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MU51CL
14th December 2009, 09:15 PM
Hi folks - my first post here so be gentle :)

Just making the transition Back to Mac. There was a time I had no option with work requirements but to go PC. Now I don't and I'm moving back. My last Mac was an LC520....showing my age....

Anyhow, the primary use for iMac is as a music server with iTunes fed out of Firewire to an outboard DAC.
I also like to mess with my photos (10 megapixel SLR files, .jpg's) and I will be playing with photos while I listen to music.

I think that 8GB will be better for this. Yes/No?
I'm just an amateur photographer so no Photoshop, never got my head around that. Will start with Pixelator (ordered) and go Aperture if I feel the need.
I have the 21.5" with 4670 graphics.
Is it useful to add 2 more 2 GB RAM "chips" or will I be wasting time/money?

Thanks in advance.
I'm almost relieved to be back with Macs after years of PC conflicts.

MrJesseRoss
14th December 2009, 09:18 PM
More RAM is always a good idea. Especially if you're going to be dealing with images. Just go for it.

Currawong
14th December 2009, 10:45 PM
My suggestion is, get iStat Menus installed, which can show the memory usage in the menu bar, and watch to see if you're hitting the 4GB ceiling. If you can afford the extra memory though, go for it, as a few years down the track when it's not the most popular memory, it might cost more should you feel you want it.

dangelovich
15th December 2009, 06:35 AM
8gb seems a tad excessive. Don't get me wrong... the more the merrier.

I've got 6GB in my Mac Pro, and the only time it gets fully used is when I'm playing in Motion. Your DAC is most likely doing all the processing, so I doubt you'll see much benefit there, and 10mp photos are pretty tame, so again, little benefit.

You could easily get away with 4gb. Even 2gb, but that's pushing it a little.
If it's not going to cost much (no idea what RAM is worth these days), you might as well go all out and get 8gb.

soulman
15th December 2009, 09:10 AM
Maybe it depends how long you run between restarts. I have 8GB in my Mac Pro and within a week or two it is always fully used. That said, I didn't notice a huge increase in speed when I went from 4 to 8. Somewhere in there should be fine, but get 8 if you can afford it I reckon.

~Coxy
15th December 2009, 10:34 AM
Maybe it depends how long you run between restarts. I have 8GB in my Mac Pro and within a week or two it is always fully used. That said, I didn't notice a huge increase in speed when I went from 4 to 8. Somewhere in there should be fine, but get 8 if you can afford it I reckon.

If your computer is on for a long time then it will always be "fully used" but unlike in the old days this doesn't mean that you're "running out". It's used to cache programs and files and things since you're not really using it, but will be freed if you open a new app that wants its own space.

ISTR someone on these forums has a good copy/paste descrption of Wired/Active/Inactive/Free memory that explains things a bit better, hopefully they post it.

MacDave
15th December 2009, 10:40 AM
Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1342)

My viewpoint about new Macs is simple: If you can afford upgrades, memory or otherwise, and the prices are reasonable at the time, simply do it. Then you know from day 1 that your new toy is working at peak efficiency.

Dave

soulman
15th December 2009, 10:48 AM
If your computer is on for a long time then it will always be "fully used" but unlike in the old days this doesn't mean that you're "running out".Yeah, I think "Page outs" & "Swap used" are probably more reliable indicators of actually running out of real memory.

MacDave
15th December 2009, 10:51 AM
In terminal, do the command top -u and pay attention to this line:

VM: 205G vsize, 1041M framework vsize, 186618(0) pageins, 78(0) pageouts.

The bracketed numbers are pageins/pageouts/second. If the number of pageouts per second is regularly above 0 or 1, then you could use more RAM.

That's how it was once put to me by Apple tech. I reckon there's a slight chance they're correct. =)

Dave

MU51CL
15th December 2009, 02:12 PM
Thanks guys, I will look at all of that is I start working with it.
Still getting used to how things are quite a lot different on Mac compared to what I have gotten used to.

dotnet
15th December 2009, 03:14 PM
The bracketed numbers are pageins/pageouts/second. If the number of pageouts per second is regularly above 0 or 1, then you could use more RAM.

Indeed, this would be an indication that you don't have enough RAM for what you're doing.

Adding more RAM not only helps against having too little, though. It also boosts file IO, especially on systems with slow disks (such as laptops and single-disk machines in general). Not only is RAM used as buffer cache ("inactive memory") but also speculative memory to vastly speed up access to often used files.

Speculative memory is part of the green wedge in Activity Monitor, so it's not immediately apparent how much of it the system uses at any point in time. If you run vm_stat in Terminal you can check how much of your "free" memory (according to Activity Monitor) is actually free and how much is used as speculative memory.

Looking at my machine right now (8GB MBP) it shows that of my supposed 2.5GB free memory only 16MB are actually unused.

Cheers
Steffen.

gatherdowns
17th December 2009, 10:27 PM
I am looking at a machine that has four gigs and I will be doing some small video editing. Can I, should I , would I be better adding to 8 is as high as I can go I think. I pretty well think I know the answer. Next question is can I put Kingston along side apple memory. And if not who is the OEM that makes it for Apple. As I feel apple memory is so over the top.

MacDave
18th December 2009, 01:00 AM
I am looking at a machine that has four gigs and I will be doing some small video editing. Can I, should I , would I be better adding to 8 is as high as I can go I think. I pretty well think I know the answer. Next question is can I put Kingston along side apple memory. And if not who is the OEM that makes it for Apple. As I feel apple memory is so over the top.

Generally, you can mix and match brands of RAM so long as it is all up to spec. There is nothing special about "Apple RAM." Apple doesn't manufacture RAM, they just get it from others. As I'm American, I buy all my RAM from OWC (which caters to Mac users.) Many Aussies here buy from OWC as well. If nothing else, it's a good guide to common brands of RAM which will work fine in Macs.

Apple Mac Memory Upgrade Options: Easy Buying Guide, Installation Videos too. LifeTime Advance Replacement Memory Warranty (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/)

Dave