can i actually upgrade to 6GB of ram??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by johnnyfamous, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. johnnyfamous macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #1
    I have a early 2008 24" 2.8ghz i mac and i upgraded to Lion.. lots of freezing and beach balls. I have never upgraded my ram so i have 2gb.

    I was told that i could actually buy a 4gb stick and a 2 gb stick and i could get 6 out of this machine. Is this true?

    and if so where is the best place/ to buy 4gb sticks? I cant find them locally..

    future shop hax Lexar brand but just in the 2 x 2gb packages, it seems worth it to upgrade to 6 if i can?

    thanks for the input.
     
  2. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #2
    yes you can upgrade to 6GB, be sure on the memory clock speed, if you are running 667MHz, buy the exact memory speed PC2-5300 or it will not boot at higher clock rate.
     
  3. johnnyfamous thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #3
    I have this,

    Your Mac contains 2 memory slots, each of which accepts
    a 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory module.

    where would i buy 4 gb ? i cant find it in stores locally?

    is there a ram brand difference? I want the best but not sure what the best is and where to get it from in canada?

    thanks..
     
  4. bushidounohana macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO (USA)
    #4
    I always shop OWC (macsales.com), as you simply click on Memory and then select your machine and they match you with the proper RAM options. I've been working on my 2007 MBP with 6 GB of RAM for years, thanks to them!
     
  5. johnnyfamous thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #5
    Thanks, its on its way. Makes sense to max out what i can. I paid 30.00 for express post shipping. hopefully that is tuesday latest.

    I noticed mac sales also sells hard drives, would it be worth upgrading the HD in this machine? Not sure what the benefits would be of such an upgrade and if i can do this work myself?

    thanks!
     
  6. imswimmin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #6
    I'd say that you should wait for your RAM to come in, and then see how your system performs. If you feel that it is now your hard-drive that is being a bottleneck, you may want to consider getting a newer, faster one, or maybe even an SSD.
     
  7. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #7
    You should see a noticeable difference going from 2GB to 6GB on that machine. I too have an early 2008 24" 2.8GHz machine that came with 2GB; upgrading to 4 GB has kept it fast enough until recently. The update to Lion coupled with Aperture has forced me to run Aperture in 32 bit mode; otherwise, I get spinning beach balls and lots of page outs. So I'll be upgrading mine to 6GB soon.

    The primary reason for upgrading your HDD would be if you are running out of space; that will slow it down. I believe that a general rule of thumb is that you should try to keep 15% free; so if you have a 320GB drive you should try to keep ~50GB free. I upgraded my 320GB to a 1TB drive less than a year ago for that very reason (plus I wanted a larger drive) I believe the stock 320GB drive already was 7200 RPM, so it was a fairly fast drive to begin with.

    The next step would be to go to an SSD. You mainly get faster boot times, faster program loads, and less latency if/when you have page outs (which is why the Macbook Air is so fast but even with only 2GB RAM - you don't notice page outs). I am considering adding an SSD to my machine as a primary boot/app drive, but there are some issues with doing that as well. I'd prefer to also have a large HDD for files and such, which means removing the optical drive and putting a HDD in that bay. Unlike the newer iMacs, the optical drive in the 2008 has a PATA interface, so you can't just replace your optical drive with an SSD and get the speeds you want. Best thing to do performance-wise is to replace your HDD (which is on an SATA bus) with an SSD, then put a 2.5" HDD in a PATA-to-SATA adapter, and put that whole assembly into the optical drive bay. That means buying yet ANOTHER HDD, as the internal drives in the iMac are 3.5". However, I have two external enclosures that could use a bigger drive in them, so the 1TB would not go to waste if I went ahead and did this update.
     
  8. johnnyfamous thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #8
    thanks! gave me something to think about.. so it seems that its not just an easy swap of hard drives in this machine? I dont need more storage, just want it as fast as it can be.

    believe it or not i have still not received my ram from mac sales./';0... I paid for express shipping and purchased last saturday.. frustrating, im not very patient,, kinda why i want to upgrade this machine..
     
  9. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #9
    I have never seen OWC charge that much shipping even for overnight. Hum...they factor in distance, how much you're buying though, etc.

    I'd still email them and ask what the status of the order is.

    I upgraded a Mid-2007 iMac to the unofficial 6GB last week from OWC.

    It made a difference. Honestly, you wouldn't think it would, but everything is snappier. Even web browsing feels snappier and things hang much less.

    Activity Monitor always showed that machine had PLENTY of free RAM, but still, you still feel the difference.
     
  10. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #10
    Did you add a 4GB stick, or did you buy their 6GB set? I have 4 GB now in a 2008 iMac, and trying to decide whether to get just a 4GB stick from them, or their "matched" 6GB set. I don't know if there is anything "magical" about buying theirs as a set, or if I could do just as well by swapping one of my 2GB sticks for a 4GB stick.
     
  11. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #11
    I got the matched set. I had some worry that my non-OWC, non-Apple memory that I got from New Egg back when I got the system had occasional hiccups too, so I wanted it all fresh.

    However, I believe the set wasn't even the same brand. Can't remember for sure, but if I remember right, it was two different names on each stick.

    It's up to you. I'd probably feel better if it was a stick that came with the Mac paired with the OWC.

