Will I see a big benefit from going from 4GB ram to 8 or 12?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gdeputy, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. gdeputy macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'm considering upgrading my iMac's ram, but I'm curious if I'll notice much of a difference coming from 4GB.

    I mainly use internet, pixelmator, iPhoto, Quickbooks, WoW, SC2, Mail, iTunes, stuff like that. That's not to say I wont expand my usage, because I may but currently that's what i use.
     
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #2
    You let your activity monitor be the judge of that. Keep your computer on for an average day or two's use, and then look at system memory usage in your activity monitor. If your page outs are 20% or higher of your page ins, you will most likely benefit with more ram. If it's 10-20% page outs of your page ins, you might notice a little difference. If it's under 10% there's really no reason to get more ram.

    Of course, you can also get more ram for those rare instances of very heavy ram intensive applications like photoshop.

    ddr3 1333 ram is also getting very cheap as well, so it doesn't hurt too much to upgrade just to upgrade.
     
  3. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #3
    Very well said.
    If you can get it cheap, I'd upgrade anyway.
    Nothing like a bit of future proofing or increasing selling value.
    Another thing you could do when selling it is tell them you splashed out $200 to get it from apple with your iMac. It'll fool the 'non techies', and you could probably get more back than you payed for your ram.
    Thats if you ever want to sell it... It's a beast though ;)
    But yeah I say go for it! :)
     
  4. jasontrucks76 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    #4
    I have a similar model iMac and after just a few weeks of ownership OWC ran a sale on memory and I upped it to 8gb. I can tell you I did notice a difference right away!

    I do similar tasks as you but add video streaming and encoding to the list. I often surf the net, run Hand Brake, iTunes, do backups, and steam to the Apple TV2 and with the added ram... Its great!

    For the minimal investment of a couple 2Gb sticks I cant honestly see how you could go wrong.

    Take care! And if you go for it.... let me know your thoughts on how it works.
     
  5. Detosx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #5
    I notice that you have a mid 2010 model; if you want to further upgrade to 16GB at some point, take a look at some of the threads here/Apple forums, re random shutdowns (appears to apply only to the mid 2010 iMac models using some brands specifically at 16GB); some people report success with Hynix but, consistency wise, at the moment, Samsung would appear the way to go at 16GB with that model.
     
  6. gdeputy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Thank you for this info. I can't imagine ever needing 16gb, so I'll likely get 8 (can be found for ~80$) and up it to 12gb ram. Maybe I'll even just grab 2x2gb sticks if their cheap enough, because honestly 8GB is a ton of RAM.
     
  7. infidel69 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #7
    If your computer isn't slow now then it will almost certainly not be faster with the added memmory. Honestly alot of people maxing the ram on their imacs are wasting their money, you're better off buying an SSD. You for sure will notice a speed boost with a new SSD. Adding more ram will not make applications like video encoding with handbrake faster.
     
  8. Detosx, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #8
    Yes, beware the synthetic benchmarks (non real-world usage) of dealers selling ram. OWC's 'Adobe Photoshop CS5 medium action test' shows nominal difference between 12 and 16GB of ram in their test measuring in seconds how long it took to run a 'custom' script of 45 common memory-intensive processes on a photograph using Adobe Photoshop CS5, designed, quote, "to represent a system-straining photo editing session of a graphic artist on an iMac machine such as with multiple images, images with multiple layers, or large images such as retail signage, movie posters, event signage, promotional banners and more. These same type of results can be expected from video production suites and other 64 bit applications."

    4GB........6GB........8GB........12GB........16GB
    556.18....476.18.....423.55.....325.14.....310.61

    But getting back to real-world usage which TMRaven and infidel69 have discussed, if you are confident about working inside your iMac I agree also with the suggestion that the SSD drive will make for a vastly more noticeable difference. Though it doesn't get mentioned in reviews very often if you do a search you'll find OWC's SSD drive benchmarks well, or at least in the review I read, and they do a fitting service. I wasn't able to find any tests of reliability, though, which is a sticking point with me.
     
  9. gdeputy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gdeputy

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Well, I wan't the RAM more for the ability to have more programs open at once. My ram usage is always low but I always close out anything I'm not using. Would be nice to just let everything run.
     
  10. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #10
    Let everything run the way you want it to, and then see your page ins and outs after a day or two!
     
  11. tonyunreal macrumors regular

    tonyunreal

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    #11
    I upgraded from 4GB to 8GB a year ago and WoW performance improved a lot for me. Before upgrading I could barely stand in Dalaran, I was on a high pop server and the hard drive struggled a lot to get the character models loaded.

    BTW I usually play games under OSX, so this must be related to caching mechanism of the operating system because I don't recall I've ever met memory bottle neck at 4GB when playing games on Windows pcs.
     

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