Thinking of upgrading

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gelie, May 14, 2015.

  1. gelie macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2010
    To a 27' Imac retina w/16 gb of ram. I'm currently running a 21' iMac Icore I3 w/ 8gb of ram. My problem is with my current set up is how slow it gets when running multiple apps. I do a fair amount of day trading and have many apps running(fidelity,bloomberg,cnbc,moringstar etc) in addition to streaming radio. My question is will i notice a big improvement by this purchase or can i achieve the same improvement(screen size/retina aside) with adding additional memory to my current set up? Ant suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. redheeler macrumors 603


    Oct 17, 2014
    There's a simply way to check if running out of RAM is even an issue. If you're running 10.9 or later, open Activity Monitor during your usage to check if the graph under Memory Pressure is green. If it is, then the slowdown is caused by something else (like a slow HDD).
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Definitely check Activity Monitor. There are any number of possible reasons for the performance issue other than RAM, and if you can fix them without RAM or a new iMac, so much the better.

    I suspect the biggest load you're putting on the system is the number of open browser/app windows/tabs. The streaming radio is not a significant load in comparison. So, maybe RAM gives you a boost, perhaps not - it all depends on whether you're using significant amounts of swap/disk cache.

    It's also hard to compare the cost of a new 27" riMac to the approx. $120 you'd spend on upgrading RAM. However, the overall improvement in performance between a 2011 iMac and the machine you're considering can be dramatic - far more than RAM alone would deliver.

    It's likely that the biggest performance boost you'd get from a new 27" is from the Fusion Drive. I'm a fan of Fusion, great bang for the buck. Nothing you're doing requires the somewhat-better performance of an all-SSD, so the money could be used to better effect elsewhere (such as a second display). You'll also enjoy overall improvement in the processor performance, but since you're not doing processor-heavy work, that may be harder to notice. The increase to 27" will likely give you a nice productivity boost (more room for more simultaneous info), so I'd consider that a good investment. No need to bump up to an i7, or the better graphics...

    You could probably get away with the base 27" retina. Run it at 8GB RAM for a while, watch Activity Monitor, and if you need to, bump up to 16GB later, at a lower cost.
  4. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
    Cost effective solution:
    Whack another 8 gig in and check it out. Prolly increase your resale value too, if you do finally decide to splash out on a new machine.

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