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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:51 PM   #1
seble
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Reconsidering the whole 16GB of RAM thing...

So hopefully will be ordering a fusion high end 21.5er tomorrow.

My old system had 3.3gigs of ram and I would generally eat up all of that.
I do music composition and editing, and am an enthusiast photographer. Would 8GB really be enough, or am I going to want to stretch to 16? Cause I know once I buy the 21 chances are I won't be able to upgrade.

How much ram does photo and general music stuff tend to take upo n modern machines?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:55 PM   #2
Shivetya
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Comes down to this, if the price difference is but a small percentage of the price of the unit then buy it upgraded. For those who quibble over differences of ten percent or such I always wonder why they are buying in the first place.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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I've already bought 32GB to go in my 27" when they're released. My old iMac sounded fine when I bought it 4 years ago, but now it's maxing out its RAM under normal use and I can't run more than a few big apps at once. Unless you plan on selling in 2 years, get as much as you can afford. 8GB might be ok today, but might mean you're crawling in 4 years after a few OS and app updates.

I would say this is ESPECIALLY true for photography, if you use Aperture (like I do) or Lightroom, and Photoshop. Right now I can't run Chrome, Aperture and Photoshop at the same time on my 4GB ram and it's very frustrating. Going from 4 to 32 will give me a MAJOR boost in how I work.

I'd say 16 is a must if you're using any of those memory hogs.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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Going from 4 to 32 will give me a MAJOR boost in how I work.
Go from 4 to 16 will also give you a major boost.

As will going from 4 to 8...
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:09 PM   #5
mchoffa
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Go from 4 to 16 will also give you a major boost.

As will going from 4 to 8...
but I plan on doing this, and assigning 8 or 16GB to it:

http://nathancahill.github.com/photo...-scratch-disk/
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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Comes down to this, if the price difference is but a small percentage of the price of the unit then buy it upgraded. For those who quibble over differences of ten percent or such I always wonder why they are buying in the first place.
Thanks for not answering my question... I'm a student. Any buck I can save is a buck used elsewhere. What I'm asking is if with the things I will use my mac for, will 8GB be a hinderence or not.

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Originally Posted by mchoffa View Post
I've already bought 32GB to go in my 27" when they're released. My old iMac sounded fine when I bought it 4 years ago, but now it's maxing out its RAM under normal use and I can't run more than a few big apps at once. Unless you plan on selling in 2 years, get as much as you can afford. 8GB might be ok today, but might mean you're crawling in 4 years after a few OS and app updates.

I would say this is ESPECIALLY true for photography, if you use Aperture (like I do) or Lightroom, and Photoshop. Right now I can't run Chrome, Aperture and Photoshop at the same time on my 4GB ram and it's very frustrating. Going from 4 to 32 will give me a MAJOR boost in how I work.

I'd say 16 is a must if you're using any of those memory hogs.
Thanks, this is the sort of advice I was looking for! I think i agree with you, its just about justifying the extra cost to myself
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for not answering my question... I'm a student. Any buck I can save is a buck used elsewhere. What I'm asking is if with the things I will use my mac for, will 8GB be a hinderence or not.

----------



Thanks, this is the sort of advice I was looking for! I think i agree with you, its just about justifying the extra cost to myself
As of today, absolutely not. With 8GB you will have no trouble with your current programs, if you don't run them simultaneously.

Music composition, even with tons of MIDI generally doesn't need more than 8

4GB will suffice for Photoshop, more than 8GB won't impact performance for 99% of it's uses.

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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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As of today, absolutely not. With 8GB you will have no trouble with your current programs, if you don't run them simultaneously.

Music composition, even with tons of MIDI generally doesn't need more than 8
Ever heard of sample libraries? I run Logic Pro and there is no way 8GB will suffice with all my Quantum Leap orchestral libraries and several instances of Kontakt at once. Believe me, I've tried once on a Macbook Pro and everything just slows down to a crawl and is very unplayable.

Simply put, if the OP is thinking of using high quality recorded sample libraries, which can go as high as 24bit quality, I would advise to get no less than 16GB. And for many professional hollywood composers, 16GB is still nothing. Even pop music or anything thats going to have a lot of audio recording is just going to eat away at the RAM. If the OP is really serious about it, I would suggest considering stepping up to the 27" iMac as you can upgrade it to 32GB.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:28 PM   #9
HurtinMinorKey
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Ever heard of sample libraries? I run Logic Pro and there is no way 8GB will suffice with all my Quantum Leap orchestral libraries and several instances of Kontakt at once. Believe me, I've tried once on a Macbook Pro and everything just slows down to a crawl and is very unplayable.

