Is 4GB of RAM overkill for my new 24 inch imac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aneftp, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #1
    I was going to get a total of 3GB of RAM on my brand new 24 inch imac 2.4gz intel core 2 duo.

    However, I brought a 2x2GB from OWC (macsales.com). I was going to give one 2GB stick to my brother to put into his new Santa Rosa Macbook so he would have a total of 2.5 GB of RAM in his Macbook and I would have 3GB.

    After going to the apple store, it was not recommended for my brother to have mismatched memory modules in his Santa Rosa Macbook. So now I am stuck with 4GB of RAM plus the one GB of RAM that came with the iMac.

    I installed the 2GBx2GB of RAM and also tested it with 2GB +1GB of RAM. Honestly I could not tell the difference. The machine, while it launch programs much faster than the originally 1GB RAM that came preinstalled going from 3GB to 4GB did not make too much of a difference.

    Do you think it would a difference to have 4GB if I were to run Windows Vista with Parallels vs 3GB.

    Will Vista be faster with 4GB if I were to install it via Boot Camp?

    What if I installed just Windows XP with either Boot Camp or Parallels. I do minimal video editing.

    Memory is so cheap these days anyways so I doubt I am going to return the 4GB of RAM. I might craigslist my spare 1GB for cheap and at least recover my overnight shipping costs!
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
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    San Francisco
    #2
    Dude, keep the RAM. 4gb is never overkill. Never.
    One day you'll need it (probably in the year 2010 or so).
     
  3. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #3
    a) Mismatching pairs doesn't make much difference.
    b) I would keep the 4GB now you have it
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #4
    This is crap advise having more ram is better than having matched modules. I am running my SRMB with 2.5GBs of ram. Give any spare ram to your brother.

    Having 4GBs will imporve performance when running parallels as you can allocate more ram to the virtual machine. It seems you have tried testing most things anyway so why not this?
     
  5. f1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #5
    RAM is pretty damn affordable if you don't buy it directly from Apple. Buy 4 GBs for yourself and your brother!!:D
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    go with your original plan and give one stick to your brother. 3 GB will be more than enough for you, and the mismatching won't be a problem whatsoever for him.
     
  7. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #7
    Re: Is 4GB of RAM overkill for my new 24 inch imac?

    No.
     
  8. aneftp thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #8
    Thanks guys. I think I will keep the 4GB of RAM for myself!

    However, I feel like I was mislead by the Apple store manager about the Macbook memory. I know a lot about computers (PC's) but haven't played too much with Mac's recently. I was led to believe that mismatched RAM on macbooks would cause a 6-8% decrease in memory performance and it may lead to system failure.

    I think my brother is going to order 4GB of RAM for his macbook since's it's $99.99 on OWC now! Memory keeps dropping.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    Whoever told you about the mismatched memory, they are wrong. Yes, mismatched memory runs very slightly slower. However, _more_ memory will be faster. For your brother, the advantages of 2.5GB RAM will far outweigh the disadvantage of mismatched memory.

    Of course if he orders another 1GB chip then you can have 4GB in the iMac and 2GB matched memory in the MacBook. Without that, he can have 512MB + 1GB mismatched memory, which will still be faster than 512+512MB matched memory.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    Mismatched memory will most definitely not lead to system failure. It works just as well as matched memory, just a bit slower. And I wouldn't be so sure about the 6-8% decrease in performance. That may be the case for benchmarks that test memory performance, but in real life applications he difference will be a lot less.
     
  11. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #11
    I have 2GB with my 24" iMac. I wasn't going to bother putting 4GB in, but with RAM getting so cheap, I just might.

    If I'm not playing games or running Windows, though, I wonder if it's even worth it.
     
  12. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #12
    If your brother has an SR macbook he should have a 1gb stick no? Or are they still shelling out 512 sticks?
     
  13. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #13
    Still 512, hence my setup of 2.5GBs.
     
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #14
    he makes a good point, if you plan on using the imac like 3 years from now then it will come in handy. It will also save money. DDR2 is almost as cheap as its going to get right now, and ram does NOT get cheaper with age, only popularity. Which means that 3 years from now when youll need extra DDR2 ram its going to cost a fortune since its not popular anymore (just look at the absurd prices for SDRAM). A ton of ram will make old computers perform at acceptable levels in modern day applications. 4gbs is not very useful today but it will be useful later, so you might as well get it while its still cheap, if you dont plan on using the imac for very long then 4gbs isnt that useful.
     
  15. aneftp thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #15
    Yeah, my usual life cycle for desktop computers is about 2-3 years before I give it to a family member. Laptops usually last me 2 years exactly before I give it away. My family members (IE my older sister and another brother) usually just need a basic computer and the extra RAM can extend their computer lives a couple of more years. I gave my sister my 2 year old MAC mini and she loves it because this was an upgrade for her Pentium 3 computer that was purchased in 1999 and she's not poor....she's in the highest tax bracket...she just needs basic functions for her computing needs like emails and internet surfing.

    I agree 4GB for about $100 is about as cheap as it's going to get for DDR2 memory. It's better to have more RAM than less RAM.
     
  16. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a

    wyatt23

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    Forest Hills, NY
    #16
    you can never have too much ram!
     
  17. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #17
    Bought 4G for 79 bucks.....now it 65 bucks......
     
  18. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #18

    Yes, memory is so much cheaper compared to the rest of the machine that it isn't even worth talking about. Might as well max the memory out so you can take advantage of what is possible. When I was looking for memory prices for a friend, I almost thought it was a mis-print.
     
  19. nhexima macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    #19
    As everyone else said, keep it. I have a 6-year-old PC right now, and it could cost over twice as much to upgrade it to 4GB as it would for a current iMac! Crazy. New programs tend to keep needing more RAM as time goes on.
     
  20. desenso macrumors 6502a

    desenso

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    May 25, 2005
    #20
    I don't know though... 4 gigs? Sure it's cheap, but I think it's overkill for most people.
     
  21. atl27426 macrumors member

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    Nov 7, 2007
    #21
    I was always under the impression that mismatched ram on the Macbook was a problem because of the share memory for the GPU. Not an issue for the iMac or MBP because they have dedicated GPU's.

    At least this is what Apple has always printed when it comes to the Macbook that the ram had to match due to the shared gpu memory.

    Never had that issue because i've always owned a iMac or MBP
     
  22. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #22
    I know it's been said a ton, but...

    Absolutely not. I just got 4GB of RAM from Newegg for an amazing price -- $60! I installed it last night, and holy crap. This is just the low-end macbook, but between the opening and running of Logic Studio with 1GB of RAM as compared to 4GB, and how much better it is with 4GB, I would say nothing is overkill. With more RAM, not only are you prepped for the future, when more RAM gets a bit more standard, but it also makes a world of difference in your current performance. My Macbook went from a logic studio loading time of about 30 seconds, to about 10, when I installed the RAM. I'm aware that RAM doesn't make your computer faster, but Logic is a pretty CPU intensive app and it had to draw on the virtual memory big time before for me to run it, so when I upgraded, it works much faster. So, again, no. Keep the RAM, maybe even up your brother to 4GB if he needs it, but it's definitely worth it; especially if you're running any cpu-intensive apps. It makes a world of difference.
     
  23. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #23
    Could you, or someone, link to the product page for that over there? I can't figure out which one I need.
     
  24. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    Berklee College of Music
    #24
  25. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #25
    OWC will buy your RAm from your iMac....

    Didn't you see on OWCs website when you bought your RAM that you can trade it in to them? Don't know what the trade-in price is now since RAM has dropped so low.
     

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