More RAM or faster RAM - Which is better?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JawneeWin, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. JawneeWin macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013
    My iMac came with 8GB 1600MHz DDR3

    I added TWO 2GB 1333MHz DDR3 from my broken Macbook Pro to the iMac.

    So now I have 12GB of RAM all running at 1333 MHz

    Which is better? 8GB at 1600MHz or 12GB at 1333MHz?
  2. Rud3Bwoy Suspended


    Oct 9, 2011
    you would hardly notice the difference in those ram speeds to be honest
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    More RAM for sure. You wont notice speed changes for RAM speeds. But the amount of RAM will only have an effect on your uses for it.
  4. JawneeWin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013
  5. JawneeWin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well I don't know if this is normal, but with the 12gb RAM with 1333MHz, I was open the usual windows I would have on my iMac at all times. I have no clue why but I was using around 9GB of RAM.

    I removed the 4GB RAM at 1333MHz, and went back to 1600MHz, and I opened up every again, including a few extras like photoshop and stuff, and I'm only using 6.35GB out of 8GB of RAM.

    Why is that?
  6. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2011
    New England
    It's the way Mac OS X Handles memory management. If you are using a Mac, Free Ram is wasted ram. Basically, OS X will use as much Ram as you have or as a program needs to keep everything running smoothly.

    Since you had more Ram to work with, OS X just adapted and used more ram.
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    OS X will always utilise as much RAM as it possibly can in order to make applications load faster. If you've got 4GB RAM, it won't be using 12GB, for instance. However if you up the RAM, it'll up how much stuff it puts in there.

    TL;DR: nothing to worry about, OS X is far smarter with RAM than Windows :)

    EDIT: Nyy8, you wily devil -- beat me to the punch by a few seconds! :p
  8. JawneeWin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2013

    I never knew OS X did that. That's interesting. Thanks for letting me know! :)
  9. insane79 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2008
    so in theory the more ram in osx is better then? you rather have 16gb ram even if 8gb fits your requirement as the remaining extra is cached for better osx performance?

  10. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    The more the better.

    The clock speed usually only cost 1-2% real world performance difference, you shouln't able to notice that except when running benchmark software.
  11. illusionx macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2014
    Brossard, QC
    Your imac probably have dedicated video card.

    My mini intel HD graphics uses 384mb if my ram for video , but when I upgraded it to 16gb, it shares 512mb ram.

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