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RAM question for new Mac...

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Eric M Jones

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Posted February 26 2008 - 12:14 AM

I haven't had much experience with the new intel machines and internals. So I have a new iMac on the way for my mom. I comes with a 1gb module. I ordered a 2gb module separately. I was going to swap one for the other. Then I read that you apparently don't have to match RAM in pairs? But then I also read that if they do match it is a performance boost. So my question is... Which would be the better set up an unmatched pair or 1gb+2gb. Or the 2gb alone. I guess I'm wondering if there is a possible performance decrease if the RAM isn't matched?

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#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr



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Posted February 26 2008 - 12:32 AM

The 3GB will definitely run faster than the 2GB alone. On iMacs I've seen negligible performance increases with matched pairs and no performance hits with unmatched pairs.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted February 26 2008 - 05:52 AM

Ditto what Michael said. Macsales has some benchmarks on their site re: the various configurations of RAM (matched vs. unmatched vs. more RAM). In general one can conclude:

1. Your best bang for buck is more RAM. The jump from 1-2-3+GB is the biggest impact on performance.

2. There is a minimal performance gain for matched pairs (but it is there on some/most of the benchmarks)

So if it's a choice of getting 2GB total matched pair, or 3GB unmatched, go with 3GB. 4GB matched is, obviously, the ultimate and it's not a huge price that Macsales is asking for. I went that route.

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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Eric M Jones

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Posted February 26 2008 - 03:01 PM

Thanks for the response guys. I figured that was the case but I just wanted to be sure. My G5 is the last Mac where I've dealt with RAM and it basically requires matched pairs to max it out. It's cool that the intel machines make better use of cheaper RAM. The 2gb module was only $50... amazing. I remember when I upgraded my first Macs RAM (a 7500/100 powerpc) it was $500 for 16mb... yikes!

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#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted February 27 2008 - 03:12 AM

All this memory talk just made me upgrade my iMac to 2GB. For $40 I figured why not. Posted Image