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I need to run the latest version of Linux Mint (19.1) under VirtualBox for software testing and debugging. To get the tested apps to run well the VM needs to have 8gb ram, but right now that's the total ram in my iMac I purchased in January 2016 which is currently running Mojave.

I need recommendations for how much ram I should upgrade to. The officially supported ram configurations are: 8gb, 16gb, and 32gb but a local former Apple dealer said 24gb MIGHT work as well.

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    What is the exact model of your iMac, e.g. iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) and what CPU? You can get this info from About This Mac on the  menu. – user3439894 Mar 16 at 21:24
  • The Mactracker app will list the possibilities for your machine - it’s very handy and I have it on my phone and the mac... – Solar Mike Mar 17 at 7:31
  • It says "Retina 5k, 27-inch, late 2015" – Bryan Dunphy Mar 18 at 9:00
  • The iMac Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015 supports 32 GB per Apple specs; however, supports 64 GB actual. There are 4 slots which support 204-pin PC3L-14900 (1867 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM. (Source: Mactracker) – user3439894 Mar 18 at 14:16
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Below are some points about purchasing memory for a Mac.

  • Buy the memory in pairs of equal size. If possible the pair should be sold in the same package. This avoids possible timing issues.

  • The price for the same memory usually increases with time. So waiting to upgrade usually is not economical.

  • The number of banks usually is limited. So if you upgrade now and again later, you will may have to remove memory installed during the first upgrade. This ends up being more expansive than if you had chosen a larger upgrade in the first place.

  • Buy memory that explicitly is for your Mac. The same memory for a PC often will not work in Macs.

  • The two banks of memory do not have to be the same size, but if you are purchasing memory, you will get better performance if the banks are the same size.

I believe posting recommendations is discouraged here at Ask Different. However, I will say that memory requirements for successfully hosting a virtual machine is larger than any other application I have installed.

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