How much RAM would I need?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by SkriBlerLenZ, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. SkriBlerLenZ macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Hello all, new here (hence the little Newbie badge ;) ).

    I'm currently working on an ancient (OK, 2 year old) Dell Inspiron.
    Long story short, 4GB RAM is not adequate enough to have Photoshop running with 20-40 14 mega-pixel photos open plus trying to work in them; let alone having Firefox, iTunes, Word, multiple folders, and the occasional game running in the background (tried it once. wasn't pretty).

    So, being a massive Apple lover, I'm pretty much set on buying a Macbook Pro 15" once the Ivy Bridge refresh happens (looking epically soon at the end of April, am I right?). The only thing stopping me there is thinking about the hole it's going to put into my savings xD

    I won't upgrade the RAM via Apple (expensive, anyone?), I'll probably do it with OWC and go DIY.

    However, that's not the issue here. I'm concerned as to how much RAM I actually need.

    I stated before what I'm using, but with the Mac, there'll be one slightly bigger problem: Adobe CS5 cannot be switched from Windows to Mac, and I'm too cheap to upgrade it.
    So, I'm going to need a VM.

    My question to all you lovely iSheep (i kid) out there is this:

    How much RAM do you think I'm going to need if I'm running CS5 in a VM plus Firefox plus iTunes plus Word and plus my beloved Sims 3?

    My original plan (and don't laugh) was 16gb. I planned to dedicate 8gb to the VM, and 8gb to OSX. But now that the upgrade is looming nearer, 16gb does sound a little like overkill.

    Any advice and suggestions would be very muchly appreciated :)

    Thanks for your time.
  2. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    16gb may seem overkill but it is so cheap you may as well go for it.

    If 16gb was 100-150 bucks like it is now, rather than 1500 like it was when i bought my MBP mid-year last year, i'd be using 16gb right now.
  3. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum

    Thank you very much. When I was comparing 8GB to 16GB prices awhile back, my gut reaction was just to get the 16gb. Thanks for confirming this :)
  4. beowulf70 macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2010
    Simple answer: As much as you can afford.
    But 16 GB is cheaper now than you could ever imagine... go for it.
    Minimum 8 GB. Trust me. ;)
  5. jb91 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    As annoying as it is, using CS on OSX over running it through VM is soo much nicer. Regardless of the RAM and power the simple fact is you are running two operating systems at once, something to connect them and then photoshop on top as well as any other programs you have running. Your are spending upwards of £1500 (or US equivalent) for something that is going to last you a long time and be a good investment. Agree with you completely on the RAM (I have put crucial in mine and had no problems whatsoever running Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator simultaneously with others) but have a good think about the way you are going to run Photoshop. You could always decommission your current license and sell it onto a friend to put towards mac CS5?

    Let us know what you decide to do.
  6. Capri macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Upgrade Photoshop from Windows to Mac

    Rather than buy a complete new version of Photoshop, you should be able to buy a Mac upgrade version (you could wait for CS6 coming out later this year), call Adobe and explain that you are upgrading from a PC to a Mac, and they will give you an activation code to use the upgrade package for Mac. That way you don't have to run Photoshop on VM/Windows (which is like putting bicycle wheels on a new BMW IMHO). I did this years ago when I switched to a Mac. Call Adobe first before buying anything to verify that they will still do that.
  7. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Haha, I'd never think of going below 8GB, so don't worry ;)

    Thanks for your input :D


    Thanks for the advice :) Hopefully I am understanding what you said correctly here (It didn't quite make sense the way you worded things, sorry), but you're saying it's a bad idea to run Photoshop through a VM?

    Obviously the ideal situation would be to NOT have to run CS5 through a VM, and I have looked into getting Mac CS5. Sadly, the only friend who would be slightly interested in buying CS5 from is broke.
    That, and I am using the Student/Teacher standard ed- which means no transferring.

    So selling it is out of the question. Sadly.

    Thanks for your input, though. I did a bit of googling after your suggestion, but only to find that yes - I can't sell the Student Edition.

    The other thing is that I would probably need a VM for awhile anyway, since I am currently Windows based. I'm pretty sure that everything I use is Windows/Mac compatible - except CS5 (So annoying -_-) - but my family and majority of people I operate with are also Windows based.

    But still, CS5 through a VM is a last resort, and the only real major thing holding me back from making the jump.
  8. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Ah, that's such a tempting option!
    Sadly, I'm using the Student ed. of CS5, and I'm not entirely sure if this is eligible for upgrade - especially cross platform afterwards. Confirmation on this would be nice :)

    The other problem is price (pretty sure it's like buying a brand new student ed suit again? Price wise I mean) AND the fact that I'd have to adjust to a different version of CS.

    Haha as silly as that last reason sounds, I'm in no way a professional - serious armature I believe it's called. Though it is a minor one, and nothing that I'm going to base buying decisions on :)

    Any further advice on this front would be appreciated :)
  9. schimmel, May 12, 2012
    Last edited: May 12, 2012

    schimmel macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2009
    I haven't read the entirety of the thread, but I would suggest you look at Creative Cloud, which is a subscription service from Adobe, i.e you pay every month instead of one big bunch, to always have the latest software.

