Do I need 2 gb of ram for new iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cyclingjs, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. cyclingjs macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
    I have used my Macbook for the past few months and have been won over to the Mac side. It is true. Once you go Mac, you never go back.

    Now, I am considering purchasing a new iMac. My only question is do I need 2 gb of ram? I mainly use my computer for internet searching, e-mail, word processing, downloading and listening to music, watching videos and dvd's. I would like to do some video editing with iMovie. Other than that, I am not into video games or anything like that.

    So, any suggestions?
  2. endingstart macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008

    I just got an iMac today. 2.4ghz and 1gb of ram.

    I would suggest starting off with 1gb of ram from apple, use it for a couple of days and if you find it's too slow you can always buy ram from OWC or another place. Just don't buy ram from apple (unless you are rich)

    In my opinion you will be fine with 1gb of ram for now.
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Buy the iMac with 1gig, then buy a 2 gig stick from a 3rd party (giving a total of 3 gigs). The idea here is that later on you can buy another 2 gig stick which will max out the computer. Buying memory from Apple is an absolute rip-off (if you weren't aware) so do not buy it from them.

    RAM is very affordable so buy buy buy!
    (2 gigs should cost between $40-60).
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Sounds like 2GB would do you but I agree with the others that you should order it with only 1GB then buy it 3rd party.

    I upgraded to the maximum 4GB mainly because my machine ran like molasses when I was using Windows Vista in VMware Fusion. However, I've found that the overall performance of the system has been greatly improved period. I run a LOT of stuff in memory.

    Another good reason to get RAM now is the prices are incredibly cheap. I paid about $70 TOTAL ($35 a piece) for two sticks of 2GB here in Japan.
  5. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    I think you need 2 gigs of ram minimum. I would put in 4 gigs of aftermarket ram.
  6. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    The key is that you should get third party RAM anyway, so why not try out the 1GB as others have said, and then add two more later?

    It sounds to me like you can get by with 1GB just fine, but the additional 2GB is so cheap, that I bet you will end up adding it later. No meed to rush out and get it right away though.

    Adding memory to the iMac is about as easy as it gets...
  7. Olvenskol macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I've had a new iMac since December in the stock configuration and have not noticed a need for more memory doing the sorts of things you describe. There are usually 3 users logged into it and about 8-10 apps running on any typical day and response times remain very snappy.

    I'd say definitely start with the 1 GB, you can always add more later if you feel the need (but my guess is that you won't!)
  8. Paratel macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2005
    Somewhere in the US
    iMac Ram

    Go to and purchase 4GB of ram for 113.00 and then sell your 1 GB Apple Ram on ebay!! The more RAM the Better!! YYIIPPEEE
  9. IEatApples macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2004
    Northern Hemisphere (Norway)
    NO! Don't buy from Crucial! (OWC) is MUCH cheaper!
  10. notnek macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2007
    Save money and get 1GB RAM from Apple. Then get 4Gb RAM from some 3rd-Party like You'll max out your iMac and save about $850 in the process.
  11. BaronvdB macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    Totally agree.....I got my crucial ram through and it was only $35 per 2gb stick after rebate....totally worth it...don't buy ram from apple!!
  12. kdawg macrumors regular


    Dec 14, 2004
    The more ram the better, additional ram will provide a noticeable increase in performance. With memory prices so low it is a cheap way to increase performance. Just don’t purchase through Apple. Their RAM is a total rip off.

    Do your research. I have found Crucial to be cheaper on some occasions and OWC on other occasions.
  13. firstapple macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2007
    I bought 4 gigs of RAM and couldn't be happier! Got mine from newegg, for $99 and free shipping
  14. psu2010 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2008
    Hey I just recently bought an iMac and had ordered ram through a 3rd party. The iMac came before the ram so I had it for a couple days running it with just the stock 1 gig it came with from apple and it ran like a charm for all the applications you were talking about. All these people saying buy 4 gigs are being alittle bit ridiculous. You don't NEED that much however it is very cheap right now. I got mine through (OWC) and it is great. I would recommend the most you'd need is maybe 1 gig extra. Which is only about $25 from on Heres a link...
    Hope this helps :)
  15. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    No we're not. You might not need the 4 gigs tomorrow, but one day you'll be happy you did. So if you are going upgrade the RAM then max the f***er out!
  16. WarMace macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    I would suggest adding more 3rd party memory as well. I got 1gb standard, used it for a week or so until I got more. While 1gb will be plenty for what you are doing, there was a noticable speed improvement when I added more RAM. Nothing spectacular but programs started up faster, and everything was a little bit snappier. Definitely worth the $40 or less you might spend on extra RAM.
  17. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    You should watch RAM prices. In the future the current RAM prices will go up when the supply drops. Right now though the supply and the demand are high so prices are still going to drop. Right now I have 2 GB in my iMac but I will upgrade to 4 GB perhaps this summer. Plus if I buy a Macbook and they still take the same RAM I will have to do a little switcheroo to put it to 2 GB.
  18. mzd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2005
    if you've got the extra money, sure, it won't hurt anything.
    but, with the usage you posted, you absolutely don't need any more than the 1GB that comes stock. i used mine for about four months prior to upgrading and i basically only upgraded because a got a great deal on the ram.
    in addition to all you posted, i use photoshop and garage band and had no trouble with just the 1GB.
    and, as others have said, don't buy the ram from apple if you decide to get more.
  19. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    Yes. You want 2GB. End of story.

    1GB is okay for light usage, but at some point you're going to decide to do something a little heavier. 1GB in Leopard/Intel gives you essentially no wiggle room.

    And other posters are right: the way to go is to buy a 2GB stick from somewhere other than Apple and have 3GB total.

    If you ever do decide to run Windows in VMWare/Parallels (shudder) then you will want at least 3GB and 4GB is better. Remember, each OS wants the same amount of RAM it would otherwise... and there is *also* some overhead for the VMWare application and its associated bits.

    Unless you only run one program all day long, more RAM is the single improvement you can make to your Mac that gives the best bang for the buck.
  20. jaredisme macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    I would if I were you. I have 2 in my iMac and I usually just do basic things like that and occasionally use garageband or imovie and if 2 accounts are on at the same time I use about a 80% of my RAM. You could get by just fine with 1 GB but if you want higher performance and price isnt a major issue get 2 GB

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