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iMac and Ram - 4gb v. 8gb

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Geniuses,

I have a iMac 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (20-inch - DDR3) MB417LL/A with 2gb RAM. I got it as a refurb about a year ago. I get the occasional beach ball and lagging launch icon, and figured that by now RAM would be cheaper and maybe worth the upgrade. I am not a power user. I do all the regular itunes/iphoto/internet/mail and the occasional short imove clip. Typically have two users logged in, the other being my wife who is less of a power user than me. I have an external that does time machine and is partitioned with moves and other such media files. I stream using airport. That sort of thing.

So the question now is the value of upgrading to 4gb RAM vs. 8gb RAM, which is the max this iMac will support. If I have 8gb of RAM will I just be blown away by how much faster and deeply pleasing my iMac experience will be? OR, unless I'm doing something very intense, will I be basically just as blown away by 4gb?

on Crucial the 4gb (2x2gb) is $72
8gb (2x4gb) is $168

Your thoughts and opinions welcome.

Thanks
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by icibaqu View Post

Geniuses,

I have a iMac 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (20-inch - DDR3) MB417LL/A with 2gb RAM. I got it as a refurb about a year ago. I get the occasional beach ball and lagging launch icon, and figured that by now RAM would be cheaper and maybe worth the upgrade. I am not a power user. I do all the regular itunes/iphoto/internet/mail and the occasional short imove clip. Typically have two users logged in, the other being my wife who is less of a power user than me. I have an external that does time machine and is partitioned with moves and other such media files. I stream using airport. That sort of thing.

So the question now is the value of upgrading to 4gb RAM vs. 8gb RAM, which is the max this iMac will support. If I have 8gb of RAM will I just be blown away by how much faster and deeply pleasing my iMac experience will be? OR, unless I'm doing something very intense, will I be basically just as blown away by 4gb?

on Crucial the 4gb (2x2gb) is $72
8gb (2x4gb) is $168

Your thoughts and opinions welcome.

Thanks

If the use of that iMac isn't increased radically 4GB RAM is more than enough. The iMac will get a bit faster, but more importantly it will operate much smoother.
And you save $ 96...
post #3 of 5
I'd agree, that 8GB would likely show no difference to you.

Where your system will garner a huge improvement is when you have multiple apps running at once. Including the apps running for the second logged in user. You very likely have 2 instances of Safari, Mail, and Preview running... among others... plus whatever else each of you has left running. Each of these "takes up" a certain amount of RAM, and will cause Page-outs to the hard drive more frequently if you have less RAM.
I guess what I'm saying is, 8GB MIGHT make a difference (compared to 4GB) for you IF you both like to leave multiple apps running all the time.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I'd agree, that 8GB would likely show no difference to you.

Where your system will garner a huge improvement is when you have multiple apps running at once. Including the apps running for the second logged in user. You very likely have 2 instances of Safari, Mail, and Preview running... among others... plus whatever else each of you has left running. Each of these "takes up" a certain amount of RAM, and will cause Page-outs to the hard drive more frequently if you have less RAM.
I guess what I'm saying is, 8GB MIGHT make a difference (compared to 4GB) for you IF you both like to leave multiple apps running all the time.

I agree. 4GB can certainly do everything adequately, but 8GB would be pure luxury for a set of home users. And luxury is of course very nice, but also expensive. You don't need it, but you may want it!
You could also run a business with 8GB of RAM.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I'm sure 4 will be fine.
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