A 17″ iMac with 2GB RAM costs $25 less than its equivalent 20″ iMac with 1 GB of RAM and bigger hard drive. That means 1 GB of RAM is approximately worth three inches on screen, and 90 GB of hard disk space.So which one should you go with, more RAM or bigger screen and hard disk? I’d say go for more RAM for the following reasons:
- External HDs are continuously getting bigger and cheaper that by the time you run out of space, you’ll be able to afford a huge drive.
- RAM prices are very steady throughout the computer’s lifetime so it’s best to get them early.
- Even if you can’t afford an external HD, you can still make DVD backups of your data for the meanwhile.
- If you can’t afford RAM, your system will use virtual space and further shorten the lifetime of your hard disk.
- More RAM means you can do multiple simultaneous tasks faster. This is especially useful if you have multiple-core CPUs.
- RAM is rarely idle; a few widgets, a program or two with iTunes in the background and you’ve consumed a large chunk already, whereas your extra 90 GB won’t be consumed until you manage to fill the first 160 GB.
- The 3 inches? Not really important considering you can manage with the scroll bars. Also, watching movies still requires that you sit at your desk or stream to something like AppleTV.