is 64GB RAM worth it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ironicles, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. ironicles macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2015
    Hi all! I asked this later in the comments of my other thread, but figured it could use it's own thread. Some companies like OWC offer 64GB RAM for the late 2015 iMac, and I'm wondering it will even be beneficial?

    I'm a video editor, who uses Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, and learning to use Maya/Blender. I know some people in the other thread were saying to not waste your money by going about 32GB RAM, but I'm hoping to see more opinions of which way to go.


    P.S> Random question that I thought I might sneak in here. Has anyone used the OWC Thunderbay4 and how do you like it? Can it play 4k footage without lag just fine? (RAID5, 12TB). Thanks!
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't there's too many use cases for 32GB never mind 64GB. I think its overkill and unnecessary. Why not get 16GB if you're concerned and then monitor your resources to see if you start to incur ram issues.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you don't know you need that much RAM then you don't need it.

    TBH most people could just add 16GB to the 8GB already there for 24GB and never come close to needing that.
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    If you are a serious video editor using those products, 32GB might be a good choice. Premiere can use a lot of memory, and if you're also concurrently running AE that uses more.

    There are even a few cases where Photoshop alone needs more than 32GB, but these aren't very common:

    FCPX is more efficient in memory use and you can get a lot done with 16GB and I've never needed more than 32GB even using multicam 4k and 2TB projects.
  5. ScorpionT16 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    Your CPU and GPU might be under alot more strain, if your using enough resources to consume that much RAM. 32GB is Plenty, 24GB like stated by previous posters, is good value and still leaves enough buffer for the majority of users.

    Also, when I placed my order, for curiosity asked an Apple rep on the phone about the 64GB RAM, they said if I went that route, it would void any Apple warranty I got since they only suggest a max of 32GB. Off course you could take the sticks out before a claim, i'm not sure if they can check the logs to see if 64GB was ever installed though...
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    It's only "worth it" if you need it.

    Few people have need for that much.

    Do you?
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I can't imagine that very many people would ever need that much RAM.
  8. teagls macrumors regular

    May 16, 2013
    I use 64GBs of RAM, but as you said it's for very specific things like scientific computing. I mainly use it for Natural Language processing of massive text documents. For general use 16GBs is plenty.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm sure there are people that need it, but I think in the OP's case, why not measure his memory pressure in the activity monitor and then make an educated decision on what is truly needed :)
  10. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2008
    Reasonable but after investing in 4 x 4GB DIMM ( =16GB ) a later decision to upgrade means selling/trading the old DIMMs--- usually at a loss. If the newer iMac will support it, consider buying only one(1) 16 GB DIMM and running with that. If needs dictate more RAM, adding another 16GB DIMM doesn't force retirement/sale of the installed DIMMs. Of course, the major objection to 16GB DIMMs IMO is the price; they are significantly more expensive than 8GB DIMMs.
  11. desmond2046 macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2015
    Columbus, OH, United States
    I think this video did an excellent job explaining your question
    In short, video editing is an area where you could benefit from having 64GB RAM

  12. Seed101 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2015
    Currently have 32gb.
    AE mainly with some light(ish!) C4D and assorted Adobe CC/FCP X as and when.

    Would love 64gb but is worth it?
    Not yet!
  13. ironicles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2015
    Thanks everyone for the help! Still unsure, but these answers are helping.

    Do you think your processes and rendering would go faster with 64GB?
  14. Seed101 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2015
    Working in After Effects I believe it would.

    Different softwares such as C4D, not so won't hurt mind ;)

    Personally, I don't think the cost v benefit is there yet...but if money is no object...
  15. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    My Mac run as server, usually running few background tasks and then use photoshop / FCPX in the foreground.

    32G RAM is generally good, but still occasionally need 1-2 GB swap memory.

    So, will 64G RAM help? Yes, at least it can be use as cache to speed up the process.

    How much it help? Depends on how heavy you use it.

    Do you really need it? I don't know, but I don't think so.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    This is one of those question that "if you need to ask probably not".

    My usage varies wildly, light video and photo editing, a lot of video encoding, some gaming, and all the basic stuff like web browsing, streaming movies, etc. I have 24gb of RAM and I might have seen swap used once or twice.

    Now if you just want it and have the expendable income then go for it. But there is a good chance you'll never see any added benefit from it.
  17. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    To the original poster - work backwards. Investigate all the apps you use and research them for optimal hardware set up. If any of your apps (the way you use them) improves with the presence of 64 gigs then you have something to think about.

    Most Photoshop users wouldn't need 64 gigs but if you have multiple apps open, you will see them exploiting the added RAM along side Photoshop. Candidly, I would think that 32 gigs is plenty for most people without really hitting that glass ceiling when a few apps are open but then again, the measure depends on which apps are open.

    If you are adventurous, investigate RAM drives. These, in the past, were outstanding for temporary use as a scratch or work space for various apps.
  18. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I am not someone who suggests loads of ram for no good reason, but a professional video editor who works with 4k footage can certainly make good use of 64gb of ram.

    However at that point it is worth looking into the MacPro lineup.

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