One of the best things about technology is that sooner or later everything becomes affordable and one area where this is especially true is when it comes to hard drive technology. What once was unreachable for the average consumer is now available on sale for under $50.00 depending on the size of the hard drive you are shopping for.
First, we have to determine whether you need an internal 2.5 inch hard drive or an external 2.5 inch hard drive because in most cases they have different uses. Internal 2.5 inch hard drives usually are available as SATA hard drives and are designed to fit in notebook computers, netbooks or some small desktop computers like nettop desktop computers. You may even find a 2.5 inch hard drive in older Apple TV models too.
External 2.5 inch hard drives, are, as the name implies designed to be connected to your computer externally. In most instances, the only difference between an internal hard drive and an external hard drive is that the small portable external hard drives tend to be powered by an USB port and are compatible with Macs or PCs via the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port. External 2.5 inch hard drives are the perfect solution for small and portable storage when need to move files from computer to computer or just need extra room for your music, files, photos or movies to be stored. External 2.5 inch hard drives are also a perfect solution as a backup drive too.
**Where to Buy Under $50.00 2.5 inch Hard Drives. **
One of the first places I check for hard drives of any size is at Amazon, as the prices tend to be the lowest and there’s always a hard drive on sale. Another place to check for hard drive deals is Crucial, as they too – after years of selling memory upgrades have ventured into the hard drive arena as well. I find that Amazon is my go-to for anything and not just hard drives and I have found it’s really hard to beat their price when it comes to finding the best 2.5 inch hard drive for the best price.
Most notebooks today and desktops too, ship with about 4GB of RAM and so I recommend you double the memory on your Mac or PC to 8GB – especially for photo editing as some of the more advanced processing like sharpening or unsharp mask in Photoshop take a lot of processing and memory power.
Most photo editing software will run fine on less ram, but with 8GB of RAM being so cheap I think if you do any photo editing, even if you’re just using Apple iPhoto, you would be wise to install the additional memory upgrade.
Minimum memory requirements for the photo editing software just means that the software will open on your Mac or PC and all functions should run. But, they don’t say how fast the work will get done, and if you really want to increase the photo editing or post processing process in your photography workflow, an 8GB ram upgrade is a no brainer if you ask me.
Some Macs, like the new MacBook Pros and the iMacs will even accept 16GB of RAM which of course doubles the ram from 8GB to 16Gb and speeds up the process when it comes to photo editing even more.
Adding more ram allows your Mac or PC to get more work done faster and avoid the spinning pinwheel as you wait for your computer to catch up with your current photo editing task or function and with ram prices being so cheap, you can fill your Mac or PC with memory for much less than you may think. At the time I write this, 8GB is priced about $50, and 16GB runs you double the price at about $100. If you have a new MacBook Pro released this summer – expect to pay a bit more – especially if you want to max out the MacBook Pro’s ram to the full 16GB – current street prices cost about $175.00 for 16GB of RAM
You see, the Apple iMac last saw a refresh over a year ago, in May 2011and at the time 16gB was the maximum memory supported for the Apple iMac due to the fact that only 4GB memory modules in a 1333Mhz configuration were available and even a year ago it would cost you over $100 for 8GB of RAM for the iMac and a whopping $400 if you bought the RAM from Apple directly.
So, when Apple released the iMac they stated that 16GB was the maximum ram you can buy by upgrading all four available memory slots with 4GB DDR 3 SDRAM sodimms: 4x4GB = 16GB
Fast forward to today where you can buy 8GB memory modules for iMac that were not available at the time of the iMac’s release date, so in this case Crucial is correct because if you were to buy 4x8GB DDR3 sodimms for the iMac from Crucial you’d have 32GB installed.
Is It Safe To Install 32GB of RAM into an Apple iMac
Here’s the tricky part. It’s more than likely OK that you’ll be fine installing 32GB of RAM in your iMac and seeing that the recommendation comes from Crucial and not some questionable seller on eBay I’m going to stick my neck out and say you’ll probably be fine with the 32GB in your iMac. After all, Crucial’s big slogan is that crucial memory is guaranteed to work with your computer.
All this said, because Apple states the maximum of 16GB, that’s where I would stop. Why? Because there’s a good chance your warranty is toast if you install more than the amount of RAM recommended by Apple at the time of release.
I know that personally, with my Mac Mini bought in March, I stopped at 8Gb even though I could technically install 16GB in my Mac Mini I choose not to because I didn’t want to void my one year of Applecare and adding more ram than what Apple suggests could do that. Perhaps when I replace the Mac Mini or the Applecare Warranty lapses I may attempt an upgrade of more RAM.
