Memory upgrade path question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aComicBookFan, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. aComicBookFan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    #1
    Has anyone upgraded their standard RAM configuration one module at a time? I would like to get to 32 GB of RAM one day but I don't think I can do it all at once. My thought is to buy a single 8 GB module and add it to the 2x2GB configuration. When my finances allow it, add another 8 GB module. Then another. So on and so forth until all 4 slots are filled with 8 GB modules.

    I read somewhere here that the RAM need not be matched but it is important to note which slot a single module of RAM can be inserted.

    Thanks! :)

    -=- Boris
     
  2. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    #2
    Which model are you talking about?
     
  3. aComicBookFan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    #3
    In my particular case I am referring to the 21.5" 2.7 GHz 2011 iMac.

    -=- Boris
     
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #4
    Boris,

    If cost is the consideration I noticed Fry's frequently has 8GB modules on sale for about $59, this make the 32GB upgrade only about $236. If you have a Fry's in your area you can try them. I haven't checked their website though so that might be another avenue.
     
  5. aComicBookFan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    #5
    I am familiar with Fry's because I grew up in San Jose but I live far away from one now.

    Cost is an issue especially since my funds got depleted ordering an iMac this past weekend. Going piecemeal allows me to enjoy what I can as I go along the upgrade journey.

    So, can I insert a lone 8GB module in addition to the 2x2GB modules already inside the machine?

    -- Boris
     
  6. Spike88, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #6
    .

    Before running out and buying 8 GB modules, do you need all 32 GBs?

    If wondering, I have total 12 GBs in my iMac (re: Apple 2x2 + 3rd party 2 x 4 GBs) and of this 12 GBs, my i3 3.2 system might use 6 GBs of it. I'd estimate 2-3 year usage before needing to upgrade its Apple 2x2 to 2x4s GBs (to make total 16 GBs). If typical home user (no games), do you really need all 32 GBs? One might sell / replace with newer feature iMac (like 2013 or 2014 model with affordable SSDs, USB3, better GPU, better screen, etc. etc. ) before needing all 32 GBs in current iMac. For my usagte, I'd upgrade to max 16 GBs. Then, sell/trade in 2014 - when much better systems are available... The next owner of my iMac can worry about upgrading to its max 32 GBs....

    .
     
  7. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #7
    Maybe I'm missing something here. But when I go to either the Crucial or Kingston memory configurators for an Apple iMac 2011 2.7Ghz 21.5 inch they indicate maximum memory to be 16Gb. The Kingston configurator states that modules must be ordered and installed in pairs for dual channel mode.
     
  8. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #8
    OWC shows max 32 GBs for 2010 & 2011 iMacs.

    re: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac

    And you are correct, RAM Modules should be installed in pairs. re: 2 x XX GB sets.
     
  9. aComicBookFan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    #9
    You're right in that I don't know if I need all 32GB because I don't even have the computer yet! :rolleyes: But, it should be arriving tomorrow. Upgrading piecemeal is an easy way to go it would seem. If I add my first 8GB module and I feel satisfied then maybe I'll stop at a total of 12GB. But, if I need more then I can keep going and add another 8GB to get 24GB. Adding in 8GB with a 2x4GB means that if I want to take the next leap then I need remove 2 modules and replace them with something else. I end up with excess modules and I want to minimize that.

    I found a link on Apple's website that mentions installing a lone memory module. The link:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1423#1

    There is some interesting text there.

    "Additional notes i5 and i7 Quad Core iMac computers come with both top memory slots populated. These computers will not start up if only a single DIMM is installed in any bottom slot; these computers should operate normally with a single DIMM installed in any top slot. Core Duo iMac computers should operate normally with a single DIMM installed in any slot, top or bottom. ("Top" and "bottom" slots refer to the orientation of the slots in the pictures below. "Top" refers to the slots closest to the display; "bottom" refers to the slots closest to the stand)."

    This is what I wanted to confirm. They used the words "should operate" instead of "will operate". Has anyone done this successfully? Is there some consequence to the performance of the machine? Everyone says pairs but here's a single reference to a lone module being OK.

    -- Boris
     

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