What does RAM do

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Andrew07, May 5, 2007.

  1. Andrew07 macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2007
    What does RAM do for audio recording/mixing? The number of plug-ins is determined by how fast and powerful the processor is, and the speed of the hard drive determines how many tracks can play back at once...right? So what does RAM do?
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    RAM is where data that the processor is using is temporarily stored, if you run out of it the computer uses your Hard Drive as RAM, but that is slower, so more RAM will speed your computer up.
  3. Andrew07 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2007
    So in audio recording/mixing what does that equate to?
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Less hard drive spinning and at the same time less heat resulting in the fans going on more rarely = less noise.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Plus fewer delays = fewer dropouts at low buffer settings = less latency.

    THe effect of more RAM will vary by program and what you are doing. If a DAW software can make extensive use of RAM for caching, then it can run smoother and faster with lots of RAM. Sample players almost all prefer to cache the samples to RAM as opposed to stream then off disk, so they also benefit from more RAM available. 2 Gb RAM should be considered standard for anything more than entry level digital audio work.
  6. Mac-Addict macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2006
    Its like if your typing something in word the stuff you are typing is tempory stored on the ram so you can access and change it quicker rather than the hard drive spinning.. (Right...?)

    I only just realised.. If you have a computer with no hard drive just flash memory.. there would be no need for ram?
  7. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Wrong :)
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Flash memory is non-volatile, it stores data even when no power is going to it.

    RAM is volatile - it only retains data when power is going to it, usually this is when the computer is switched on but can include when it is asleep.

    Flash memory is still slower than RAM. A computer using Flash memory will still need RAM.
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    there are several different places where data is cached, and in general the faster it is, the less of it you have and the more expensive it is to add. (on the flipside, the slow/cheap/plentiful storage you have [i.e. hard drive or even CD backup] is also going to be the most persistent).

    the fastest cache is going to be the registers in your CPU, then probably the cache(s) on the CPUs, then RAM, then your drive (whether spinny or flash).*

    different tools for different jobs, and changing the technology of your persistent storage isn't going to suddenly render RAM redundant, just as getting faster RAM doesn't suddenly mean your CPU no longer needs its registers.

    * forgive me if i've left out or mischaracterized something, it's been ages since i've really delved into this stuff
  10. sonarghost macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006

    I second and third this reply..Once you start working with large amounts of audio samples within many software samplers 2 gig min. is a must!

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