Simply put, if the OP is thinking of using high quality recorded sample libraries, which can go as high as 24bit quality, I would advise to get no less than 16GB. And for many professional hollywood composers, 16GB is still nothing. Even pop music or anything thats going to have a lot of audio recording is just going to eat away at the RAM. If the OP is really serious about it, I would suggest considering stepping up to the 27" iMac as you can upgrade it to 32GB.
Any why are you running several instances of kontakt at once? And why are you using Kontakt on OSX? I've always pumped dozens of instruments at once on my PC with 4GB of ram and I always found CPU as the limiting factor.

And audio RECORDING uses miniscule amounts of ram unless you are trying to do something insane like mic an orchestra.

I could see how loading a bunch of high quality sample libraries at once could slam your RAM, but that's a really specialized task, and not one i'd use an iMac for.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HurtinMinorKey View Post
As of today, absolutely not. With 8GB you will have no trouble with your current programs, if you don't run them simultaneously.

Music composition, even with tons of MIDI generally doesn't need more than 8

4GB will suffice for Photoshop, more than 8GB won't impact performance for 99% of it's uses.
I must be the exception. I can regularly exceed even 16gigs of ram
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 PM   #11
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If you have the choice of upgrading your processor speed slightly from 2.7 to 2.9, or upgrading your ram from 8 to 16, go with the ram. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to pay apple's prices for the ram on the 21.5"

I got 32GB of ram for $174 after tax from crucial.com
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 03:13 PM   #12
seble
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If you have the choice of upgrading your processor speed slightly from 2.7 to 2.9, or upgrading your ram from 8 to 16, go with the ram. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to pay apple's prices for the ram on the 21.5"

I got 32GB of ram for $174 after tax from crucial.com
Yeah apple sucks with cost but I guess I will decide fully when I see the cost (hopefully tomorrow) but looks like I gnna go with 16!
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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What ram did you order? How did you know the type for the yet to be released 27"?
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mchoffa View Post
If you have the choice of upgrading your processor speed slightly from 2.7 to 2.9, or upgrading your ram from 8 to 16, go with the ram. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to pay apple's prices for the ram on the 21.5"

I got 32GB of ram for $174 after tax from crucial.com
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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What ram did you order? How did you know the type for the yet to be released 27"?
Thanks!
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...0E583EA5CA7304

It says guaranteed compatible, and spec wise is what is listed on Apple's site.

and it's on sale now! $16 less (for two of them) than what I just paid 2 weeks ago. Oh well, I just wanted to be ready in case they came early
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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I'm a student.
You qualify for a student discount then...unless you already took that into consideration?

In the UK, the Higher Education discount is pretty good. I think it's something crap like $50 off in the US though.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:27 PM   #16
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I think itīs 5-10% depending on what you buy and what kind of school you go to.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:54 PM   #17
seble
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You qualify for a student discount then...unless you already took that into consideration?

In the UK, the Higher Education discount is pretty good. I think it's something crap like $50 off in the US though.
Yes I'm in the UK, and I sure have, I think I will probably call apple to order though. Still every penny counts!
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:02 PM   #18
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Yes I'm in the UK, and I sure have, I think I will probably call apple to order though. Still every penny counts!
Remember you'll also get a free 3 year warranty.

---

Am I right in thinking the 21" iMac does have upgradable RAM, just not "user" upgradable? I.e. you can upgrade it in the future but it'll void the warranty (unles you pay Apple extortionate fees to do it off you). It's not like the Air where the damn stuff is duct taped in making it impossible to upgrade? [EDIT - Found a website that says it is soldered. Bugger].
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 07:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Shivetya View Post
Comes down to this, if the price difference is but a small percentage of the price of the unit then buy it upgraded. For those who quibble over differences of ten percent or such I always wonder why they are buying in the first place.
This.

Especially when RAM is not upgradable.

Yes, you could save money today by skimping on RAM. However, see below...




----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mchoffa View Post
If you have the choice of upgrading your processor speed slightly from 2.7 to 2.9, or upgrading your ram from 8 to 16, go with the ram. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to pay apple's prices for the ram on the 21.5"

I got 32GB of ram for $174 after tax from crucial.com

Also this.

Skimp elsewhere, not on RAM. Not enough RAM is often the difference between a machine you can still use, and one that is unusable (or very slow and aggravating) and needs to be replaced.

For what most people do, a Core 2 CPU is more than ample, assuming they've got enough RAM in it.

8gb is fine today. Software requirements will grow. If you plan on selling the machine after 12 months 8 will probably be fine. If you're planning to keep it 3 years (or more), I'd certainly make sure you get 16gb.


And for those who think requirements won't go up - 10 years ago 512 megabytes of ram was plenty to do basically all the things people do today (sure, the games looked crappier and the tools were more primitive, but the tasks got done). 10 years before that, 4 megabytes was enough for most people.

