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Home Forums Other Getting ready to buy new iMac…question about RAM.

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  • #36975
    sethgoochdesigns
    Participant

    I’ve decided to finally upgrade to a brand new computer setup.

    First off:
    I’ve been using a used white MacBook with an older external Apple monitor for years now. It’s a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with memory of 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. It’s decent, but if I’m running FireFox (I usually have 5 tabs open always it seems and have a few FF add-ons installed) and Photoshop CS5, things start to get slow and certain things in Photoshop take too long. Sometimes I quit all programs except Photoshop to run smoother.

    The iMac I’m thinking about getting:
    -The $1699 – 27 inch
    -Processor: 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
    -Memory: 4GB (two 2GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 memory
    Full specs here: http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html

    I’m debating on upgrading the RAM to 8GB or 16GB…if you guys could give me your input. I want it to be super quick and have no trouble running Photoshop with a couple files open, FireFox with numerous tabs, and iTunes all at the same time. And maybe even another Adobe program and other misc. programs. I mainly do web design/coding, graphic design, and of course web browsing. I may also be using it for editing videos down the road with Final Cut and maybe Adobe After Effects.

    Should I stick with the 4GB of memory it comes with? or upgrade to 8GB, maybe 16GB?
    Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

    #98132
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    You can upgrade to 16GB for about $100, so definitely don’t do it through Apple.

    I’d say 12GB is just fine, though – it’s what I’m using currently.

    #98133
    wolfcry911
    Participant

    I upped the ram in my iMac to 12GB – the 4 original and I added 8GB. Super, super easy – but DON’T buy the ram from Apple! You can find 8GB for around $30 – $40.

    Incidentally, you can get that computer for $1419
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC813LL/A

    #98135
    wolfcry911
    Participant

    Not any HD will work in the newer iMacs, however.

    #98136
    sethgoochdesigns
    Participant

    Thanks guys! I’ll definitely just purchase the extra ram myself…especially after looking at the price add-on for it on the Apple website. I was just a little iffy about adding the extra ram myself, but supposedly its really easy. Where do you recommend I purchase the extra RAM? What brand?

    #98137
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    Yea, the new iMacs are weird with the harddrives. Getting an SSD will bring one o the greatest possible performance increases. Apps open in an instant!

    #98138
    sethgoochdesigns
    Participant

    Is an SSD an expensive upgrade? I would like for apps for to open almost instantly, but is it necessary for running alot apps at the same time and not getting sluggish? Should I just stick with the upgrading of the ram?

    #98139
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    The entire OS is also snappier. It’s not something that would replace your HD (that would be very expensive), it’s something that would be used side-by-side.

    I have a smaller SSD (120GB) that I use for my OS and all of my apps. Then I have other drives that take care of storing my music, videos, photos, etc.

    #98140
    sethgoochdesigns
    Participant

    When you say side-by-side..do you mean it’s external? Pardon me if I’m sounding silly. I just don’t know anything about SSD. How much would a 120GB SSD cost me? Is this something I can add myself later on down the road? Can you briefly explain?

    #98141
    TheDoc
    Moderator

    Preferably it’d be internally, especially with the new iMacs.

    A 120GB SSD should be under $200.

    The problem with the iMac is the lack of ‘adding stuff later’. You can upgrade the RAM, but they’ve made it pretty difficult to upgrade much else. They’ve even made the HD upgrade less than ideal. Getting the SSD option from Apple is outrageously overpriced.

    I’ve owned an iMac before and loved it, but I’ve since moved on to a Mac Pro. I purchased it almost 100% based on it’s upgradeability (and the fact that I want to work on OS X, of course).

    I think you might have some external options with Thunderbolt, but I’m not really sure.

    #98185
    smutek
    Member

    It’s always good to have as much RAM as possible but you probably don’t need to rush out to upgrade, the difference in speed between the iMac you are buying and what you have now is going to blow you away, even with 4gb of ram.

    I always buy third party ram as well – the only exception being my MBP purchased last summer, out of pure laziness I let Apple upgrade it. The cost wasn’t nearly as bad as it used to be.

    I’ve always used MacRamDirect for memory upgrades. A lot of people seem to like Crucial as well. Both have tools to help you determine which ram you’ll ened to purchase.

    Best of luck and enjoy the new machine when it arrives.

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