Does more RAM mean faster iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jaathan, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. jaathan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #1
    Planning to max out the RAM on my white intel iMac because its a bit sluggish but would you notice a speed boost from 1GB to 3GB of RAM?

    Thanks
    Nathan C.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    Only if you need more RAM ...

    The RAM will stay at (5300/6400 MB/sec) versus the times when you don't have enough an have to wait for something on the HD at (50-75 MB/sec).

    Matching RAM, dual channel, latency, etc. aren't as big a boost as putting in enough memory to reduce the pageouts to a manageable level.
     
  3. 150hp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Door County, WI, USA
    #3
    Yes, go for it. I maxxed out mine & see much less of the spinning beachball.
     
  4. jaathan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the reply, i dont get the beach ball very often but its usually the minor hiccups/slowdowns in expose and dashboard. I'm planning on getting more RAM because its common for my iStat Pro to show like Free: 13 MB :confused: thats when everything begins slows down.
     
  5. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #5
    The memory usage of OS X is setup to cache recently used files in memory, so you can show a lot of memory usage that consists of unused cached memory.

    After you start a Mac you will see memory usage climb even when apps are closed. The system will free memory from the cache for active use as needed.

    Keep a closer eye on "Swap used" under system memory of the Activity Monitor. That will give you an indication if you are running short of real memory and the system is using the HDD to page VM. I have 4GB in my system and leave it on 24/7. My "Swap used" as of today is 19.7MB. My iMac is used to record movies from EyeTV, convert them to MP4, Movie editing via FCE and runs both Windows XP and Vista in Fusion. The fact that it is on all the time means that the "Swap used" is not reset for weeks, so at some point I forced the iMac to use up most of its 4Gb and resort to page swapping VM. Probably when I installed and ran Vista the other day in Fusion.

    I checked my wifes Mac Mini for "Swap used". It's only got 2Gb RAM, but she uses it pretty much only to check email and surf the web. Its also on all the time. She had a Swap Used of zero.
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    If you're using parallels, you need the full 3 gigs. At least, that's my experience on my jayleno imac.
     
  7. gehrbox macrumors 65816

    gehrbox

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Charleston,SC
    #7
    I agree. If you are using Parallels or Fusion to run windows you will want to have no less then 3GB. You can run it with 2GB, but it really does bog things down.
     

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