Video Editing: 24GB or 32GB of RAM?

TheBeastman13

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 5, 2012
209
2
I'm saving up for a new 27" iMac to assist in video abd photo editing.

If I buy the stock 8GB from Apple, then drop $200 on an additional 16GB from OWC, I could have 24GB of RAM(3x8GB chips).

Or just spend $400 from OWC to get 32GB straight from them.

I plan to use Adobe Premiere/After Effects, Final Cut Express 4, Photoshop, Bridge, the usual web surfing, movie watching.

Most likely two or three programs will run simultaneously, if that paints a better picture for you.

I don't know how RAM hungry the newer OS are, because I'm still using Snow Leopard on my MacBook.

Will I see noticeable improvements with the extra 8GB of RAM?

Thanks for the advice and insight

-B Eastman
 

rkaufmann87

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2009
1,760
38
Folsom, CA
I'm saving up for a new 27" iMac to assist in video abd photo editing.

If I buy the stock 8GB from Apple, then drop $200 on an additional 16GB from OWC, I could have 24GB of RAM(3x8GB chips).

Or just spend $400 from OWC to get 32GB straight from them.

I plan to use Adobe Premiere/After Effects, Final Cut Express 4, Photoshop, Bridge, the usual web surfing, movie watching.

Most likely two or three programs will run simultaneously, if that paints a better picture for you.

I don't know how RAM hungry the newer OS are, because I'm still using Snow Leopard on my MacBook.

Will I see noticeable improvements with the extra 8GB of RAM?

Thanks for the advice and insight

-B Eastman
As a general rule of thumb, you can never have too much RAM. However that being said, 24GB is a lot of RAM and should be completely adequate. However if you can afford to get 32GB, then just do it. You should keep the RAM that comes pre-installed if for no other reason for possible future troubleshooting in the event of problems, will you need it....unlikely but being prepared is wise.
 

northernmunky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2007
777
201
London, Taipei
I'm a hardcore editor too and have all the Adobe suite, FCP X etc. I'm finding my 16Gb of RAM to be more than enough, 24Gb should be perfectly adequate. I can't imagine you'll need more than that.

Final Cut Express 4 is a 32bit app as I remember so it won't be able to use more than 4Gb anyway. As long as your Adobe suite is a 64bit version which is certainly CS up, then it should make nice utilisation out of it. But personally I reckon 32Gb is approaching overkill. Its really your CPU and drive bandwidth that is important with this kind of stuff.
 

Kyle-K

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2014
125
12
Geraldton, Western Australia.
Also remember you can always purchased the stock RAM configuration and see how you go and then purchase the RAM upgrade later if it's not enough. Also Good if you haven't got all the money saved up for the memory.

Or just spend $400 from OWC to get 32GB straight from them.
That's what I did, Replacing the 2X4GB Modules, if you're in the US I believe OWC have a buyback program for the 2X4GB modules. for me here in Australia it was more profitable to sell the RAM online here in Australia you may get more doing that yourself too.

I'll leave your other stuff to other more knowledgeable people in the video photo editing field to answer.
 
Last edited:

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,746
979
32GB... I use 24GB on my Mac Pro and it is enough for Final Cut Pro X, however the biggest place you will use that RAM is in an AE RAM preview!
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
Shop around for Ram (get a better price) and sell the stock kit to reduce the hit. OWC is always on the high end price wise.
Buy as much as possible (general rule) Add 2-8gb or 4-8gb and sell the stock.
Don't trade it in - sell it

You can likely find a 16gb kit for 160 range, sometimes less. The stuff is pricey right now - I filled late 2012 models with 32g for 190-200 in mid 2013.

Example - 2 16gb kits for 165 = 330 minus 30to45 for the stock = 300 or less. All about shopping/selling skills

Good Luck
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,784
5,596
Hong Kong
24G is enough for the job, however, if money is not a big issue, you better go for 32G. It can further speed up the process. When I do video work in my Mac Pro, the system may use up all 32G of RAM and sometimes compress it to 48G. More RAM, more cache, it's not necessary, but recommanded.
 

Rud3Bwoy

Suspended
Oct 9, 2011
433
11
Shop around for Ram (get a better price) and sell the stock kit to reduce the hit. OWC is always on the high end price wise.
Buy as much as possible (general rule) Add 2-8gb or 4-8gb and sell the stock.
Don't trade it in - sell it

You can likely find a 16gb kit for 160 range, sometimes less. The stuff is pricey right now - I filled late 2012 models with 32g for 190-200 in mid 2013.

Example - 2 16gb kits for 165 = 330 minus 30to45 for the stock = 300 or less. All about shopping/selling skills

Good Luck
don't sell the stock kit,run into issues like i did and you need a pair to test you will be screwed go to apple they will want that stock ram back for testing.
 

Philocetes

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2016
106
34
Just got 32 gig (8x4) of 1333 ram for mac pro 2010 for $90 from a-tech on amazon--works great! Could get 24, but for less than $25, not much savings to not max out.
 

Glockworkorange

macrumors 68000
Feb 10, 2015
1,997
3,180
Chicago, Illinois
don't sell the stock kit,run into issues like i did and you need a pair to test you will be screwed go to apple they will want that stock ram back for testing.
I agree. I updated mine to 16 and lost the 8 that came with it. Brought it into the Apple store a year later due to a problem I didn't think was related to RAM. One of the questions? Do you have the original RAM? Thankfully, wasn't really needed, but you never know.
 

EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
555
515
Keep in mind is that the operating system formerly known as OS X will use excess RAM to cache programs. This enables them to start faster.

Although to be honest with the speeds of the SSD drives in the current generation of iMac machines I don't know how much that is actually worth. My 1TB drive can read just short of 2GB per second which is astounding.

That said the extra RAM will help out the base model in loading programs after the first time they where loaded until the machine is rebooted by caching the program in excess memory. If you get a 1TB fusion drive the extra RAM would be useful there too because there isn't much of a flash drive at all. It might help out a 2 and 3 TB Fusion drive. If you are getting a SSD and are on a budget I wouldn't bother going past 16GB of RAM at this time.

As a final note I would uninstall the two 4GB modules and install two 8GB modules. Keep the 8GB in the machine if you can manage but if not sell them to help pay for the 16GB. That way down the road you can upgrade to 32GB without having to buy four new ram sticks.
 

elf69

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2016
2,316
482
Cornwall UK
Just reading OP said imac so only has 2 ram slots?
So 24GB not possible?
2x12GB sticks? Do they even make 12GB sticks?

But for video I'd say as much ram as you can afford/machine take as you are going to be running other programs as well as video edit I would imagine.
 

EnderBeta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2016
555
515
Just reading OP said imac so only has 2 ram slots?
So 24GB not possible?
2x12GB sticks? Do they even make 12GB sticks?

But for video I'd say as much ram as you can afford/machine take as you are going to be running other programs as well as video edit I would imagine.
A 2015 iMac has four slots for RAM.