How much RAM do I need for FCP - Octo mac pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrbc19, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. mrbc19 macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I've already tried searching for some info on this, and what I have found so far is this:

    FCP can only use 2.5 gigs of ram? (Is this still true?)
    It's ideal to have at least 1 gig of ram per core.

    So I'm trying to sift through the info to find out what I will need. I'm running a 2.8 Octo Mac Pro, and looking to upgrade the RAM. I originally wanted another 8 gig (bringing the total up to 10 gig), but I feel like this will be overkill now. Also, buying 4 gigs (2 gigx2) vs. 8 gigs (2 gigx4) is the same in cost per gig, so if I decide I need more later, it won't cost anything extra per gig - another factor to consider.

    How much RAM should I get if I am just editing HDV in FCP? Will having only 6 vs. 10 make that much of a difference? Would the computer even use all 6?

    Is there any truth to the "1 gig per core" statement?

    I just don't want to start editing and then wish that I had gone with the 10 gigs instead of 6.

    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

    Mar 22, 2002
    New York
    Your mac pro is a 2.8GHZ, not 2.83GHZ. 8GB is plenty of 10 bit uncompressed 60i HD video. It's your choice how much you want to put in the system.
  3. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    I've heard FCP and Logic can use more than 2.5 gigs, but that CS3 only uses 2.5 gigs. I went with 8 gigs for 399 here:

    It may be "qualified" instead of "certified" but it was almost half the cost and has a lifetime guarantee, plus it got great reviews. I really wanted 4 gig modules but couldn't justify the price.

    I think the more ram you have the better off you'll be - if not for just a stand alone app, you'll be able to have more things running, faster responses, etc.
  4. mrbc19 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Ah, yes - 2.8, sorry. Don't know why I thought I saw a 3 in there!

    Oban - that's exactly what I was thinking of getting - the 8 gigs for $399. The 4 gigs is $199, so it's still the same price per gig. That's why I was thinking of getting 4 for now, to see how I fare and then upgrade later if need be.

    Just wanted to see any user experiences with FCP and different amounts of RAM.
  5. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    3-4 should be more then plenty for Avid or FCP, ram can only do so much, if you are dealing with P2 or HDV. Then 4gb is fine. If you are dealing with 10bit Uncompressed HD media, 6gb would be nice as well, however you will need the RAID card or an Xserve in order to even think about playing that media.

    However, if you are planning on having 20 applications open at once lol, then you need more ram.
  6. mrbc19 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I plan on only HDV for the forseeable future, so no need to be worried about anything uncompressed - and it sounds like 4-6 gigs is good for what I will be doing.

    And although like anyone I will have multiple apps open at once, it will never be crazy. Usually just FCP, DVD studio pro, sometimes compressor, and an internet browser - so I am assuming 6 gigs is good for that?
  7. jasone6 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Why do you need the RAID card to play Uncompressed HD media? Sorry, I'm new to this, so be gentle!

  8. mrbc19 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    I think you need the RAID for uncompressed because the data rate is so high. Having RAID gives you more speed on the hard drive end.
  9. mrbc19 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Oh well, this whole thread is useless now anyways. My order with OWC has shipped as of today (Ordered 8 gigs - I thought it would still be back ordered for a few days to give me more time to decide!)

    So I'll have the 10 gigs total! May be overkill, but I'm too lazy to go through returning it and getting a new order. :D
  10. creativetechguy macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    If you want 8GB, you could sell the 2 1GB chips that came with your machine on eBay or whatever. You can't get rid of just one of your 2GB chips though since they must remain in pairs.

    I have the exact configuration as you (10GB). I debated selling the 2 1GB chips but then said, what the heck, 10GB rocks.

  11. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2007
    Warminster, PA

    I work with 1080p uncompressed over Firewire800 and have never had a problem. Who ever started this HD NEEDS RAID crap should be shot. I'm so sick of hearing all this RAID talk. It is absolutely uneeded.
  12. JeffreyM macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Uncompressed HD does need RAID... it's data rate is ~150MB/sec (Or is it 200?). FW 800 is not nearly fast enough for _Uncompressed_ HD. Plus there is no drive that has Read/Write speeds near 150MB/sec.
  13. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    HA! yeah, you're doing 4:4:4 RGB HD on a FW800 drive...:rolleyes:
  14. kingkezz macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2006
    Your 35mbps Long GOP MPEG-2 files?
  15. NightSailor macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2008
    10 GB is NOT overkill. But you don't want to keep those Apple 2x1GB memory boards. Right now you can sell these on eBay to people that insist on having Apple memory in their machines for about $250. Equivalent generic memory goes for half of that.

    The weakness of these machines is the slow hard drive access. You can mitigate that somewhat with lots of memory. The more the better. I'd have 32 GB if I could afford it. Someday I will.

    As for the original post. It is important to remember that for best performance, you want four identical memory boards in the first pair of slots on each memory board. I've read you can mix and match the 4GB and 2GB boards, but why bother? You do not want 1GB board mixed in the same plane as the 4GB and 2GB boards--that will slow things down.

    I started out with 2-1GB Apple memory boards, and these are going up for auction next week at a starting price of $250. I put in 2x4GB memory boards and plan to add another 2x4GB boards next month for a total of 16GB which works out to 2GB/processor (I have an 8 core 3.2GHz system). When I get more money, I plan to max out the RAM. Prices will drop in the not to distant future, and I'll buy more.

