How much RAM?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bluedoggiant, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    2GB vs 4GB, i make movies, surf the net, edit photos, make websites, listen to music, Garageband, and will have parallels do play PC games, which is better for me? me problem is playling flight simulator X, it needs alot of memory, so if the graphics card has 256MB, and 512MB is required for gaming, after it takes up the video card memory, will it start to take from the regular ram? help me out on this, so answer that question, and tell me if i shud have a 2 or 4GB, also, 2.4 or 2.8Ghz, sorry if ur confused!!!
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Get as much RAM as you can afford, however, don't get it from apple. Get it after the fact from a 3rd party vendor (I like for a fraction of the price
  3. blueicedj macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2007
    I'd say 2gb with 2.8 ghz can always upgrade the memory later if you need to.
  4. johnmcboston macrumors 6502


    Sep 16, 2005
    I disagree. Apple will give you 2x1GB, so if you ever upgrade, you'll have to 'throw away' a DIMM. I'd say go with standard 1GB, and get 4GB upgrade for around $270 and fill that baby up.
  5. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    how big of a difference does 1.5 gigs of ram have?

    Right now I will have 1.5 gigs of ram installed on my new iMac but Im thinking of getting a 2gb stick for a total of 3gb of ram instead

    the computer I have right now is pretty fast is the change that noticeable or should I just wait it out for a bit so the ram prices drop a bit more before I buy?

    I reposted this from another thread since it applies more here...(the question that is)
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Look at Activity Monitor and see how much free and inactive memory (blue and green) you have when doing your usual things. If its less than 25%, then you may benefit from more RAM. Also look at the page ins/outs ratio, it should be greater than 10:1 otherwise, again, more RAM would help.
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I have one of the orignal Intel iMacs, with 2GB RAM. I use it for the same things you do, and more (webapp dev with Apache and Tomcat running, DVD ripping etc) and usually I don't see many page outs, showing I have enough RAM. But, when I run Parallels my RAM usage goes way up.

    If you must run Parallels a lot for some application that runs only in Windows, or are thinking of using Photoshop, get more RAM. But if you're just firing up Parallels maybe once a day for a couple of hours for some casual gaming (you're not going to be able to do any hardcore gaming), 2GB should be enough.
  8. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    You can always sell the 2gb. Also, OWC have a trade in program where they give you cash if you give them your original ram. You would get $50 for 2x1gb.
  9. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Whenever RAM discussion come up I like to provide the link to our MacRumors Guide on the subject.

    In general, always go with a trusted 3rd party who provides guaranteed Mac-compatibility and a good return policy.

    As for the OP's situation, I would recommend going with 4 Gb. No matter what, you're going to have to dispose of some of the RAM Apple pre-installs at some point... as teflon indicated, you can always get something for your old RAM - even if it's not much, it's better than nothing.
  10. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    The other guy was right. Think about it. If you get the 2.4 24" from Apple with 1GB, vs. upgrading to 2GB from Apple is a $150 price difference. You can order a 2GB stick for $135 from OWC. Not to mention shipping is $4 vs. paying tax on the $150 to get only 2GB from Apple. 3GB this way is then $25 cheaper than 2GB through Apple.

    Then look at the 2.8 24" from Apple comes with 2GB RAM. If you configure the $1,799 model and up the CPU to 2.8 and the HDD to 500, it comes in at $150 less than the $2,299 stock 2.8 model because you get 1GB not 2GB RAM. Same thing, get 1 2GB stick from OWC for $140 or 4GB for $275 shipped. That's only about $115 more to get 4GB than to get the stock 2GB model from Apple.

    I ordered a 2.8 24" with a 750GB HDD and 1GB of RAM and a BT MM when they were announced. Before tax $2,319. I also ordered 4GB RAM from OWC before prices went up for $234 shipped. When I figured in the $150 savings plus the tax on that, it cost me barely $73 more to get the full 4GB than it would have to get the same machine with 2GB from Apple.
  11. BrittQ macrumors regular

    May 23, 2007
    Do you have to have matched pairs of ram? Or can you have the 1g from Apple and put in a 3rd party 2g? Does dual-channel apply here? I'm new to upgrading ram...
  12. JoshFink macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    From what I read on Crucial you don't have to have matched pairs because they are not dual channel.
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Wrong. All Intel Macs support dual channel.
    All Core XXXX Macs also support mismatched RAM, at a small speed penalty vs, matched RAM

  14. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    I'm just afraid the ram I need will be discontinued in the future as I wait...
  15. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    there's no way you will be able to play the flight simulator from parallels.
  16. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    everyone considering getting ram NEEDS to do this: Get iStat pro in your dashboard, run the computer for a day or two with normal usage, and look at your page in/outs. You'll always have alot of page ins, but pages outs, how many do you have?

