Right amount of RAM for 2013 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FoamCup, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. FoamCup macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #1
    Hello. I was wondering how much RAM would be enough for me. I am going to be encoding, editing, rendering, and capturing video with the programs being active in the background. While I am waiting for the programs to batch encode and render video, I want to be able to still have enough power to use the computer. Such as internet browsing, listening to music, and/or watching a movie. All at the same time without experiencing any lag, stutter, freeze, hiccup, slow down, beach ball.

    I am not tech savvy and please help. Thanks!
     
  2. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #2
    I recommend SSD drives, and at least 8gb ram for os/progs and another 8gb for the extra heavy lifting. So 16gb ram should be fine.
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    TBH, hard to tell, the video size, codec, and which browser, how many tabs, what's the content..... all of these factors can affect the required RAM usage a lot.

    However, for your reference, when I am using FCPX + encoding + browser (with flash content) + photoshop still open... My Mac can use 42GB+ of RAM (not including cache). So, may be you are looking for 48GB or more.
    42+5+compressed de-ID.jpg
    2013 Mac Pro only has SSD option.
     
  4. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #4
    Not sure about video size. It depends. Although capturing can take up to 10 hours. Codec is either Apple ProRes or H.264, maybe even uncompressed, depending on the capture card. Safari web browser. At least three tabs open in Safari. I am not sure what you mean by, "what's the content". Please eleborate on that.
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    #5
    E.g. is the web page mainly contain text, or something like flash.
     
  6. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #6
    Text, pictures, like the official Apple website and YouTube.
     
  7. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #7
    This is a difficult question to answer without knowing a lot more detail of your work. For example the size of the files, specific applications, etc are all important. Maybe we can begin with what you're using now, both hardware and software wise. One nice thing about the Mac Pro is memory can be added after purchase. Perhaps it would be wise to start with the minimal 12GB. If you're memory constrained you can always buy more after the fact.

    I'd also think perhaps you may want to consider CPU configuration too. It sounds as if you'll be using programs which can take advantage of multiple cores so a higher core count processor maybe beneficial. What is the initial configuration you're looking at?
     
  8. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
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    United States
    #8
    Based on what you've described so far in this thread, you should be fine with 16GB if budget is a little tight, and 32GB if a few extra bucks doesn't hurt (32GB is way more than enough for your intended usage). Not clear whether you already own the nMP or are planning on purchase, but since it's much cheaper to buy 3rd party, maybe start with a base RAM config and then add pairs of 8GB modules as needed? (there are four RAM slots)
     
  9. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #9
    Sorry, guys. But, I did post all of the software in my very first thread. In case you guys don't want to read it, here is the complete list of all of the software that I will be using on my new Mac Pro.

    HandBrake, Apple Compressor, Apple Final Cut Pro X, and Black Magic Design's Media Express.

    @ITguy2016: I am not sure of the file size because it depends on the length of the actual recording. I am using a Late 2012 Mac Mini with a quad core i7, DIY upgrade from stock RAM to full 16GB RAM from OWC. It also has a 1TB HDD.
    A configuration that I am looking at, based on Apple's recommendation, would be the 6-Core CPU, 16GB or 32GB RAM, D500 GPU's. 1TB Flash is personal preferrence.

    @ixxx69: I was getting mixed results with all of the RAM needed from Apple. They all suggested 12, 16, 32, and even 64. Suggested processors ranged from 4, 6, and 8.

    I am planning on purchasing a new Mac. Please help.
     
  10. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #10
    Do you feel you're memory constrained right now? I'd recommend using "Activity Monitor" to see what your current consumption is. You can find it in the "Utilities" folder in the "Application" folder. Start it and then perform your workflow and see what it is reporting. There is a memory tab ("System Memory") which you can select to obtain a general idea of memory consumption. Unless you know you would benefit from more than 16GB I'd suggest starting there and adding memory later. It's easy to add post purchase and will cost you less if you buy it third party.

    Several of the applications you are using can utilize all the CPU cores so a higher core count processor would be beneficial. I'd say at least go with the six core as the additional cores will benefit you. Do you have a budget?
     
  11. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    United States
    #11
    ITguy2016's point is that your hardware needs along with a reasonable budget are dependent on what you're actually doing with the computer, and listing the apps only gets you so far. There's a difference between making 10 minute youtube videos and putting together a feature length movie or working in 6K/8K video (and lot in between). As I'm writing this, I see ITguy2016 has already posted where I was going with this next on RAM usage...

    I checked out your previous threads, and this is in no way something to be embarrassed about, but are you still in high school / college? I ask because there's really a huge difference between making recommendations for hobby usage and/or just interested in film making, versus getting a computer where you're making your business off of it.

    The nMP is an awesome computer - I make light use of FCPX on the 4c/D300 model, and even that config kicks ass (though you'll definitely need more storage for video editing).
     
