Seems 4gb vs. 8gb makes little difference in iMacs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mr.thedaniel, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. mr.thedaniel macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Test Conclusion: As the Photoshop process itself takes up to 3GB of memory, there is not much difference after 4GB of memory is installed. However, this test is using the machine for ONLY one process at a time.

    from the bottom of the chart on the site you linked to.
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Shouldn't YOU be the person that can tell how much RAM you need instead of a site that only tested some random benchmarks? :confused:

    Honestly, don't care about such benchmarks, update your RAM if you've got too many page outs. It the input/output ratio is ok, you won't see any performance improvements with additional 4 gigs.
  4. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I can tell the difference between four and five gigs in a mini.

    Six gigs might be optimum.
  5. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    I know I definitely need more ram for my i7. When I work on digital paintings in photoshop, I have rather big canvas sizes (36x24 inches at 300 dpi) and I constantly add brush stroke after brush stroke with the wacom. Usually my computer only has 1/3rd of its ram being used, but it quickly gets maxed out to 100% while I paint, and my page ins/outs quickly becomes out of whack.

    Also, CS5 comes out soon and I'll be looking to buy that. Each program in CS5 can utilize more than 4 gigs of ram in 64 bit.

    I'll also be getting 10666 ddr3 , so my bandwidth per stick will be 10.5gb/s over 8.5gb/s that the ram the computer comes with.
  6. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    You'll want more ram if you're doing any sort of multitasking.

    The most interesting thing about the photoshop benchmarks you posted is the comparison between the i5 and the 3.33ghz C2D. Seems like in those tests the C2D did pretty well.
  7. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    When my iMac arrives, it's going to replace my PC, so I'll be running a virtual instance of Windows 7 as well as a Windows 2000 server on the iMac 24/7. Extra memory will help :)
  8. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Thoughts? You're wrong!

    Look at the other test results. If you JUST use Photoshop, then yes 4GB is *usually* enough. I don't know about you, but I use my system for more than just one application at a time....

    Heck, right now I have PathFinder running, calendar, mail, iTunes, Adium and Safari, and it's using 2.39GB RAM just for those apps....
  9. gattler macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    It seems to be an old legendary tale made up by Apple's Sales strategist that 300/400 USD Ram Upgrades makes your system faster (which really cost 30per gig). Also reading people here stating 10666 something and some zeros or other fantasy numbers makes one think that Apple's Sales strategists have a really easy task. I have 4gigs of RAM with my dual core, which I bought 3 years ago. I never maxed it out, playing Mass Effect2, watching HD video and surfing the web while demanding Software Suites like Visual Studio 2008 with SQL servers open at the same time. Yesterday I booted Linux with KDE 4.3.5 and its bleeding edge Compiz effects. RAM was about 512MB while watching HD Video and running some compiling stuff.

    Maybe not with Wacom Usage, Virtual Machines and other production environment software (e.g. Maya, RenderMan), but for every day tasks 4 gig seem more than enough. Everything else is marketing.
  10. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Sigh, I don't know why this is surprising, its silly that Apple users don't know much about hardware, Memory will not have an effect, you will not notice a performance boost whatsoever, but if you use memory intensive applications you will be able to work with more documents.. Memory in no way makes your computer faster.. Key things are processor & hard drive.. an SSD will make things boot faster, load faster... SSD's have fast overall random read and writes which is what matters the most.. so forget about upgrading ram.. get an SSD instead..
  11. Nihilvor macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    I don't get this thread.

    These benchmarks were posted months ago, and they clearly show that there IS a real difference between 4 and 8 gigs of memory in each of the heavy memory hog tests. That's what we'd expect to see. You're not going to see gains when you're running one or two programs that aren't eating up 50% of your memory.
  12. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I get beachballing when too many things are opened. I'm running a 7200 rpm 500 gig hard drive and five gigs of ram. Are you saying if I spring for eight gigs this will not speed up or get rid of the beach ball?

