i7 4GB - should I upgrade to 8 or 12GB??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Evargo, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Evargo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    #1
    Hi - I just bought a refurb i7 2.8 with 4th ram... Hopefully a good futerproof computer!!

    Anyway was wondering if I should upgrade the ram?

    The options are getting 2 x 2gb from OWC for $100 to make it 8gb.

    Or getting 2x 4gb making the total 12gb costing $200. Actually can you have 2 x 2gb and 2 x 4gb in the same Mac or does each module need to be the same size?

    Or I could just leave it at 4th for the time being.

    I will be using my Mac for photo and movie editing, some games on bootcamp, etc..

    Is the upgrade worth it?? Will I see a big difference in performance??

    Thoughts please!!!

    Thanks heaps!

    Would rye
     
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #2
    Just get a one 4gig stick and see if you'll need an extra 4gig stick later on.
     
  3. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #3
    Adding RAM will never yield a performance increase unless your running out of it in the first place. From your description of usage, I would safely say you'd see no difference.
     
  4. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #4
    Sigh

    You upgrade the memory in LIKE pairs not singly or you WILL have problems.
     
  5. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #5
    Not really. Since when?
     
  6. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #6
    How do you figure?
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    Well, both photo and video editing suck up some serious memory, so I'd recommend the upgrade to at least 8. The idea of just buying one 4GB stick and adding another if you need it isn't a half bad idea either. Just check your memory usage, and if you are consistently using 75% or more of your memory, or have a lot of page outs, then you should probably upgrade. More RAM doesn't necessarily mean faster, but more certainly won't be slower, so you can't hurt it there. Plus you'll likely need or want more in the future.
     
  8. Jazwire macrumors 6502a

    Jazwire

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    #8
    Very Happy I went with 12, once it comes down in price more , I'll prob go 16. (6-9 months)
     
  9. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #9
    This is not necessarily true, at all. If your working on multiple projects at once, then sure. Otherwise... you won't see any difference.
     
  10. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #10
    I suppose it does depend on how heavy duty it is. If it's light photoshop or hobby-type iMovie editing, then no, that doesn't use a lot. But once you get into numerous layers in Ps and heavy Final Cut stuff, especially HD video, you'll want more.
     
  11. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #11
    Almost all programs scale in memory usage with the more amount of ram put into the computer, so that can't be bad either.

    I have 8gigs of ram on my computer, and I even find myself getting minor amounts of page outs when working on my 10k resolution digital paintings in just photoshop elements. I could only imagine what CS5 will do once I get it. Browsers tend to eat up ram over time too (up to 2gb), but that can be solved with a simple restart.

    That's not true at all. Having 3 sticks of ram properly placed just means you have a dual channel configuration + plus an extra stick of ram.
     
  12. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #12
    Sigh

    I'm told for proper dual channel operate you need to do pairs.

    2 GB = 2 1 GB sticks
    4 GB = 2 2 GB sticks
    8 GB = 2 4 GB sticks
    etc

    Even Apple's documentation indicates you shouldn't boot one of these with just a single stick of memory in it.

    Well, get what you want and knock yourself out but don't blame me if it doesn't work correctly. I've read numerous threads here of guys trying to add one memory stick to the existing two and running into hanging or freezes.
     
  13. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #13
    I don't think this is true. Programs use the ram they need.
     
  14. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Indeed...

    A program that uses more RAM just cause it's available is a terrible idea :p
     
  15. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #15
    The worst case scenario that should happen would be your motherboard defaults back to single channel memory configuration, but that simply just isn't the case with most boards.
    http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-011965.htm

    I installed a PAIR of 1066mhz ram to my current iMac and still get hangs from time to time.

    Hence they sometimes scale in memory usage with more ram. I've seen firsthand examples of this with monitoring memory usage on multiple mac computers through the years.
     
  16. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #16
    Really? Like what programs? I've been using Macs for 13 years, upgraded my ram several times across many models, and never one time has this happened, and I monitor my Ram as well.
     
  17. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    Nov 5, 2009
    #17
    The big culprits for me were safari, iTunes, photoshop and iPhoto.

    When my current iMac only had 4gigs of ram in it, my ram usage after a good solid day of my average workflow would be roughly 3gb ram used/1gb ram free. Now with 8gigs of ram, my ram usage after average daily workflow is 5gb ram used/ 3gb ram free.

    I remember the same happening for my old G5 iMac. Memory usage for safari after an evening's use would be around 400mb. When I went from 1gb of ram to 2gb, ram usage of safari after a day's use would be upwards of around 900mb. I never did anything drastically different to the workflow either.
     
  18. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #18
    I think you maybe confusing inactive memory with memory that can't be used. Inactive memory is a cache that OS X manages that allows things to be reopened or loaded more quickly. The OS can reclaim this at anytime, so its basically as good as free memory. It is possible that with more free memory OS X was just creating a bigger cache. This is the only explanation I can offer though, I've never seen behavior like that on my Macs.
     
  19. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

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    #19
    No I never count inactive memory. I even have inactive memory set as free memory on iStat menus.
     
  20. wjlafrance macrumors 6502

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    Madison, WI
    #20
    I have a stack of DDR and DDR2 I use in various PowerMac G4s, which all came with no RAM. I haven't had a single RAM-related issue by mixmatching manufacturer or size.
     
  21. ias2010 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2010
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    MI
    #21
    Chrome is best on mac too, browser take very few system resources.
    I think 4 GB is OK RAM 8 GB should be good for photo and video applications.
    i upgraded my macbook from 2GB to 4 GB, when i got Imac i put those 2GB (1066 ddr3) in empty slot so i have 6 GB now, both machines use same RAM, Imac is running good, right now i don't see spending $100+ for extra 2GB.
     
  22. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    #22
    Ah

    A PowerMac G4 isn't going to care but something like a G5 (which DOES require matched pairs of like type) will.
     
  23. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

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    #23
    Thats only because the G5 had a 256 Mb memory bus and the ram at the time was only 128 mb per dimm.
     

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