at that price!
  18. Confuzzzed, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    Snap. Besides, I am sure in a few months you may even be able to slot in 16GB sticks which may taken you up 48GB so waiting it out with just 24GB for a while. Not to mention keeping the originals in case I need to send the machine for repair or return it for any reason.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2003
    2013 revision DDR4 and support for 64 GB

    Well, considering that DDR4 should become available this year. Apple might support it in addition to pushing the max default to 64 GB. This should make for an interesting update: 64 GB DDR4, Haswell plus 802.11AC
  20. macrumors regular

    May 28, 2012
    Doing what? Browsing this forum? :)
  21. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Lol yeah basically. No i do some light Photoshop and Premiere work but nothing crazy. I work in prepress so the last thing i want to do when i get home is use the adobe suite :p You would be surprised just how adequate 8GB of ram is! Most people just chuck in 32GB but are lucky to even use 16GB, most are lucky to use 8GB.
  22. macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    I doubt there will be much difference. In hindsight I probably should have just gotten a 16Gb kit as now I have the hassle of selling the 8GB.
  23. robeddie, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2003
    Not true as much with video editing. Have worked on projects with 5+ hours of HD video and still don't use close to even 8 gigs.

    So you have a rare case 'music production with TONS of streaming libraries' where all that ram actually helps.

    But I'll bet most people talking about how they 'future proofed' their mac by installing 32 gigs of ram will never ever come close to using even half of it at any point in time.

    For the most part, this 'the more ram the better' philosophy is an outdated archaic notion - a piece of irrelevant scrap that's a holdover from the 90's, when ram was scarce and expensive and many computers actually did not have enough.
  24. macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Going for the full 32GB is more about maxing everything out and being able to tell everyone your computer is maxed out. I doubt you will notice any difference in performance.
  25. macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2012
    Lima, Peru
    Well after effects can make effective use of all 128gb of ram the 12 core mp uses. So I am ok with 32gb i would have liked 48gb but i dont complain..

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