Is 1GB RAM enough for an iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bchaplin, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. bchaplin macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006
    So, after a lot of deliberation, I've decided to buy a 20in iMac. But one very strange thing I discovered: (1) Having 2GB RAM installed in the store is QUITE a bit more expensive than doing it online. Like, $500 versus $158. :eek: Yes, I've confirmed this numerous times. (2) Buying third party RAM is not that cheap, either, at least right now.

    I don't want to order the computer online because arranging delivery would be too difficult. I just want to go the store and pick it up. But if I do that, I'll get a stock iMac with the standard 1GB RAM. If I upgrade, it won't be for at least a few months, and then only if RAM prices go down.

    Is 1GB enough? I will sometimes be using the computer for database work (very large Filemaker files), but generally will be only playing music, viewing photos, and other fun stuff.
  2. supergod macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Why would arranging delivery be difficult?

    1 Gig of RAM will get'er'done for the things you are doing. I have 1 gig of RAM and except for the occasional problems my comp is fine for running some fairly intensive audio stuff (and it's "only" a G5). Your computer will still feel fast for a while and will hold it's value very well. In resale the extra RAM will not add anything to the value. While some people might dismiss this as unimportant, one key thing to remember with macs is that the resale is high enough that you can pretty much just sell your computer every two years and upgrade to a new model or better yet, a refurbished model for minimal cost and get a much larger boost in performance than through RAM.
  3. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006

    Arranging delivery is difficult simply because I am not home during the day, and I don't feel like shipping it to work and lugging the thing back on the train. (My neighbors don't make a lot of money, and I don't want to shove my shiny electronic toys in their face by asking them to accept delivery.)

    I think your advice is good. I could always upgrade the RAM in a year or so, too, if I change my mind.
  4. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    You can get by with 1GB if you're running only Intel-native apps. FileMaker, iTunes, and iPhoto should have you covered based on what you say you'll be doing with the machine.

    If you start getting into using PowerPC apps (Office 2004, Adobe Creative Suite) under Rosetta, you'll want that 2GB of RAM.

    I don't think RAM prices are going down any time soon. They were very low earlier this year, but demand is catching up to supply, or the big DRAM manufacturers are cutting back on supply.
  5. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Just to follow up... I got the 20in iMac with the standard 1GB RAM yesterday, and it seems GREAT so far. I suppose it's worth mentioning that my points of comparison are a G4 Cube (remember those?) that I'm using at work, and a 800mHz 12in G4 iBook that was my home computer. WOW! This is MUCH faster for me than anything I've had so far. I think satisfaction with computer speed might partly be a function of a person's expectations.

    Plus, I LOVE the screen and the new mouse. Front Row, too, is very cool.
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I would just go with 2GB, and to ake up for the cost, just make someonthing else on the computer cheaper, like downgraded video card for example to save money if its important.
  7. dan-o-mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    The 20" iMac doesn't have an option to downgrade the video card.
  8. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    My previous 20" intel duo core imac had 2gb's of ram. My new intel core 2 duo came with the stock 1gb and it still feels faster. I think 2GB is worth it, but the 1GB is plenty fast. It is fast enough that I am waiting for the price of the memory to go back down before I ugrade it.
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Folk are sure fussy about their RAM.

    I've been using iMovie, Logic, Garageband, FCE, Adobe Suites on my 12" PowerBook with just 512mb and have been just fine. Sure theres a little stuttering but I could still edit a 3 minute HD video, work on truly giant Photoshop and Illustrator files just fine (with an external 20" display of course). 1gb would be fine. You have a powerful machine there.
  10. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    OS X will limp along with 2 gigs. You really need 3 gigs to get any work done. 1 gig isn't even enough to launch Safari.

    (Just kidding! But if you're working with large datasets you will appreciate 2 gigs. That seems to be the sweet-spot at the moment.)

  11. ripfrankwhite macrumors regular


    Dec 13, 2005
    Just max it out. Spend it now, you wont regret it. Even if it hurts, it will be worth it.
  12. bchaplin thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006

    That was me -- the original poster -- in the middle of the thread. I did go with the standard 1GB. Even opening large relational databases, this computer seems reasonably speedy compared to what I had before. And I have the huge screen and the new mouse, which are both productivity enhancers. I'm happy with my decision, and thanks for all the varying opinions! I will upgrade if the RAM prices dip again, but this set-up will keep me happy for a while.

Share This Page