intel imac ram advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by acidburn, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. acidburn macrumors member

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    Jan 22, 2006
    #1
    i recently broke down and bought a 17" intel iMac and need to get more ram. i was going to get a 1 gb stick for the second slot for now and eventually replace the existing 512 stick with another 1 gb stick in the future. right now, the computer is for pretty basic things - some web design, xcode, internet, recording. in the future, i am planning on coursework in comp sci and will likely try out boot camp.
    i also am concerned about the fact that having equal amounts of ram in both slots is better with the intel duos. so is putting a 1 gb stick in one slot and a 512 stick in the other slot a waste? would i be better off just getting 512 right now and having 1 gb total or replacing it and going for the full 2x1 gb sticks?
     
  2. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Get the single 1GB stick.

    Yes, there is a SLIGHT performance increase with matched pairs, but in this case, I would still get a 1GB stick right now (for 1.5GB total), and then getting a second 1GB later to bring you up to 2GB. More memory is always better, and is likely never offset by the minimal performance increase of matched pairs.

    That said, if you can go with the full 2GB now, do it. I've got a 20" CoreDuo iMac with 2GB and it FLIES!
     
  3. gman71882 macrumors 6502

    gman71882

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    #3
    i was reading a macworld article that said the Computer works fastest/best with Paired RAM either 2x512 or 2x1GB. I believe this allocates the same amount of RAM to each Core, but im not 100% sure about that.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #4
    Nope, has nothing to do with the cores, it is the same with Mini Solo (and with the single processor G5's). It has to do with the memory controller being able to access both RAM channels simultaneously as one big RAM module (Dual Channel Access).
     
  5. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    While there is a slight performance boost (on the order of 5%) with matched pairs, you'll see a much bigger boost with more RAM. I'd rather have 1x512 + 1x1GB for a total of 1.5GB than 2x512 for 1GB total.
     
  6. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #6
    What exactly is a pair?

    I was wondering about the same thing, really. Second half of this year I'm planning on buying a new iMac, and was wondering about the RAM pairs too. What does a pair really mean? Is it still a pair if you order the iMac with 1GB RAM stick in it and add another 1GB stick later yourself? I mean, it will probably be at least from another production batch, if not even another brand. Will those two different (beside their size) sticks still count as a pair? Or do you really have to buy them as a pair, from one brand and one production batch? I'm slightly confused about this one, really.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #7
    Apple doen't help us out too much here. They say that RAM must match in Speed and Size (natch') and Composition - but they don't lay out what Composition means. IN general, it would mean the number of chips on the module, and their organization internally into rows and columns.

    The only 100% way to be sure is to buy 2 of the same brand/model at the same time (as the build of the module may change over time). However, it may be that there is more leeway, and as long as 2 differnt modules are built the same way, they will match. We'll be developing some experience with mixed but matched pairs as we go along, and should be able to give a better estimate later.

    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com
     
  8. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #8
    Sounds good! I'll keep an eye on any RAM tests done from now until I'm buying. Should be all set that way. Thanks!
     

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