Installing Extra RAM...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jji7skyline, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    How much will my computer get faster? I mean realistically? I already have 4gigs of RAM but if I were to install 4gigs more, would my computer be Significally faster? I thought the processor was more important for speed :/
  2. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Yes and no.

    RAM allows you to run more applications at the same time. The more RAM you have the more that can be allocated for applications that need it.

    To be honest; everything is important... Processor, RAM, HDD speed and space or SSD, graphics, and so forth.
  3. jji7skyline thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
  4. Texran macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Start up imovie, then Load up activity monitor and see how much Inactive, free memory you have left. The more you have to a point the better.
    Like Ice Dragon said, everything is important, but the easiest thing you can do at this point is to add some ram.
  5. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    iMovie might get a slight boost but it doesn't use that much RAM in the f
    irst place so I don't know I'd it would make a noticeavle difference. I know it ran fast on my macbook and it only had 2GB. Haven't tested in the iMac yet. If it were say After Effects or premiere though, there would be a huge difference.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Depending on how you use your machine, you MIGHT notice some difference, but it will not be significant. Like others mentioned, check men usage in Activity Monitor to get a feel for if you are maxing out now on men usage. If you are not seeing page outs now, upgrading memory will likely not make much difference.

    I went from 4GB to 8GB in my 2010 iMac and honestly I think I would be hard pressed to tell the difference in a blind test.
  7. QuantumLo0p, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Go to utilities and fire up Activity Monitor. Go to the System Memory button near the bottom and check you page outs. There should be very little to no page outs. Just remembered I'm in SL, not Lion. Hopefully it's similar.

    I went from 2GB to 8 and I'm not sorry at all. There are many users on my Mini, sometimes two or three logged in at the same time. Typically everyone is running Safari, iTunes and iPhoto and Mail. Sometimes even a *cough* mmo game *cough*. There is a lot that stays in ram as long as the system is not rebooted. Anyone can log in and fire up any app quickly. With how low the price is for 8GB I recommend it.

    If your disk is slow and you do not have enough ram then your entire system performance is slow. Such was the case of my 2010 Mini being bested by my ancient PowerMac in some aspects. Only after upgrading my Mini was it able to smoke the old beast. I did some file read/write tests to confirm it.
  8. JonasDK macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    RAM is so cheap nowadays and easy to install - just upgrade :) There is really no reason why you shouldn't.
  9. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    I'm running 16 gigs...

    I'm running 16 gigs and realistically it was one of the best things you can do to make your machine feel "new" again.

    Max it out and you'll notice a difference.
  10. jji7skyline thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    Sometimes iMovie is using up 300% of my CPU (according to iStat) so... RAM would make a slight difference?

    Also, would 256MB from a Compaq work?
  11. philipma1957, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    you need more ram you have a 2011 you can put two 4gb sticks inside of it. 8gb ram should end page outs.. here is a screen shot of my mac pro

    page outs are 0mb

    page ins are 436mb very good.

    of course it is a mac pro hex 3.2 and it has 32gb ram never runs out. i can go a month with no beachballs or any page outs at all.

    look at your page outs with 4gb ram if you have 10 or 20 percent it slows down your machine a lot then 8gb will help.

    if you have numbers like mine the problem is not ram.

    436mb in 0mb out great no ram needed

    436 mb in 100mb out bad need ram

    compaq 256mb is not worth using may not work at all.

    here is ram for your 2011 imac

    any of these will work if you need them.

    Attached Files:

  12. Texran macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
  13. Spike88, Aug 22, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Agree with many others...

    re: Load up the many apps and data files that one usually loads up (at the same time), suppress those apps in the back ground, and load up Activity Monitor. Look at System Memory sheet. Then, look at FREE (green) value. If this value is "consistently" below 500 MBs, then one needs more physical memory. Yes. One can focus on Page Ins / Page Outs ratios and other "disk thrashing" indicators. But when all is said and done, if FREE memory is "consistently" below 500 MBs, then one needs more physical memory. If Free memory is more then 600 MBs, then spend money on something else. re: Another external HDD or some other needed item. Adding more memory would be a waste of dollars.

    And yes, memory is cheap these days. If Free Memory value is around 600 MBs (or less), I'd buy more physical memory for it. Especially if you plan to keep your iMac for a long time.

    Remember... Don't buy more memory because in the PC/Windows world, their machine doing the same thing needs 6 Megs. Or, your buddy thinks it needs more memory. Only buy more memory if your iMac needs it (based on its "real world" Activity Monitor performance values).
  14. TattooPaul macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2011
    When adding RAM, if all chips are from the same manufacturer and size, they act as one unit. Multiple manufacturers and sizes will act as groups, waiting for one to fill up then switching the load to the next. Also - no need to pay Apple RAM prices. You want one heck of a jump? You can replace existing RAM and for $200 put in 4 4GB sticks and have 16GB of matched RAM that will smoke! I do much intensive imaging. That, audio and video will show the greatest gains. As time goes by RAM will be less important but right now, go for it...
  15. jji7skyline thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    So RAM from different manufacturers would be slower than using RAM all from Apple?

    Is this site ok?
  16. zarathu macrumors regular


    May 14, 2003
    According to this very site(, matched RAM might give you a slight increase, on the order of 3%. I think that's pretty steep for spending another 80 bucks on replace the apple RAM chips.

    So let me see, if rendering takes 180 seconds or three minutes, having matched ram will mean that it comes in at about 6 seconds faster. Yeah, thats smoking by my definition.
  17. jji7skyline thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    The website I posted above... it sells apple RAM I think... How's the price?

    Anyone know if its safe to buy from?

Share This Page