Memory upgrade config questions for a 2008 iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by slobizman, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    I've got an early 2008 iMac with 2GB memory (1+1), and want to upgrade it, as I'm having a few issues running iPhoto and iMovie, plus a few other things, well. My target was 4GB of memory, as 6GB gets a bit expensive for an aging computer.

    So, my options are:

    (all are PC6400 DDR2 800MHz)

    1) Replace memory with 2GB + 2GB (~$60)
    2) Replace memory with one 4GB (~$70)
    3) Replace one 1GB memory module with a 4GB module, leaving 4GB +1GB. (~$70)

    What would be my best choice? In particular, does option #3 have any issues -- would it be better than option #2?
     
  2. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    There is a slight performance benefit in using matched pairs of RAM, such as 2x2GB.
    MR Guide to Matched RAM on Intel Macs
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #3
    Thanks, I understand that.

    But that doesn't mean that the 2GB x 2GB config would be better than the single module 4GB config would it?

    And if it's not, and I do get the single 4GB module, does adding the 1GB module to the second slot actually slow down the 4GM module?
     
  4. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Yes, it would be somewhat better. That's what the article I linked describes.
    If the pairs are not matched pairs, it doesn't matter what configuration they are.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #5
    I have an early 2008 iMac with 6GB. Although I lost the small speed improvement due to dual channel when putting in unmatched sticks, I gained dramatically in reducing page outs. If you don't want to spend the money for the full 6GB, I'd go for the 5GB as I have found that Mountain Lion coupled with iMovie consumes the majority of the RAM, leaving little free for anything else.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #6
    My 24" Early 2008 iMac is running 6 GB, and I've been very satisfied and had no issues. Currently on 10.8.5.

    If I were you I'd go with the 5 GB (4+1) over the 4 GB (2+2), for the $10 difference. My guess is that the extra 1 GB would be more valuable more often than the 3% or 6% performance lost. But it's just a guess.

    I don't think you'll run into any problems, since the machine handles the (4+2) case so well.

    Good luck!
     

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