Is 32GB enough RAM?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jtcedinburgh, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. jtcedinburgh macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    Crazy though it sounds, I'm hovering over the 'buy' button on a refurb iMac Pro (8/32/1TB). I'd been holding back for the rumoured 2018 hexacore i7 5K with 1TB, and realised that the jump from that to the refurb iMac isn't as massive as I'd thought, and there are reasons which I won't bore you with which make it a case of purchase this week or don't purchase at all (for a good while anyway). I looked at the new Mini, but its lack of discrete GPU and unproven performance put me off, and adding an eGPU adds about £600, not to mention the 5K screen. You can see how you can talk yourself around to these things!

    Price aside - and let's assume I've made my peace with the price - is 32GB going to be enough RAM for general photo editing (24MB RAW), occasional video editing and ad hoc other stuff? Is the 'swapping' to the dualled SSD storage fast enough to make all but the most memory intensive operations run just fine?

    It's overkill for my current needs, I know, but I'm thinking of a machine to keep for at least 4 years and want some future-proofing.
  2. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    32GB is loads for even RAW photo editing. It’s also a very generous amount for occasional video editing too. The only reason to go 64GB is if you are looking at heavy video editing eg RAW video on 4,6 or 8k projects.

    If your only editing 4K in something compressed like mp4 then 32GB will give you loads of headroom.
    The iPad Pro does 4K 60 multiple stream editing on only 4gb of ram. Although that’s a highly optimised environment it gives you an idea of what you can do with 32GB
  3. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    It's not too much. The only way you're likely to need more is if you use a lot of plugins.

    Asking here is not going to give you the best answer. Find the user groups for the applications you intend to run.

    BTW, you can upgrade the RAM in these. It's just expensive, parts and labor, plus it voids the warranty if not done at an authorized Apple service center. It is a service that is offered, however.
  4. jtcedinburgh thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    Thanks folks. I'd heeded the advice to look into the 2017 5K with similar spec, and, because there are no refurbs available with decent sized SSDs, the difference in price (UK) between the base iMac Pro (refurb) and the 5K i7 was around £600. The quieter operation, extra two cores and (much?) better GPU has won me over. Yes, it's overkill, but it will do everything I want it to (I am sure).

    Today's been an expensive day - an iMac Pro *and* a new iPad Pro. I need a beer!

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3 October 30, 2018