Importance - Processor or RAM

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by julienko3, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. julienko3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    #1
    Hello. I'm thinking of getting a 24" iMac and I'm looking at refurbished ones. What is more important...
    Getting a 2.4 Gigahertz with 2GB of RAM
    or
    Getting a 2.8 Gigahertz with 1GB of RAM

    I'm wondering because I can upgrade either if possible.

    Thanks
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    1st choice: RAM
    2nd choice: RAM
    3rd choice: RAM
    It might possibly be different if you were comparing 2GB vs 4GB RAM, because many may not use as much as 4GB. It's highly unlikely you'll fail to use every bit of 2GB.
     
  3. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #3
    It depends a lot on your budget, and what you're going to be using it for. Obviously a 2.8GHz processor with 4GB of RAM will give the best performance, but of the options you've listed I'd choose the first (if upgrading afterwards was not possible).

    2.4GHz is plenty for normal computer use - I'd want at least 2GB of RAM though. Like I said, if we know what you're planning to do with it and what you can afford I'll be able to give you a more definitive answer.
     
  4. bengal85 macrumors regular

    bengal85

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    RAM Because higher amounts of ram will run your programs quicker and it will make up for a low processor. if you go with the processor your programs will take longer to run.

    You can overclock a processor not RAM
     
  5. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

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    May 8, 2006
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    Englandshire
    #5
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean :confused:
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    5045 feet above sea level
    #6
    lol not on a mac you cant.......software wise like pc's i mean


    and on pc's you can oc the processor and ram so i dont know where you are getting your info lol
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #7
    can you really not get the 2.8 and 2 gigs? i mean ram is so uber cheap these days that i dont see it as much of a big issue tbh

    becasue of that, out of the two, id get the faster computer and upgrade the ram as soon as you can
     
  8. highjumppudding macrumors 6502

    highjumppudding

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #8
    you can always add ram later. and it is cheap and is getting cheaper every day. there is no benefit to buying the expensive apple ram. i used to work there. just make sure the specs and the manufacturer says the ram is compatible with the apple computer and you're golden. also, make sure the manufacturer offers a decent warrant, most are 5 years or lifetime warranty. ram usually doesnt go bad either.
     
  9. julienko3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    #9
    And how much is RAM from somewhere besides Apple? The difference between those computers is $350, and 2GB of RAM is cheaper than that, right? So I was thinking just get the 2.4 and be done or get even more RAM.

    Where would you get the RAM, and approx how much would it cost?
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #10
    Seems like a total no-brainer to me. You cannot (easily anyway) upgrade the processor in an iMac yet the RAM is not only easy to add on your own, it is dirt cheap these days (as the poster above mentioned). I paid less than $100 total for the 4GB.

    Shortly after buying my mid-2007 24" iMac with 1GB I bought 2x2GB sticks of cheap 3rd party RAM and it has been humming along happily with it for the past 14 months.

    I'd go with the faster CPU. ;)
     
  11. julienko3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    #11
    Alright. I guess that does make it a no-brainer.

    Another question:

    The only specified difference between the two is the processor and RAM yet the difference is still $350. Does this $350 sound right for only .4 of a Gigahertz?
     
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #12
    Geebus, some of you are on some of the funky crack rock.

    Buy the 2.8Ghz with 1GB of RAM. Then upgrade your RAM elsewhere (it's much cheaper). Processors are insanely harder to upgrade (if at all possible) and more expensive. With RAM, you go buy a couple of modules.

    I also could be mistaken, but I don't think a lot of you understand how computers work. The processor actually does the work, but RAM is a very fast type of memory where processes can be stored or executed by the processor. Cache is the fastest (and most expensive) type and will speed up the processor the most. If you want proof, look up "Intel Celeron." It's in the dictionary under "POS."

    The thing is all of this is kinda moot depending on any given system or software. Every computer has a bottleneck at some point, and you basically want to make your bottleneck as far away from your everyday stuff as possible. I have 2 GB of RAM and I have never seen my iStat meter say it's completely used up, no matter what I do. But when I run HandBrake, it will suck up all the CPU it can. If I try to watch a video doing that, it sometimes gets choppy. HandBrake will do this no matter what, but the more CPU you have, the better.

    Getting to the point, always get as much CPU as you can afford. RAM can come later.
     

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