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View Full Version : Is 64GB of ram still ridiculous or is it a sensible investment in this day and age?



Mattoid
01-03-2013, 10:13 PM
When similar questions are asked in other forums the answer is that 64GB would never be needed for normal use or gaming, but that it may be of use in workstations for video etc.

Whether it would be needed in pro-video obviously depends on what you are doing.

Therefore:

What situations do you know that would max out 32 Gig of ram?

rick.lang
01-03-2013, 10:34 PM
I cannot comment on all situations and platforms but i shall try to address two items on a Mac and others will add to the list.

DaVinci Resolve does not require large amounts of system memory so either a 16GB or larger machine will keep it happy in terms of CPU processes. When it comes to GPU processes, more video memory is better but Apple tops out at 2GB video memory for now I believe. Windows PCs can order video cards with even more video memory. I understand there are hardware hacks that can be used to increase video memory limits.

FCPX and many Apple products make good use of system memory for CPU processes in a 64bit world and will happily use more processors and memory if you can feed it more; that's a good thing since memory access is so very much faster than disk access and even SSD access. So a system with 16GB system memory will work reasonably but systems with 24GB or 32GB or more can be an advantage in two ways: serving up the memory that the FCPX application wants to eat and the memory that everything else running on your computer has eaten.

It is so easy to monitor system memory usage (with the OS X Activity Monitor) per process and in totality so you can easily see when you need more by watching pageout counts and swap file size. Ideally they should be near zero if you always have enough memory but practically of course you are going to tolerate some pageouts. You know your demands best and then you can see if 48GB or more would help. Many people run their video apps in a dedicated fashion so they may not need as much memory as someone running several unrelated apps that also need memory.

Amr Rahmy
01-03-2013, 11:00 PM
side note:
a lot of people don't pay that much attention to speed rather than quantity, faster RAM that you actually use all the time is better than a lot of slower RAM that you don't actually use all, most, or at any moment in time. don't use RAM speeds from 10 years ago.

karoliinasalmin
01-04-2013, 08:56 AM
I am not 100% sure about the OS support, but it might be possible to install a 3GB VRAM GeForce on a Mac Pro. I could be wrong, but I am in assumption that there is no restriction on VRAM size on cards you put into your Mac Pro. I don't have first hand experience though since I only have Macbook Pros and iMac and the iMac maxes out at 2GB VRAM with the biggest mobile GeForce unit (no first hand experience either since mine is not latest generation).

Sicovanderplas
01-04-2013, 01:51 PM
16 or 32gb is enough, Graphics cards are more important, rather buy them (2x) or a beast, cuda cores are pretty sweet.

best would be to build a hackintosh, its 80% less in costs ten a mac pro, i've been working on them for last 4 years, had no problems.

Charlie Doom
01-04-2013, 01:56 PM
16 or 32gb is enough, Graphics cards are more important, rather buy them (2x) or a beast, cuda cores are pretty sweet.

best would be to build a hackintosh, its 80% less in costs ten a mac pro, i've been working on them for last 4 years, had no problems.

You built your own? No Film School.com has a tutorial on building a Hackintosh, but all the comments are people having problems LOL. Do you have photos or diagrams of yours you could post? I'm becoming more and more interested in this kind of thing.

CineMac
01-04-2013, 04:39 PM
I'd love to hear more about this as well! :)

madaspy
01-04-2013, 04:53 PM
I actually have 64 gb of ram at work in my 12 core Mac Pro. But I do motion graphics and the only time I actually use near 100% of the ram is when I am rendering. So I feel that unless you're endearing after effects comps then 32 is enough. But since ram is pretty cheap, I don't see the harm in having more ram than you need.

RobertJ
01-04-2013, 04:56 PM
Get a beast of a video card (mine is a 4GB, GTX 680 on a PC, a 580 might actually perform better in some programs), and 16 or 32GB of RAM is enough, although, if you have 64 or more, you can setup a virtual RAM disk that has speeds that will exceed an SSD, if you wanted to. :)

Brad Ferrell
01-04-2013, 07:48 PM
I have 64 Gigs of RAM and only in After Effects do I ever come close to maxing out. In fact, my six core, twelve thread processor is able to max out and assign each thread 3GB of RAM when rendering in AE. There is plenty of room left over for OS and browsers. etc... Resolve and OS only use around 18GB.

Mattoid
01-05-2013, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the responses so far.
The overall consensus that I am getting seems to be that unless you know for certain that you need more than 32GB then you most probably don’t need it.

I'm looking to build a PC to run windows and probably try IOS with it as well with a different drive. There is always the temptation to go mental and have a beast of a machine that will handle anything that you might decide to do in the future. But with computers there is seemingly no end to the amount you can spend, so at some point ‘sensibleness’ has to kick in. At the same time you don’t want to feel that you have skimped, which is why discussions like this are important in establishing were the sane mid point is.

32GB seems to be a distinct line that you have to make a very conscious decision to cross, because most motherboards can only support 32GB. The only ones that support more are: Socket 2011 - Intel X79, Socket 1366 – Xeon, and Socket 2011 – Xeon. (amazingly to me, some socket 2011 xeon boards support 512GB ram!)

All of these are significantly more expensive than a fairly standard Socket 1155 - Intel Z77 board.
So I’m leaning towards getting one of these and then for now going with Dual channel 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1866MHz Ram.
If I max that out a lot then I can get the same again to take it up to 32GB.
If I ultimately need more I can always upgrade to a new motherboard.
Xeon is of course a whole different beast and certain components couldn’t be re-used.
Though if in the future you are entertaining the idea of dual xeon processors and 512GB of eec ram then the cost of a ‘measly’ £1000 pc that you have already bought Will be insignificant in comparison anyway.

Amr Rahmy
01-05-2013, 01:31 PM
on the motherboard, if you see two different colors of RAM slots, don't put both RAM boards on the same color, put one on each. they are different channels.

Sicovanderplas
01-05-2013, 01:58 PM
You built your own? No Film School.com has a tutorial on building a Hackintosh, but all the comments are people having problems LOL. Do you have photos or diagrams of yours you could post? I'm becoming more and more interested in this kind of thing.

Yeah because you really have to know what you're doing, it might take some time to figure everything out, but nowadays there are alot of portals that can help you.

nofilmschool is not recommended as a source.

we build and use them ourself, but it's really easy.

check out : http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php that's the best source.
easiest is the customac builds they will work 99% without problems.

for people in europe/netherlands - we can build and install them for a small fee, and they are stable and everything works from cuda cores to firewire800

what diagrams/pics u want?

Brad Ferrell
01-05-2013, 02:24 PM
Intel x79 has quad channel memory. 32GB was $200 this summer. I suggest you build a machine you will outgrow in three-four years. Leave plenty of room for expansion should you need it, like a dedicated YUV video card if you're going to be color correcting and grading. Storage and connection speeds, don't work with anything less than USB 3.0, its a waste of time waiting on USB 2.0. Asus makes solid boards. I've been building with their boards for five builds now and never had a problem and the upgrade path like dual core to quad core was made on the same board and hardware.

hackintoshes are great. too bad I can't sell them legally or I'd make and mod a few. Thanks for the link to tonymacx86.

Mattoid
01-06-2013, 07:49 PM
on the motherboard, if you see two different colors of RAM slots, don't put both RAM boards on the same color, put one on each. they are different channels.

Thanks. Good tip.