why 32gb of ram?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by redccm, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. redccm macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2008
    im running winXP 32-bit, i run fairly high amount of stuff in the background;
    -4 firefox windows
    -windows media player
    -world of warcraft

    and the highest memory usage only got up to like 1GB. why does the mac pro offer 32 GB of ram?

    i mean even if you utilize up to 30gb of ram, its gunna be really slow, and you'll probably need 2 AMD x16 core processors to run all that smoothly.
  2. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    to run multiple apps at the same time. u can run windows inside fusion, photoshop and other Pro apps
  3. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Video encoding/rendering/virtual machines etc
    There's loads of reasons. It's a serious pro machine, your 1gig usage is a home user usage.
  4. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    As kalex said, many apps and environments, including VMWare Fusion/Parallels, work better if they are completely in memory rather than partially stored on the hard drive as virtual memory. This stands mostly true for multiple simultaneous apps, especially in a multi-processor machine.

    Some of the programs you mentioned (WoW) use more graphics card memory than main memory. WMP, Firefox, BitTorrent and Limewire take up relatively little main memory when in the background.

    That said: For 99% of us (myself included), 32 Gb RAM is overkill. For a Pixar employee attempting a test render of a scene for a Pixar film, it may mean the difference between a 1-hour render and an overnighter.
  5. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    You might want 32 GB of RAM because you are a professional that happens to need it. For example, more RAM for a videographer means that the processors aren't choked by the slow hard drive speeds, so ideally more RAM is better. The average user does not need 32 GB of RAM and probably won't for a long time to come, but that doesn't mean that others don't. Heck, if your asking about superfluous RAM, why not superfluous processors... heck, the Mac Pro has 8 cores and the average user hardly ever uses more than what a single-core processor could give them. The Mac Pro is a professional machine and thus requires some pretty hefty specs in order to be purchased by businesses that would like to have a machine with that much power with OSX on it. So essentially, the average user won't use 32 GB of RAM nor will they understand why, but the professional is more demanding of their computer (heck, my sister uses an 8 core 3.2 GHz at work and she still thinks it's slow for her work), so that is why the Mac Pro can support up to 32 GB of RAM.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You've been given reasons why someone might need 32GB of memory so I won't go over that again, but consider that it may be as simple as the fact that they support 32GB because they can. The hardware they use is for servers as well as workstations so regardless of whether a single user can utilize 32GB I'm sure you know a server certainly can.

    As larger memory spaces become available and costs go down home users will be given ways to make use of it. By the way, the next Mac Pro may very well support 192GB of memory!
  7. Fonzijr1964 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    U can get 64GB for it now but its a little iffy
  8. Maddler macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2007
    Great, now try that test again but with an actual project open inside of Photoshop; something like a 50 layer file. Now export that and import into Final Cut. Add some filters and translations to that with a few copies layered on top of eachother in the timeline to translate various layers of the PSD. Now open another project in Final Cut alongside the current one, this one uncompressed RGB 1080p, select a good long take and export to Motion for stabilization analysis. While that's analyzing take the next take and export to Shake for keying, start the render, and export the a rough cut and import into After Effects for adding in some particle based heat distortion effects, and start that render too.

    No, there's no need for 32 GB if your main tasks involve downloading pirated software and movies, and playing WoW.
  9. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    That's the key really - it enables you to use several memory-hungry applications at the same time.

    Unfortunately the vast majority of Mac apps are still 32 bit, so there's no real benefit for individual applications in having 16 or 32Gb - even the heavyweight video apps (Final Cut, After Effects, Photoshop) still have very low glass ceilings when it comes to maximum available memory.

    Looks like Adobe won't be fixing this for 18 months or so, but I strongly hope that Apple's next round of Pro applications will be proper 64bit ones.
  10. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    I would love 32GB of RAM for a DB server, just load the whole thing into memory :)

    But seriously, your demands pale in comparison to serious professional uses. I don't do anything that would use that much ram, but that's because my poor C2D would choke before it can even come close to utilizing that much.
  11. dchen720 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
    a 32gb ram mac pro costs more than a brand new little compact car.
  12. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    It'd only cost that much if you were foolish enough to pay Apple for it. OWC will sell you that 32 GB of RAM for just $2000. Apple makes great products, but if you have an issue with what they charge for RAM, you probably shouldn't be buying a computer like the Mac Pro. I mean, it won't kill you to buy it elsewhere at a mere fraction the price. I think they expect people buying this tier of computer to be intelligent enough to shop for it properly.

