How Much Ram?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aman88, May 10, 2019.

  1. aman88 macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2019
    #1
    First off, I am loving my new 2019 27 inch base Imac... I wanted to order more RAM, but could not decide the amount I need (going with crucial from Amazon) either 16 GB (total of 24 GB) or 32 GB (total of 40). I know the base model can take up to 128 despite what is posted on apple's website. I really just use the computer for home and office stuff, plus occasional games (right now just SC 2).

    Would and extra 16 GB suffice? I can get that for $97 as opposed to the additional 32 GB which is $179.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #2

    Suffice for what? In other words, more RAM does little for you if you don't perform activities that use it. I've been running 8GB since my 2012 iMac, and now in my 2017 iMac. I do about the same activities (home, office suite, occasional gaming incl. SC2) and have never needed to add more.

    What you want to do is bring up Activity Monitor and see in you consistently drive the memory pressure into the amber or red or experience long term performance degradation while the memory pressure is other than green. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your money.
     
  3. aman88, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019

    aman88 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    With SC2 running, battle net up, and chrome up so i can respond here it is showing a use of 6GB/ 8GB...
     
  4. Dave245 macrumors 604

    Dave245

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    #4
    The thing is it may show a higher amount of used, but some of that is cached. I believe what happens is MacOS keeps some memory back for most used apps and so on, so that the next time you open that app it loads faster than the initial first boot up.

    From what I’ve learned 8GB seems to be enough for the majority of people. MacOS is not that much of a ram hog, it’s more things like Chrome that eat ram. 16GB is only really needed if you plan to video edit long 4K videos or edit multiple high resolution photos.
     
  5. trsblader macrumors 6502

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    May 20, 2011
    #5
    Look at the memory pressure. An OS "using" all available memory isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    From https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201464#memory

     
  6. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #6
    So if SC2 is the most strenuous thing you do with your computer, it’s not even exceeding the 8GB of installed RAM. My guess is that most other scenarios like general home and office stuff rarely exceed 4GB or with consistently low memory pressure readings.
     
  7. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I agree with the other posters, in that for the time being, you would be better off with just the 8GB of DRAM that comes stock in the iMac until you notice if tasks are slowing down AND you can see that they are slowing down due to increased DRAM usage in Activity Monitor. Once you have some consistent causation between a slow down in the task you do everyday and memory usage consistently exceeding the base 8GB of DRAM, it just ends up money spent making Amazon/Crucial/OWC/et al richer without any real benefit to you.

    Also, unless you are REALLY straining things with 4K and up multi-cam editing in FCPX/Resolve/Premiere, editing huge RAW files, working with large data sets, heavy dev work or running multiple VMs at the same time, going past 16GB really does not net you as much as you are lead to believe.

    The flip side is that DRAM is incredibly economical right now, unlike last year at this same time when it was roughly 2x the cost. Hate to throw that caveat in there, but it is worth considering. That said, almost no one running the workload you describe needs more than an extra 32GB of DRAM, and in most cases, an extra 16GB would be more than sufficient. Good luck!
     
  8. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #8
    I added 16GB to my new (to me) 2017 refurbed iMac, for a total of 24GB. A little less than $100. Worth it to me as I tend to obsess over the amount of free RAM. I process most of my photos with the Luminar plug-in for Photos, so the extra RAM does come in handy.
     
  9. AlaskaMoose, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I purchased enough RAM for a total of 40GB. Maybe the extra RAM makes it easier for the processor, and the RAM caches on both a standalone CS6, and CCC Bridge can be larger.
     
  10. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #11
  11. cynics macrumors G4

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    #12
    I doubt you'd "feel" a performance difference much above 8gb with your workload. 24gb will be more than enough, even that will have a very low ROI. 16gb is a very safe spot for most people that don't have a specific need or piece of software that recommends more.

    Its your money though. If spending money on RAM only gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling that maybe it was worth it.

    Only time I think I would blind recommend maxing it out is if there was a HDD for storage. In that case having more ram allows the OS to cache more data for very fast re-opening. While no where near as fast as RAM Apples SSD's are fast enough to not make an excessive amount of RAM a requirement.
     
  12. mikey8811 macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2019
    #13
    I am in a similar boat. I just got the base 27 in iMac with 8 Gb of RAM. i use my computer in much the same way as you do.

    So far, I am not feeling any slowness. I still get the coloured spinning wheel, mostly from external USB 2.0 HDD's where I store all my media.

    I'll wait to upgrade the RAM if necessary and if prices drop tremendously.

    I'd sooner replace those USB 2.0 HDD's with SSD's or USB 3.0 HDD's but I need many TB's and that costs a lot more.
     
  13. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

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    #14
    I got an extra 32 and it has made a significant difference to my 2019 iMac.
    My personal feeling is that 8gig isn't enough to run the computer the way it should run, but it's enough to run it to a solid level.
     
