Computers & Electronics

More RAM or faster processor?

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  • Apr 14th, 2017 10:29 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 30, 2006
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More RAM or faster processor?

My imac is around 6-7 yrs old. I am debating on some options including buying a new imac or even buying a mb pro.

Is RAM more important than processor speed when looking at buying a new imac or mb pro?
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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It depends on what you're doing with it.
[OP]
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Hmmm I'm an average user. Never have more than 2-3-4 apps running. Maybe 6 tabs as I roam the www. YouTube. Streaming to Apple TV. Torrent downloads . Nothing crazy. I'd say I'm an average user.

It's such a tough decision on what to do or to buy. Specs can be confusing.
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
How much RAM do you currently have? Based on your usage, you're probably better off with more RAM
[OP]
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That's an option I was considering. But not sure how much difference it will make. Maybe put RAM money towards a new machine?

I only have 4gb :/. My iMac has 4 slots.
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Jan 15, 2017
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Check your current machine to see how much RAM you currently use. Go to Applications / Utilities / Activity Monitor and select the Memory Tab. At the bottom of the window you will see Memory Used. If it is close to your max RAM, more RAM will help.

A new machine would be great. The iMac hasn't been updated for a while and rumour is a major update will be coming this Fall.
[OP]
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Oh ok thanks :) cool. Mine says using 3.5gb/4gb
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Nov 15, 2011
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Saint John
CPU is probably fine. Do you know specifically what model it is?

Upgrading to 8GB would be good, and you should get an SSD if your machine feels slow. That will do more than anything else to speed up general computing.
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trellaine201 wrote:
Apr 14th, 2017 9:47 pm
But to have an SSD drive installed would get quite pricey.

Maybe I'll see how much ram is and maybe try that first.

https://support.apple.com/kb/SP623?locale=en_CA

My iMac
Should be able to do it yourself, especially since your Mac isn't too old. I know they get progressively harder to work on with each generation. A 250GB drive will cost you between $100 and $120. Well worth it. If you can take it apart to install RAM, you should be able to just throw in an SSD while you're at it.

That CPU is a Sandy Bridge i5 2400S (at minimum). Any quad core from that generation should do you fine for a few more years for general computing. A lot of people are still happily using its overclockable big brother the 2500K as a gaming CPU.

EDIT: OK, so I was wrong. Looks like it's more complicated that I thought. But still doable... Ugh, Macs.

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIM21SSD11/
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[OP]
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Hmmm think I'll inquire about the cost to install :) the SSD. I'll keep the current hdd and have them take the optical drive and put in an SSD drive and setup.

Hopefully all this for under $500

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