I’ve been really happy with my mid/late-2011 model iMac which I’ve had for about 6 months. I got the entry-level version with stock 4GB of ram and a 2.5Ghz i5 CPU. However, the more I tried to run, the more I kept swapping, and I’d watch the free memory (in Activity Monitor) essentially go to zero, as I kept a number of apps up…two accounts logged in (mine and Jan’s) for running iDevice syncs to iTunes, a Linux VM on my profile, a couple of browsers (Chrome and Safari), Tweetdeck, Evernote, Mac Mail, etc. Run Word or Excel and it swaps in and out…try to run Xcode, and it takes a long time to load, and it worked better shutting down several apps.
I decided to price some RAM, and found that I could get 8GB (8.0GB PC3-10600 1333MHZ SO Kit) from Other World Computing for $47 including shipping. What’s not to like?! This iMac has 4 slots, so I just dropped in the two SODIMM’s, and voila, 12GB of RAM. Runs like a champ. Apps load and switch nearly instantly. As an old mainframe systems guy, I should have known it was memory-starved and not been surprised, but I was…reminds me of the time… 😉
Of course, I used to code in 360/370 Assembler, and you could address 4KB (that’s 4096 bytes to you young whippersnappers) from one base register…. 🙂