Does 8gb of RAM make a major real-world difference for the time being?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Whackintosh, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Whackintosh

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    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #1
    Just wondering if it's worth getting a machine with 8Gb of RAM over the standard 4Gb for things like video editing, aperture etc. Can most of today's apps even use 8 gigs of memory? I assume the biggest advantage would be for running a virtual windows machine within OSX and things like that.
     
  2. plasticphyte macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    #2
    New iMac's can handle 16Gb of RAM. OS X can handle OOOOODLES more than that, and so can applications.

    More RAM never hurt anyone.
     
  3. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
  4. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2007
    #4
    For me, it's not a matter of what apps use
    more memory...

    It's a matter of how much multitasking I
    can do without straining the resources of
    my iMac.

    If you have many startup programs that
    you keep constantly running, open many
    windows at once while encoding and
    burning DVDs then the extra ram is well
    worth it.

    I can push the limits of my iMac with
    8GB ram and not feel the sweat.
     
  5. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a

    mr_matalino

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    A good rule to follow it max out as much RAM as you can afford. I thought it would take years to see 8GB of RAM for $200 more in the iMacs (obviously the extra RAM slots made this possible). Any virtual machine (Parallels, VMWare, etc...) will eat as much RAM as you can give it and you will notice a definite improvement.
     
  6. zerohp macrumors member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #6
    I have two macs with 4gb of ram and have never experienced swapping when not using a virtual machine. That's why I ordered an i7 with 4gb. It's easy to upgrade later.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #7
    unless your page outs are approaching 10% of page ins, i would not get more ram as its just a waste
     
  8. googdot macrumors regular

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    #8
    There are some good benchmarks at OWC showing performance on the new iMac's with various configurations of RAM.
     
  9. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #9
    Awesome link. Thanks for sharing! :D

    From my reading, it seems in general like the biggest performance jump is seen from 4gb to 8gb, rather than from 8gb to 12gb (for both 32bit and 64bit). Am I seeing that correctly? Looks like 8gb is the way to go for now. :)
     
  10. EliteF50 macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #10
    Sorry to go off topic, but which upgrade is more worth it? 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or 8GBs of RAM?
     
  11. googdot macrumors regular

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    #11
    I agree - 8GB is the sweet spot for price/performance right now.
     
  12. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #12
    Thats an awesome link! It exactly answers my questions about how much benefit more RAM will give, thanks!
    Answer: pretty much none, unless you are running dozens of apps hogging at least 50% system memory.

    i5!
    Ok that doesn't answer your question, but the i5 gives a significant power increase so if you can at all afford it i'd reccomend that!
    Otherwise I would say go the CPU upgrade, in 6 months 8GB RAM will be $50 from 3rd party suppliers, and the CPU can not be upgraded later without voiding warranty.
     
  13. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #13
    Your original question involved video editing and Aperture. Both Motion and Aperture quickly gobble up more than the 3GB limit per app since they grab unused memory for caching.

    If you are using Compressor or After Effects, both apps can spawn subtasks for each core that can grab 3GB of RAM each.

    I say 8GB is the minimum for best all around performance and minimal virtual memory hits.
     
  14. meirvin macrumors member

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    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    #14
    Im waiting for my i7 and ordered 4gbs for $85 when the machine arrives 5 mins before i turn it on it will be upgraded
     
  15. EliteF50 macrumors regular

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    Oct 28, 2009
    #15
    I would get the i5, but 27 inches is way too big for me. I don't want to have to move my head just to see the other side of my screen. :p

    Do you think they'll put the i5 into the 21.5" iMacs?
     
  16. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #16
    Nope. Temp + lack of room. Get the 27'' i5. Save your money up until you can afford the difference. You won't regret it.

    Wise decision. Imho I would recommend doing a benchmark with the 4gb so you have a reference and then put the 8gb in.
     
  17. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #17
    Is it just me or has RAM prices shot up since the iMac was announced?
    I looked at crucial's website today and it was $115 for 2x2GB for the iMac, I distinctly remember it being around $88 when I was checking the day the new iMacs were announced.
    Same thing with OWC.
    Oh well that just helps to save me the cost of buying my RAM just yet.
    I refuse to pay much over $70 since thats what that configuration cost about 4 months ago. I'll buy when it comes back down.
     
  18. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    #18
    Crucial is still $85.99 at Newegg.
     
  19. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    #19
    not newegg.ca :mad:
     
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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  21. 53x12 macrumors 68000

    53x12

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #21
    Sorry to hear that. :(
     
  22. nicroma macrumors 6502a

    nicroma

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    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    #22
    I have noticed that my machine could use more RAM. When I get some more money I am going to upgrade to 8GB of RAM. Enabling Fast User Switching and having one user that has iPhoto and Photoshop open, and another user with multiple apps open, it eats up 4GB pretty fast. I am surprised at how much RAM iPhoto uses by itself.
     
  23. meirvin macrumors member

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    Sep 11, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    #23
    I think ram did go up I bought mine at J& Rs for 77.95 4 days ago went back to get the link to put in this thread and it had went up to 89.99
     
  24. gwhitta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #24
    I put an extra 4gb of RAM into my new i7 today to boost it up to 8gb and while I don't expect to see an appreciable boost in performance any time soon, I spent the whole time installing the RAM making Tim Taylor type grunts ("More Power! Gruh-gruh-gruh!") and that alone made it worth it for me.
     
  25. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a

    fruitpunch.ben

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    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    #25
    rofl.
    classic :p
     

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