Whch is more noticeable, more RAM or SSD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 212rikanmofo, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. 212rikanmofo macrumors 68000

    Jan 31, 2003
    I am torn between upgrading the ram on my soon to be iMac from 8gb to either 16gb or 32gb, or using the money to upgrade from a 1TB fusion drive to a 512GB SSD?

    Which one would give me a big performance boost? I use the machine mostly for adobe creative apps and your typical, web, email, and casual gaming once in awhile.
  2. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I think in your case, you need more RAM....since 1TB fusion drive is still covering your needs.
  3. 212rikanmofo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 31, 2003
    Do you think 32GB would be good? I hate having page outs. I can always upgrade to a bigger SSD later when the prices drop, so I think getting ram now would be a better choice.
  4. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Well I maxed it out at 16GB, and only rarely get page outs. If your creative apps give you enough speed out of the Fusion drive, there's no compelling reason to spend big bucks on a pure SSD.
  5. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    The most cost effective solution would be to add two 8GB modules for a total of 24GB.
  6. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Since you already have the Fusion Drive (so you get the benefits of an SSD), I'd say more RAM will benefit you.
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra

    Excellent advice. And if it turns out 24GB isn't enough, the OP can always replace the original 8GB with a 16GB kit to max out the system. No money wasted whichever option turned out to meet their needs.
  8. automan98 macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    Memory. The Fusion drive will e fine for what you're doing.
  9. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2012
    Interesting comment about 'hating page outs.' Do you actually notice them or is it some perception based on the number you get from Activity Monitor? And if you do notice your machine slowing on occasions, how do you know it's page outs and not Adobe going away and doing something for a while?

    Better to take an holistic view, see where your speed/productivity problems are, in all respects (it might be you could be more productive by drinking less coffee, or more :)).

    I know memory's cheap and fitting it is easy, but a couple of months down the road you could be no more productive than you are today and you'll be wondering why.
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Unless you are working with some rather large files in Adobe, I doubt that you will even notice any difference between 8GB and more RAM...
  11. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    I'd choose the SSD any day.

    IIRC the 1 Tb Fusion has only 128mb of ssd, the rest of it is the standard hd, so it's easy to filled up, especially if you work with lots of big files.

    Even swapping is not such a problem when you have an SSD, since it happens so fast it's not even noticeable.
  12. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    Your most noticable boost would be from a dedicated SSD, no fusion malarkey.

    That said while you're at it you may as well throw some more ram in there, it's dirt cheap now.

    I put a 512GB SSD in my mini with 16gb ram, it's blitzing now, if an app takes more than a second to open I get annoyed :p
  13. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    I thought the OP stated he was on a BUDGET. Seems to be a foreign word to you.
  14. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    Considering this choices that he offered, its not THAT much of a budget. If your going back and forth on parts that account for less than 20% total of the machines cost either your budget is stretched too thin already or you just want confirmation your choice was right
  15. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    My friends tell me the same thing :eek:

    What I meant was ram is so cheap in the scheme of things it'd be worth throwing in the extra. Besides a 512gb SSD is WAY more than 16gb of ram.

    Bang for buck it's still the SSD though
  16. Spiritgreywolf macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2008
    Depends - as soon as I hear Adobe suite I think "hmm, these apps like to spread out in memory a little". Games will do that too as a general rule.

    If you already have a Fusion drive, that tells me that the most often binaries will already have been pushed to the SSD portion, so probably most of your Adobe apps are already there. The performance gain in this case - and I'm just guessing since I can't see your activity monitor - would probably come from added memory.

    Here's the rub - if ANY of your apps struggle with swap space, and you go pure SSD without giving them more breathing room in the way of RAM, that means that although it may seem a bit faster, it's hammering your SSD with the swaps every time it happens.

    To me? I would say work on adding RAM as much as you can. If you feel compelled to add faster disk later, by the time you do that SSD's will have probably gone down in price more precipitously than RAM will have by then.

    Just my $0.02

  17. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    RAM is cheap, SSD is extremely expensive.
  18. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    The OP said he/she has the option of SSD #justsaying

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