    While these boards cost a lot more per GB than smaller sizes, the key benefit is you will have room to add more memory without having to get rid of some to fit others in.

    Now a goal of 16Gb might be fine for you, in which case 2GB boards would fill up both trays, at a more reasonable rate, athough with a penalty of more heat output. Still you might regret it later when you run out of space and want to add more.

    Think about it. These machines have 8 cores! More memory is better. You would have to buy a SUN machine to get something that would take more memory, and you can run Solaris 10 on this machine under Parallels. That is a refined OS that in prior generations, long before Solaris 10, could run multiple CPU's and use all the RAM it could take. OS X, heavily copied Solaris from it's UNIX kernel to it's ZFS files system. Trust me, if you are a power user, and you are if you own one of these machines, your MAC should have as much memory as it can hold. If you are not going to fill up the memory, you might as well have bought an iMac.

    The bottom line is more memory is better. Put in as much as you can, and get rid of the smaller size boards while they have some value, and put your spare cash into bigger boards that will leave you space to expand.

    10 is not significant compared to 8GB. You should be thinking 16GB.
  16. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Yes you do. You are not working with 10 bit uncompressed 1080p HD video I would imagine.

    Not everything that people do on their computers is limited by RAM. For some people 2GBs of RAM is fine as they run out of CPU power way before they run out of RAM.
  17. jasonvp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2007
    Northern VA
    Sorry to have come into this thread late (and you've already purchased your RAM) ... As far as I know, both versions of Final Cut (Express, Pro) are still limited to 32-bit memory addressing. Which means 4G.

    Now, having more RAM is always better in my opinion. Like HP in cars: there's no such thing as "enough". :) More RAM will allow you to do OTHER things while you're crunching away a massive high-def movie in FCP. You've got 8 cores; might as well put them to use doing other things. Having more RAM will let you do that without paging.

  18. NightSailor macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2008
    Good Choice

    10 GB is a good choice, perhaps you could justify another 2 to make is symetric, or you could sell the 2GB and leave it at 8GB.

    You will be happy in any case.
  19. chillywilly macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2005
    Salt Lake City
    Thanks to everyone's input on RAM and FCP. I am looking at upgrading to a Mac Pro later on this summer as I move my small video production stuff from my MacBook Pro to something that can handle HD (compressed) and other video needs that I'm starting to outgrow.

    The 8gb RAM upgrade sounds like it's optimal.

    As for the RAID on video production, whether it's needed or not for uncompressed 1080p, I think the redundancy has some merit.
  20. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    It is needed for uncompressed video

    As far as i know FCP can only edit 2K

    The highest data transfer rate you'll need for 1 channel of 10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 60i = 237 MB per/sec

    there is no single disk that can read write this fast.

    ylu basically have to use at least 4 disks to get the job done must people use 8 disks on a san card ran in raid5

    Storage and Data Rates for Uncompressed Video

    What's the data rate for uncompressed video, and how much space is needed?

    The storage and data rates for uncompressed video are listed below.

    525 NTSC uncompressed;
    8 bit @ 720 x 486 @ 29.97fps = 20 MB per/sec, or 70 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 720 x 486 @ 29.97fps = 27 MB per/sec, or 94 GB per/hr.

    625 PAL uncompressed;
    8 bit @ 720 x 576 @ 25fps = 20 MB per/sec, or 70 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 720 x 576 @ 25fps = 26 MB per/sec, or 93 GB per/hr.

    720p HDTV uncompressed;
    8 bit @ 1280 x 720 @ 59.94field = 105 MB per/sec, or 370 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1280 x 720 @ 59.94field = 140 MB per/sec, or 494 GB per/hr.

    1080i and 1080p HDTV uncompressed;
    8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps = 95 MB per/sec, or 334 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps = 127 MB per/sec, or 445 GB per/hr.

    8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 25fps = 99 MB per/sec, or 348 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 25fps = 132 MB per/sec, or 463 GB per/hr.

    8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97fps = 119 MB per/sec, or 417 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97fps = 158 MB per/sec, or 556 GB per/hr.

    1080i and 1080p HDTV RGB (4:4:4) uncompressed;
    10 bit @ 1280 x 720p @ 60fps = 211 MB per/sec, or 742 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24PsF = 190 MB per/sec, or 667 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 50i = 198 MB per/sec, or 695 GB per/hr.
    10 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 60i = 237 MB per/sec, or 834 GB per/hr.
  21. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008


    As you can see from the results posted above, any configuration that filled all 8 memory slots produced the 7.5GB/s average speed. However, the advantage of the 8 slot configurations over the slowest was only 15%. You may feel you can live with that until you can afford to fill all 8 slots.
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    well seeing as though my really really really old MBP runs it pretty ok with 2GB of RAM i dont think you will have a problem no matter what!!!

    (true, i do have to wait a while to encode everything but which kind of sucks).
  23. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    Am I missing something ? Recently I bought 2x original Apple 1GB sticks (2008 MP) for 20 € on ebay. ;)
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    notice how he said "memory board", maybe its something different :confused::confused:
  25. Macpropro80 macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    i blow through my 4 gigs in about 2 minutes of use, get 8 to be safe, 12 for uncompressed. Or atleast based on my experience, but I have a little problem where I have to run 1000000 programs at once while editing.

Share This Page