last minute decision; 21''/3.1Ghz i7/ 16gb RAM/ 512 flash. Do I need 32gb RAM 27''?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bluesnina, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. bluesnina, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    bluesnina macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #1
    Hi,

    I bought iMac 21'' 3.1Ghz intel core i7, 16gb ram with 512 flash drive almost 2wks ago. Tomorrow is the last day of return and I have been thinking to exchange to 27'' only because 32gb ram. I don't need 27'' monitor since I have a 24 inch 2nd monitor. I am a student studying a film scoring. So I do use ccc2 and NI sample libraries and I am planning to buy more samples for sure. And I use Logic 9 and x, ProTools.

    However I don't run all of them at the same time. I usually use only one of above app at time. I actually have tested opening up to 40 tracks in logic pro x with all ccc2 samples (1/3 are heavy legato samples, usually ccc2 string, brass legato samples are huge). And I didn't have a problem running and playing at the same time except the little bit slow initial loading of samples (which is not a ram problem). But I clearly saw the memory reaching to 16gb while monitoring 'activity monitor' tool.

    So I am doing this last minute thinking if I have to get 27'' only because I can upgrade RAM up to 32gb myself. What do you think?
    If someone who does same stuff like me, would you please let me know if 16gb would hold for at least 2yrs from now?

    Thank you for reading !!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    iMac 21'' w/3.1 core i7. 16gb RAM. 512 flash drive. MBP 2010 8gbRAM. Logic9, pro x. PT10.
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
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    #2
    Stick to the current one. Only upgrade if you haver the cash between the current model and the upper one and possibly bite the restocking fee.
     
  3. bluesnina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #3
    Yes, the truth is I don't want to spend money like almost $400 or more only for RAM 32gb since I don't need a bigger screen and a better processor than I have now and other stuff. It's so annoying they made iMac 21'' non-self upgradable for RAM.

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    I feel like I rather just get a thunderbolt external hard drive to put all the samples libraries to speed up instead spending on 27'' and 32gb RAM. ( I don't have a thunderbolt drive yet ) What do you think?
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    Unless you run 4 virtual machines at the same time, you absolutely have no need for 32GB of RAM.

    You also don't need 32GB of RAM if you're not going to use RAM disks for scratch disks.

    16GB should be fine about 5-6 years down the road.
     
  5. IA64 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #5
    I think 16GB is okay for normal use.

    24GB is enough and 32GB just if you want to render whatever.

    I can hit 10GB of RAM usage just by browsing ( 20-25 tabs opened including youtube, soundcloud and other flash media websites ) and some other background apps like outlook/lync etc...
     
  6. andycho7, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

    andycho7 macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2013
    #6
    My opinion is that you probably won't need 32GB of ram as of right now however, 27 inch iMac WILL give you that option/flexibility to upgrade your ram in future IF needed. Although 16GB of ram might be enough for quite some time from today, but it's always better to have an option so that you can upgrade your ram if you want.

    So bottom line, I'd say get 27 inch iMac with 16GB ram and IF you need to upgrade your ram in the future, then your job can be done easily. Plus any amount of ram upgrade NOT from Apple is cheaper most cases. Also, it sounds like budget isn't too big of an issue as far as I can tell(besides the fact that you don't want to pay $400+ for ram upgrade from apple).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't know if I agree with that statement of 16GB of ram should be fine for 5-6 years. It might be right for average users just using computer for internet and something basic. If we go back 5-6 years from now, an average iMac shipped with 2GB of ram and high end models with 4GB(with an option of upto 8GB). It's clear that 2GB or 4GB of ram would not be enough for his needs today, nor is 8GB of ram. Heck, I don't know if 2GB of ram is enough to do the basics today. It'll run, but probably not that well.

    P.S. I myself have 16GB of ram in my 27 inch iMac and all that ram can be eaten up easily by safari tabs w/flash, iTunes, iMessage, pages, and Eclipse.
    P.S.2. At this very moment writing from my 15inch rMBP with 8GB of ram, I have 8 Safari tabs(no flash at all), iMessage, Reminders, Eclipse, Mail, and iTunes with total of 474 MB of free ram. This isn't even that intensive of a workload and it's eating up almost all of my ram.
     
  7. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 20, 2005
  8. bluesnina thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    #8
    Thank you all for opinion. What if I am thinking to use this iMac 21'' 16gb ram only for 2yrs or so until I finish school? The thing is that I probably go back to my country within 2yrs after school and at that time I might just sell this out and get a new one. After all, I think I need a mac pro for the professional music production work.
     
  9. andycho7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #9
    Well that is up to you. If you're not having much trouble with 16GB, then I guess it's fine. If you're thinking of selling it before you leave it won't make too much of a difference so why not just get the 27 inch. If you're taking it I think both will take about the same amount of effort anyways.

    I'd still get the 27 inch if I were you.
     
  10. bluesnina thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 9, 2014
    #10
    for now, it does not cause any trouble, but I know..still. I need to decide and return today which is already getting late (I am in NY). Maybe I return and buy 27 and see? since I can always return and buy 21 again lol..

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    oh next time when I buy a mac, it will be a mac pro not iMac. I need something to use for a long time and something I can upgrade all the elements not just RAM. 27 '' is only upgrading RAM, nothing else. I was thinking to get a mac pro before the new one came out, then now I like to see how it goes. So I didn't get a mac pro this time.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #11
    The Mac Pros are confirmed to have user-replaceable CPUs.
     

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