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I'll be replacing my Retina MacBook Pro with an iMac in the coming weeks as I'm at my desk about 75% of the time. I think I'll be better off with an iMac and getting a MacBook Air down the line, but until then I have a tablet for mobile use.

I went for the full 16 GB of memory on my Retina Pro, but I'm not sure I want to do the same on a new iMac because of the fusion drive upgrade. Choosing between the fusion drive or getting 16 GB of RAM is a no-brainer; I can afford both, but would I really need to?

I'll get by fine with 8 GB on my everyday usage and even when gaming, I think. I do, on occasion, record my gameplay or make videos with the camera then crunch it at 480p through iMovie before uploading. Will 8 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 get through all this OK?

asked Dec 20 '12 at 20:15

mutley2209's gravatar image


edited Dec 21 '12 at 05:39

Fogarty's gravatar image

Fogarty ♦♦

It should be fine. iMovie is not too resource intensive

answered Dec 20 '12 at 20:35

KevinLockergnome's gravatar image

KevinLockergnome ♦♦

recording gameplay should be ok as well?

(Dec 20 '12 at 20:53) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image

That would depend more on your video card and processor then RAM, but at 8GBs I'd assume that you'd be fine, even with a baseline iMac for most games.

(Dec 20 '12 at 20:59) Zbob750 Zbob750's gravatar image

it'll be the 2.9GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 with a GeForce GT 650M 512MB and then the 8GB of 1600MHZ DDR3 Ram

(Dec 20 '12 at 21:11) mutley2209 mutley2209's gravatar image

You should be fine for a lot of games. It really depends though, how well optimized the game is, how new it is, how intensive it is, what software you use, etc.

The low-point of those specs will be the video card, it should still run most games but it may not perform well if you want maximum settings while recording on future/new games.

(Dec 20 '12 at 21:27) Zbob750 Zbob750's gravatar image

I edit my videos on 8GB's of ram. It does it rather quick.

answered Dec 20 '12 at 23:17

Randy's gravatar image


thing is, the 21.5 inch model can have it's memory upgraded it's just you have to take it apart to get at the memory which is just plain stupid when they managed to make it accessible on the 27 inch model. I wouldn't feel safe doing something like that myself and i don't know anyone who could, there is an Apple stormfront store in my town but i doubt they'd be willing to do something like that.

If i were however to go for the base model with just the upgraded 16GB memory, how would that stand up to video recording and gaming without the fusion drive, a slightly slower i5 Quad core and slightly less powerful graphics card


answered Dec 21 '12 at 06:16

mutley2209's gravatar image


I think 8 GB of RAM will play games and edit just fine. You should go with the fusion drive, because it may be more useful for your needs.

answered Dec 21 '12 at 13:59

Curtis%20Coburn's gravatar image

Curtis Coburn

Way more than enough. I have 4 GB's and do it just fine.

answered Dec 21 '12 at 20:45

Drmgiver's gravatar image


Anything with 4GB or more will be fine, but more will be better.

answered Dec 28 '12 at 07:56

henry%20gray's gravatar image

henry gray

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Asked: Dec 20 '12 at 20:15

Seen: 1,037 times

Last updated: Dec 28 '12 at 07:56