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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 12:28 AM   #1
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Question iMac (late 2006) RAM question

I have three questions about my wife's iMac as I thinking about purchasing some more RAM for it.

1. Is it correct that the iMac (late 2006) 17" 2GHz Core 2 Duo with the SuperDrive can support up to 3GB or RAM?

2. If so, then would an increase from 2GB to 3GB be significant in terms of performance? (I'm asking because I'm under the impression that the Core 2 Duos like paired RAM.)

3. If so, then would it matter which RAM slot had the 2GB chip?

Thanks.

James
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 12:37 AM   #2
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If you want some real-world, first-hand perspective from an expert:

Canada RAM sells memory in Canada - DIMM, DDR, Mac, PowerBook
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
If you want some real-world, first-hand perspective from an expert:

Canada RAM sells memory in Canada - DIMM, DDR, Mac, PowerBook
Thanks for the link as it helped me to find Understanding Intel Mac RAM - Mac Guides and Matched RAM on Intel Macs - Mac Guides, which may or may not help me figure out if I should bother with 3GB or now 4GB.

hmm...

James
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 01:55 AM   #4
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AFAIk, those 17 iMacs can only support 3GB of RAM. And the performance boost over 2GB of RAM is Negligible. (again, AFAIK).
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 02:11 AM   #5
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The benefit of pairing two even DIMM's is less significant than an upgrade to 3GB (2GB + 1GB) from 2GB (1GB x 2).

3. If so, then would it matter which RAM slot had the 2GB chip?

No.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 05:04 AM   #6
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Whether the extra GB of RAM will improve your performance or not, depends a lot on how you are using your machine. If you multitask a lot, and use Photoshop, digital audio or video creation software, or virtual environments (VMWare, Parallels) then chances are you will see a real improvement 2 GB to 3 GB -- more of an improvement than the speed you will lose (6% - 8%) by giving up Dual Channel access.

For the power hungry, there is the option of installing 4 GB to get a matched pair. You will still only utilize 3 GB of the total, but you will gain back the 6 - 8% Dual Channel access speed bump.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaRAM View Post
Whether the extra GB of RAM will improve your performance or not, depends a lot on how you are using your machine. If you multitask a lot, and use Photoshop, digital audio or video creation software, or virtual environments (VMWare, Parallels) then chances are you will see a real improvement 2 GB to 3 GB -- more of an improvement than the speed you will lose (6% - 8%) by giving up Dual Channel access.

For the power hungry, there is the option of installing 4 GB to get a matched pair. You will still only utilize 3 GB of the total, but you will gain back the 6 - 8% Dual Channel access speed bump.
Thanks for the information. Things were getting a little bit slow because of multiple users and, mostly me, running 5 to 10 programs including Word and Excel v.X, which are RAM hogs.

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