    For current CS5 users, I believe it's 29.99 USD per month, which is really cheap imho. Plus, you may be able to sell your CS5 suite to another student, if that's legit (afraid not, but worth checking).

    Plus, if you're gonna run a VM, you're basically gonna have to shell out some considerable amounts of cash for a proper VM app and a Windows license – which really is paying extra for a worse experience.
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The OP is making a stupid mistake if he's going to try to run those programs through a VM. He'd be way better off using bootcamp. The monthly rates aren't actually that cheap considering that previously you could just upgrade every other release or so (or whenever they added something good) and it would come out way less in the end. I mean I never skipped an upgrade where they actually added something I wanted, but the past couple have been terrible on bugs.
  11. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    You need to make sure your Inspiron even supports 16 GB of RAM. It may not. That aside, I'd definitely recommend installing as much RAM as your machine can use, whatever that may be. RAM is your friend. :]
  12. Blue Fox macrumors 6502a

    Blue Fox

    Apr 13, 2009
    When it comes to Photoshop, the most RAM you can shove in the better. I've maxed out my 16GB RAM in my iMac several times while working with large projects in Photoshop. Max it out even quicker when I have iTunes and a few other programs running in the background.
  13. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum

    Sadly, I cannot sell my CS5 to anyone, because it is a student edition. Selling it is a definite no-no.

    As for the Cloud option, I have looked at that. But, do you not need to download it first? If that is the case, then sadly I can't do that either. Where I'm currently residing (and can't move since I'm still a minor), we get terrible internet in terms of download allowance.
  14. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Thank you everyone!

    I'd just like to say a quick thank you to everyone who helped out here. After doing some more googling, I found a site that will sell me what I want in my country (no overseas shipping. yay!).

    I've actually decided to go with the current MacBook Pros. I know Ivy Bridge is awesome and all, but for what I need (and I need it fast) Sandy Bridge is quite all right.

    I'd also like to point out that running CS5 via VM was a total last resort. Mainly, CS6 wasn't out yet and I didn't want to upgrade to CS5.5 (nothing, basically, had been updated in what I used PLUS you can't upgrade Education Discounted products) and to save a little money I would try and use it [CS5] via VM for awhile.

    However you'll all be happy to know I'm totally skipping the VM now, and getting CS6 for Mac with the MacBook Pro.

    I'm also going 16gb ram, so this baby's gonna pack some punch ;)

    Thank you all again. You've all been really helpful in all the decision making :)
  15. TyroneShoes2, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012

    TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    The rule-of-thumb for Photoshop has always been to take the largest file size you will be working on and multiply that by 5 for the MINIMUM amount of RAM you need, not counting what the OS will eat up first. Otherwise you will be paging virtual memory all day and night long (an SSD helps).

    If you are more than a casual user, just get as much RAM as you can shove into your computer. If that number isn't larger than the rule-of-thumb, get a better computer. Put your page file on a separate HDD (or better yet, a separate SSD). Also, only keep one document/image open at a time.

    And quit all of those other programs when you are in Photoshop, or it probably wont even help to max out RAM. On Windows this probably means a reboot to shake loose all of that memory.
  16. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Not true
  17. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Thanks for that :) I was actually talking about upgrading a Student Ed to a Student Ed (haha I know, cheapskate city). I talked to Adobe personally, and they said it was a big no-no. Which personally makes sense, but I was just doubly checking.

    Thanks again though.
  18. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    This is good advice. Hopefully 16 GB sticks will be out soon so I can shove 32 GB of RAM in a MBP. :p
  19. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    LOL that would be nice but I can't see Adobe upgrading anything for a dollar. ;)
  20. ectoplasmosis macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2012
    What he said. I've got 32GB in my Mac Pro and even that is sometimes not enough when really taxing the system.

    Paid £120 for it all. Peanuts.
  21. GSPice macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2008
    I am here to say, from experience:

    1) If you're spending money on a MBP, please try, try, try to get CS for Mac.
    2) Get as much memory as you can afford - the apps will use any available.
    3) Besides using an SSD, your MBP will thank you (quite noticeably) for the memory upgrade, and you'll appreciate it.
  22. LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Could you not find a friend of a friend of a friend who has fast internet access with no restrictions and do your downloads from their network?
  23. SkriBlerLenZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    "In my bedroom" -Mum
    Mac has arrived :D

    Thanks everyone for the continual replies :p

    Just to clarify - I never *wanted* to use my Windows CS5 in a VM, but at the time of looking at stuff CS6 wasn't out AND I did NOT want to have to buy CS5.5 because after asking around on the the Adobe Forums it turned out it didn't update Photoshop.

    Also to clarify, I have now purchased my Mac (which is sitting beside me now in its shipping box waiting to be opened ^_^ ) AND CS6 for Mac. So, don't worry, no VMs ;)

    I got the 16gb of RAM, and am SUPER excited to start this baby up. May start a thread with some photos to share my excitement, we shall see :)

    Thanks again for the help everyone! It's muchly appreciated :)
  24. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    Depending on what you are doing with these images I would say 8 is not enough. It would say 16 for the vm and 8 for mac os x but 24 isn't an option so go for at least 32.
  25. Chuck-Norris macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2012

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