How much RAM for iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aware, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. aware, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    aware macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi, i'm looking for iMac 21 2013. I use Chrome and Xcode mostly. Is 8GB ram enough or do i need 16GB ram if i currently have 4GB of page outs and 680MB of swap used in my MBP with 8GB ram? How much ram will you choose?
     
  2. keigo macrumors regular

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    Nov 6, 2006
    #2
    I currently have 24gb ram on my 27" iMac late 2013 and I'm still facing page out..

    look like 32gb ram is the way for me.
     
  3. \-V-/ Suspended

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    #3
    ?????



    OP: What will you be using the iMac for?
     
  4. keigo macrumors regular

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    #4
    handbrake, photo editing and those normal usgae
     
  5. \-V-/ Suspended

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    #5
    How much Ram for iMac?

    I'd go with 16 GB... especially if your photo library is gigantic. 8 GB would get you by just fine, but RAM is cheap.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #6
    You can't upgrade RAM in the 21.5" after purchase (actually it's possible, but it's almost impossible to open it up).

    Go for 16GB.
     
  7. aware thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    How do you replace the hard drive in iMac?
     
  8. \-V-/ Suspended

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    #8
    How much Ram for iMac?

    By bringing it to Apple or an Apple-certified tech. It's a pain in the butt and isn't worth doing it yourself. It requires using suction cups to remove the front panel glass, among other things. iMacs have never been particularly fun for this task. On top of all this, if it's a newer Mac, if you try using a third-party hard drive it will cause the hardware test to fail: http://tuaw.com/2011/05/12/owc-replacing-main-hard-drive-with-third-party-is-not-an-option/

    There are ways around it, but they're also a pain. Apple is going to great lengths so you won't fiddle with the insides.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    8GB should fine, but for peace of mind, maybe 16gb
     
  10. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    #10
    I have opened all of my apps on my iMac (8Gb of RAM) and it was only using 50% of RAM resources. Plus, RAM pressure has never went past green.
     
  11. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #11
    Go for 16GB. Not worth regretting down the road that you wish you had done it in the first place. On the 21" iMac it is darn near impossible to do it later.

    As for HDD replacement, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple just replaced the iMac if it was under warranty rather than replace the drive. Especially for the new iMac's.
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #12
    It cannot be done. There are no 3rd-party PCIe blade SSDs for the iMac available yet.
     
  13. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    This is extremely out of date information. You do not need suction cups any more, you just need a guitar pick (cheap) or the official cutting tool ($10) to cut the tape holding the display on. This takes about 10 minutes. Replacing the screen requires fresh double sided tape that can be bought from anywhere (cheap) or from ebay/another supplier for the official Apple pieces (a few dollars).

    The internal layout is simple and elegant and uses standard torx screws and is easy to work on.
     
  14. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    It depends on how long you're going to keep the Mac for. My last iMac last me 5 or 6 years. As I couldn't foresee memory requirements that far out when I bought the 2012 model, I played it safe and got the 16. If you're only planning on keeping it two or three years, you could probably get by with less.
     
  15. \-V-/ Suspended

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    #15
    Yeah, just looked at iFixit. Thanks.
     
  16. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Agreed. I've been using this strategy since the mid-1990s with Windows and then Mac.
     
  17. jaxhunter macrumors regular

    jaxhunter

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    #17
    RAM pressure? That is more of a concern when surfing the intertubes for Lolcats, I think...
     
  18. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

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    #18
    RAM pressure is a concern for everybody. Green indicates you are not pushing the system RAM, amber suggests the RAM is being tasked and exhausted, and red suggests the RAM is full and the system need to write to disk. With me having over 80 apps open at one time, the RAM pressure was still green with 8Gb for me, it never touched swap, and it hadn't even got to the stage of clearing App Cache/compressing RAM. The only way I see someone using more than 8Gb of RAM (even in the next few years) is through the use of VM's. I truly cannot push my system RAM over 50%, with everything open, or exporting a very complicated 1hr 40m video that once exported was 10.5Gb.
     
  19. jaxhunter macrumors regular

    jaxhunter

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    #19
    I get what you're saying I just have never heard it referred to as "pressure". Utilization, bandwidth, throughput, sure, but not pressure. Typically only fluids can be pressurized whereas electrons and data cannot.

    Mostly, I was just trying to make a joke using the reference of the Internet being a serious of tubes designed for the delivery of Lolcats.

    A point of clarification though: the computer is almost always writing to the disk cache it is just doing so at a much lesser degree sometimes. It doesn't show as a degredation to system performance until the writes exceed the flow capacity of the disk cache. Prior to that point the system never has to wait for the data to be writen or read from the disk cache and so performs at optimal speeds. Once you exceed that bottleneck then you will experience slowdowns as the system waits for space in the disk cache.
     
  20. nzalog macrumors 6502

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    #20
    You don't know how computers work, don't give advice.

    Paging is not an accurate indication of not enough ram. The kernel puts some things in swap no matter how much free ram you have. Yes, swap is generally for virtual memory when you are out of memory but it's not the only purpose. As others have mentioned memory pressure is what you should be looking at.

    ----------

    Depends on what you plan to do with it, I went with 16GB because I regularly run multiple VM's and memory is the most important thing those require to run smoothly. For xcode and chrome 8gb should be more than enough.
     
  21. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #21
    Interesting, and entirely unsurprising poll results. :)

    Yes, the iMac is not entirely non user serviceable, but do you really want to risk voiding Apple's warranty in order to save a few dollars by doing that annoying surgery on a brand new machine?

    I'm personally reserving that for when the AppleCare runs out on my own iMac and I upgrade the PCIe SSD in a few years.

    I got my 27" iMac with 16GB from Apple so that when I upgraded to the full 32GB there was nothing to remove/replace. If the 21" had the user-accessible RAM compartment like its big brother than it would be a no-brainer: Buy with 8GB and update the other 8 on your own.

    I'd go with 16GB. I don't believe in too much RAM. The need for RAM is only going to increase in the future and it will also increase the resale value of the machine if you ever decide to sell it.
     

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