how much memory is enough ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dazed, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007

    Im trying to figure out how much memory to order for my mac pro which will be ordered soon. I know the more the better but there must come to a point where it makes little difference?

    My primary uses are lightroom, photoshop (amateur/prosumer level) as well as running windows XP and possibly 7 inside Fusion.

    Would 8gb be enough or would 12 make a substantial difference ?

    Is there a big real world difference between running in dual or triple channel ?

  2. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    the only way to know if enough memory is to run your files a bit and check the efficiency and also check the scratch size use in PS

    LR is not a huge memory hog ? so no worries their ;) PS is though !!

    so a starting point is how big are your files you work on ?

    over 300 megs you want 24 gigs under 300 meg files you might be fine with 16 ?
    really depends on a few things :)
  3. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Best thing to do is to just order your MP and run it like normal, paying attention to how much swap is used. It's how I figured out 24gb was good for me.
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Always go more than less. I thought 24 gigs in my Mac pro would be plenty but I was wrong. I've begun to use it all up quite frequently :/
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    what're you guys doing that requires 24 gigs? :confused:
  6. MaxiKana macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2006
    Those of you saying more is always better think a bit about us one-man businesses. Roughly every 10 € I put into my business is one pint less at the bar ;)

    I just pulled the trigger and ordered my 3.2 quad, gonna play for a week with 3 gig of memory and then decide on either buying 8 or 12 gigs. I only use LR and PS. 99 % of my files are under 300 megs so I should be fine with 8 gigs. Though I do a lot of multitasking with LR, PS, ID and Ai.
  7. Shademaster macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    I use istat to monitor my computer usage and I can say from experience that 8gb is enough for any heavy duty multitasking you want to do. If you want to do some serious 3D rendering 12GB will cut it. For anything 2D related 8 is enough for me.
  8. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    PS work :)
    retouching images in the 300 meg range ?
    just got done tonight with a job of 120+ wedding images ? and have some more to do for a book tomorrow and then the next day and so on :)
  9. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    or think of it getting done quicker and having that pint 30 minutes earlier :)

    best thing is in the info tab check efficiency if you dip below %100 start checking your scratch if your left number is more than your right number ever you need more ram :) or should say it would help to have more :) as you DONT need it but would be nice :)

    12 gigs min I think ? and really 16 is a new base to go for :)
  10. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Anything between "maximum" and "as much as it can take" is enough.
  11. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Photoshop, Illustrator, Blender, XCode... either open all at once or a combination of them ;) VMWare Fusion too with Visual Studio.

    Plus various other applications open all at the same time.
  12. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    In my experience with LR3 and CS5 running working on 18MP 7D images I never get page outs, so 6Gb is good for someone who doesn't really use CS5 that often.

    Either way im getting 2Gb more at some more to see if LR3 works any quicker.
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Maya, Zbrush, Unity, XCode, Photoshop (Usually open with Maya for Texturing), Houdini, VMWare, Corel Painter, Aperture, Logic, and i just took a new interest in Final Cut and After effects and match moving so im sure that will add to things...
  14. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    where do yo get pictures that size? :eek:
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    dont worry as much about page outs but the efficiency % and scratch in PS :) just remember its only for the last thing you did ?

    keep a eye on pages :) but PS will tell you more how its running and pages for your complete over all system

    window menu then info then that little triangle and choose the efficiency and scratch and keep eye when you do things :) also for fun set the activity monitor to refresh as quick as it can and watch your memory :)
  16. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    two kinds of files
    one are layouts so multiple images on a layout that can be large ?
    the other for single images
    layers :) adjustment layers and some other layers such as clone layers and replacing or taking out things etc..
    not always that big but they are enough super base images are 75-100 megs start point with 3 main adjustment layers of dodge burn and contrast and then adding to that depending on image need
  17. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    And then there's people with medium format cameras ranging from 16MP to 60MP... :p single photos in the hundreds of mbs in size...
  18. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I usually have billing software time tracking thing running
    calendar and some entertainment ;) netflix or itunes or tivo share on a old 20 inch monitor to break up the day
    FTP going up or down PS and LR usually mail
    batching out then swtich over to PS for a bit browser with to many windows :) hehehehe small things like controller mate and a few other things also like password manager
    a few other things cant think of that come and go ?
  19. Fesan macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Just bought 2x 4gb memory from OWC for my 3,33 ghz Westmere rig.

    Was really unsure about going for 2x 4gb or 4x 2gb but ended up going for 2x 4gb in the end because upgrading would be cheaper (just get two more instead of replacing all four).

    Did I make a mistake? Read somewhere that the memory copy speed is almost double with 4 chips instead of 2. Is a solution to put in two of the original 1gb chips to fill all four spots or is the difference not that big in the new westmere rigs?

    As I cannot afford more memory at the moment my only choices are:

    1) Use the two 4gb chips and nothing else

    2) Use the two 4gb chips and two 1gb chips (the one that came with the computer)

    3) Sell the 4gb chips and keep the 3x 1gb chips that came with the comp.

    What do you guys think?:)

    P.S Ordered a 120gb SSD disc from OWC aswell, where would you reccomend installing it? I got plenty of room in my HDD bays but if it fits perfectly in the optical bay then I guess no reason not to put it there? Although I would not want that if it will just "float" around.
  20. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I used to do commercial a lot of my base files were like that :) mags like Architectural digest and Food and Wine and such :)
    out of it now ? just do weddings a bit and mostly post now :)
    used to have some big files in the gigs and on the G5 it was like go eat dinner and go to the pool and come back to check how its going :)

    one of my other buds shoots large backs a lot p45+ and stitches together stuff :) hehehe so he ends up with pics like over 200-600+ MP equiv :)

    my fav camera
    that and a P65 back :)
  21. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    you did fine :) you can put in 1 extra chip or 2 for a total of 3 or 4 ? not a big deal in real world speeds yes 3 is quicker than 4 but not by much and chances are you wont be pushing it that much where the speed makes a difference ?

    for the SSD their are a few ways to mount I got a LianLi thing from newegg for $9.99 or something works good ? OWC has a nicer setup for $29 or something ?
    it can sit up their :) since its not a moving rotational disc they wont move around ? its nicer to have mounted though ?

    that or put it in a icy dock then stick it in one of the bays ? either way :)
  22. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    There are a few threads on dual/tri channel memory. I had x3 2GB sticks in my Mac and nearly bought an extra 4GB stick to put in the forth slot.

    A far is i know (please correct me if i am wrong) tri channel means your system will access 3 sticks at the same time to take full advantage of memory's speed rather then using one then the second, third, and so on......

    Of course there will be times when using that 4th slot to have more RAM will be more beneficial than less but ever so slightly faster RAM.

    For me 6GB was not enough for Maya, photoshop, Final Cut Studio, Logic. 12GB is perfect.
  23. Fesan macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thank you for the feedback:)

    As far as I could read the Westmere don't have lower speeds for four chips compared to three (because the chipset or whatever was made for four memorychips).
    However as the previous poster mentioned there is no good information on 2vs3 or 4 chips.
    My plan was to sell the 1gb chips but if sticking one into the 3rd and/or 4th slot to increase the speed on all three then I might just do that:)

    Oh and thanks to you guys I went and got a icy dock and feel great now, thanks:)
  24. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Read this also:

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