Too Much RAM for i5 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Biro, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Biro macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2012
    After a lot of thought, I'm pretty sure I'll be ordering the top-line 27-inch iMac with the i5 9600K, the 580X GPU and a 1TB SSD. I'll update the RAM myself. Part of me wants to put a total of 64GB of RAM in the machine. But is that a total waste of money?

    I do a lot of photo editing and light home-video editing. I don't use the Adobe suite because I just don't believe in their subscription model. More like the Photos app and Capture One. For video, iMovie and maybe Final Cut Pro.
  2. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I wouldn't say that 64GB is too much RAM, but maybe unnecessary for your use.

    If money isn't a issue, go for it, if you would rather not spend as much, maybe keep the two 4GB sticks it comes with and buy two 16GB sticks.

    That is 40GBs of RAM which still might be overkill, but it won't break the bank either.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2019 ---
    also, if you find that the 40GB isn't quite enough (which I doubt), you can always get two more 16GB sticks to replace the two 4GB ones later on.
  3. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Might as well try 40GB first and then since you used 2x16GB you'll be free to upgrade to 64GB either immediately or a few years down the road. I'd say for most non-professional users 64GB is probably overkill but it depends what you're doing with your photos. Lots of RAM helps with doing light/noise stacks in astrophotography or focus stacking in macro photography or for stitching together large panoramas. It's also handy if you're doing a lot of multitasking between apps that suck RAM like Photoshop and things like virtual machines. I consider myself to be a moderately advanced user who does some of these things and think 40GB is plenty for now. In 2-3 years i will upgrade to 64GB and it will probably be 1/3 the price for the additional 2x16GB. I doubt I will need more than 64GB before upgrading again in 6+ years.
  4. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    I concur with the 40 GB suggestion from Macduke. That's what I did on my 2017. I think you will be very happy with that.
  5. mikehalloran macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    64GB isn't too much. Could you get by with less? Probably — but we're not going to know because we aren't doing whatever the way that you are.

    Photo editing and rendering is one area where the amount of RAM can make a difference. There are bleeding edge AV machines running UNIX and Windows with 1TB of RAM. They're rendering monster graphics for the film industry and can cost 6 figures but they exist for a reason.

    You've not given us enough info to know. I'm thinking that 64G will make you feel more comfortable. It's certainly not too much. Go for it.

    I dod a lot of research and concluded that 64GB was right for me. Then I found a used iMac Pro loaded with 128GB for the same price. I decided to jump on it. Too much? Yea, probably... I'll live.
  6. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
    extra ram can be use as ram disk. the fastest compare 2 ssd.Usage maybe scratch disk adobe ?
  7. mj_ macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2017
    Austin, TX
    The fact that you are relying on software made for hobbyists rather than professionals (FYI: Photos is not a photo editing software but a photo manager with a nice set of photo enhancement features) tells me that you are most likely not doing this on a professional level. This, in return, tell me that you will most likely be perfectly fine even with just 16GB of RAM. So yes, 64GB of RAM will most likely be a total waste of money.
  8. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I too don't use the Adobe Suit because I don't want the subscription model. Instead, I used both CS5 and CS6 (depending on the computer I am using at the moment), plus some of the OneOne apps and the Nik Software package. I often work at remote locations where there isn't Internet for weeks at a time, so the standalone applications are quite handy.

    While I take a lot of photos of wildlife and the Auroras and do a lot of photo-editing, I do so as a hobbyist. It does not matter if the OP wants a lot of RAM as long as he can afford it, even if it was 64GB or 128GB (from " As for me, it makes more sense to add two 16GB modules for the time being. That would leave his iMac with 40GB of RAM. Someday, if he wants, he can buy 2 x 16GB of additional RAM, remove the two 4GB Apple RAM, and replace them with the two new sticks for a total of 64GB.
  9. mikehalloran macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Really? You want to inject common sense into this thread?

Share This Page