If you buy an 8GB iMac, can you still potentially upgrade to 32GB on your own?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Amnesiac1, May 8, 2011.

  1. Amnesiac1 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Will there still be enough slots left to upgrade to 12, 16 or 32GB?

    I was going to buy 16GB from Apple, but everyone has been telling me not to do this. I think I'm going to heed the nearly unanimous advice and simply go for 8GB and see how it is. However, I want to ensure that I can switch to 12, 16 or even 32 if I feel that I need to (however unlikely that is).
     
  2. Malcolm., May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    Malcolm. macrumors member

    Malcolm.

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    #2
    The 27" iMac has 4 memory slots total. Since you have 8 GB now, you have 2 additional slots still open. 4 modules of 4 GB each will get you 16 GB, so if you want 32 you'll need to find 4 modules of 8 GB each. 8 GB SO-DIMMs are very expensive and not very common (I don't think Newegg.com carries them, the most they have is 8 GB kits of 2 x 4GB).

    When they do show up, definitely get them from Newegg or a similar third-party site. The advice you got was sound, Apple's prices are insane.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    You can always upgrade to 32GB but that will require you to replace all the modules with 8GB modules as iMacs have only four RAM slots. Get the stock 2x2GB and buy 1x4GB from aftermarket. That leaves you one empty slot so you can easily increase it to 12GB.
     
  4. Hexley macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Go with the standard 4GB (two 2GB) and upgrade to 8GB (two 4GB) or 16GB (four 4GB) yourself.

    32GB right now costs $3,200 at most places. I would only go with this configuration once it costs $200-400.
     
  5. Macginger macrumors member

    Macginger

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    #5
  6. Malcolm. macrumors member

    Malcolm.

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    #6
  7. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #7
    That's an 8GB kit comprising 2x4GB DIMMS so two of those would fill all the available slots
     
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #8
    I'm pretty sure you need matched sets. You can't do three modules.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3918

    You don't have to use matched pairs. It's not 2000 anymore ;)
     
  10. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Out of curiosity to the OP; what are you doing that requires 16 GB of ram?
     
  11. Hexley macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I think he just wants to max out the memory and not worry about upgrading until much much later. :p

    If parts were cheap I'd do the very same thing.

    No computer is ever fast enough.

    If it wasnt so much i'd also slap in a 3TB myself and 240GB Vertex 3 SSD.
     
  12. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #12
    Ah, I'm thinking of something else :p hehe, good to know though.
     
  13. WickedStealthy macrumors member

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    #13
    Just bought 4x4Gb original samsung modules for 240 dollar.
    Same modules 4x8Gb cost you 2576 dollar ....
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

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  15. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

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    #15
    Well I certainly need more than 4gb. My iMac chokes on 4gb... and I was getting Kernel Panics when I had 12gb (2X2gb + 2X4gb) so I took out the two 4gb cards and am down to 4gb total but it's choking badly on video rendering or converting to iPad/Atv2 format.

    But 32gb is really really excessive... I don't think there is anything you could possibly run that could get close to needing 32gb of RAM.
     
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    #16
    It all depends on what you use the computer for.
     
  17. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Development.

    Want to work on a website backed by a decently-sized database, and have the web servers and development servers all running in emulation locally for testing, before you push to your live environment? You can obliterate 32GB of memory pretty quickly.
     
  18. sth macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Seriously, even the base iMac will do fine for that purpose.
    If you run the server in a virtual machine, just add 2x4gb yourself and you'll be fine, unless you want to run your database in a RAM drive.
     
  19. mrfoof82, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Not if you run a massive website. Or if you do what I do for a living -- data warehousing consultant (where dev servers have a lot more than 32GB, or are shared-nothing MPP clusters). Very typical for analysts running MATLab, Stata or SAS to have all the DIMM slots in their workstations filled -- which is anywhere from 16 to 64GB of memory.

    In 4GB densities, memory is $10/GB. There's no reason to not get as much as you can if you will use it. If 8GB SO-DIMM densities weren't close to $100/GB, I'd have 32GB sitting in front of me right now for my ordered iMac instead of 16GB.
     
  20. sth macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Do you want to use the iMac for development or use it as a development server for a whole workgroup?

    If you run a server which is accessed by multiple users at once, you want massive amounts of RAM so the database system can cache the whole db in memory for optimum performance.

    If you're only a single developer using the machine, it doesn't really matter much because there's simply no workload for the DB server most of the time.
     
  21. sanity macrumors member

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    #21
    I have issues with the 6GB in my current iMac. Mainly it is when I have a Windows Parallels virt running. It is nice to give those virts enough space to operate but then that leaves no space for my other memory hungry apps like Firefox (what a hog!), iPhoto, and iTunes. If I don't shut a bunch of native mac apps down during a Parallels session my computer starts paging like crazy. I ordered 8GB in my new Mac which I think is a good base, but I will upgrade that.
     
  22. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #22
    Like the OP you just wasted money.

    You just paid $200 for $95 (or less) worth of memory.

    Instead of adding your own 8 gigs of ram and ending up with 12 gigs, you paid $200 for 8 gigs.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/iMac/2011/DDR3_21.5_27
     
  23. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    #23
    You can but its not recommended because of the performance loss
     
  24. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #24
    Wheres your proof.
     
  25. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #25
    The 1x4GB would run in single-channel, thus cutting the maximum memory bandwidth into half.

    The loss is minimal though, only 1-2%, and that is just for the 1x4GB. The other channel would still run in dual-channel.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehalem,2057-13.html
     

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