2011 iMac ram question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mikhailit, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. mikhailit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I recently bought a 21" iMac which was the basic bottom of the range one which offered 4GB of ram. Currently it looks like istatpro tells me I have 1.07GB "free".

    Not to moan about Lion, but things have got a little sluggish since I "upgraded" yesterday.

    So. My question is, will ordering 8GB of ram from crucial make any difference? I use my computer of editing photos, catching up with tv and email etc.

    I'm just not sure where 3GB of my ram went when I consider what I am doing is light usage - I literally just have safari and mail open.

    Also, if ordering extra ram is a good idea - does it matter that I would have 2 x 2GB from Apple, with 2 x 4GB from crucial? Someone once told me ram should always match?

    Thanks so much.
     
  2. yubbie2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    #2
    Yes more RAM will help. What model/processor did you get?

    Just check how many slots you have (2 or 4). You may need to remove Apple's ram and put in Crucial's. I just don't remember offhand how many slots the 21" comes with

    Ram should always match in pairs. 2x2gb and 2x4gb should be fine. 1x2gb and 3x4gb could be an issue.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    There's more to determining if you need RAM than just looking at free memory. Of more value is looking at page outs and swap used. Restarting your computer will reset those to zero. Then you can track page outs and swap used under normal workloads.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
    There's a small advantage to using matched pairs.

    MR Guide to Matched RAM on Intel Macs

    Not necessarily.
    That's not true. While there's a slight performance advantage (5% or so), there is no "issue" with having unmatched RAM.
     
  4. mikhailit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #4
    I got the quad core 2.5ghz version. How can I identify page outs?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Activity Monitor > System Memory tab at the bottom.
     
  6. mikhailit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #6
    OK, the simple answer is it just says 0/bytes for both.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    That means you're not maxing out the RAM you have (assuming you're using your Mac as you normally would), so you won't see any performance improvement by adding more RAM.
     
  8. mikhailit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #8
    OK, so what could be the other potential causes of sluggishness?
     
  9. Focker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #9
    I have the exact same iMac as you (base model 2011 21.5") & my experience mirrors yours after upgrading to Lion. I do have an extra 8gb of crucial ram installed for a total of 12gb. What I did to fix the sluggishness was verify disc permissions, under disk utility. I had several permission errors so I ran repair disk permissions, then rebooted my machine. And just for good measure, I ran repair disk permissions again and rebooted a 2nd time. After doing that, my system is buttery smooth and faster than it was on Snow Leopard on 10.6.8. You could try that and see if it helps.
     
  10. mikhailit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #10
    That did the trick. Perfect! Thanks.
     
  11. mikhailit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #11
    Out of interest, have you noticed benefits from the additional 8gb ram?
     
  12. Focker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #12
    You're welcome! Glad I could help!
     
  13. Focker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    #13
    Yeah a little bit here and there, although being that this is my first mac I haven't really done anything to heavy on it yet. Just some basic photo & video editing, and a few slideshows. I'm sure as I get more & more comfortable and familiar with OSX I'll start getting into some heavier programs. I mainly bought the extra 8gigs to help future proof and now that rams gotten so much cheaper it's not a bad deal for ~$75 to bump up to 12gigs.
     

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