Simple but Important iMac Question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hwrdrrk, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    I am upgrading my iMac from 4GB of RAM to either:

    12GB of RAM (+4 +4)


    16GB of RAM (Remove both of the 2GB and add +4 +4 +4 +4)

    The first option will run me $34

    The second will run me $61

    I would prefer to spend $34, but if 16GB of RAM is highly advisable over 12GB of RAM for some reason I won't let cost get in the way.

    While I am an avid mac user, professional musician, and amateur video editor, I do not understand computers well enough to know how significant 16GB vs. 12GB is.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I have 12GB in my 2011 21.5" base iMac and its enough for me. I run a lot of Handbrake encodes, BD rips, iTunes, Safari, RDP all at the same time and it works well (don't think I ever have an issue with running out of memory).

    And if you find that 12GB isn't enough, its only an additional $7 to buy 8GB more of RAM later than buying all 16GB up front for $61 (vs. 2x $34).
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Well said. For me, it's more about the install than the money. Flipping the iMac on its back and installing memory might be a 5-minute thing for tech savvy folk, but I'm the guy who barely knows how to find a screw driver let alone use one. So given that I'll only perform the job once...

    I think you're right. If 12GB works for your needs, I think it will for mine as well. Anyone else go from a 12GB machine to a 16GB machine and notice significant improvement?
  4. macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    You can never have too much ram. You might as well max it out since you will be in there anyway,
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    Equally good point here. You really can't have too much. We never asked what you use your machine for, but if its any combination of what I do 12GB should be plenty. Could put the extra money towards an SSD and Seagate Thunderbolt sled to really make that puppy scream...

    And you shouldn't need to flip the iMac on its back. I was able to just pop them in with it upright. Do note that if you are removing the RAM, there are little plastic tabs you pull on to unseat the modules. You have to tug pretty hard (or at least I had to on mine).
  6. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    You should just spend the extra and max it out; that way you won't have to worry about adding more RAM until you buy your next computer. Also, while the price of the jump to 16GB may drop, odds are it won't be by too much all that soon, so it's not like you'll have any kind of buyers remorse for spending $25ish more. It's a stupid premium, but so it goes.

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