How much performance increase can I expect by going from 4 GB ram to 8 GB ram?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by WizardHunt, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. WizardHunt macrumors 68000

    WizardHunt

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    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    #1
    I am going to change my iMac's Memory from 4 GB to 8 GB. I have the March 2009 version of the iMac. 3.06 Ghz, ATI Video 4850, and so on. I would like to know in everyone's opinion how much of a performance gain I could get?

    This is the software that I use that may be memory dependent, PhotoShop CS,
    Final Cut Express 4.0, Other Video Editing software, I also use Handbrake to convert my presently owned DVD's into a iphone format, would that convert any faster or is that only a processor factor?

    Any and All opinions are welcomed.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    You'd probably notice a performance increase, but the tasks you mention are more CPU-oriented.
     
  3. slicecom macrumors 68020

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    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    You should keep an eye on your RAM usage (easy to do with iStat). If you regularly exceed your 4GB of RAM in memory usage, you'll notice huge performance increases. If not, you won't really notice any.
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #4
    If your VM usage is high, then you will notice a speed bump, however, if memory is not your bottleneck, you might not notice much improvement.
     
  5. pionata macrumors 6502

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    #5
    If you don't know if you need 8 gigs of ram there is good chance you do not need it. Honestly, I don't think you will notice any difference with the applications you are using - it will not process faster.

    Only people doing professional Music, Video editing or 3d rendering really need over 4 gigs.
     
  6. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

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    #6
    Yes, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro really eat ram, you'll feel the performance increase
     
  7. pionata macrumors 6502

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    #7
    While they do eat ram to a certain extent, unless your a power user working on multiple 8000x8000 images or 20 tracks video projects there is no way you'll need more than 4 gigs.
     
  8. tucker3434 macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2009
    #8
    When I open every available application, I'm using 3.8gb of ram. The extra 4 probably wasn't worth it for me. It all depends on what you do I guess.
     
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    Check to see if your computer has any page outs, a page outs mean it's forced to use memory from the hdd rather than the ram, which is a very inefficient process.

    I'd say if your page outs are below 5% or page ins, then you shouldn't have to upgrade ram right now.
     
  10. mabaker macrumors 65816

    mabaker

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    #10
    It’s actually very ironical cuzz once you’ll get 8 GB, the OS will adjust to that and will fill up the whole RAM accordingly.
     
  11. WizardHunt thread starter macrumors 68000

    WizardHunt

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    #11
    How do I check for page outs?
     
  12. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #12
    The Activity Monitor application on your Mac will show you that info.
     
  13. Nihilvor macrumors member

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    Jan 25, 2010
    #13
  14. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    Seattle
    #14
    Those benchmarks show that 8GB is definitely better than 4GB, with 16GB not being worth the money at this time. Since you can upgrade to 8GB on a 2009 iMac for less than $100, it's a no brainer if you ask me...
     
  15. aki macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    just repeating but yes, extra ram is a nobrainer if you are doing final cut

    (or photoshop i gather not that i use that much)

    do it
     
  16. WizardHunt thread starter macrumors 68000

    WizardHunt

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    #16
    Just to update you on the reason why I want to upgrade, is for now I want to enjoy the extra ram on my imac 3.06 Ghz March 2009 version, which can only be maxed out at 8 GB. However I plan to buy another iMac and this time it will be the 27" Oct 2009 Quad Core and I will order it with the 4GB x 2 option leaving the last 2 ports empty which I will then remove the 8 GB from this iMac that i upgraded with and put back in the original 2 x 2Gb (4 GB) since my wife does not need the extra ram and I can then put in the extra 8 GB into the new iMac and have 16 GB ram with my Quad Core iMac I7 and it will be cheaper to do it this way. I may even order the new iMac with only 4 Gb ram and buy 8 More GB from OWC for $359.99 instead of upgrading with Apple for $600.00 thereby saving me even more money.

    Later on I plan to buy Final Cut Studio but I am using Final Cut Express 4.0 for now. Then I should be able to take full advantage of the Ram increase and the Quad Core iMac. Opinions? Am i crazy? Or Smart like a Fox? Boy did I open myself up for that one! :D
     
  17. zaaria macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    #17
    I have a late 2009 27 imac with 4gb originally, i´ve upgrade to 8gb.
    I don´t notice any improvement. Same improvement than before the upgrade.

    I use final cut, aperture, parallels, visualhub and others common applications (safari, mail, itunes)
     
  18. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

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    #18
    Now downgrade to 4GB and you'll feel the difference
     
  19. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    District of Columbia
    #19
    Open up activity monitor and see how many page outs you have. If you have a lot, then getting more RAM will speed up your computer noticeably. If you have only a few or none, then the extra RAM will make no difference at all.
     
  20. Ecoh macrumors 6502a

    Ecoh

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    #20
    CS - CS4 will only use up to 4 GB RAM, the about to be released CS5 will use up to 16 GB RAM. I don't know about the other programs.

    If you upgrade to the latest versions of software, I think you will be more likely to see a difference with more than 4GB RAM.
     
  21. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    Among the starlings
    #21
    That's per app, not overall. Two CS apps open at the same time can use 8GB. And that's not including the memory used by the OS and any other apps you have open (browser, mail, iTunes, whatever).
     
  22. WizardHunt thread starter macrumors 68000

    WizardHunt

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    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    #22
    Here are my monitor readings.

    VM Size: 120.58 GB............. Free: 5.78 GB
    Page ins: 506.4 MB............ Wired: 527.7 MB
    Page outs: 372 kb............. Active: 942.6 MB
    Swap used: 2.3 MB......... inActive: 803.2 MB
    ....................................... Used: 2.22 GB

    This was taken with PhotoShop CS3, and Premier Pro CS3 opened at the same time. and I think I also had Word opened as well as Safari opened.
     
  23. tiggger macrumors G4

    tiggger

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    Feb 19, 2010
    #23
    can u post where u have found where u can upgrade a 2009 iMac from 4gb to 8gb for less than $100? thanks...
     
  24. rtjstevens macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Sheffield + Bath UK
    #24
    but how about Windows7 ?

    Has anyone found an upgrade from 4 to 8gb to benefit the running of Windows7 under bootcamp?

    BW

    RTJ
     
  25. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Location:
    Sacramento
    #25
    Moving to 8 gigs of ram is about $110, just do it. Not sure why you wouldnt.
     

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