Trying to decide between 8 or 4 gigs of RAM in imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by f64, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. f64 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm coming from a PC and not quite sure what to expect as to the RAM in a mac.

    I'm planning to run Final Cut Express and I'm wondering if 8 gigs of RAM is going to make that much of a performance difference with the application. I know FCE recommends a minimum of 4 gigs or will having 8 gigs be like a putting a skinny guy in a fat man's pants. Sure, it's nice to have the room, but it's just not going to get used that frequently.

    I'll be getting the 3.06 GHz with the ATI 4850 video card and looking to edit HD video.

    Thanks for any help and advice you can give. The 24 inch imac looks incredible. Looking forward to it.
     
  2. InkMaster macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #2
    While you probably don't "need" it, might as well get it if it won't cost you too much. Extra ram never hurt.
     
  3. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #3
    Up until this month you couldn't PUT more than 4GB of RAM into an iMac, and folks have successfully been using FCE for a while on iMacs. Also, it's quite a hefty upgrade, particularly if you get it from Apple.

    At the very least, I'd do it myself (it's a 3 minute job and it doesn't violate your warranty), and prior to spending the $700 to do it, I'd run FCE with 4GB to see how it works.

    It's $1000 from Apple, or $700 from OWC. Not the cheapest upgrade...
     
  4. InkMaster macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #4
    No need to double post, and I don't know what 'cheap' is to him :p

    I personally am waiting till the prices on DDR3 come down before I upgrade my MBP to the latest gen. As I want 8GB :)
     
  5. teamzissou macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #5
    I've been wondering myself if 4GB is the new 2GB when it comes to performance. Right now 8GB is so expensive that it just isn't practical for most of us, but with programs becoming ever more demanding, will 4GB soon be obsolete? Seems like only a few months ago that people were oo-ing and aw-ing about 4GB...

    Good point, and I can say I'm grateful that I have bought a machine that can at least support the better performance RAM in the future :)
     
  6. gasport macrumors 6502

    gasport

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #6
    Ditto, I will wait until the price drops as it will....
     
  7. f64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #7
    Wow, thanks for the quick replies. That's what's great about this forum. $700 after market or $900 from Apple is still alot to pay for no noticable performance increase. It doesn't look like anybody knows for sure so maybe I'll just get the 4 and expand later. Looking forward to more input on this issue.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    As people have said, wait. Always before adding more RAM check current usage of RAM. If it's over 70% buy more, but if it isn't do not.

    Wait for ~half year, the price of 4GB DDR3 sticks should go down.
     
  9. Tesseract macrumors regular

    Tesseract

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #9
    I'd say 4gb. I do a lot of video editing, and while the extra ram does help a bit, it is definitely not worth the cost to go to 8. If you're really that serious about speed, I'd just go for a Mac Pro. But the iMac does just fine, and 4gb is more than enough for everyday use.
     
  10. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I've been using final cut pro for over a year now and I mostly edit in hd. And so far I do not see the need for more than 4gb. But heavy compositing in after effects might require more than 4gb.
     
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #11
    Other threads say that 8gb will not work on iMacs, but 6gb will.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    That was in last gen iMacs. New ones can handle 8GB and Apple offers that as a BTO
     
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #13
    It's hard to keep up with these things!
     
  14. f64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for posting posting your experiences. That gives me a good idea of what to expect. Do you think I should hold out for the ATI 4850 video card or just go with the 130 for a HD video editing. I'm thinking the upgraded video card would make the most difference performance wise.
     
  15. f64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #15
    Thanks, good tip!
     

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