iMac Memory Upgrade: 2GB vs 3GB

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aryan5886, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. aryan5886 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #1
    I just got a new 20" iMac (2.0 C2D) and want to upgrade the memory. I currently have added 512mb to the empty slot, but have wanted to increase the memory beyond that.
    My question is how much more of a benefit would it be for me to purchase a 2GB(3GB total) DIMM over a 1GB(2GB total) DIMM?
    I am going to install Vista through bootcamp once I receive my copy of Leopard from apple. I will also be running Vista through VMWare virtually. I understand that 3 is better than 2, but do I need 3gb to run Vista virtually???
    Thanks in advance
    -Andrew
     
  2. motomac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #2
    Bumping up to 2 gigs (1x1) is a great idea, and should suffice for your immediate needs. However, jumping up to 3gigs (2x1 with the 2 gig chip being in slot 1) or 4 gigs (2x2) will allow you full use of the 667Mhz data stream for loading and unloading the chip'd data, which will result in a very happy and lightning fast experience!:D

    Once you hit 2 gigs of total ram, you will notice a good size speed boost and the ability to have more than just a few apps open at the same time. If you go higher than 2 gigs, you are allowing yourself to really experience the fuller potential of the machine, cause your letting it catch its breath.

    Its similar to adding a cold air intake and a nice high flow exhaust system to a vehicle. Your letting it take more in and expell more out, resulting in a boost in effeciency and performance.
     
  3. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #3
    I've used my aluminium iMac 2.4 GHZ with 1 GB, 2 GB, and 3 GB of memory.

    1 GB was not as bad as I thought it would be.

    2 GB was amazing. Very nice in everything, except VM Ware. My system woudl slow down, when using VM Ware.

    Then I went to 3 GB.

    Now VM ware doesn't really show down the system at all. I give 1 GB to XP, and I keep 2 GB with Mac OS X.

    Now I don't use VM Ware more than once a week at most, but when I do it runs really nicely with more memory.
     
  4. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #4
    3GB total would be best and would make it much simpler to go to 4GB later on at some point.
     
  5. Vapor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #5
    For the money 3 gig is the way to go. There is only a 4% increase in speed and a Much higher price. Each meg after one you get great increases in speed but the fourth is not much at all.
     
  6. theSeaHawk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #6
    Would going up to 3GB be introducing unbalanced memory? I know the NAPA-based system (which is what I've just ordered will only recognize/use 3.3 or thereabouts, but should one worry about a 2+1 configuration, go to 2+2, or...?
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #7
    Having enough memory is much better than not enough.

    Doesn't matter what speed increase dual channel offers, it is nothing compared to the Virtual Memory manager speed anchor. Though, the performance benefit of 3.3 dual channel vs. 3GB single won't likely be noticed anywhere but the wallet -- unless you are running GMA950 video.

    ---

    As far as running Leopard, I'd say 3GB is enough. Since I've seen pageouts on my machine at 2GB since the Leopard upgrade (something I didn't see under Tiger).
     
  8. theSeaHawk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #8
    Not quite sure I understand the main part of your reply... I know more is better but if I go 2GB in slot 1 and 1GB in slot 2, is that introducing an imbalance or is imbalanced memory something different?
     
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #9
    You are looking for more memory than you need...

    As long as the memory is recognized, and doesn't cause errors ... you are fine.

    If you do not have enough memory, it resorts to using the HD as extra memory, which is at least 100 times slower than RAM.
     
  10. ItsAddison macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #10
    I was going to come on and ask this exact question! The only difference is that I have a White 24" iMac, not one of the new ones. The white ones don't have that convenient slot to upgrade memory do they? I currently have 2 GB of RAM and am finally getting close to reaching my limit when I have Skype, iTunes, Spaces, Dashboard, Mail, Safari x 4, and activity monitor running. In other words, life is good :cool:

    None the less, I'd like to go ahead and upgrade to my max of 3 GB if it isn't too complicated. Where do I buy this memory stick? What does it cost? How do I physically install it? Your help with this matter is GREATLY appreciated. I'm still fairly new to the Mac world and so I'm not completely comfortable with everything.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    Err, yes, the white 24" iMacs do have a convenient upgrade slot, same as all Intel iMacs.
    You can install a 2 Gb SODIMM because your machine is a Core2Duo

    Apple.com:Support:search "Install iMac RAM"

    MR Guide to RAM has information on RAM and buying advice.