If the resources are cheap and available, developers will consume them.

Betting on RAM consumption going up by 2x every 2-3 years has proven to be a fairly safe bet for the past 20 years plus.

For most of what people do - CPUs sit idle most of the time. Faster CPU will make a marginal difference (overall, sure some specifics cpu intensive tasks may be faster), unless you're doing some niche task that burns a lot of CPU.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:43 PM   #20
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I'm also wondering if I should get 16gb..

The last imac came with 4gb correct?

How long will it take for 8gb to start not being enough...3 years from now?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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I'm also wondering if I should get 16gb..

The last imac came with 4gb correct?

How long will it take for 8gb to start not being enough...3 years from now?
I have 8 gig in my mid-2011 iMac. When I look back through the stats I don't think I've managed to scratch the surface of that 8 gig so far.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:58 PM   #22
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I have 8 GB in my 2011MBP. I use Photoshop with Nik Software and portrait professional. When I open multiple images I do run into memory issues with other apps open. I'm going to jump to 16 GB soon. 8 GB is usable and workable but not ideal.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:05 PM   #23
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Thanks for not answering my question... I'm a student. Any buck I can save is a buck used elsewhere. What I'm asking is if with the things I will use my mac for, will 8GB be a hinderence or not.
Assuming a 64 bit application that can use whatever memory is thrown at it, ram tends to produce a greater benefit than hard drive speed once you're inside a given application. Drive speed influences how quickly they open, reboot times, etc. 8GB will probably be sufficient for most users, but if you're trying to save money anywhere, it begs the question why you would allocate that much for the fusion drive. It commits you to a much higher cost than the base model, yet it won't necessarily allow the machine to perform smoothly any longer. The people who say an ssd breathed new life into their systems most likely had too little ram (meaning the ssd wrote pagefile data faster) and a jumbled file system due to years of write cycles. They would have still benefited from a fresh drive volume and OSX installation or a new HDD. It's just that the ssd did these things even better due to faster speeds. If you're dealing with a lot of large photos, especially with many layers in CS6 or lightroom, 8GB + fast drive is basically the bare minimum today for smooth operation.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:16 PM   #24
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Assuming a 64 bit application that can use whatever memory is thrown at it, ram tends to produce a greater benefit than hard drive speed once you're inside a given application. Drive speed influences how quickly they open, reboot times, etc. 8GB will probably be sufficient for most users, but if you're trying to save money anywhere, it begs the question why you would allocate that much for the fusion drive. It commits you to a much higher cost than the base model, yet it won't necessarily allow the machine to perform smoothly any longer. The people who say an ssd breathed new life into their systems most likely had too little ram (meaning the ssd wrote pagefile data faster) and a jumbled file system due to years of write cycles. They would have still benefited from a fresh drive volume and OSX installation or a new HDD. It's just that the ssd did these things even better due to faster speeds. If you're dealing with a lot of large photos, especially with many layers in CS6 or lightroom, 8GB + fast drive is basically the bare minimum today for smooth operation.
Very True statements about SSD.

I installed a 512 GB SSD last month thinking that my performance was going to be smoking fast. Startup is smoking fast, batch processes are faster but a lot of things still result in me staring at the screen for several seconds. I'm running on a late 2011 MBP 15, 2.4 quad core i7, AMD 6770M 1 GB, 512 SSD. To be honest, I'm not totally sure why things aren't faster as neither the CPU or SSD get maxed and iStats shows 1 GB of memory left sometimes. I'll get the 16 GB this week and see if that helps.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:42 PM   #25
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Very True statements about SSD.

I installed a 512 GB SSD last month thinking that my performance was going to be smoking fast. Startup is smoking fast, batch processes are faster but a lot of things still result in me staring at the screen for several seconds. I'm running on a late 2011 MBP 15, 2.4 quad core i7, AMD 6770M 1 GB, 512 SSD. To be honest, I'm not totally sure why things aren't faster as neither the CPU or SSD get maxed and iStats shows 1 GB of memory left sometimes. I'll get the 16 GB this week and see if that helps.
It's not always 100% evident what is bottlenecked. I own a similar notebook. Mine is the early 2011 2.3 with 6750, 512SSD, etc. Usually these kinds of responses are my attempt to bring some context (I use that word too much) to the performance benefits granted by either an SSD or (potentially) a fusion drive. It's important that people are able to weigh out the costs vs benefits, and some of the raving about SSD speeds and performance improvements can really make a lot of false promises for some users. I see it as a significant issue with the way upgrades are structured on the 21" imac.

You mention batch processes. What programs are you using? The new imac is a more complex issue, but with the notebook you're using, I see it as the cheapest possible upgrade for dealing with a lot of data unless you're bottlenecked by save times of uncompressed data.
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