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Thread: Maximum RAM ?

  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Maximum RAM ?
    I have an iMac 21.5" Mid-2011 MAc ID Mac12,1. I currently have 12GB RAM on board, running OS 10.13.5

    I think I need to add additional RAM. According to the Apple Website, the max RAM for this iMac is 16GB. However, the memory retailer OWC (Other World Computing) seems to say the 32GB is possible. Which one is right?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    OWC is correct. According to Mactracker, the original Apple configuration called for 16GB maximum. But later updates to the firmware allows for 32GB to be installed. But the question we have is why do you think you need more memory?

  3. #3

    pm-r's Avatar
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    OWC is correct.

    +1.

    Also https://everymac.com/systems/apple/i...olt-specs.html
    Standard RAM: 4 GB Maximum RAM: 32 GB*
    Details: By default, 4 GB of RAM is installed as two 2 GB SO-DIMM modules. Two slots free.

    *Officially, this model supports four 4 GB modules -- one in each slot for a maximum of 16 GB of memory. However, third-parties have discovered that it actually will support 32 GB of memory using four 8 GB modules.

    But the question we have is why do you think you need more memory?
    +2!!!

    Have a look at your Activity Monitor.app to get an idea of what your iMac is doing and using.





    - Patrick
    ======

  4. #4


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    I was considering additional memory after updating to Mac OS High Sierra. I seems to run slower than El Capitan that I had been running

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Do you have an SSD in your iMac?

    HS is designed to run on SSDs rather than platter drives. Read this from OWC founder:-


    https://blog.macsales.com/43043-usin...ht-not-want-to
    Last edited by harryb2448; 06-16-2018 at 06:47 PM.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  6. #6

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Harry, the article addresses the installation of APFS on HDDs, but HS doesn't do that. Only SSDs get converted to APFS. If you upgrade to HS on a spinner drive, it is left as HFS+. So while the article may well be correct, it's immaterial.
    Jake

  7. #7

    pm-r's Avatar
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    Harry, the article addresses the installation of APFS on HDDs, but HS doesn't do that.

    Thanks Jake, you saved me from replying in case the article's facts hadn't been noticed as unrelated.




    - Patrick
    ======

  8. #8


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    Read Harry's post from OWC founder. Can't say i understand most of it, but that's just me and my limited background. Beyond that I have two questions. I upgraded to two additional 8GB of RAM from OWC so I now have 20 GB total. i still do see on occasion the rainbow ball of slowness. I figured with the additional Ram that problem would totally go away. I know you say to check the activity monitor, but that doesn't show any problems. I too am running HS. Any ideas? The second question is since my iMac is a mid-2011, and HDs don't last forever, I'm kicking around the idea to upgrade to a SSD. On my 1 TD HD I use less than 150GB so I figure a 250GB SSD would work fine. Would going with an SSD do anything to lessen the chances of the rainbow ball of slowness or is that only the function of Ram?

  9. #9

    Slydude's Avatar
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    With the amount of memmory that you have if you have checked activity monitor the hard drive might be the bottleneck. I put an SSD in my 2008 MacBook Pro and it made a noticeable difference in some aspects of performace. Boot time was greatly reduced. The other time the change is noticed iswhen you are doing any tasks that write large files to the disk.

  10. #10


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    I have an external HDD as a backup drive but no SSD's

  11. #11


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    Another limiting factor is the video card. It looks like 2011 iMacs come with 512MB ram, with the Late 2011 model only having 256MB.

    Where are you experiencing the spinning color wheel?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  12. #12

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Would going with an SSD do anything to lessen the chances of the rainbow ball of slowness or is that only the function of Ram?
    The spinning beachball is almost never the result of insufficient RAM. More often it's a failing hard drive, or a slow CPU/GPU. RAM may, repeat, may cause the beachball if the "pressure" on ram gets large. You can monitor memory pressure in Activity Monitor and if it's not green, then more RAM may help.

    The old HHD in your Mac is a major suspect for the beachballing. Moving to an SSD will significantly speed up things. You may still get the occasional beachball, your system is seven years old, after all, but the SSD will significantly reduce boot time and the time to launch applications. Read and writes to the SSD will be much quicker as well. With SSD prices dropping, replacing your spinner with an SSD is a good investment.
    Jake

  13. #13

    pm-r's Avatar
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    Where are you experiencing the spinning color wheel?

    That can be the main question to answer, especially if one is running into some Internet server site bottleneck that no amount of excessive memory can help or fix.

    At least you're lucky enough that you can actually upgrade the RAM in that iMac and avoid Apple's apparent attitude:

    Jony Ive Memory.jpg


    - Patrick
    ======

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