    As a side note, while I don't have 32 GB of RAM, I find that I can easily use more than half of my 10 GB just while editing some HD video and working on prints that are more than six feet long (Yes, I occasionally do these simultaneously. Have time to burn while waiting for a render, and FCP needs more optimization to fully use cores and RAM available to it). While the OP's chunk of background processes may seem substantial to him, the expectations of the video world are so far removed from the mainstream that his look laughably puny in comparison.
  13. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Oct 24, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    Thats all you got? I've got 2.4GB used with just Firefox, bittorrent and mail open. Something is not reporting right on your computer.
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
  15. redccm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2008
    i think it would be a lot better if they used DDR3 2000 ram
  16. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Xeons currently can't, and they're not switching from Xeons, so...
  17. dchen720 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2008
    i only do web surf, play warcraft, itune, firefox... msn, at the same time,,

    i use about like 700mb of 2gb,,
  18. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    I have 6 in the G5, use about 2.5 on average. My windows box has 4 and I really use 2, but because of memory leaks and other windows "features" it will chew it up. My macbook has 2, and I will use all of it.

    When I can afford it the macbook is going to 4 (well, 3.2 or what ever because of the chipset limitation).
  19. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    Most people will not use all 32GB of RAM, at least not within the next year or two.....

    But... it's kinda like... why did the guy buy such massive wheels to put on his car... you know... some people show off because they can.... some people overcompensate.
  20. Purple Puppy macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2008
    When the Nehalem Mac Pros come out, they will use DDR3 RAM. But it will probably be something like DDR3 1333 or so...

    Remember that with servers and workstations, the RAM bandwidth is more important than the clock speed of the bus.

    And addressing the topic, I'm sure one would need 32 GB of RAM when doing professional work. I'm an amateur 3D modeler and sometimes when rendering stuff it encounters the error, "The application has run out of memory" and the program just crashes. If I had 32 GB of RAM, I wouldn't have to worry about running out of memory and I would be able to do 3D modeling, rendering, run a virtual machine, AND play games at the same time, which would be the most awesome thing in the entire world.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I wouldn't think so. Very expensive stuff, and Apple likely couldn't offer the next Mac Pro for a similar price as they do now.
    This would seem more likely. Last I looked, it retails for around the same as the FB-DIMMs did just 6 months ago.
  22. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    How long until someone asks, "why would anyone need 128 gb of memory?" :eek:
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    When a basic system needs 16GB, so about 2-3yrs. Or whenever Windows 7 actually releases. :D :p
  24. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Yeah pretty much. Videographers/editors need it for real time previews in their video apps. And photographers need them for editing those fat @$$ Hasselblad and Phase One images while the 16bit photos stays all in memory.
  25. winterspan macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    The Mac Pro is not designed for highschool kids playing WoW and downloading strange pr0n videos.
    The large RAM capacity of a Mac Pro is meant to be available for a few primary tasks on a professional workstation. Many professionals in diverse industries routinely utilize datasets and files measured in gigabytes. The ability to have the entire thing (or at least the active portion) in memory is essential for fast processing. Without a large RAM pool available, the system would be constantly swapping memory pages back and forth to the harddrive which would make many operations painfully slow, even with RAID storage. And especially in the last few years, virtualization has become very popular. You can almost never have too much RAM in virtualization situations with multiple instances running.

    Even if you are not working with enormous scientific datasets, massive 3D models/animation, or HD video streams, a lot of RAM can be very useful. Programmers and software/web developers can use a ton of RAM, with multiple projects open, different development environments, code compilation, multiple virtual machines for testing environments, SQL Server or other relational database instances, etc.

Share This Page