iMac Memory Upgrade: 2GB vs 3GB

aryan5886

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 12, 2007
2
0
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
 

motomac

macrumors member
Oct 19, 2007
49
0
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.
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,735
159
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.
 

Jimmdean

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2007
410
145
3GB total would be best and would make it much simpler to go to 4GB later on at some point.
 

Vapor

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2007
65
0
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.
 

theSeaHawk

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2007
28
0
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...?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
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...?
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).
 

theSeaHawk

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2007
28
0
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?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
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?
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.
 

ItsAddison

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2007
22
0
Dallas, TX
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.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
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'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? .
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.
 

theSeaHawk

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2007
28
0
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.
 

SteadyHand

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2007
12
0
New York
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.

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?
 

SteadyHand

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2007
12
0
New York
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?
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,
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,914
858
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.
 

aviddk

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2007
163
26
SW Oregon
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
 

SteadyHand

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2007
12
0
New York
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.
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.
 

RickT67

macrumors member
Jun 26, 2007
79
0
Maine
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
 

Big-TDI-Guy

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2007
2,606
13
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.
 

Similar threads

Replies
5
Views
378
  • vandrv
10
Replies
10
Views
666
  • beachmusic
3
Replies
3
Views
334
  • masucci2
5
Replies
5
Views
484
  • mdowl
15
Replies
15
Views
961
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.