RAM upgrade worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by george-brooks, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. george-brooks macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #1
    I've been thinking about upgrading my RAM in my mac pro from 8GB to 16GB but I have a couple questions:

    1. I'm using this computer mostly for FCP 7, CS 5 (mostly photoshop) and Aperture, as well as Logic Studio and a few other misc. pro apps. Will I see that much of an improvement in speed by doubling my RAM and is the extra speed worth the $200-400 the upgrade will cost?? Doesn't FCP 7 only support 4GB anyway?

    2. Right now I have 4x1GB cards and 2x 2GB cards installed, so I have one free slot. Am I better off buying a pair of 4GB cards to fill the last spot, or would it be best to trade in my chips and get all 2GB cards, or perhaps 4x4GB? More RAM on less chips is better, right? Are 8 matching chips better than mismatched chips of the same total capacity?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    The answer to #1 is always the same for everyone. If you are running out of RAM, than a RAM upgrade is well worth it and often the best bang for the buck for any upgrade. If you are not running out of RAM, than a RAM upgrade will not provide any noticeable increase in performance at all. Only you know if you are running out of RAM; keep an eye on it while doing your work.
     
  3. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a

    ssgbryan

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #3
    The quick answer is always yes.:D

    The more in depth answer is the underwear answer:
    It Depends.

    Fire up activity monitor while and see how much ram you are swapping out. 32-bit programs will have a 2GB limit per process. 64-bit programs will take what ever you can throw at it. It also helps if you purge your inactive memory on occasion.

    I have 22GB in mine right now. My swap file is 15 megabytes. I can be running many, many programs & not have swap file growth.

    I saw the biggest jump when I crossed over 16GB.
     
  4. Jake99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Running CS5 (mostly Premiere and After Effects) I occasionally use all 32GB of RAM, and even today I had 589MB of page outs, but zero swap used. I was having some issues with only 16GB, but now things are buttery. Your mileage may vary.
     
  6. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #6
    Look at your memory stats: if you've got swap out, then you need more memory. If you don't then save your money.


    Get 2 x 4GB chips
     
  7. george-brooks thread starter macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    How do I test this? Somewhere in activity monitor?
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    Activity Monitor>System Memory tab. Check the pie chart.
    Page outs and swap used are what you need to concentrate on.
     
  9. george-brooks thread starter macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #9
    Does this mean 2GB per processor or 2GB per core?
     
  10. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #10
    It means 2GB per program.

    Let's say you have a DVD player running. Let's also say that a DVD is 4 GB.
    If your DVD player is 32 bit, then it can have at MOST 2 GB of ram dedicated for it.
    So it could read the first 1/2 of the move into RAM. Play it. Then move the second 1/2 into RAM and play it. So if you jumped from the opening credits, to the end credits, there would be a slight delay as the program read the movie from disk and loaded it.

    If your DVD player was 64 bit, then it could allocate 4GB of ram, read the entire movie into memory, and play it. Then you could jump around all you want and never read the disc (technically you could eject the disk and still watch the movie).
     
  11. george-brooks thread starter macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #11
    So I guess really CS5 and Aperture are my only programs that would benefit anyways. Yikes! Maybe I'll have to "downgrade" to FCP X eventually!
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    You'll see a benefit if you run those programs at the same time often. But I've found 8 gigs to be my sweet spot for now.
     
  13. george-brooks thread starter macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #13
    I often run Aperture, Photoshop and InDesign simultaneously. That definitely slows it down.
     
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #14
    Yes but are you actually using all the memory you have? Did you check Activity Monitor after having those apps open for hours? Or check at the first sign of slow down? This will tell you if you will see any benefit or not.
     

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