iMac with more than 4 GB of RAM

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ajbrehm, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. ajbrehm macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #1
    Can a (currently available) iMac use more than 4 GB of memory? I am wondering if the limit is enforced by hardware or if more memory is merely not officially supported but might work.

    Also, what do the rumours and expectations say about the next series of iMacs?

    Frankly, if it were possible to put more than 4 GB of RAM in an iMac I would buy a new one immediately. I currently have a 2007 iMac Core 2 Duo 1.16 with 3 GB and a 2004 iMac G5 1.6 with 1 GB. I find the mac pro too expensive, especially considering that the standard configuration only comes with 2 GB of memory.

    I looked into Sun (Intel-based) workstations as an alternative to run Windows VMs.
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    Why not buy a windows workstation to run VMware VMs?
     
  3. ajbrehm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2002
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    #3
    Don't like Windows.
     
  4. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #4
    But you said ...

    What were you going to run on the Sun boxes? and you are running Windows VMs. Or is this not a really major part of your work-flow?
     
  5. ajbrehm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #5
    The Sun box would run Solaris and xVM (Xen).

    The Windows VMs are for work (Visual Studio, MSSQL) and .NET/Mono development. But I wouldn't want Windows to run on the metal. I only need it for certain applications.

    I have nothing against Windows per se and like the Windows server system, .NET, and Visual Studio. But for everyday use I prefer Mac OS and for a computer running VMs I would prefer Solaris as the metal OS as I found it to be very stable and robust, more so than Windows or Mac OS.
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    Yes, up to 6 gb.
     
  7. notquiteanewbie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    #7
    Doesn't the memory controller support 8GB? I'm really hoping someone can test this but the cheapest configuration of 2x4GB DDR2 800 is like $700 right now.
     
  8. Passive101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    #8
    Spending that type of money for a system like an iMac seems a bit ridiculous IMO. Is there anything that you have where 6GB will work better then 4GB? If there is then go for it, but if not I would stick with 4GB and put that 700 dollars towards a new computer in the future which can better use that memory.
     
  9. notquiteanewbie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    #9
    I agree, $700 is ridiculous, though that price will come down over time. A solid state drive would offer better performance but of course the prices for a 3.5" SSD are also pretty sky high and the capacity is lower.

    Lets also not forget this is an iMac, certainly isn't the most upgradeable system around.

    So to recap,

    ssd hard disk - price is too high for most, at this time

    2x4gb ddr2 800 - price is too high for most, at this time

    processor upgrade - perhaps, certainly possible, depending on your current system, I'm not sure if you would see a huge benefit. I don't think I would with my 2.6 core 2 duo

    Snow Leopard - If what I'm reading is true, you should see some performance gains
     
  10. durija macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    If you get 6GB of RAM to actually work in an iMac, let us know. I've seen this discussed on other threads, yet no one seems to actually have done it.
     
  11. desantii macrumors 6502

    desantii

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    #11
  12. jf8 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    #12
    I have an iMac with 4 GB of RAM and am considering upgrading to 6 or 8 GB of RAM so I can better run VMs in OS X. However, I run into performance problems because the memory I have is not being efficiently managed. On average, 2.5-3.0 GB of my RAM is in use by loaded applications, yet OS X eventually pages some of it out without any apparent reason, thus decimating multitasking performance.

    I tried disabling swap; with about 3GB of memory actually being used by running processes, the system eventually stops allocating memory. It turns out that OS X has no out-of-memory handler like Linux or Windows and will eventually just stop responding.

    I suspect that my workload would not have the same performance issues if I ran Windows 2008 or Linux on the same hardware.

    What's so special about Sun hardware? Would you use xVM VirtualBox (where there VM runs as a process on the host like VMware Workstation - not like Xen) or xVM Server (Xen based, but apparently not yet released and optimized for server use, not desktop use)?
    If you're going to access the VMs over the network, why not use one of the free hypervisor-based VM systems (Hyper-V, ESXi, or XenServer)? All of them will work on cheap desktop hardware if you buy the right stuff and have excellent performance.
     
  13. ajbrehm thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2002
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #13
    Sun make excellent hardware and, like Apple, sell hardware combined with their own operating system. I like getting everything needed to run the thing from one party.

    I guess I would use xVM/Xen, given that I would likely access the Windows VMs via RDC anyway.


    Cheap desktop hardware is the sort of thing I am trying to avoid. Turns out more expensive hardware is not much more expensive anyway and it's one of the reasons I am a Mac user.

    So I would buy Sun hardware anyway.

    Why not Hyper-V or other Xen-based systems? Because if I have the Sun hardware I can also run their version of Xen and with Solaris I am also getting an excellent server OS.
     

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