    Speed is a relative term when a lot of apps are open and the spinning ball locks in.
  13. Mrccartel macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2010
    columbia SC
    just enough

    When im running Fusion3 and windows 7, and photoshop work, which i do all day long it takes up to 12 gigs so i needed 16 gigs of ram in my core i7.
  14. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Well, are you experiencing any freezing, apps quitting or lag? If so then yes, you may need 8GB of RAM. If not, then you probably are fine with 4GB. I've got 4GB and it can handle pretty much anything I throw at it.:D

    By the way, there is quite a price tag on an extra 4GB of RAM:rolleyes:

    Good Luck!
  15. Nihilvor macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Yeah, it was benchmarks like these that satisfied me that I was making the right choice for me with the 3.33ghz C2D (with my current budget and space).

    Many programs just don't take advantage of the extra cores, at least not those run one at a time. Even in the stress tests they list, the 3.33 Radeon works as well or better than the better machines (especially when each has only 4 gbs). The Adobe After Effects benchmark, however, shows the advantage of the extra cores. Of course, over time, my machine will age and not keep up with the i7 with newer software.

  16. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    if you have a mac or a pc doesn't matter really maxing out the ram to whatever is possible and fits in ,will give each app running space enough without having to use much/no virtual memory and therefore the processor and harddrive will have less work and the result of that ... your mac/pc will run faster
    there is no sales strategy behind , apart from modern operating systems use more ram and modern apps use more ram , so it is a vicious circle

    so at the end of the day you have no choice other then to upgrade upgrade upgrade as in one /two years time from now your mac/pc won't be able to run modern programs at full speed without substantial upgrades ,
    modern apps/os simply get bigger, bigger ,bigger with every release and not necessary better , just more and more eye candy so they make you believe they are better then the previous generation
  17. mr.thedaniel thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    Interesting to hear such different opinions. Sounds like fans of overkill multitasking will need the ram, but aside from a few super RAM intensive tasks (like the wacom situation, or virtualization) 4GB ought to do fine.

    I do loove seeing a comp with an SSD start up :) I just could never justify having an SSD big enough at the prices they're currently going for. When a 500GB or 1TB comes down to a reasonable price it becomes a more practical option...anyone paying the money for that speed should've bought more than an imac
  18. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    on the new iMacs which use the expensive ddr3 ram the upgrade to a ssd is not that expensive compared with the price for the ram and would give you faster access to the virtual ram , which will speed up things too ,not only for booting,
    its only a shame that there is no space at all in the iMac ..not even in the 27" to fit a ssd as bootdrive and for apps and using the existing normal harddrive for storage
  19. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    I'm experiencing lag with logic 9 with my more complex projects. I've only noticed this within the last day or so. I'm not sure if its my imac just playing up but another 4 gigs will certainly help with logic as well as my Win 7 vm.

    I wouldn't say extra RAM will transform your computer but it certainly helps with intensive tasks.
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Also bear in mind that Photoshop uses high ram (4-8 gb) as a scratch disk if it's available.
  21. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    Ram only comes into play to make your system "faster" when you use up the first 4gb of ram. And it's not making it faster but allowing your system not to slow down. I would never expect a test result to be faster if you have more ram in one machine then the other.
  22. kemo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2008

    try to run 3 virtual machines of Windows 7 / XP in Parallels, load firefox 4 with firebug (constantl about 800MB of ram :X.. this really sucks...)add there photoshop, itunes, mail, ichat, Forklift, textmate, versions and skype and there u go .. u will feel the difference between 4gigs and 8 gigs dude.. it basically doesnt slow down when u add another ram to use.. so I really dont understand guys who are saying - for what another 4 gigs? I really dont see no difference....think twice before saying this *********..
  23. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2010
    Lawton, OK

    If you have no need for more than 4GB of memory, more doesn't make anything faster.

    It'd be like buying two treadmills to exercise on instead of one. Since you're not using more than one treadmill, you're not going to burn calories any faster.

    More memory helps when you run out. When you run out of physical memory, the operating system writes memory pages to disk, and constantly tries to switch out what it has on disk and what it has in memory. This is a big performance hit because hard drives are 100 to 10,000 times slower than memory.
  24. Zelnaga macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If you deal with VMs. I'd make all the difference.
  25. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Thread resurrection!

    Zombie thread, back from the dead of March 2010.

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