    If after a few days of use you have gathered up a few 10k outs, you are probably low on ram. If it's a few hundred, you are probably fine.

    My iMac with 1GB got about 300,000 outs in just 1 night of work... def needed more. My Mac Pro with 5GB has 2.7 million ins and zero outs... so I haven't hit my disk in nearly a week.
  17. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    "All Intel Core Macs will run with mismatched RAM, at the loss of the dual channel speedup. These Macs can run a 3 GB configuration (1 GB + 2 GB), which on average can be faster than a 2 GB matched pair if you are using heavy programs like Photoshop that can benefit from the extra 1 GB"

    I got the above from a does that mean that if you have mismatched ram it just barely runs as fast as a lower amount of ram but that ram is a matched pair?
  18. phytonix macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    Is the restriction of 3GB on former iMac because of hardware?
    Can't they unlock it to 4GB with firmware update?
  19. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Hardware limitation of the Napa platform chipset.
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    If you look higher on that page it says that Dual Channel gives an average 6% - 8% speed up.

    So if you go mis-matched, then you lose 6% to 8%. But then *depending on the programs you are running* having the extra 1 Gb RAM may more than make up the loss.

    If you only use less than 2 Gb of program and data RAM, then it'll be a bit slower, because you wouldn;t be leveraging the 3 Gb.

    But the times when your programs and RAM exceed 2 Gb, the machine could be quite a lot faster, because you are avoiding PageOuts to the hard drive.

    Y'know, I thought I saw someone link to the
    earlier in this thread, maybe even twice....

    Seriously, please read the thread, people -- the answers have been given -- much as I like repeating myself, this is the 20th time I have posted the same info.

    Good advice Sean: Couple of things: You don't need iStat, the same PageIn/Out information is in the Activity Monitor: System Memory.
    The number of PageOuts isn't as significant as the ratio of PageIns to PageOuts. You are ideally looking for a 20:1 ratio (PageOuts at 5% of Ins, or less). If you start exceeding 10%, that means it is time for more physical RAM and/or reducing multitasking, background processes and (ahem) Dashboard Widgets.
  21. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
  22. teflon macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2007
    You can still get ram for the G3s, so I wouldn't worry not being able to buy ram. The price might change, but you would still be able to get your ram.
  23. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    I was think of going with 4 gigs as well since I do a lot of multitasking and often run Parallels at the same as several apps in OSX. I also wouldn't mind maxing out the RAM for bootcamp for better performance... 1 gig just isn't cutting it.

    What RAM did you end up going with?

    I'm looking into the OWC 2x2GB RAM: World Computing/53IM2DDR4GBK/
  24. J33p86 macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2007
    My thoughts

    I just ordered a 15" macbook pro 2.4/160 HDD 7200/2GB to replace my black macbook which also has 2GB. I've already decided on maxing out my RAM through OWC later myself, but I just put my macbooks 2GB to the test to see how far it can be stretched.

    I opened every application in my dock which includes some heavy apps like photoshop, aperture, and final cut studio as well as lighter apps like itunes, pages, imovie, etc... until I had every app that I ever use (a few more than 20) spread out in expose. This just barely maxed out my RAM and I started to see a low number of page outs in activity monitor and the only noticeable slowdown I found was in photoshop while everything else ran smooth and normally.

    My conclusion is that for 98% of mac users, 2GB is more than substantial, but I'll pay the $230 after rebate from OWC for bragging rights anyways!

    Macbook 2.16 / 160 HDD 5400 / 2GB
    Macbook Pro 15.4" 2.4 / 160 HDD 7200 / 4GB
    46" Samsung LCD 15,000:1 / 1080p
  25. joesenior91 macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2007
    I'm currently using my mum's iBook G4 with 512mb of RAM, but i'm gonna get the new iMac pretty soon and this computers fine for my mum, i've been using this all day, surfing the net, listening to itunes etc. nothing too heavy, apart from maybe the 20 or so firefox tabs i have open. I checked activity moniter to see the page in/outs and i was socked to see that i had 500,000 page ins, and a whopping 355,000 page outs! thats a 10: ratio! lol. Also i was wondering if it would be worth getting the whole 4 gigs of ram for the new iMac, i'm considering just getting 2 and keeping the 1 gig it comes with. i could easily upgrade later.

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