4GB Ram not enough for iMovie in Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by MacRum2011, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. MacRum2011 macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2011
    #1
    I find 4GB of ram isn't enough when trying to use iMovie in Lion on a APril 2008 iMac supporting a max of 4GB ram.

    Just having iMovie open has pushed ram usage to 3.9GB and when exporting a 20 minutes project CPU usage goes beyond 100% (like 160%). I think Lion requires a min of 8GB ram if one plans to do anything like iMovie.

    I don't understand where it says Inactive 1.15GB anyone know what that mean?
     
  2. JRoDDz macrumors 68000

    JRoDDz

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    #2
    Video editing on any machine will tax your memory use. It's the nature of the beast. That being said, if you really want to do some serious video work in Lion, then 8GB Ram is not an unreasonable amount.
     
  3. OneMike macrumors 603

    OneMike

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    #3
    ^ 8GB is not a lot to ask unless like as the OP said their machine doesn't support it.

     
  4. Gen macrumors 6502a

    Gen

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    Jul 15, 2008
    #4
    I'm having the same issue with 4GB, and I'm not doing anything too crazy.
    I'm constantly at under 100MB's of Free memory.
    Good thing that 8GB is only $50 :)
     
  5. mrboult macrumors 6502

    mrboult

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    #5
    On a late 2008 Alu MacBook with 4GB I just edited a 15min movie from 24GB of imported footage.

    Everything went great! Lots of clips, edits, audio etc etc and no problems at all. (had to quit iMovie at the end of it to free up RAM so I could export it)

    Sorry your having problems, just want to make the point that others are not having problems.
     
  6. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #6
    Video editing, despite iMovie maybe being a consumer level pruduct (which I sorta disagree with as it's decently powerful), is still a computer taxing process. Video editing is notorious for hammering CPU and RAM use. I think your computer is just becoming a tad out outdated for these demanding processes on the newest OS. I mean, 4Gb is considered entry level, and 8Gb is probably the new standard (and cheap, I got mine for my MBP for only $50 or so)
     
  7. pcomac macrumors regular

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    Jun 22, 2011
    #7
    where do you get the extra ram and who do you go to install it? im a computer noobie and im afraid to ruin my computer
     
  8. kmpoboy2 macrumors 6502

    kmpoboy2

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    #8
    OP

    I don't know which 2008 iMac model you own but in owc.com the have Memory upgrades to up to 6GB for all the 2007 and 2008 iMac's. Mind you, there a bit pricy over there, but you can find the models of the modules your Mac requires and try to find it cheaper in another place.
     
  9. AppliedMicro, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I don't see any issue with this per se.

    Why would you want to have free memory? :confused:
    Memory is so fast, I'd rather want my computer to use it than leave it free!
    Even if it is just to cache some data and/or applications!

    I definitely don't think so.

    Wait! Where'd you get that figure from?
    It certainly cannot be iMovie using 3.9 of your 4 GB of memory.
    If the 3.9GB are the "Used RAM" figure from activity monitor, that is perfectly how it's supposed to be and does not indicate a lack of RAM.

    It probably indicates that you have more than enough RAM installed for the things you do in iMovie.
     
  10. MacRum2011, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

    MacRum2011 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    i had activity monitor open last night before I opened iMovie and the memory usage was 2.10GB.

    When I opened iMovie it went from 2.10GB to 3.9GB, keeping in mind that the computer had been on all day. Trying to use the computer was painful and laggy and I couldn't even export my project.

    I tried it this morning (next day) fresh from a boot up with safari open with a couple of tabs and Outlook for mac open as they are always open. 2.05GB ram used before iMovie open, once it was open, 2.15GB, now exporting using 2.27GB and no lag.

    DOes this mean there is a problem with memory leak of some sort, I know I have it with Safari at times. Oh the inactive ram is only 436mb.

    So should one reboot their machine before using iMovie (or other video editing software) if it has been on for some time?

    I never been in the 'About This Mac' since upgrade to Lion and they have change it slightly...anyway anyone confirm if my system would support 6GB ram? I may consider depending on the cost, one don't want to spend too much on 3 and a half year old machine.
    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac8,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: IM81.00C1.B00
    SMC Version (system): 1.29f1
     
  11. kmpoboy2 macrumors 6502

    kmpoboy2

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    #11
    @ MacRum2011

    I check in owc and with the specs that's you posted, your iMac is compatible with 6GB of RAM.

    But as I said before, that particular RAM upgrade is rather expensive. If you want to check it out here's the link: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/6400DDR2S6GP/

    Just take note of the modules and see if you can find them cheaper someplace else.
     
  12. spidey3 macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2010
    #12
    I have had good luck with http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory - they specifically market to Mac users, and also have some great guides to help you buy the right memory and install it correctly.

    Spidey!!!
     
