RAM – Best buys
32GB RAM for an iMac
here are two types of RAM: DIMMs (long sticks) and SO-DIMMs (a bit squatter). Traditionally, desktops used DIMMs and laptops used SO-DIMMs, but with Apple and others increasingly using laptop parts for its desktops (the iMac and Mac mini at least), most recent Apple hardware all use SODIMMs. There are many different speeds and types of SO-DIMM, and it’s very important you make sure that you’re getting exactly the right RAM for your machine to get the best performance from it.
Happily, it’s in shops’ interest to make sure you’re buying the right thing, not least because some vendors such as Crucial offer a guarantee that the RAM you buy will be compatible with your system. You can either shop manually – loading About This Mac and looking to see what kind of RAM you need – or by using a series of drop-downs at uk.crucial. com to identify your model and find how much it can take. Crucial even offers an app for your Mac which will tell you what you need.
TIf you bought a 27-inch iMac a couple of years ago, it would have come with 8GB RAM – a decent amount to run OS X and a handful of mid-complex apps. But maybe since you bought it, you want to do some creative work, and if you’re running, say, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, 8GB is probably starting to bite. Happily, you can double it for £116, or max it out to a very comfortable 32GB for really not that much money at all – a solid investment for any studio.