8gb ram or 16gb ram? Advice?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MikeArtworks, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. MikeArtworks macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2015
    Hello people,

    I'm currently looking at a 21.5 inch iMac (late 2013) 2.9 ghz with the nvidea dedicated graphics (750m).

    I'm wondering wether to spend 522 euros (580 dollars) for the 16 gb of ram.

    Here is what I do:

    *Lots of internet browsing & youtube (5/6 tabs open at once max)
    *Photoshop & Illustrator (open together, but only 3/4 compositions open in total at once)
    *Some games (the 750m is actually pretty good I saw at the store) (But I have a ps4)

    I won't have photoshop & illustartor running while gaming, but I do have the internet running.

    I have a 4gb rMPB too, and had no problems there. It does swap though, around 200/300mb's.

    I will get a external ssd, because the internal ssd will also cost me 522 euros extra (don't ask me why, but to get these upgrades I have to order through Apple, which is more expensive than the biggest electronic stores here in Holland, but those all have 8gb's ram).

    What would you do? Do you think 8gb's of ram is enough for me? As osX is pretty good in Ram management.

  2. Mikegp macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2015
    I just bought an iMac 5k and had the same dilema. But since the ram on the iMac is swappable I decided, if I ever need the 16gb Id just buy it from Amazon at a fraction of the cost.
  3. MikeArtworks thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2015
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    @MikeArtworks, I think you'd be fine with 8 GB for those tasks.

    The 21.5" doesn't have easily upgradable RAM like the 27".
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Your Adobe products LOVE RAM. Will they run on 8 gigs sure...will Adobe work better with 16, yes.
  6. happycadaver macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2012
    My iMac only has 8GB and i never experienced any problems with that. I do video conversion and gaming.

    Internet and similar doesn't count. ;)

    Isn't the 5K memory not self upgradeable anymore?
  7. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    $580 is too much to spend just to upgrade the ram. 8GB will work. I personally wouldn't spend over a $1500 on a desktop to have it limited to 8GB and would try to purchase a used 27" iMac but thats me.
  8. redheeler, Jun 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015

    redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    The RAM on the 27" 5K is user-upgradeable in the same way as previous 27" models. The 21.5" lost easy RAM access starting with the late 2012 thin model.
  9. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Be sure that memory is not causing problems. I purchased the same thing and it caused my (and may other people's) sleep/wake to fail. Removed and the problem went away. Bought OWC chips instead and am having no issues with them.
  10. blake2 macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2013
    Pittsburgh PA
    I think 8gb would work for your case.

    I usually like future proofing, but 500+ euros seem a bit too steep for that.
  11. zone23 macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2012
    It maybe over kill but I went 16GB and 500GB SSD i7 and Nvidia graphics on my iMac. I will never have to take it apart and upgrade it. I should be able to get 5+ years out of it no problem. Its supper fast and it will handle everything I throw at it. I like to run Parallels so I can dedicate 4-8GB of RAM if I want too. The only dilemma I faced was I could have gotten a retina 27" for the money but didn't want such a big screen in my living room.
  12. MikeArtworks thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2015

    There's a company in my city that repairs & upgrades iMacs.

    They offer a 16gb upgrade for the 21.5 inch for 300 euros, not that bad if I ever need that amount in 2-3 years (probably 8 will be fine). Is it correct that they are able to do that?
  13. blake2 macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2013
    Pittsburgh PA

    According to

    Looks like it's possible for the 2013 quad-core iMacs. OWC carries the ram for around 150 US dollars, but considering the trouble required to do the install I think $300 is fair.

  14. MikeArtworks thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2015
    I'm on the verge of buying one. Only problem is the video card. It has a gt 750m, and I currently have a gtx 550ti. Do you think I would go backwards with this video card?
  15. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    There are two things to ask yourself.

    First, your current system has 4 GB of RAM. Your graphical work is probably the most memory-demanding activity that you do. Open Activity Monitor when you have the Adobe programs open and are working on something, switch to the Memory tab, and look at the Memory Pressure. Is the graph green, yellow, or red? If it's green or yellow and you don't have a huge swap file, 8 GB will be a nice upgrade and should serve you fine. If it's in the red, 16 GB might be warranted.

    The second consideration is looking to the future. Do you foresee your computer usage changing? Perhaps more importantly, how often do you upgrade your computer? If you're a short-term upgrader, swapping systems every 2-3 years, then going with 8 GB - assuming you've determined it to be enough for your needs - is probably the way to go. On the other hand, if you're the type of person who holds on to systems for a longer time (5-6+ years), the additional RAM may be worthwhile. It could make a difference in allowing you to continue to comfortably use the system for a while longer.
  16. MikeArtworks thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2015
    I've decided that 8gb of ram should be enough for me. Only thing that's holding me back is the video card. I now have a GTX 550TI in my pc, and the iMac I will get/afford has a gt 750m. I think that's a downgrade.

    And like I said,

    I can get a pc with i7, 16 gb ram, ssd + hdd, GTX 980 4gb ddr5 for not much more, so I'm really having a hard time deciding what to do..

    (the 4gb of ram is on my macbook, always green)

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15 June 6, 2015