is the problem the cpu or the RAM????

Discussion in 'iMac' started by austinlallen, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. austinlallen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    #1
    Hi!!!

    iMac 27" core i3 4 GB of Ram

    I have a question
    While on my iMac normal tasks such as browsing the web sometimes safari crashes if i have 3 or more tabs open, and video editing is very slow when working with final cut pro x, gaming performance is acceptable in windows

    Perhaps a RAM upgrade will boost the speed or get a faster cpu


    Ive read that nowadays RAM means more to performance than the CPU is this true????

    Thanks
     
  2. s.horsfield macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
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    Depends. Open Activity Monitor and check your page ins/outs - this should be under something like "Memory Info". If you have more page outs than in you need more RAM. Btw this will only work after a normal few hours use (if you restart the page in and outs resets and if you have been working in RAM heavy apps the number will be abnormally high)

    Hope I could help :)
     
  3. s.horsfield macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
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    Also with 4GB RAM your Mac should be handle almost anything, I don't think you"ll need an upgrade
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    RAM usually has more impact on performance for most users, because most users rarely probe the limits of their CPU's capabilities.
    That's not accurate. You will always have page ins. Page outs will never be more than page ins. To determine if you need more RAM, first, restart your Mac. That resets the page ins and swap used to zero. Then, under normal use, launch Activity Monitor and look at the System Memory tab at the bottom. If page outs and swap used are high (more than 1GB) under normal workloads, you may need more RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  5. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #5
    Austin

    GGJstudios post is right on the money. Check your Page Outs and if they are significant, you are getting periods of RAM shortage. In fact, any non-zero number says you ran out of RAM at some time, but we can generally tolerate some Page Outs. Especially if it's to an SSD!

    In my experience with 3 Macs in the house under Snow Leopard, 4 GBs of RAM is not enough. Your mileage may vary, of course, but given you want to do video editing, I'd be surprised if you are not seeing significant paging when in 4GBs.

    I suspect that it will be cost effective to add 8GBs to your Mac (depending on model) and make any RAM issue go way for a long time. That's what I did with my iMac, and I see only small amounts of Page Outs.

    If I was to choose between having a CPU that is slow or insufficient RAM, I'd go with the CPU limitation. Insufficient RAM puts a load on CPU and I/O.
     

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