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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - RAM Question


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JawsTheme

 
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Hi, I am considering purchasing a new iMac and I haven't been able to find an answer to the question that my decision is based on. I have been a Windows user since Windows 95, mainly due to the wide acceptance. For the past 4-5 years I have been using Ubuntu linux, as well as Windows. I love Ubuntu but it does not have the stability out of the box, and I am not THAT technically inclined to solve every issue that comes up. While I will still continue to use Ubuntu I would like to give Mac OS a try and see if it is a viable alternative to the Windows imprisonment.
My question then is this, will there be a significant performance difference in the iMac with 2GB vs. 3GB of RAM? The iMac I plan on purchasing is the 24" with the 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 or 3GB of RAM (as mentioned above), NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT 256MB, 250GB SATA HDD, iWork '06 preinstalled, and the AppleCare Protection Plan. The reason I ask is because if I get 2GB of RAM it says it runs in dual channel mode. Is running the 2GB in dual channel that much of a performance difference over the 3GB? Does the 3GB run in dual channel, is that even possible? Anyone that can help me out I would be very grateful! Thanks in advance!
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Zoolook

 
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Not having dual channel does hit benchmarks quite significantly, but in real world situations, unless you're a hardcore power user, you'll see little difference.

Say converting a 30 minute HD h.264 movie to SD MP4, losing dual channel will hurt - but will it be offset by having 3Gigs of RAM? Well that probably depends on whether you're multi-tasking or not.

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JawsTheme

 
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So are you saying that it would be better to have 2GB RAM dual channel or 3GB? Or does it not make that much of a difference?
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Zoolook

 
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Originally Posted by JawsTheme View Post
So are you saying that it would be better to have 2GB RAM dual channel or 3GB? Or does it not make that much of a difference?
It depends on what you're using your machine for. I'd rather have 2 gigs of dual channel.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
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JawsTheme

 
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I think I would be better off with 2GB dual channel as well. Mostly the system will be used for playing Video, Word Processing, and other everyday functions. No hardcore programming, number crunching, or video editing. What would you recommend for that type of use? 2GB dual channel or 3GB?
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killedbyinterne

 
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You would do fine with 2 GB. You could even make it with 1 GB if all you plan on doing is internet, word processing, and other everyday things. 2 GB would future proof your machine though in case you ever decide to do use heavier applications that require more RAM.
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JawsTheme

 
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Would 2GB play video flawlessly?
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Zoolook

 
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Would 2GB play video flawlessly?
Yes, it'd be fine. 2GB makes a big difference from 1GB, especially if you use iPhoto etc or Office 2004 (running under Rosetta).

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JawsTheme

 
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OK! Thanks for the help!
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Zoolook

 
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OK! Thanks for the help!
You're quite welcome. Make sure you come back and tell us how you get on with your new machine.

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