Ram: 8Gb vs 16Gb

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jay9495, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi all, so I'm buying a new 27 inch imac in December when they're released.
    I'll be upgrading to a 680mx, 1Tb fusion hard drive and the i7.
    I will be using it for gaming, video editing via premiere pro and final cut and the casual use.

    Just wondering if I will see much of a difference between 8gb of ram and 16gb ? or if 16gb will be better for future proofing ?

    Thanks in advance
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Reno, NV

    This doesn't apply to the iMac. The rMBP's don't have user-servicable RAM, while the iMac does.

    OP, get 8 GB, then upgrade to 16 using aftermarket RAM. So much cheaper than what Apple will charge you.
  4. GGJstudios, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The decision as to how much RAM a user needs is largely independent of which Mac model you choose. It is far more a consideration of the memory demands of the workload you typically run. The same thought process applies, even though consideration for future needs should carry more weight with a Mac with no user-upgradeable memory.

    To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory and determine how much RAM is being used
  5. macrumors 68020


    Apr 20, 2008
    Considering it is cheaper to buy RAM and fit it yourself after, just get the 8Gb, and if you find you're maxing it out, go for 16Gb, you'll have saved money over ordering RAM from Apple that you may not need.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    Since it is 27", get the standard 8 and monitor your ram usage, if it comes close to 8 upgrade to 16 yourself.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    If you're getting the 27" iMac, stay with the standard 8GB of memory, then go order yourself 32GB from OWC [http://www.macsales.com/]

  8. macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2012
    Surrey Hills
    Or Crucial
  9. macrumors 65816


    Sep 21, 2010
    W/ 27 inch imac, there is no reason not to max out on ram. Of course whatever is serviceble by user should be done by them.
  10. macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom
    You can never have too much ram in my opinion...
  11. macrumors G3


    I wouldn't say that. There might be moments when he gets close to 8, but everything still runs fine. If that's the case, then he should be happy with his choice.

    It's when things become consistently swappy under his normal workload that he might need to consider upgrading to more.

    Really, it all depends on what he wants to do. If he intends on using it as a normal consumer/gamer desktop, 8GB is more than enough. He could even get by on 4 quite easily. If he plans on doing tons of Photoshop/CAD/whatever work, then hey, more the merrier.
  12. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Reno, NV
    I'm starting to notice that for ordinary computing tasks, 8 GB isn't going as far as it used to. I usually only reboot my computer when necessary, and I've found myself doing it more frequently lately, because it's slowing down so drastically.

    It's definitely time for a new iMac.
  13. macrumors G3


    Well, it depends on what your definition of what "ordinary computer tasks" is, but really, 2GB should be plenty enough for your everyday stuff. If it's getting swappy on you at 8GB, I'd check out what's running in the background and see what's going on.
  14. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Reno, NV
    Yes, my "ordinary computing tasks" lol

    multiple web borwsers running dozens of tabs simultaneously
    casual gaming and web surfing

    Plus I have a program running that has a memory leak under Mountain Lion. Unfortunately, it has to run all the time :(
  15. macrumors G3


    Yeah, I'd say that's pretty heavy. 16GB wouldn't hurt you at all.

    ...course, it wouldn't hurt anybody. Like guy above said, there's no such thing as having too much ram. But there is such a thing as spending money for something you'd never need. Most of your average people could get by on 2GB, with 4GB putting them into that comfortable buffer zone.

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