Best investment-system memory or graphics card memory?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hello All,

    Another question about the iMac's RAM. I'm looking to purchase one next month and I'm planning on doing a lot of post production work for video. I had a chat with a guy at an Apple store, and his opinion was that I opt for the system with the higher video card memory (512MB) as opposed to going for the lower one at 256MB and later upgrading it's internal memory to 8GB.

    Which one am I actually getting more bang for my buck? Getting the 4GB system memory one and later bumping it to 8, or getting the 512MB graphics card one.
  2. supernet33 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2008
    DO NOT BUY MEMORY FROM APPLE.. They rip you off..
  3. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    It depends on the graphics card memory.

    First off the graphics card memory is not upgradeable while the system memory is. If you buy 256MB now you'll have 256MB forever.

    However you also have to consider whether the graphics card can actually use higher memory effectively. A fast card with 256MB ram can be better than a slower card with 512MB. What good is a 512MB card if it is too slow to use it all?

    However considering the 512MB card is a faster card it's worth considering whether or not you want a better card or not.

    Personally i'd go for graphics memory now and upgrade system memory down the line!

    And what he said :D
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Put your money on GPU (more VRAM). System RAM can be VERY EASILY upgraded later on by yourself. 4GB DDR3 RAM chips are extremely expensive now but prices should come down in a year or so.

    GPU cannot be upgraded/changed later on but RAM can. Get nVidia GT130 or ATI 4850
  5. Tom Dahl macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Massachusetts USA
    For video work (editing, frame rendering, etc.) my guess would be that system RAM would have more of an effect on overall performance than would video-card RAM. I base that speculation on the assumption that the video software would tent to rely on the CPU for computation more than it would rely on the GPU (video card).

    Also, very many "mundane" tasks are boosted with more system RAM -- switching between applications, navigating around Finder windows, web browsers, etc.

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