512MB to 1GB memory for iMac- noticable difference?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I have an 15" 800 Mhz iMac, with 512MB. I love it, but I just want to be a little more responsive, with less beach balls. Would adding another 512MB RAM, so it has 1GB make a difference in the performance?

I use it mostly for web and e-mail, with the occasional iMovie, DVD-burning, and Dreamweaver/Fireworks/Photoshop.

I hoping a gig of RAM, with Panther, will let me hold off a few months to buy a new machine. Any experiences around here?


  • Reply 1 of 3
    It's not going to be dramatic, because 512MB is enough for the tasks you are doing.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    If you have a single 512MB SODIMM in the internal slot, I would add the extra 512. Prices are reasonable right now, and it would give you enough overhead to reduce the beachballs you are seeing.

    I have 256MB in my PowerBook, and it drives me crazy at times. I have 512MB in the iMac at home, and it is MUCH better. However, I do eat all that RAM up at time without trying too hard. If I have Safari, Mail, iChat, iTunes, TextEdit, and Photoshop running, I get down to 5MB of free RAM in no time. That's with very minor PS work going on. If I then open up iPhoto without first quitting a few apps, it pages out like crazy.

    Mine consists of 2 256MB chips though, so I don't see myself upgrading it. If I had a free slot though, I probably would.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    i added an additional 512mb to the 256mb my iMac 800mhz came with (i got it a year and a half ago when they first came out) and i feel no need to upgrade whatsoever, the machine runs very well! i usually have every app open at once, including PS7, iMovie, Word, Safari, IE, Mail, iTunes, iPhoto, etc. and i never have any problems. even gaming is excellent...i've used it for Diablo2, MOHAA, Neverwinter Nights, Myth, Myst, to name a few.

    just ordered a 512mb chip for my Alu-PB15 1Ghz. (and i only got a new mac so i didnt have to share computers with hubby anymore.) with the current 256mb, i noticed that iTunes will "skip" when i am doing anything else even slightly intensive. PS7 is slower, and i wont even bother installing FCE until the ram comes in.

    to answer your question, 1Gb of RAM will make you a happy person, but i've found that even 768mb is very decent. if prices are good, go for the extra 512mb.
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