  13. MacRum2011 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
  14. AppliedMicro, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2008
    #14
    The lagginess might indicate insufficient resources even though I still don't necessarily think it's a RAM problem. Something else might be the culprit.

    As I said before, RAM usage isn't really an indicator of whether you have enough RAM or not - or if you'd really benefit from more RAM.

    I currently have 5.40 GB memory "used" on my Mac. Yet all I have open is Finder, Mail, Safari and VLC Player playing music in the background. Does this mean that 4 GB is insufficient for Safari and Mail? No, of course not!

    EDIT: Apple actually has a nice little beginner-friendly description of memory usage displayed in System Profiler:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1342

    And there we get back to your initial question:
    "Inactive memory:

    This information in memory is not actively being used (...) Inactive memory is available for use by another application, just like Free memory"


    So rather look at the amount of page-outs and wired/active/inactive than free memory/total usage to tell if you'd benefit from more RAM or not (though, of course, unintended behavior by applications could also temporarily cause memory usage and page-outs to skyrocket without you actually needing more RAM for your usual applications).

    "Free" memory is memory that does just nothing, you shouldn't really worry about it. It's like having three beds in your apartment. What are you going to do with them? You alone can only sleep in one of them at a time. They're only useful once you invite other people over (read: do something more memory-demanding with your computer).
     
  15. WeegieMac, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    WeegieMac Guest

    WeegieMac

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    Glasgow, UK
    #15
    The iMac8,1 models from early 2008 support 4GB of RAM maximum according to Crucial.

    I've gone through the Crucial RAM list for all the Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz iMacs and they support a maximum of 4GB. Going by your link above, even my system would qualify for 6GB of RAM (iMac8,1 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo) ... so who's lying, OWC or Crucial? lol.

    And for the record, I upgraded to 4GB from Crucial prior to Lion's launch, and using iMovie was actually enjoyable as I put together videos and photos of our dogs on the beaches of St Cyrus, Scotland. It never hung, the system never got unresponsive, and the worst that happened was my fans kicked in a little louder and the system got a bit hot.
     
  16. MacRum2011 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2011
    #16
    Outlook for Mac, iTunes and Safari with 8 tabs open i'm using 3.15GB ram with 629.1mb inactive. iTunes isn't open when iMovie is of course. Page Ins 675mb, page outs 388kb, swap 9.8mb. There would have to be some problem somewhere where it can be ok and then it isn't, maybe because its getting old...
     
  17. WeegieMac Guest

    WeegieMac

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    #17
    I'd do a clean install of your entire system, because it's nothing to do with the age of your system or a lack of RAM.

    4GB is ample on the system you own, to run Lion and do plenty of other tasks.

    My system is the 2.4GHz version of your model (same identifier, iMac8,1) and I never even see Page Outs when using the likes of iMovie, iPhoto, etc.

    Sure, on 2GB Safari alone with it's Web Content add on would eat up a chunk of RAM if the computer was left on long enough and a decent sized web history was accumulated (the feature to swipe back through your history is what Safari Web Content no doubt fuels).
     
  18. WeegieMac Guest

    WeegieMac

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    #18
    iMac8,1

    Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
    4GB DDR2 800MHz

    Running:

    Finder, App Store, Mail, Safari (11 tabs), FaceTime, Address Book, iCal, iTunes, Photobooth, Settings, Activity Monitor, VLC (movie running).

    Usage shown in photo below (click for full size).

    [​IMG]
     
  19. MacRum2011 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 14, 2011
    #19
    1. how to keep lion so I don't need to download it again (which I will have to do)?
    2. how to clean install lion?
    3. can i put lion on a DVD and install like snow leopard?
     
  20. MacRum2011 thread starter macrumors regular

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  21. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

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    #21
    According to Apple that iMac can only take 4Gb.
     
  22. AppliedMicro, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Apple, Crucial = officially supported = 4GB.
    OWC = working and tested by OWC, even though not officially supported by Apple = 6GB.
    This is often the case, as 4GB Modules probably really available on the market (and probably not tested) or only at prohibitively high prices when your model was released.

    1.4GB free or inactive, no page-outs.
    Looks good.

    That alone is probably not bad for iMovie at all (I don't use iMovie, so I am not familiar with its RAM usage. If you closed Safari, it should free up another 800 MB. On Lion it should even resume your tabs when you reopen.

    With these numbers. I would rather not jump into upgrading the memory.
    Personally, I'd probably rather put this into my next Mac fund.
    Though if you feel better having your iMac "maxed out"...

    EDIT: Granted, the 4GB DDR2 modules from OWC aren't that expensive either...
     
  23. RobT macrumors 6502a

    RobT

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    Ohio, USA
    #23
  24. WeegieMac Guest

    WeegieMac

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    #24
    Need to edit that second quote mate, wasn't me saying that!
     
  25. AppliedMicro macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I did, sorry about that. :)
     

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