Was the amount of RAM Apple chose for the high end 27" iMac, enough?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by doxavita, May 26, 2011.

  1. doxavita macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Do you guys think Apple should have added more RAM (6-8GB) to their standard $1999 27" 2011 iMac? I run a Virtual Machine on my MacBook Pro (4GB of RAM) and that pretty much depletes the available resources. Given that iMacs should run even higher performance software, maybe they made the wrong choice?
    I know I can upgrade RAM myself, and I most likely will. (8GB or 12GB)
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #2
    Apple is the same as all other computer manufacturers, they put in just enough RAM to run in order to make a price point for the consumer and margin point for themselves. I'm sure your question is rhetorical though, Apple (like everyone else) puts in the bare minimum RAM. If the user wants or needs to upgrade they can.
     
  3. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    #3
    Rule of thumb on RAM

    There is no hard and fast rule about the RAM GB to processor GHz ratio.

    However, a very approximate rule of thumb that has worked for several decades is as follows.

    Allow one byte of RAM to each theoretical processor cycle per second.

    So, given a quad core, 3.4 GHz, Hyperthreaded processor, an interpretation of the rule of thumb is therefore 4 x 3.4 x 2 = 28GBs of RAM.

    Of course this totally ignores the nature of the workload, in that the RAM demand can be quite variable. It is also totally empirical and I can quote no science behind this. It just tends to work. Approximately!

    So 4GBs is on the very skinny side. I'm glad they chose to put in 4, since I don't want to pay a premium for my RAM.
     
  4. bushman4 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Running any 'Virtual Machine' creates a ramm hog. While you may not need twice the factory installed amount of 4 GB it certainly wouldn't hurt. Keep in mind that a virtual machine is an emulator, so in reality its like running 2 operating systems at once.
     
  5. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Yes, considering 8GB of RAM would have only cost apple 50.00 more. It would have been a nice bonus for the consumer.
     
  6. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    #6
    That 28GB estimation also ignores the fact that RAM use in comparison to CPU cycles has come down quite a lot, as well, because barely anybody can use the full power of that CPU just doing standard non-CPU intensive tasks. Id say 16GB is the most anybody needs right now unless they are doing Medical Imaging / Other Crazy Things.
     
  7. jborko macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2011
    #7
    I think Apple should have gone with at least 8GB in the default config. (Also with onboard sort of SSD - 64GB for the OS and the Programs).
    I don't think 4GB is enough these days. 16GB as default is exaggerated, so 8 seems right on spot.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    Apple would have saved on somewhere else or increased the price. E.g. i5-2310 or i5-2300 instead of i5-2400 and/or 6950M instead of 6970M. Upgrading RAM is super easy and it's so cheap nowadays too, so I would start bitching about 40$.
     
  9. Emathieu macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #9
    Yeah, with RAM available to consumers as inexpensively as it is and being SO easy to change, why not just simply add the additional RAM yourself? Definitely the most cost effective route.

    Apple (like all companies) has a margin target for each item they sell. If they had added the additional RAM, then they would have simply raised the price. :)

    Seems like a bit of a stretch to complain about it when it can be remedied so easily.
     
  10. TallManNY macrumors 601

    TallManNY

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    #10
    There are two empty slots that are easy to get to. Just spend $50 and go to 8GB or spend $80 and go to 12GB. So easy and so cheap why even worry about the original configuration?
     
  11. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #11
    4GB is fine for most people on a day to day basis. Browsing the net, watching a few movies and listening to music doesn't need 8GB.
     
  12. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #12
    It's easy.
    If Apple had given the iMac a decent amount of RAM in the first place, how would they have upped their profits by selling fitted RAM at point of purchase?

    In the UK it costs a staggering $777.00 to get an iMac with 16GB of memory if you buy from the Apple Store. Bear in mind that you already get 4GB 'free' so that is for 12GB of memory.

    For the record I stuck 8GB of Crucial memory in my i7 which cost me £70 bringing my total upto 12GB.
     
  13. Codpeace macrumors member

    Codpeace

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    #13
    Yes. They should have put in 32GB standard in the 27".
     
  14. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #14
    4 gigs of ram can do 10X that. its enough for 75% of iMac users. Another 20% could get away with 2 gigs. Only the last 5% need more.
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    #15
    The way some programs suck up memory (web browsers for one) I'm not sure 2GB is that viable at all.

    As for 4GB, that will be good for a lot of users but not 95% of them.

    Although I will say that coming with 4GB as a base amount is enough. Possibly the only one Apple should configure with more as a base configuration is the high end 27" iMac.

    And Apple does have CTO options for more memory.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    But we are talking about the high-end 27" iMac here. The people who opt for that will most likely do more than just web browsing and music listening. 4GB is still fine though. Heck, the 6-core Mac Pro which costs 3699$ comes with 3GB of RAM!

    I would dare to bet that the majority of computer users on this planet have less than 4GB of RAM. 4GB hasn't been the standard for that long and quite a few older laptops are not even capable of running 4GB of RAM. Let alone that the end-user would know that the RAM is upgradeable, they usually just go to Walmart to buy a new one, even though the old one would have been fine with 100$ spent on upgrades.
     
  17. Bear macrumors G3

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    #17
    Let me clarify what I meant. While 2GB is currently useable, it seems that new versions of most programs like to suck up more and more memory. Seeing as lot of new computer models offer 4GB of RAM as a base amount or memory, it's not a big deal to get 4GB these days.

    And you're right, too many people just get a new system instead of buying the minor upgrades needed.

    Oh, and the Mac Pro with 3GB of ram is not a new model. It's a year old. By new model, I probably mean first put on the market less than 6 months ago.
     
  18. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    The amount of ram you need is entirely dependent on what you are doing with your computer.

    I've never seen this kind of unhealthy obsession with ram until I started hanging out in the mac community. It's just weird.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    But hey, Mac Pro is a workstation meant for people who actually do something with their computers. Pre-Nehalem Mac Pros had 2GB of RAM. It's quite clear that Apple offers people an option to do the upgrades on their own, which is actually great. If Apple put 12GB of RAM in the base Mac Pro, it would probably start at 3499$.

    My point was that computers, even very powerful ones, often come with fairly small amount of RAM so the end-user can then decide whether to opt for BTO with more RAM or do the upgrade on their own (the latter is preferred of course).
     
  20. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #20
    Complain all you want about the video cards, processors and hard drives that they put in the iMac, but you can't complain about RAM.

    It's easily upgradable by anyone who can use a screwdriver. Just upgraded mine to 16 GB last weekend for less than $200.
     
  21. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Probably because PC manufacturers are more generous with RAM.
     
  22. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #22
    Care to back that up?
     
  23. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #23
    I'd tend to agree with you actually. The Mac Pro forum is rife with people spending a hell of a lot of other people's money when they come in for suggestions as to what they should buy, and it seems that if you don't have at least 12GB (and an SSD or two) in your machine you're a sissy. The iMacs are starting to get this too, now Apple have four slots. I doubt many people on this site actually *are* professionals who have a real need for that much RAM.

    I spend my entire working day on a PC with 3GB of RAM, running Photoshop. It's fine. Not a speed demon, but that's due to the C2D 1.86Ghz CPU more than anything. My Mac Pro has 8GB, and I've never ever got grumpy with it about being "slow".

    OS X has a tendency to being RAM heavy these days, but even taking that in to account, 4GB is plenty for nearly everybody. Yes, even if you use Final Cut to edit your home videos.
     
  24. bizzle, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011

    bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I just checked Dell's website and even crap that costs $350 has 4GB+ RAM.
     
  25. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #25
    How 'bout a link?
     

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