iMac Ram Upgrade Options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kingsR, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. kingsR macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2011

    I recently purchased a new iMac with the following spec:

    3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    1TB Serial ATA Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

    I didn't go for the larger RAM from Apple because it is ridiculously expensive and would prefer to install some myself.

    However, I am trying to find out if it is better to have fewer RAM with a higher spec on each as apposed to more with a smaller amount.

    For example: 2 x 8gb = 16gb or 4 x 4gb = 16gb

    Would there be any noticeable difference, especially when heavy use in Adobe programmes. The price being a lot cheaper for 4 x 4gb.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It shouldn't matter. 4x4GB might actually be faster since you get two dual-channel setups, although it's negligible in real world.
  3. Macknife macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    I would not buy the 2x8Gb RAM. It will cost you $1600. If you do 4x4GB you will only pay $115 to $120 for 16 GB RAM. This was the reason I returned my Top of the line Macbook Pro for the Top of the line iMac 3.4Ghz 27". I was not willing to fork out an additional $1600 to have portable rendering.

    As for adobe you will see a big increase if the program is designed to use multiple processors. I know After Effects benefits greatly. With the stock 4GB of RAM it only uses 2 cores, you have to tell it to use multiple processors in the preferences. to unlock all 8 cores you need 16GB of RAM. I did a video render with 4GB of RAM and it took around 9Hrs. With 16GB it did the same render in 5Hrs.
  4. BrutusMaximus macrumors member


    Jan 26, 2011
    I just got RAM from OWC, 2X4GB ($75 and lifetime warranty) to add to my stock 2X2GB for 12GB. To get 16GB was $150, and then waste the 2 that came with the iMac. The way I see it was that from 4GB - 12GB big difference, 12GB - 16GB not that big of a difference.

    For the money I saved, I upgraded my Macbook Pro to 8gb, and turned around and used the stock 4gb and dropped in my wifes Macbook (which only had 2GB) :D
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd suggest either the 4x4GB or just adding 2x4GB for 12GB total. It's half the cost, and is plenty of RAM for the vast majority of apps, including adobe stuff or virtual machines.
  6. reckless2k2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Are you talking about the preferences from within After Effects or do you mean somewhere in the Mac System Preferences?

    I'm confused about this unlocking. I thought the cores are unlock period.

    Would you please explain?

  7. krisdr, Aug 26, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

    krisdr macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2011
    Which RAM did you bought for $75? Can you give me the link?
    Does it matter that you have bars from 2GB en 4GB in one machine? (speed decrease)
  8. Texran macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    I always buy memory in matched pairs.
    It may work pairing 2-4 GB with OEM memory for 12 GB total. The ideal setup is to have memory from the same manufacturer, with the exact same specs (timings, and voltage requirements for example).
    Why spend so much for a smoking computer, and then get frugal on the ram.
    You can buy 16 GB of good ram for less than 80 dollars.

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