Just added RAM to new Retina iMac and yikes, what's up?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imanidiot, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. imanidiot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    Hi all.
    I ordered a new Retina iMac in December with the basic 8GB RAM, and would add RAM on my own. Added 8GB, all installed and recognized fine. However I have not experienced the performance bump I was hoping for. I am doing exactly the same things I was doing before, but there is no noticable speed bump, and I still get the spinning beachball too often for my liking. I find it hard to believe that, for what I do (surf, email, iPhoto, create text documents in Pages) that 16GB is insufficient. What might I be doing wrong? I do tend to keep several apps open at once, and 8-10 tabs open in Safari. Did I simply not add enough RAM? I was led to believe that 16GB of RAM for most (i.e., non video editing) purposes would be more than sufficient.
    Any insights would be most appreciated.
    I've enclosed a screenshot to help explain.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #2
    Well... First off, you aren't going to see any significant performance gain from simply adding more RAM. Secondly, if you are seeing the spinning beachball often, then there's something else going on that's creating a problem. I doubt it has anything to do with RAM. Check you activity monitor for programs/applications that are hogging the processor.
     
  3. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #3
    Free memory is wasted memory, so OS X tries to use as much as possible. This is normal for Macs with a large amount of RAM.

    Also, it's a common misconception that more RAM always equals faster. This is in fact not true. Only tasks that filled up the RAM before and required the addition of virtual memory will speed up.

    Edit: As already mentioned, the beachball is most likely caused by something else. Does your iMac have a Fusion drive or SSD?
     
  4. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #4
    That sounds wrong. I currently have just 8Gb (8Gb more on order) and I almost never see the spinning ball. I use Photoshop, and surf and have several tabs open, also email and iTunes). I had 16Gb (returned 8Gb as it had a bad sector) and I literally couldn't fill up the memory (I really tried as I was trying to see if I needed 24Gb).

    So - if you're seeing the spinning ball, my guess is that something else is the issue. I really have no idea what and I know I'm not helping with this, but if your Mac is working as it should 16Gb is MORE THAN ENOUGH. Even 8 is quite fine.

    I know people here order 24 or 32 gigs just to run Safari, but trust me - for the things you mentioned, 8Gb is ample and 16Gb is, in fact, kinda overkill. So, again, the ball is not because of RAM. Perhaps you have something running in the background, or something is wrong with the hardware (did you do the Apple Hardware Check?)
     
  5. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
  6. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Look at CPU utilization in your activity monitor. Set it up to put the largest CPU utilization % at the top of the list and see what app is using the most. This will probably be what is causing the beach balling - not the amount of memory you have.
     
  7. N2bnfunn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #7
    Well I have a iMac Retina and I went from 16 gigs to 32 gigs, and I see A Major difference, I can load PS cc in less then 5 seconds..
     
  8. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #8
    I'm sorry, but loading time of Photoshop (or any other app) has nothing to do with RAM.

    The only situation where RAM helps is if your app is already loaded in it. That would mean loading it into memory by starting the app for the first time (and this first time RAM doesn't do anything to affect loading time) and then keeping it in memory as long as possible (OS keeps it cached in RAM even if you close the app, as long as there's space for it available). So, 32Gb can help keep the app cached in memory longer, but in reality, you're not going to see any difference unless you exit Photoshop and then open a lot of memory intensive apps.

    And besides, Photoshop takes about 5 seconds to load from an SSD (or SSD portion of Fusion Drive) even if it's not cached in memory.

    32Gb will not make your Mac run faster in day to day tasks or open apps faster. The only reason to have 32Gb is to use applications that store large amounts of data into memory - such as video editing apps, 3D modelling apps, sound processing apps, etc. Or to use it as a RAM disk. As one of my friends put it: the only people that need 32Gb RAM (or even more - 64 or 128) are the people that KNOW they need 32Gb RAM and they know WHY they need it. For everyone else, it's just a larger number that sounds cool.

    If you don't believe me, check the awesome video from Linus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajyzZ-zaq0o

    As you see, Photoshop doesn't even seem to need more than 8Gb RAM, let alone 32. In fact, the only reason I recommend 16Gb RAM to people is for future-proofing. Today, for most things even 16Gb is overkill.



    So, the reason Photoshop seems to load faster after you upgraded to 32Gb is one of these:
    1. it's subjective (it's not really loading faster)
    2. something else was slowing loading time before the upgrade and you falsely attributed it to less RAM
    3. magic

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Rud3Bwoy Suspended

    Rud3Bwoy

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    #9
    i got 32 gb ram and my system only uses 6gb-7
     
  10. nj-mac-user macrumors 6502

    nj-mac-user

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    Lol very true, very good points.
     
  11. N2bnfunn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #11
    RAM stands for Random Access Memory, in that case no one would never need to add more 4 gigs , yeah right, the more ram your machine see, the fast it will run, because it does not have to go back to the see the hard drive to load a program
     
  12. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #12
    Kudos, you can use Wikipedia, but that doesn't make you an expert :)

    Something else must have happened to your system between the 16GB of RAM state and when you upgraded the RAM to make PSCC load a lot faster.

    As has been said, 32GB is overkill for most users.
     
  13. imanidiot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #13
    Update

    Just by resetting SMC and NVRAM/PRAM and verifying disk permissions, then restarting in Safe Mode, then doing a regular restart, I was able to cut "RAM used" almost in half (from 14+ to 6+). The Memory Pressure was and remains good.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #14
    FYP.

    The misconception is that one solution fits all. Whether it is advising more ram, or not to add more ram.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    How often does it have to be repeated that more RAM does not automatically give a performance bump?
    Doesn't anyone ever just look at their activity monitor and see that the graph is almost completely at the bottom and green?

    In this case the RAM upgrade was amazingly pointless, as usual.
     
  16. aevan, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #16
    Because....?

    People keep treating the Fusion Drive as something from the dark ages on this forum. No - having a Fusion Drive instead of SSD won't make the Mac much slower, and a Fusion Drive is certainly not the reason for some unexplained, major slowdowns. It can make some rarely used app load a bit slower when compared, but that's it.

    The entire OS X is always placed on the SSD portion and so are most of the apps. Running OS X from a HDD makes the system slow, but it's never run from the HDD on a FD. I have a Fusion Drive on my iMac and a 512Gb PCIe SSD on my MacBook Pro and I really don't see that much difference in everyday activities.

    Yes, the SSD is more consistent in terms of speed than the Fusion Drive, but no - Fusion Drive is not slow and loud and doesn't cause your Mac to overheat. Yes it is slowER, loudER and warmER than the pure SSD, but I consider it to be quite a viable option.

    If he has slowdowns, it's not because of RAM or because of the Fusion Drive. Sorry for the tone, I was waiting for a moment to say this for a while :D

    ----------

    This is just wrong, my friend.

    The more RAM you add your machine will run faster up to a certain amount after which adding more RAM won't do much ('diminishing returns'). Of course, there are legitimate reasons to get 32Gb RAM or more, but it's not to make your Mac feel faster.

    But believe what you will. At least you're keeping the industry healthy! :)
     

Share This Page