Just bought i3 3.06ghz 21.5' iMac RAM question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MrXiro, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I just ordered my iMac from Amazon. Looking up RAM prices and found 4gb RAM modules for 49.99 each. Was thinking about buying two to stick into my new iMac since it supports up to 16 gb of RAM. What configuration should it be? 2X2X4X4? or 2X4X2X4? And is it worth it?

    Will the extra 8gb of RAM make a huge speed difference or is it pretty much like sticking jet fuel in a Toyota Yaris? It'll work but just kind of a waste of time money and effort?

    Would just getting 2X2gb modules be better? I can get one of those 2 packs for 50 bucks total.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
  3. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    A lot of HD video encoding using Handbrake.
    I also use CS4, Final Cut Pro, ETC
    Also playing L4D2 off of STEAM... but I doubt that has anything to do with the RAM.


    I guess I'm more asking will the thing get bottle-necked somewhere along the line and not utilize all 12GB of RAM?
     
  4. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #4
    Yes, it all depends on what you are doing on the machine. While you are working, check the memory usage with the Activity Monitor. If there is adequate free memory and page outs are limited in comparison to page ins, additional RAM will result in negligible improvements to performance.

    Some think that adding RAM is going to automatically improve performance. Not necessarily so!
     
  5. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #5
    No, if an app needs more RAM and it's available it will use it. Although 32-bit apps have a limit of 4GB per app, while 64-bit apps can essentially use an unlimited amount of RAM(by todays standards at least).
     
  6. MrXiro thread starter macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Ah well my uMBP seems to work just fine on just 4gb of RAM while encoding 720p video. Not even a stutter doing anything else... music, surfing watching h.264 videos. If this machine can handle my work load then I'm sure the iMac with more powerful video card and the same amount of RAM can handle it too.

    Though I think my 9600m GT is 512mb of RAM vs the 256mb on the iMac's ATI 4670. Will that come into play?
     
  7. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #7
    The VRAM difference likely won't be noticeable unless you are gaming at crazy high resolutions on an external display.

    To decide whether you need more RAM I suggest you do an average day of work on your MBP then check the System Memory in Activity Monitor and see how many page outs you have. If you have a lot then more RAM will be beneficial.
     
  8. 87vert macrumors 6502

    87vert

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #8
    If you plan on using Parallels or Vmware to run some windows apps then you might want to go to 8GB or more, it made a world of difference for me.
     

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