Upgrade to 8GB or 16GB DDR3 RAM?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nuggetWRX, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #1
    I'm considering getting a new 27" quad-core iMac, quad-core Mac Pro, or eight-core Mac Pro to use for editing AVCHD footage off of a Canon HG10, HG20, and a GoPro vehicle mounted camera. The editing I do isn't exactly major motion picture graphics work that requires rendering banks of computers hooked together, but I would like to accelerate rendering times. I currently run a 2.4GHz MacBook Pro with 4Gb RAM (its from about 3 years ago) and it made a DVD in about 2 weeks working with nearly 2TB's of hard drives full of raw footage. Since the MBP i have now is a dual-core processor (intel based of course) I know any more cores will really improve rendering/processing times, but I want to know what your opinions are. Is it a better idea to get 8GB of RAM or 16GB in either 3 of the Mac's I'm considering, basically will that doubling in RAM improve the processing speed of the AVCHD footage from either of the HD Canon camcorders substantially enough to justify the extra cost... even from a site like macsales.com where its generally less expensive than OEM upgrades. Thanks in advance to everyone who puts some thought to this.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    ram doesn't increase the speed of your computer
    it allows you to run more applications at once efficiently.
    if you do allot of video editing an upgrade to 8gb would be worthwhile.
    especially if you plan on keeping your computer for at least 3 years
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    RAM doesn't speed up rendering speeds, CPU does.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #4
    Oh I was under the impression, as you could tell, that RAM sped up rendering times. The numbers of processing cores does and the speed of those do. So 16Gb would be a waste of money if I'm just running maybe 3 programs (FCP, Motion, and Illustrator for example) at once, I usually try to keep my computer as efficient and focused on one program as possible but I'd like to be able to surf the internet while it renders at decent speed. It's quite slower on my 2.4GHz MacBook Pro when its rendering video.

    Since I'm working with 1800Gb's of raw footage I thought more RAM would be necessary. I plan to have a higher ratio of useable footage on this next DVD project because I will personally be able to film all of the events included in the DVD.

    I have another question then, considering the amount and type (AVCHD) of raw footage that I work with in Final Cut Studio, would I be smarter to get either the quad core iMac (w/ the 2.8GHz i7 processor) or the 2.66GHz quad core Mac Pro or the eight core 2.26GHz Mac Pro, all with 8Gb of RAM?
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Your best bet is to keep your eye on Activity monitor. If you are using +75% of you RAM, then add more. If not, then there is no need.

    Final Cut Studio is single core, only the compressor is multicore so iMac would actually be the fastest one. Of course we never know will an update improve the multicore support thus 8-core could be faster in the long run and it also beats iMac in e.g. final rendering as the compressor is multicore.

    There is also '08 Mac Pro with 8 cores @3.2GHz for 3299$ from refurb store so if your wallet allows, give it a think
     

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