Upgrading your RAM from Apple is a lot like buying your tires directly from the car dealership. It's overpriced for essentially the same product and you shouldn't do it. In this video I cover the benefits of upgrading your RAM from a third party to maximize your computers ability for retouching and file management through various applications like Lightroom.If you are a photographer I would strongly recommend using the MAC Pro for photography, which I will cover more in depth in a future artcile. You can very affordably put in 64, 96, and even 128GB of RAM to help speed up your culling process, work on large PSB files, and multitask many software applications that utilize a lot of the computer's resource memory. I myself at any given time have 4 monitors each running multiple applications that utilize a lot of my computer's memory resources. Whether this is a better option than the new iMac is a completely different article and will not be debated here.
This article is simply why I wouldn't recommend spending more money to do it through Apple and the reasons why. I've been urging people NOT to purchase RAM from Apple since my days of working for Apple at the genius bar. It's easy to install, doesn't void your warranty, saves money, and speeds up your new or used computer. Remember that Apple isn't making unique special "Apple RAM," but is installing third party RAM purchased from a handful of other hardware companies just like they do with their Intel processors that can be found in PC's. Companies like Other World Computing have been a great resource to getting access to this same type of hardware for decades at much cheaper prices. The only catch is that you have to install it yourself. Please note that the Genius Bar at an Apple Retail store will never ever, under any circumstances, perform any upgrades on your machines after it has already been purchased so be prepared to do this yourself or call over your techie friends for help in your upgrades. Don't go into the Apple store and expect anyone to help you with this.
Why Upgrade RAM?
Simply put, RAM is your computer's ability to multitask applications and files. If you are a photographer and like to have applications with massive libraries like Lightroom open in unison with applications like Photoshop with working files bigger than 1GB then having more RAM will allow you to do this without bogging down your machine, applications crashing, or notifications that your computer is out of memory. This is something I've always done on new computers but this can also be done on older machines. Remember that the processor speed doesn't matter nearly as much at having a more RAM for things like Photography. The processor speed comes into play for tasks like saving files, rendering video, and exporting final projects. The RAM allows your computer to juggle all the tasks you are asking it to do.
Can I Do This With Older Machines?
If you have an older machine that is beginning to slow down I would urge you to first upgrade your computers RAM and max it out. If you are unsure on what you can put into your Apple MAC I would urge you to check it out here on OWC's website. If you have a PC I would urge you to check out Crucial for a list of RAM options for you computer because OWC only carries products for Apple machines. Secondly I would recommend upgrading your hard drive to a solid state hard drive, which I will cover in a future tutorial. The combination of these two upgrades on a PC or MAC is incredible to your machine and will do wonders to your computer and software applications from Adobe.
Disclaimer: I don't care if you use PC or MAC. I think both are swell and do the exact same thing but in a different manner. You should use whatever Operating System you are enjoying the most or whatever your budget can afford. And yes I know the Mac Pro is more expensive than PC's.