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iMac RAM: 16 GB or 20 GB

1190 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Feb 5, 2013 3:49 PM by Philip Snyder RSS
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Philip Snyder Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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Jan 29, 2013 11:26 AM

I'm running an iMac 3.4 GHz Intel quad core i7. I want to upgrade my RAM from the installed 4GB (2X2GB). The Applecare reps tell me that I can't configure beyond 16GB (4X4GB); that higher RAM will not be recognized or even cause a problem. The guy at the Apple dealer (Microcenter) tells me that I can install two 8 GB chips in two additional slots and leave the 2X2GB chips in place and have a total of 20 GBs of RAM. The dealer is not making more money that way. It would actually be less.

What's the right answer?

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 12:26 PM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    although you may get some answer s here, the main focus of this forum is finalcutpro 7.  You might do better posting in a different forum.

  • Nick Holmes Level 7 Level 7 (29,805 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 12:29 PM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    According to Mactracker....

    Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 9.26.06 PM.png

     

    I have a May 2011 21.5" iMac with 32GB. It recognises all of it.

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 12:31 PM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    That machine can be had direct from Apple with up to 32GB RAM installed (4x8).

     

    The 20GB configuration will also work fine and yes, the system will see 20GB.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 12:39 PM (in response to Michael Black)

    are you guys just trying to make me look bad?

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 12:40 PM (in response to Michael Grenadier)

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 5:22 AM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    yes. That's the limit for any 32 bit app.  However, if you're using other apps simultaneously with fcp, they will be able to use the additional ram. 

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 5:38 AM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    there are no free lunches in video editing.  What format are your sources and what are your sequence settings?  If your clips match the sequence settings and it's a standard format, exporting a selfcontianed qt is pretty quick and the savings from using qmaster to distribute the compression can be substantial with an hour quicktime.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 5:41 AM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    using "share" or just choosing the appropriate preset shouldn't make a difference in compressor's processing time. 

    And compressor 3.5 has the same 4 gig limitation as fcp. 

     

    You can send to compressor from within fcp which allows you to keep editing in fcp (but you can't use qmaster when you do this).  This can be a big advantage.

  • Michael Grenadier Level 6 Level 6 (19,800 points)
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    Jan 30, 2013 6:01 AM (in response to Philip Snyder)

    well I'd say upping the RAM to at least 8 gigs and given how cheap it is to 16 gigs will have some benefits.  If you're running fcp AND compressor at the same time, they'll be able to take advantage of 4 gigs each (I think, I'm not an expert at this) and the OS needs some RAM to run also. 

     

    At the moment, I'm running FCP, doing some file copies, and running chrome.  I just started the activity monitor.  It shows fcp using 628 megs of real memory and 852 megs of virtual memory.  I've always thought that virtual memory was when stuff that should have been in ram if it was available was swapped to the startup hard disk.  Anyone out there want to explain what's going on?  If no one does, and I remember, I'll start a new thread regarding this.  oh yeah, I've got 12 gigs of ram on my macpro.

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