Basic RAM question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by at2wells, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. at2wells macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
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    #1
    After complete satisfaction with my 80GB Classic, and iPhone 3G (minus AT&T's shortcomings), and a real dislike of all things Windows based, I have made the decision to switch to Mac(intosh). And Im actually pretty excited about it. *Que Applause*

    So here is my question: Im going to buy the 21.5" iMac, pretty much all stock. And I will upgrade the memory when it gets here, as everything I read says having Apple do it with Apple (Samsung) memory is crazy expensive, and it is. So I went to a well known 3rd party memory vendor to see what they reccommend. They want to sell me four 4GB DDR3's for a total of 16GB. And I understand that there are four slots, so this isnt a problem. But my real question is, Ill already have 4GB from the factory, so dont I only need 12GB? Or is there an issue (I wouldnt think so) with mixing like memories from different vendors?

    And, as I understand it there isnt an option to upgrade the graphics card in the 21.5"? And if I can, is it worth my time and money to upgrade that card as Im not really a gamer, but I do run *gulp* flight simulator X from time to time.

    Thanks in advance for your time all. And Since Im new, feel free to offer up ANY advice for a new Mac user. Oh, almost forgot, is there any tangible benefit to drive the 45 minutes to the apple store and get this thing over just ordering from the online store?
     
  2. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2008
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    Rio Rancho, NM
    #2
    I can't help you with the memory question but as far as the graphics gards go no you can't upgrade it yourself. The basic comes with Nvidia 9400M and the upgrade has an ATI 4670 HD which is the superior option. So if you can afford the extra $300 you get the better graphics and twice the HD space.
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    Apple store doesn't have the upgraded graphic cards in stock; in-store can only upgrade memory.
     
  4. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    On one of my Macs of course
    #4
    Aloha at2wells,

    With respect to your memory question, there's no way that you'll be able to stick only 12GB RAM into the remaining two RAM slots in your iMac. The stock configuration is two sticks of 2GB RAM, one each in the first two RAM slots. That leaves two open RAM slots remaining. Currently, RAM for the new iMacs only come in 1GB, 2GB,and 4GB capacities, so the maximum you will be able to put in your new iMac would be 12GB (the two existing 2GB sticks plus two 4GB sticks) unless, of course, you removed the stock RAM and bought four 4GB RAM sticks.

    As far as I understand, you may mix and match capacities of RAM within your iMac, assuming that they are all 1067MHz DDR3 4x204-pin SO-DIMMs. You can also find them at Other World Computing for a fair price, although they only sell the 2GB and 4GB capacities, as well as trade in the original, Apple-supplied, memory.

    HawaiMacAddict
     
  5. at2wells thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 28, 2009
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    #5
    AH, I see. I was assuming that coming from Apple I would have three open slots, but they are using one each for 2GB RAM, so in fact will only have two empty slots. That bings it all into clarity. Thanks for your help Hawaii.
     
  6. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #6
    Hey HawaiMacAddict, I was wondering this earlier as Im off to buy a couple sticks of 2gb Ram to give me 8 total. But, I didnt know you could mix capacities. Did you read that somewhere? I wonder if its tested. Cause if I can throw 2 4gb sticks in on top of the 2 2gb sticks, Id love to run with 12gb.

    On Apples web site it says "You can use RAM module sizes of 2 GB or 4 GB in each slot." I didnt know if that meant it had to be one OR the other.
     
  7. Goldie009 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    #7
    There is a strong chance you can use ANY available capacity of RAM modules in the slots, provided that they are the same type and speed. I have bought 2x2Gb RAM modules from Crucial ahead of my iMac so that I can upgrade to 8Gb when it finally does arrive.
     
  8. iMerlin macrumors 6502a

    iMerlin

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    May 13, 2008
    #8
    Im planning on doing the same thing Goldie. Man I can not wait for this sucker!!
     
  9. gjw4u macrumors 6502

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    Dec 2, 2008
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    Switzerland
    #9
    OP, I suggest you opt for the 21.5" iMac with the ATI HD 4670 & larger HD. Once every is up and running with as many programs you need, you can judge if you need more RAM. 16GB seems a bit much IMO.
     

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