RAM Options Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Caitlyn, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Hi guys!
    I've decided on the Intel iMac for my next computer purchase. But I'm trying to decide on what RAM choice I should purchase. Here are the options I've decided to choose from:

    1. Refurbished Intel iMac + Third Party RAM = 1.5GB RAM $1178

    2. New Intel iMac with Edu. Discount 1GB RAM $1258
    (I would upgrade in the future to 2GB RAM but not now)

    3. Refurbished Intel iMac + 2 Stick of Third Party RAM
    and then take out the current stick = 2GB RAM $1257

    So, it's a matter of if I should get a refurbished model or not and a matter of if I want to limit myself to 1.5GB or have an extra stick laying around, which may annoy me because it is going to waste. Thoughts, opinions?

    Thanks for any input!
    -Caitlyn :)
  2. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    You could sell the other stick. then someone else is using it and it's not going to waste.
  3. CrEsTo macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2006
    I'd say go for the refub. it's almost like new and you will save cash for the RAM.

    As for how much ram, depends on your needs, but if you are a typical user, 1.5GB would be enough.

    I don't see the need of go through the "sell the extra stick on ebay" unless you NEED 2GB.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    True, but where? Off eBay? Would anybody even buy a 512MB stick from a refurb'd machine?

    What I plan to do is Photoshop CS, Dreamweaver, IM, Mail, Safari, PhotoBooth, Transmit, iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iVideo, the occasional GarageBand, Microsoft Office and maybe Delicious Library. I also love photography so I would like the freedom to use Apeture in the future if I choose. :)
  5. Hytower77 macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2005
    Some random place outside of Fort Worth, TX
    If you're going to be doing a ton of photoshop, iMovie, 2 gigs is worth it. Also, if you plan to use Apeture, you'll want it as well.

    I just got me a 17" iMac Core Duo, you can see in my signiture, and it screams at everything i've done with it.

    Just a note, I exported using Quick Time a 70+ MB 720P movie trailer to iPod format in just about 1 minute 35 seconds.

    I haven't messed with photoshop yet, but some folks say, and the test prove it, rosetta slows things down some. Depending on what you are doing in photoshop of course. (ie. Heavy rendering etc...)
  6. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Well, I'd have to say I use Photoshop every other day.
  7. playaj82 macrumors regular


    Jun 26, 2006
    Kingman, AZ
    One thing that is important to remember is that the Core Duo architecture works best when you have 2 identical sticks of memory in the computer.

    They may not have to be the same brand, but at least the same capacity.
    This is not a requirement, but many technical docs by Intel suggest running two matching sticks for optimal performance.

    If you notice, Apple doesn't give the option for a single stick anymore. They ask you to upgrade in pairs.
  8. Hytower77 macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2005
    Some random place outside of Fort Worth, TX
    Just an FYI...depending on where you live, you can find cheap RAM at a Fry's...they don't have them everywhere, so you might want to look into that too. I got my 2Gigs there for about $175 (US of course). You can find RAM a little cheaper on-line, but I bought from a local store, so I don't have to re-ship or any crap if they happen to be wrong or didn't work.

    Overall, I'd look at it like this: It's an extra $80 or so to go ahead and get 2 Gigs, you won't have to mess with it later...and you should be more than happy with performance in any of the apps you mentioned. (Espc when photoshop goes Universial.):D
  9. CTSONGMAN macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2006
    Matching Pairs

    I'd recommend going with the matched pairs. I've read that you don't need the matching pairs for the Intel Macs, but I suspect that was mainly for people who were running native Mac apps only and without having Boot Camp installed.

    I installed Bootcamp on the Mac Intel mini and I only had the 512MB (256 + 256) stock installed. Both the Windows and Mac OSX partitions were working fine. After I read on several forums that mismatched memory should be fine,I put a 1GB RAM in one slot and kept the other at the 256 MB. Now both the Windows and Mac operating systems crash within 3-20 minutes of re-booting (albeit the Windows crashes significantly quicker than the Mac OSX) but everything is completely unstable.

    I called Apple and they said that you need the matched pairs, especially if you plan on running Boot Camp or Windows on the machine.

    Anyone else know of anything that contradicts what they told me? I'm a newbie with Mac stuff.


  10. Hytower77 macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2005
    Some random place outside of Fort Worth, TX
    Yep...matched pairs is the best bet. Although, I've seen some folks on here that say their machines run fine not matched...

    Again, only $80 more to get 2 gigs...;)
  11. Caitlyn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2005
    Hmm, I think you guys are right. So, I guess I will go for the iMac with education discount and one gig of RAM. Thanks for all the opinions guys. Even though I've made my decision if anyone has some more input they'd like to add, feel free.

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