Cheap Ram or HDD upgrade?


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 29, 2012
I just bought an iMac 27" a week ago, I feel that the iMac is underpowered and could use RAM upgrade. I know SSD will make it even faster but it is still expensive. So my main priority is upgrade RAM first.

I found this, corsair 8 gb(2x4gb) from amazon at 43.99. Is that the cheapest price for 8gb? I'm not sure the quality of corsair are good or not, but from the reviews it's seems good.

And for HDD, I am considering upgrade it to SSD, are there any cheap SSD @ 256GB or 500GB?



macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
By far the biggest performance improvement you can make to computers these days is switching to SSD. Amazon & NewEgg had good quality 250GB SSD's for $160-180 a couple weeks ago.

For RAM, I always go to

Lots of people here go to OWC for both RAM and SSD.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2011
Regarding SSD, Crucial just relesed a very cheap SSD series called V4, the 250GB is $180 I believe. However, changing HDD on a iMac is considered very tricky, and for some models, its actually impossible, so you should check that first.

Now, RAM should defenetly be your priority, as it really speeds the system. Go for maximum, go for 16GB (again, check if you iMac supports 16GB, I believe it does). Moreover, Apples HDD are really fast, so you you can totally use your HDD for a few years before upgrading.


macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
Is 12gb okay? I currently have 4gb in my iMac.
Reboot your computer, use it normally for 1 day, and check Activity Monitor. Under memory usage, look for Page Outs. That will give an idea of how much (if any) additional RAM you would benefit from. It's possible you're not even filling your 4GB.


macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
somewhere else
forty2j is correct.

The best upgrade these days is an SSD for your boot drive. More RAM -- which used to be the best upgrade -- is now solidly second.

Much of a computer's life is spent waiting for the disk. In the past, there really wasn't much getting around this bottleneck apart from faster disks (7200rpm or 10000rpm) or more spindles.

Unless you have a lot of programs open, the amount of RAM won't be the bottleneck for the system. And when you have used up all available RAM, what the system does is page to disk. That's right, again, the disk becomes the bottleneck.

About a year ago I upgraded my Mac mini (2010 model)'s boot HDD to an SSD and it was indeed the best upgrade I've ever done. Only a few months ago did I bother to shove more RAM into it. The RAM makes far less difference than the SSD.

Same thing with an old MacBook I have lying around the house. Shove an SSD into it and this old (2006) notebook has been reborn.

I'd definitely save money for the SSD upgrade versus spending less cash for a RAM upgrade.