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I have a 27" iMac (2017) - 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7 - Radeon Pro 580 8 GB - 16GB DDR4 running macOS Mojave 10.14.6.

I do a lot of video editing, compression and record a lot of Live DJ Sets with a Pro DJ Suite.

At this point, the video editing and compression is going 'ok', but if it could be a little bit faster, I would not mind.

In light of this work, would upgrading the memory from 16GB to 32GB be useful?

In other words, if I add an extra 16GB to the system, will I have better results* when working on video files?

*Better results = faster completion.

  • @Monomeeth Thanks for the edition. :-) – Dakta Moriamé Jul 26 at 11:20
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I'm a big believer in having more RAM generally, but of course in many situations having more RAM isn't warranted. In your case, however, having more RAM is going to be useful because of the type of tasks you're using your iMac for.

The key spec missing from your question, however, is the type of storage you have. If your iMac has one of the Fusion drives, then you'll get more out of your extra RAM than you will if you have an internal SSD. This is because macOS will use your storage device for virtual memory when it doesn't have enough RAM available.

In summary, if your internal drive:

  • is a Hybrid/Fusion drive, then definitely upgrade your RAM.
  • is an SSD, then strongly consider upgrading your RAM
  • Thanks for your good advice! I indeed forgot to mention that the storage is a 3TB Fusion drive. So... I know what to do next! Time to order some RAM's! :-) – Dakta Moriamé Jul 26 at 11:14
  • @DaktaMoriamé A Fusion Drive will also be slower than 'raw' SSD storage, particularly for large files, and that too will have an effect on performance. – benwiggy Jul 26 at 11:22
  • You also might want to consider using an external SSD connected through one of the Thunderbolt 3 ports, which has a theoretical max speed of 40 Gbps. OWC has a drive with pretty impressive specs but you have to put out a little cash. – IconDaemon Jul 26 at 18:15
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Yes RAM will help both with multitasking and having more is even more important with a fusion drive (from what I understand). If you want an even faster experience you might want to consider buying an external SSD and running most of your workload from that (and having internal fusion drive for archive and backups).

  • Thx for your answer. I already have an external SSD to do what you suggest. 😊 – Dakta Moriamé Jul 26 at 16:20

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