  12. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #12
    I know that the Mini is beach balling on start up now. A long time ago, I was editing and rendering two projects in FCPX and the program beach balled. I also had a tab in Safari opened at the same time while I was editing and rendering, too. I also do not have any files on the internal drive except for imported bookmarks and I did a clean install of El Capitan, too.

    I do not have a budget since I am working and I am only saving up for the Apple recommended custom configuration of the Mac Pro.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    I am only recording content from my HD cable box, editing the content, and rendering for playback on my iPhone, other iPhones, computers, and other devices. No, I do not do any 4K, 6K, or 8K feature films. I don't work at Pixar. I am no longer in high school or college. I am so jealous of you right now.
     
  13. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #13
    The beach balling could be the result of insufficient CPU power too. I think the best advice I can give you right now is to use Activity Monitor to examine memory and CPU utilization. You may find RAM is sufficient but CPU resources are not.

    To illustrate: I am typing this response to you on a 1.8GHz single processor PowerMac G5 running nothing but TenFourFox. It is not uncommon for this system to beach ball while viewing web pages. A look at resource usage with Activity Monitor reveals almost 100% CPU usage during the period of time I see the beach ball. Performing the same task on my 2.3GHz dual processor PowerMac G5 shows a marked decrease in beach balling. In this instance RAM is not the bottleneck...lack of CPU resources is.

    One thing you may want to try doing is to replace the hard disk in the Mini with an SSD. While an SSD is not the equivalent of memory it is much faster than a hard disk and, if memory is a bottleneck, paging out to SSD will be faster than the hard disk. You may see an improvement and, if you do, that would be an indication memory is an issue.
     
  14. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #14
    I am not at home and I am typing this reply on my iPhone. I am thinking of replacing the Mini with the Mac Pro, which is why I am going to purchase the Mac Pro. It'll be better with other programs and tasks than the Mini.
     
  15. ITguy2016 Suspended

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    May 25, 2016
    #15
    It's understood you're thinking of buying a Mac Pro. However that doesn't preclude you from performing the Activity Monitor steps I mentioned. If you don't want to perform them, fine. I won't bother to offer any further assistance.
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    @ITguy2016 and @h9826790 are correct. The only way to know how much memory you need is to see how much memory you are using. If you aren't constrained at all, adding more memory won't help much, maybe just some additional caching. If you are constrained, it is important to know by how much so that you know how much to buy--otherwise you could buy too little and still be constrained, or buy too much and waste money.
     
  17. tallon1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    #17
    I currently have a late 2014 retina iMac 4.0GHz i7, AMD Radeon M295x, and 1TB Fusion Drive. When I originally ordered it, I only upgraded it to 16GB of RAM because the additional 16GB was so expensive at the time ($600).

    Fast forward to this week when I finally ordered the other two 8GB sticks from OWC for $100.

    Installation was easy, and without performing measurements, it *seems* faster for heavy tasks such as running 3 different VMWare environments at the same time (Win10 bootcamp, Win7, Chromium) along with MS Outlook and iPhoto without any writing to the page file. Matter of fact, according to Activity Monitor, the most RAM used was 13GB. Everything is so quick as to seem that it would have been just as fast as running only one of those applications on the system.

    I should have tried to run the above applications with only 16GB of RAM in order to see if I actually needed anything additional. However, Im too lazy to remove the new sticks in order to test it out. In any event, the $100 spent makes me happier knowing that I have that horsepower, even if Im not using it. Sort of like upgrading an engine when buying a car. 4cylinder sucks, 6cylinder is good, and while 8cylinder is awesome, it costs more and doesn’t get you there any faster if following the law.
     
  18. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #18
    In my MAC PRO (this is the Mac Pro forum right?) I have 64gb of OWC ram. It cost a lot, but I use my Mac Pro for a lot of things. Video Editing, Music Creation, Software Development etc.
    I could have probably gotten away with 32GB, but it's nice to have more than you need!
    Especially when you get into Premiere and After Effects, you can never have too much ram.
    One thing that I have noticed, having a very fast disk subsystem like an OWC Thunderbay 4, is critical to glitch-free performance.
    I went with the 12TB model (9TB formatted).
     
  19. davidb367 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #19
    Ditto here. I started with 16GB in my nMP 6 core. I found through Activity Monitor during several 3D rendering sessions that my memory was paging to disk. Once I upgraded to 32GB (through OWC), I have plenty of head room. The added RAM did improve my render times.
     
  20. FoamCup thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2016
    #20
    Thank you all. I think I'll go with the 32GB of RAM in case I were to run out of memory and I'll post screen caps of my usage. I think all the programs themselves and MacOS will use 23GB of RAM alone but that does not take in to account with active usage. We'll see.
     
  21. DrMickeyLauer macrumors newbie

    DrMickeyLauer

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    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    Neu-Isenburg, Germany
    #21
    I, too, went for the 32gb with my 6-core nMP. I do a lot of Xcode compiling huge projects and Logic Audio with huge sample libraries. I wanted to buy a new nMP, but I guess I will bump to 64gb instead. Did anyone try the unofficial 128gb upgrade yet?
     

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