Memory: high speed or large capacity??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by oyzvivi, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. oyzvivi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #1
    Searched a bit but couldn't find the answer I need.

    So I have an iMac 21.5-inch 2010 with 2 x 2 GB 1333 MHz RAM and 2 empty slots. Now I have 2 x 2 GB 1066 MHz RAM spare from my upgraded MBP. Is it worthy to put the 1066 RAM on the iMac?

    I guess it's a trade-off between speed and capacity: 4 GB, 1333 OR 8 GB, 1066, am I right? Any suggestion? Thanks!
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    The iMac likely won't boot with slower ram installed.
     
  3. oyzvivi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #3
    Won't it just downgrade the speed?
     
  4. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #4
    Memory is low cost these days. If you need total 4 GBs ram (based on Activity Monitor numbers - when loaded with your most often apps), then simply buy 2 x 2 GB 1333 MHz RAM. Installing "same as factory" in remaining memory slots, will also get both memory Bank 0 and Bank 1 "balanced". Having different speed RAM in opposite banks isn't a good thing. Especially in the long run. Simply buy the proper RAM (for its other bank) and eliminate the risk of hung systems or other weird behavior... When looking at a $2K unit, simply buy the proper ram - for that specific year of iMac.

    Works for me...

    .
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    It may, but some chipsets can't run slower then a certain speed.
     
  6. oyzvivi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for your suggestion. But one of the reasons for me to think of it is to make use of my leftover RAMs and not produce more e-waste...
     
  7. Spike88, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #7
    Spend dollars for proper memory or e-waste? I'd spend the money or proper matching memory, and sell your current non-matching speed memory on e-bay. Forcing different speed memory in a computer (Mac or Windows) isn't worth it in the long run. Especially if one hates troubleshooting "ghost" problems later on....
     
  8. amanpatel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #8
    All benchmarks show that you will have marginal improvement from 1066 to 1333. More capacity is always better. I'd go with 8GB no matter what the speed. Good luck!
     
  9. bushman4 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    #9
    Best solution to avoid problems is to use ram of the same speed. These days mixing RAM does not usually create a comfortable solution. RAM is cheap enough
     
  10. bfranz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #10
    This isn't necessarily true. In my 2.5 i5 2011 iMac I geekbench benchmarked at 8109 with 8gb (4 x 2gb) of 1333 memory. When I installed 16gb of 1066 (4x 4gb), my benchmark was lower at 7949.

    I also tested it with 4gb 1333 (2 x 2gb) and 8gb of 1066 (2 x 4gb) installed. The iMac did lower all the memory to 1066 and it benchmarked 7939.

    Another test with only 8gb of 1066 scored a 7274.

    I will be testing 16gb (4 x 4gb) of 1333 today.

    It's important to note that the system never had any issues booting or running, so I think you'll be fine running your 1066 sticks, I just doubt you will see any real benefit. I used to always think capacity was more important than speed, but then again this is my first apple desktop.
     
  11. amanpatel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #11
    But... RAM (even 10 year old SDRAM at 133mhz) is so much faster than the hard drive (several orders of magnitude), I'd still argue that more memory is better than faster memory (unless you are in to over clocking and stuff, for which an iMac is poor choice anyway).

    Go with more memory whenever you have a choice. Even a single case when your computer will have to swap some amount of memory to disk, you'll wipe out any benefit of going with a faster memory.
     

Share This Page