    I suppose you could always buy a 2GB stick from them later on if you found any problems?

    Again, not sure what to recommend, in theory you shouldn't need to buy both sticks from them I wouldn't think, unless there is a problem with your current RAM.

    Very happy with the 4 & 2 set though despite the different brand labels that came on mine. The reason I got the set though was because again, I was suspicious of my current memory.
     
  12. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #12
    Thanks for the speedy reply. The 4GB in my iMac came from New Egg as well; ordered the iMac from Apple and RAM from New Egg the same day; RAM got here 1 day earlier than the iMac!

    I too was leaning the same way as you - spending the extra $30 to ensure that the RAM works as advertised; that way, if it doesn't, they both go back to OWC vs. trying to figure out which one is bad - my new one or one of my old ones. I know that there are also some concerns around matching latency and that sort of thing; I don't know enough about that to make an informed decision.
     
  13. Mike in Kansas, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #13
    Just wanted to follow up on my discussion around replacing both 2GB sticks with a "set" from OWC consisting of a 4GB and 2GB stick, or just replace one of my 2GB sticks with a 4GB stick from OWC.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have an early 2008 iMac 2.8GHz with 4GB RAM. Apple specs shows 4GB RAM max in this model, but it has been successfully reported on many fora and sales sites for years that this model can actually support and address 6GB RAM total, made up of a 2GB stick and a 4GB stick.

    I spoke to one of the OWC technical guys (Matt) via their online chat feature, and asked his opinion regarding just replacing one of my 2GB sticks with a 4GB from them, or do them both to ensure compatibility. I truly expected him to suggest that I replace both, but believe it or not, he said that I should be fine with just swapping out one of my 2GB sticks with a new 4GB stick. He said that the ones they sell are not "matched" in any way - once you put in different memory capacities you lose the "dual channel" advantage anyway. So any 2GB memory module that meets Apple's standards (I got mine from New Egg in August 2008) will work fine with their 4GB stick. There you have it - right from the horse's mouth!

    Just wanted to throw this out there for anyone with 4GB now that is trying to decide whether to get just a 4GB stick, or both 2GB and 4GB sticks from OWC in order to upgrade to 6GB total. I'd like to get at least one more year out of this machine, and possibly 2. Next step is an SSD upgrade.
     
  14. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #14

    Yes, the two sticks they sent me didn't appear to even be the same brand. Again, I only got the "set," because I was suspicious of my RAM.

    I'm glad to hear they confirmed our gut feeling that just replacing one stick would suffice.

    Please post back when you get the 6GB running and let us know what you think. If you're like me, you will certainly notice a difference. Not enormous, but enough that I appreciate it.

    I am also considering a SSD. I have changed the HD in my mid-2007 iMac previously (original failed), so I could certainly do it. It was slightly more complex than most Mac upgrades I've done, but not much.

    Not sure if I want to go down to a lower capacity though yet.

    These are still competent machines really (of course yours even more than mine). What really helped them that was for so long Apple continued to sell the Core 2 Duos, so even the later Core 2 Duos, weren't much faster. It wasn't until the i5 and i7 that things really started to pick up. Sadly, I bought so many machines during the Core 2 Duo era that I feel I'm very stuck on all the old tech, nothing new. ha.
     
  15. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #15
    Will do.

    As far as SSD capacity, I am thinking of adding one versus swapping out my existing hard drive. I would remove the optical drive (putting it in an enclosure for the 4 times a year I burn something) and use the available space to add in an SSD. What I will have to do in actuality is to put the SSD where the internal hard drive is now, and then put a 2.5" Hard drive in the optical drive bay. The optical drive data cable is PATA, so I wouldn't want to hobble the SSD on a PATA bus. However, I doubt I'd notice much of a difference in moving my hard
    drive from an SATA bus to a PATA bus for just documents.
     
  16. excommie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #16
    I have the same machine as OP. I also have 6GB of RAM. I upgraded to Lion from SL, but after few weeks, I decided to go back to SL. Lion has a problem with this machine - after waking from sleep, things were running incredibly slow (lots of discussions on this going on at apple message boards). I decided to go back to SL after verifying that apple did not fix these issues in 10.7.2.
     
  17. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #17
    Wow, what a difference! Got the 4GB stick today, put it in, and am now enjoying all 6GB. Things are definitely faster - boot times are less, app launches are faster, editing in Aperture is faster. Swiping from desktop to desktop is near instantaneous - before it would take a bit for the screen to refresh. Same thing with running Aperture in full screen mode - it almost immediately puts up the image in full screen view versus waiting for it to render. Overall, VERY happy with the very simple upgrade.

    I don't understand why this is, as Activity Monitor would always show free RAM unless I had Aperture opened up with a lot of other apps open, and doing some intensive edits.

    I also hear it writing to disk less when I am performing tasks. I wonder if one of my 2GB sticks was "iffy"??

    Overall, a cheap and easy upgrade. Now for an SSD. Possibly a Christmas present to myself...
     
  18. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #18

    Glad it worked out so well for you. I have the same observations as you as to Activity Monitor showing no issue previously, but it still makes a great difference. I didn't want to overstate the improvement and let it disappointment you, so I was somewhat cautious on my excitement of it.

    As you can see, the 6GB upgrade is worth it! We added some life back to our Macs.
     

Share This Page