    SeaHawk - "imbalanced" RAM is not a problem, a 1Gb + 2 Gb installation will work fine.
    You will lose the 6%-8% performance advantage of Dual Channel access (compared with 2 x 1 Gb), however the extra 1 Gb RAM usually nets out to a greater performance benefit than you are losing.
     
  12. theSeaHawk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #12
    Thanks, got it now.:)
    My white 24" iMac shipped early this AM from Rancho Cordova
    and I'm headed over to Crucial to buy the new sticks.
     
  13. SteadyHand macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #13

    Hello Moto (couldn't help myself),

    I received my first Mac, an iMac 24" and immediately placed a 2 gb memory stick in the empty slot. Do you recommend that I switch the larger memory stick? Will I see a difference?
     
  14. SteadyHand macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    BUMP. Is there a difference placing a larger stick of ram in the vacant slot or should it be moved to the primary slot?

    Thank you in advance,
     
  15. ascender macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #15
    More memory = good.

    Especially in these days where its so cheap and is available for a fraction of the cost of what you've spent on the machine itself.
     
  16. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #16
    There is no primary. Both slots are equivalent.

    PS: Bumping posts are not allowed here.
     
  17. aviddk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    SW Oregon
    #17
    Is there any way to tell the memory configuration without opening the bay? I have a Core2Duo 20" 2.16. I *assumed* the machines were shipped with two 512 Mb simms. BWDIK? TIA

    avid
     
  18. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #18
    Go to 'About this Mac' (top left) and look under memory.
     
  19. aviddk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Location:
    SW Oregon
    #19
    Alex,

    I checked there first and saw 1G 667 MHZ DDR2 SDRAM. Does that mean it is a single SIMM? TIA

    aviddk
     
  20. SteadyHand macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #20
    I agree with you Ascender. My question is specific to memory stick placement. Should I have the 2gb stick in the first slot. Is there a performance boost connected to the placement of the larger memory stick.

    I upgraded and placed the new 2gb stick in the empty slot.
     
  21. RickT67 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #21
    I just ordered my 4Gigs from macsales... can't wait to get it from the posts I've been reading about the speed increase. For $159.99 I think it's a decent deal. I got the OWC version. At this point I will be happy knowing that it's maxxed out on Ram, and that's that. :)
    IMHO....Max it out, and have fun with it. Then you aren't thinking about what if I got that extra gig or not... :D
     
  22. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a

    Ice-Cube

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #22
    I've got 3 gigs in my Al iMac and its fast! I dont think I'll ever need 4 gig in the near future, seems like bootcamp can only recognize 3 gig max.
     
  23. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #23
    On my 20" 2.00 White CD Imac the jump from 512MB to 1024MB was very noticeable, running Tiger alone.

    On my 24" 2.16 White C2D imac. When I had 1024MB the machine ran fine - but under heavy usage, it would bog down. Especially running Parallels with just 256MB dedicated to that OS.

    I upgraded to 1.5GB (one 512MB stick, one 1GB stick) and noticed a decent improvement overall, especially with Parallels (even with 512MB dedicated to parallels).

    The jump from 1.5GB to 3GB - Honestly, I never noticed any real performance increase. (with Tiger)

    With Leopard on my 24" imac and 3GB, I seem to be having better luck than most with the transitions and effects. (spaces is fluid and does not lag, expose is smooth, only the 3D dock could be jumpy - which I promptly disabled) Now bear in mind, it also has the Nvidia 7600 GPU - not sure if that has any significant bearing with Leopard.

    I have not tried running Leopard with less than 3GB, so cannot say for sure.
     

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