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iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: stephen
Date: August 31, 2020 02:33PM
It doesn't seem like iMacs have gotten dramatically faster, processor-wise.

Wondering if I should upgrade from 8 GB RAM to more. If so, do you have a recommendation of size and manufacturer? Thanks.

I have two 4 GB chips taking up two of the four slots. Performance is solid but slightly sluggish from time to time.

Occasional use of Adobe Creative Suite but more often it's just a ton of browser windows and programs open at the same time.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 31, 2020 02:54PM
16 gigs (2x8) is a little less than $90 from our sponsors.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 31, 2020 02:58PM
What are you doing with it?

How full is the drive?

Does it have a spinny drive, or a Fusion Drive? If it has a spinny drive, I'd either replace it or add an SSD external via ThunderBolt.

If you're willing to take it apart, I'd upgrade both the blade SSD to a faster blade, and the 3.5 to a SATA SSD. This article talks about it generall:

[www.macworld.com]
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 31, 2020 03:00PM
Whoops, should have read more closely before posting.

For $90 and ease of upgrade, the RAM seems like a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you're handy, you could buy a 1TB NVME and adapter for about $140, and that would give your iMac a significant upgrade. Probably take an afternoon to do, unless you've done this kind of thing a lot.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: stephen
Date: August 31, 2020 03:04PM
I've got a Fusion drive, and I am only moderately handy with tech.

Our sponsors! Yes, a no-brainer. Thank you for the reminder. Why buy anywhere else?
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 31, 2020 03:23PM
You would see a nice boost over the fusion drive with the right external.

It is possible to “defuse” a fusion drive:

[www.macworld.com]
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 31, 2020 03:26PM
Re-upping the idea of a good external
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: August 31, 2020 03:46PM
stephen,

I added 2 x 8GB sticks from our sponsor to my 2015 iMac and it made a significant difference. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.



Remember how when you were little
you could just rip off your diaper and
just run around naked and everyone
thought it was so cute and funny?


Anyway, I need bail money.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 31, 2020 04:36PM
Quote
stephen
Our sponsors! Yes, a no-brainer. Thank you for the reminder. Why buy anywhere else?

Cause you can get the same for cheaper? (if money matters, its not a lot of $ cheaper)

There is some good advice in some of these posts, but not all specifically correct.

RAM is a no brainer, jumping to 24 GB would be the best bang for the buck IMHO. However, if you are looking for more "speed", that isnt what RAM does. It does give your OS and apps more overhead to run more efficiently, which will make them feel zippier, but necessarily "faster". Semantics maybe.

As for an external drive, not a bad idea. However if you have a 2 TB fusion drive, I wouldnt bother. I made the move from a fusion drive to an external NVMe drive... and if theres a difference, I cant tell. Im running CC all day.

But... if you have a 1 TB Fusion drive... then I would consider it. The 1 TB Fusion drive in your iMac was crippled vs 2TB (and larger) versions.

Although you do have Thunderbolt 2 ports, getting a drive with those connections is wildly cost-prohibitive, so no go there. You can connect via USB 3, but again, that goes back to the size of your Fusion drive. 1 TB, sure, 2 TB meh.

Cost can start to get $$$ depending on sizes and interfaces, also somethign to consider...



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: stephen
Date: August 31, 2020 06:14PM
I think one of the larger issues is that programs will hang sometimes, for a minute or so, and become unresponsive, and then (sometimes) respond again.
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Re: iMac 27" with Retina, late 2015 -- add more RAM?
Posted by: kurtzie
Date: August 31, 2020 09:36PM
Start with RAM. It’s easy and no too much money. I ordered from our sponsor Friday morning and it arrived today (Monday) USPS.
After that look at an SSD, like JDC says.
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I did.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 31, 2020 11:04PM
And I'm glad I did.

I went from 8G to 24G on the prior ebay steal deal of ~$30 for 16G.

THAT was a no-brainer.

Many, if not most here, remember the days when a 7200rpm spinner was pricey, and 5400s weren't much cheaper or very fast.

RAM was the goto fix for most speed ills.

Those days are long gone.

But RAM handles processes faster than most HDs and data manipulation that can't be handled in RAM gets handled by the HD or SSD.

Run out of free memory and the storage drive takes over.

For the most part, SSDs are plenty fast and negate much of the speed advantage of keeping operations in RAM.

But I still get slowdowns and temporary screen freezes while a beach ball spins, with 12G RAM and a fair SSD (Crucial MX300, on my 2012 mini.

I believe this is because with a couple of RAM intensive apps and a browser with lots of tabs using up application memory.

An app called Memory Monitor was a staple for me.

When things got sluggish, a quick glance would tell me how much free memory I had, and it was usually less than a G.

Click its Free Memory button would give be back a G or three sometimes.

But it caused a lot of directory damage, not of which couldn't be fixed with Disc Warrior.

If you operate well within your free memory envelope, I don't believe more RAM will help.

If you tend to max your free memory, I think you'll see a difference with more RAM.

Check Activity Monitor to see how you stand on free memory, expecially if you're having a slow down or apps are taking longer than normal to open.

If you're maxing out your RAM regualrly, that's where I'd start, at least in checking prices.

I've found typical SSDs in the 1T/$100 range give me better performance than my 2T fusion drive, nothing top tier.

When it comes to increasing operating speed, I'd say that RAM and SSDs (2.5" or NVME) are at the opposite ends of the Bang for Buck Scale.

Cost is a big factor of where the slider is for any given user.




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