  14. AlaskaMoose, May 12, 2019
    Last edited: May 12, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #15
    I would think t
    Perhaps there isn't a performance different, but some apps benefit from larger caches. For example CS6 used along Bridge, plus OneOne, and Nik plugins all use the allocated caches. But all depends on what you use the computer for, of course.

    Besides that, if paying over $2,000 for an iMac why not $100.00 more for RAM?
     
  15. Infinite Vortex macrumors regular

    Infinite Vortex

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    Mar 6, 2015
    #16
    Under "normal" circumstances with the uses of "normal" people you'll find 16GB RAM to be plenty decent. That said, macOS uses more and more RAM to maintain its fluidity of experience so while it doesn't "need" it the more you give it the better. And it'll only want more as OS versions progress.

    When I bought my iMac 5K late-2015 I felt that skimping on RAM after I have already upped the processor to an i7 and SSD to 512GB was sort of like putting re-treads onto a Ferrari so just bit the bullet at the time and went with 32GB (3rd party). Money well spent IMHO. macOS is constantly using half, or more, of it seemingly doing nothing.
     
  16. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    DRAM is the cheapest it has been in several years and suppliers are already slowing production of chips to push prices back up.

    Prices won’t be dropping “tremendously” anytime soon.
     
  17. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #18
    I agree. I have Resolve using 28gb of RAM (its limited too that) as I type this. That said, it would continue to use RAM as I drop clips in, screwed up deleted one, dropped it in again, etc etc regardless of how much I have, sky is the limit when working with certain size files.

    However like I mentioned, my post was based on the OP's usage...office stuff and sc2.
     
  18. AlaskaMoose macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Points well taken :)
     
  19. aman88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2019
    #20
    That’s where I bought the computer haha.

    Thanks for all the responses! I got an amazon gift card so I’ll probably order from
    there this time though...
     
  20. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #21
    It depends on what you're doing, what apps you are using and how often you reboot.
     
  21. cynics macrumors G4

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    #22
    He mentioned the apps he used but rebooting and type of storage medium used (PCIe SSD, SATA SSD, Fusion, etc) are also very important when it comes to "felt" improvement.

    My 2013 had an HDD from Apple. With 32gb of RAM and never rebooting it, it was VERY usable. The SSD is a massive improvement but if you can keep mostly everything cached in RAM with minimal disk use the HDD wasn't terrible.
     
  22. mikehalloran, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #23
    That you and others claim you never have to reboot doesn’t mean a thing. You aren’t everybody. Your experience is not mine at all.

    Memory leaks are a fact of life. Plugins, apps, browsers, certain web sites... It’s hard, sometimes impossible to know the sources.

    I log into 150+ sites daily over three monitors as part of my day job—fortunately, the same sites so a reboot and login takes about 45 seconds. This compares to nearly 110 seconds on my 2010 and over 20 minutes when it had the HDD still installed. One of my core apps uses a number of plugins and there are many complaints of RAM leaks. In short, when I had 24GB of RAM on board, I could count on my iMac freezing by the end of the day with well under 1GB free. I have tools that can measure this accurately. When I upgraded to 32GB, the freezing stopped... unless I didn’t reboot the next morning.

    My new (to me) used iMac Pro came with 128GB onboard. This let me run a little experiment: let's see how long I can go without rebooting. At the end of one day, I have 102GB free, 2 days—79GB and so on. The freeze now comes near the end of day 5. After a reboot and login I normally have a little more than 124GB free in the morning.
     
  23. mrvo macrumors member

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    Nov 16, 2018
    #24
    I aspire to freeze my 40GB system like you. Hats off at 128GB!
     
  24. cynics macrumors G4

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    #25
    I agree, it kind of goes without saying that my personal experiences only apply to myself. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise anymore then you meant to suggest your iMac Pro experience applied to everyone....

    However I was agreeing with YOUR comment that said "It depends on what you're doing, what apps you are using and how often you reboot.". If you don't reboot for a while you'll keep the RAM doing what its designed to do which is hold data from the SSD/HDD since RAM is infinitely faster.

    RAM will continue to fill until the data you are trying to put into it exceeds the amount of free space remaining in RAM. Then the least used data is purged, keeping the RAM filled with your most commonly/currently used stuff. It defeats the purpose of RAM if it didn't cache data and it had to load off the HDD/SSD every time.

    If it helps, you can narrow down a process you think has a memory leak in Activity Monitor and then directly check it with the leaks command in terminal with the process # ie. $ "leaks 1576". This is a ad ridden safari tab.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-18 at 3.56.53 AM.png
    0 leaks with 0 leaked bytes which obviously that varies and many programs do have leaks. Regardless its leaked memory is still associated with the process that called it and ending that process (closing Safari) releases that memory back to the OS.
     

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25 May 10, 2019