RAM configuration - matched pairs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by juliancs, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    Hi folks.

    I'm looking at the RAM configs on the new 27. I'm getting 8GB,and 4x2GB is alot cheaper. Is this because
    a) Cheaper individual parts
    b) not matched pairs?

    If there is no performance difference, then I'm happy to get the 4x2GB. I'd only be upgrading to 16GB and thats a long way away.

    Also, just being lazy, will any 3.5" HDD fit into the iMac? I was thinking of getting a different HD and replacing it myself. Shame there is no way of having two HDD's in there.

    Thanks advance!
  2. CaptainCowPie macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA
    The 4GB RAM is more expensive than the 2GB. Should be no difference in performance.

    I believe any standard 3.5" drive will work. Also, if I recall correctly, the iMacs actually have two drives in each. So a 1TB model will have two 500GB drives in there. I was wondering if you could set them up independently, say one for backup or possibly a RAID scenario.
  3. fruitpunch.ben macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2008
    Surrey, BC
    Never heard that before! Pretty sure if you bought a 1GB drive its one 1GB drive!
    OP: it is possible to have a second HD in there if you remove the superdrive. Its 3.5" and esata connection.
    And it is far cheaper to buy 4x2GB chips because a 2GB chip is more than half the price of a 4GB chip.
    Do what i'm going to do, buy 2x2GB from Apple, and 2x2GB from newegg, then wait till next christmas and 4x4GB chips should have come down to a reasonable price, throw out your 4x2GB chips and you have 16GB! That will be cheaper than buying 2x4GB now and 2x4GB later
  4. madwolf macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2009
    It's a, cheaper individual parts, 2GB sticks are cheaper than 4GB sticks. However, there are 4 RAM slots in the iMac. If you go the 4x2GB way and want to further expand your memory in the future you'll have to throw away (or sell) all your 2GB sticks and replace them with 4GB. If you go the 2x4GB way then in the future you'll just add another 2x4GB keeping the old pair.

    --- eh, I'm basically repeating what the person before me said... sorry, didn't read him carefully enough... :p
  5. CaptainCowPie macrumors newbie


    Jul 23, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA
    I am not sure where I thought I had heard this. But it looks like it is a 1TB drive. Maybe I was thinking of the Mac Mini Server? Or maybe it was wishful thinking. ;)
  6. gjw4u macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    OP, except if you are going SSD, why would you want to replace the HD? Get an external FW HD instead.
    4GB SIMMs cost more than 2 GB SIMMs.
  7. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    I thought it might be cheaper to get a 2TB drive somewhere else. Is FW800 fast enough for audio processing? If I kept my samples on there. Would free the built-in drive for other things.
  8. plasticphyte macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    The Mac Mini Server has two 500GB drives. iMacs have one hard drive - a Western Digital Black Edition 1TB, or a Hitatchi 2TB depending on config.

    It's cheaper to manufacture a RAM stick with 16x128MB memory modules than it is to manufacture one with 16x256MB (or 8x512MB) modules.

    Not really any real world noticeable difference, except being able to put more in if you've got 2x4GB.

    Yes, any 3.5" SATA drive will fit in the iMac, but you void your warranty as it isn't considered user replaceable. Additionally it seems that due to many manufacturers using a non standard thermal sensor connector jumpers, Apple have had to use different cables to connect the thermal sensor - if you remove the cable and put it on a drive with a different pin out for the thermal sensor, the fans don't dynamically adjust, but spin at full speed.
  9. whoisrhp macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2008
    If i choose to go the 2 x 4 = 8 GB and then i later choose to buy another 2 x 4 memory chip from apple when the prices go down be the best option? a friend of mine told me its not good to mix old ram chips with new ram chips?

    Also the 4 x 2 = 8 GB memory chip option is cheaper than the 2 x 4
    Do you think by the time memory prices do go down that it will be cheaper or be the same money value wise to just buy the 4 x 2 setup then just throw away the memory chips and then get a whole new set of 4 x 4 memory chips?

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