It all comes down to how comfortable you are with voiding your warranty in the rare case that something may go wrong with 32GB of RAM in a 2011 iMac.
I can’t recommend you go higher than 16GB of RAM, regardless of memory upgrade advice from Crucial.
If the RAM on your Mac is bad, or has gone bad **it's toast.**
Your only option is to replace the RAM with new RAM and if you're going to go to the trouble of buying new RAM to replace the dead RAM, I suggest you double (or even triple the RAM too) at the same time for on reason only. RAM is so cheap.
Just like current interest rates the prices have never been so low for so much memory in the over 15 years I have been monitoring RAM prices. It's just a few years ago, you would have to pay over $1000 for a 16GB ram upgrade for the iMac and now that same upgrade will cost you nothing at all in comparison - usually under $100 and even less if you sell your old RAM. (this option may not be available to you if your current RAM upgrade has gone bad)
But, before you go and replace ram be sure that it's gone bad. I know [Microsoft windows offers a memory test option](http://www.google.com/url?q=http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/diagnosing-memory-problems-on-your-computer&ei=zBQhUKXIMKK36QHgt4HIBQ&sa=X&oi=unauthorizedredirect&ct=targetlink&ust=1344347092798233&usg=AFQjCNG5ydFAjs1OvQvZX3BSNGyZZVKosg), and you can test the RAM on your Mac too using [memtest](http://cdn.command-tab.com/2008/memtest_422.zip).(direct download link).
Another option to consider: Is the ram upgrade in your Mac or PC seated properly. I know from personal experience, this has happened to me where I thought I had installed memory on my Mac Mini only to find that I hadn't and that the Mac would crash every time I woke from sleep. So I flipped the Mac Mini over, unscrewed the handy plastic cover (if only all Macs allowed such an easy upgrade) and removed and re-installed my memory upgrade ensuring that it was fully installed - sometimes you have to press hard on the memory module to have the ram seat in the memory upgrade slot correctly.
Once I had re-installed the RAM on my Mac Mini - all my crashing and startup errors were gone. It wasn't the RAM that was bad afterall, it was the crummy installation job by yours truly. It costs you nothing to try and reinstall your ram in your computer or complete a full memory test so I suggest you check these two items before you spend your hard earned money on RAM you may not need to buy.
If it turns out your memory really has gone south, the only option is to replace the RAM, but RAM is so cheap it's worthwhile upgrading the RAM over replacing your PC. 8Gb of RAM currently is priced about $50 for most computer models and if your Mac or PC can handle it - I suggest going all the way to 16GB of RAM with street prices running you only about $100 for 16Gb of RAM today.
In case you missed it, there was also a bit of painting here and here too, so I guess you could say if there has been a theme for the summer of 2012, it’s been the summer of the paintbrush, and today the tradition continues with the garage floor. Compared to the deck and lawn furniture this was a relative breeze except for one small minor thing we overlooked:
Do not prepare or paint a garage in 95 degree heat! I know in February when I come back and read this, I’ll be thinking and dreaming about a 95 degree day, but when your’re in what’s essentially an easy bake oven (or so it felt) even 95 feels much much hotter.
As you can see the four seasons in the Greater Niagara Area have not been kind to our garage floor and this job was due to be sure, and today was a good day for painting, if you don’t factor in how hot we were.
Now, we knew it was going to be hot, so the plan was that we would get up early. Yes, the both of us. I had ‘wake me up’ authorization and everything. I started by scraping the paint and then giving things a quick sweep and then went in to see how the beautiful assistant was doing in the waking up department. I talked to her, she answered back. In my world, if I am talking and making sentences it usually means I am awake, so I assumed that BW would be getting her act together shortly…
Apparently not. It seems some of us fell back into the land of falalalala while some of us were outside workin’ and a sweatin’ away. Now, to be fair there wasn’t much to be done until the actual painting later in the day anyway… so.
So. Much. Power
In the wish I’d have known that before department, I now know that the power washer we bought earlier this summer has probably been the best money we ever spent and that after I spent an hour in the heat on my hands and knees scraping up loose paint bits, I learned that using the power washer is a much more effiecient use of our time and energy and makes short work of preparing the floor for painting.
And.. after a quick lunch, the floor was dry and ready to be painted, and with the two of us doing the painting we were done in under an hour:
I think the best part is how thrilled BW is with the finished project. I may paint a lot, but with the money I save on rose bouquets… ?
We sat down after we cleaned up, had a snack:
And that’s when I heard it. At first I thought I was mistaken, so I listened again and there it was again: