Buying RAM...how much should I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DTphonehome, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

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    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Just got a new Rev C iMac. It came with 512MB RAM standard. I'm going to upgrade it, but should I put in one gig or two? One gig can be had for as little as $80, but if I ever want more I'll have to toss that one (there's only one slot). So should I just bite the bullet and go for 2 gigs? It'll run me about $230. I don't do any really heavy lifting with my iMac...the most I do is basic video editing in iMovie, photo editing in Photoshop Elements, and DVD burning in iDVD or Toast.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Aramis macrumors member

    Aramis

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    Feb 25, 2006
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    East Coast
    #2
    Is 1.5 GB an option? Thats a good midpoint.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #3

    I think that's heavy eough to justify spending that little bit extra on your RAM and going for the 2GB. :)
     
  4. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #4
    I usually tell people to figure out how much they think they'll need and then tell them to get double that.

    So if you think 1GB is what you'll need, get 2GBs.
     
  5. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
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    the states for now
    #5
    To prevent another thread, a quick question: anyone know how long RAM from data mem takes to ship?
     
  6. BlueT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    #6
    I completely disagree with people telling you to max out RAM. Most people here who advice that just think that memorizing a sweeping generalization (More RAM = good) and spewing it across this site is a good thing, but I just recently maxed out my Powerbook (from 768 to 1.5) and I see almost no difference in my computer's performance.

    The only time I ever receive a positive Page Outs value (on your Activity Monitor) is when I use Virtual PC and it only maxes out when restoring the saved image of the OS.

    In your case, I believe that buying just one gig will suffice. You don't seem to be heavily involved in RAM hogs and the added expense isn't "just worth it" at all. There are a million accessories/software programs/etc. that you can spend the cash on.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    BlueT, I agree with you that RAM is seen as some sort of amazing Godsend around here and that "maximum RAM is best", however remember that the amount of RAM needed is directly related to the types (and amount) of processes being run.

    In DTphonehome's case, I think the uses (particularly the video editing) justify the extra RAM. Sure, the speed difference from 1.5GB to 2.5GB isn't as big as the difference from 512MB to 1.5GB, but it's still significant IMO.
     
  8. echeck macrumors 68000

    echeck

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    #8
    iMacs don't need pairs of RAM, do they? If not then I say grab yourself a 1gig chip and have 1.5. There's no reason to have 2 gigs for what you're doing, 1.5 is a simple solution and would do you well.
     
  9. williamw macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2005
    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    #9
    I upgraded my iMac (also rev.c) from 512MB to 1.5GB, and it is way better, you defilently dont need to get 2.5GB. I do the same work as you, and more and it handles it perfectly. No point spending $250+ on ram you dont need:)
     
  10. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    Nov 24, 2005
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    I'm only really here at night.
    #10
    It's been a few years since I ordered from them, but when I did, it shipped the same day (I placed the order at ~ 9am EST on a monday) and I got it 2 days later by UPS, even though my order confirmation said 3-5 days. Probably because we both are on the east coast....

    And FYI, about 6 months prior to the above, I got 1 bad stick (out of 6) from them. I called them up, they sent me a pre-paid return pkg, and a new stick the next day.....ALL SHIPPED BY UPS NEXT DAY AIR w/10:30am guarenteed :D

    me was 1 happy camper !!!
     
  11. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    #11
    The major reason to bump your ram is not so much to speed things up per se, but to ensure Ø page outs, which will in turn, keep your system from slowing down due to heavy swapping to the HD VM files......

    Lets face the facts here: OS X and most of it's apps ARE ram hogs now, and will continue to grow in that respect in the forseeable future, so a little extra ram wont hurt.

    Whether it is purchased now or later is another question, but computer/tech history dictates the reason the 2GB chips are so expensive now: limited supply + rising demand = high prices. This WILL change once supply & demand both begin to level out :p

    And btw, I recently upgraded my heaviest-use graphics machine from 1.25GB ram to 2GB, and it IS significantly faster in everything I do with it. Before the upgrade, I was averaging 20-50k pagouts & frequent beachballs, now I have absolutely Ø of either...... and video/movie processing is even more demanding than the 2D graphics work I do :p
     
  12. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
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    #12
    I would go for the 2GB dimm. I noticed a decent improvement in performance on my Power Mac G5 when I went from 1GB -> 2GB. Plus, if you want to upgrade the RAM in the future you would have to toss out the 1GB dimm- a waste of $$$ in my opinion. But either way, more RAM will help improve your Mac's performance.
     
  13. Uma888 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    #13
    I have the original 512mb +1gb from crucial.com

    I couldnt afford the £900 2gb stick, so i got the 1gb (£90) stick. i dont think you will really beifit from extra ram, UNLESS you run loads of applications together, e.g. photoshop, iMovie, FCP, Maya (all RAM hogs).

    Just wait until leopard comes out, then upgrade your ram (prices should drop)

    NOTE: i never use more than 700mbs of RAM (via menu meters), this is when im using photoshop + Maya, Dashboard is full of stickies and other widgets.
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
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    #14
    I would just wait til it's convenient to add the full 2GB DIMM.

    You only have one RAM slot to work with, so you might as well max it out
    since it's not insanely more expensive.
     
  15. BlueT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    #15
    It's triple the cost to double the RAM. And when a computer is only worth $1000, $230 on RAM seems insanely expensive. Or at least I think so.
     
  16. DTphonehome thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've heard good logic from both sides. I I've thought about it a little more, and I think I'm going to go for the 1 GB module. When/if I need more RAM, I'll take a loss on the old module on eBay, and pick up a 2 GB then, when it should be a lot cheaper. I can live with a beachball every now and then, but I don't use iMovie, etc, often enough that it would make me crazy.

    Thanks for the help!

    Now, anyone know a good place to pick up some quality RAM, cheap? And doesn't charge an arm and a leg for shipping?
     
  17. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

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    #17
    www.datamem.com

    www.macsales.com

    my 2 favorites anyways :p
     
  18. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #18
    When I got my 2GB from them, I ordered on a Monday (paid for next day) and had it Tues. afternoon. It ships the same day if your order is in by 4 PM even if it's not next day shipping.

    For the OP as some have said and by your light using I'd go for the 1GB stick as that would give you 1.5GB total (since you have the Rev C you can go for more later). I had a Rev.B and now an Intel iMac and think that 3GB for these Macs would be just right but since 2GB is the max, that's where I'd go on it :D
    Good luck and enjoy your new ram when you get it :)

    I'd go to datamem.com for the ram but that's just me (got mine from them).
     
  19. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a

    Flyinace2000

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    #19
    I ordered my PowerBook last year with 1 stick of 512 and then upgraded it from New Egg for only $90 to 1.5gb. The 1.5gb was the best deal (and still is unless you find a good deal on 2gb).
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #20
    you really don't need the 2.5 GB. I seriously doubt you'll ever fully use even the 1.5 GB. Save yourself a lot of money; your performance won't suffer at all.
     
  21. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21

    Good point. It's not so much a matter of speeding a system up, as preventing a system from slowing down. :cool:
     
  22. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #22
    Like the saying goes: You never have enough GB's for storage,same as Ram :eek: :cool: :D
     

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