Upgrading oct 27in i7 ram from 4 to 8(maybe 12) need advice

Discussion in 'iMac' started by euphuistical, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. euphuistical macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #1
    Ok, so I have an Oct. '09 27inch i7 iMac (stock, 1tb hdd, 4gig ram) and a 15in MBP with core2duo 2.8 and 4gigs of ram.

    I want to upgrade my iMac to at least 8gigs of ram. I don't do a lot of heavy photo or music editing, but some, and I game a lot on it. It is actually running windows 7 64 all the time now with only about 120gigs devoted to the OS X partition. I have heard a lot of mixed things on whether or not the ram upgrade will help a lot with gaming, but I am planning on streaming and recording Starcraft 2 so I am sure the ram will help a lot with that.

    Now what I wanted to do is get at least 1 4gig ram stick so that at a later date I could stick that in to my MBP to get to 6 or 8 ram on that some time in the future (I'll probably get a new windows desktop in 12-18months since the graphics card is quite crappy on the iMac and I miss eSata, SSD, and USB 3.0). So I'll just be building a new desktop then and using the sexy sexy monitor of the iMac.

    I have no plans to upgrade my laptop anytime soon, I absolutely love it.

    I've heard that its best to add ram to the iMac in pairs, but how true/important is this? If I just get 1 stick of 4gig DDR3 1063 and put it in my iMac will it all work good? If not would getting 2 sticks of 4gigs each be a better option (though overkill).

    If in say 2 years though going from 4 to 8gigs on my MBP won't make much of a difference since I'm using it mostly as a browser, media player, and back up game machine, the safer route may just be the getting two more sticks of 2gig ram for the iMac. But I imagine by then the 4 gigs will make a difference with most programs (the laptop runs OS X of course, I love the operating system, just the drivers and lack of games on it kills it for my gaming sadly).

    I hope that wasn't too long winded and I got my point across.


    tl;dr one 4gig stick, two 4gig sticks, 2 2gig sticks for my iMac.



    PS:
    I am actually wondering what I can have running on the iMac while using it as the main display for another computer, is it easy to switch back and forth? Can I have them integrated somehow so I can have say browsers and media playing through the iMac and games through the PC?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    1x4GB+2x2GB will work, just see the following:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3918

    So, you should put e.g. both 2GB modules to bottom slots and the 4GB module in one of the top slots. Then it will work fine. I would get 1x4GB as that leaves space for future upgrades and costs about the same as 2x2GB

    You can use the iMac's screen as display via Target Display Mode. Everything in the iMac will keep running so you can e.g. use it to rip a movie while using its screen for gaming. You can switch between the computers using the keyboard combo. Another option is to VNC to the iMac from the PC and then control it.
     
  3. euphuistical thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #3
    Awesome, thanks for the help.

    When installing it should I have it boot up in OS X or Windows 7 (my main OS) or does it matter?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Doesn't matter but I would boot into OS X
     

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