Will more RAM speed up AAC encoding in iTunes?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by sigamy, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA

    I have a 700mhz iBook with 384mb RAM and the combo drive. I believe the combo reads CDs at 24x. I am currently ripping CDs to 128kbps AAC at 5.5x.

    Just wondering if maxing out my RAM to 640mb will increase the AAC encoding at all? Or are the bottlenecks more in reading from the CD and then the 700mhz processor?

    Any tips on how to improve AAC encoding in iTunes. It is pretty good now but I'm just looking for another reason to spend the $ on RAM!

  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    It's very unlikly that this will make any difference (unless your system is paging). AAC encoding is primarily CPU bounded. The best way to get faster encoding would be to get a faster mac (say a G4).
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Dude, just get the RAM. You don't need an excuse. Its relatively cheap, and having a faster system always gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach. :)

    Or maybe its a sign that I should run to my nearest toilet. :(
  4. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: Will more RAM speed up AAC encoding in iTunes?

    I doubt RAM will improve AAC encoding...

    but try this:

    Import a song as an AIFF.

    The import the AIFF into iTunes into AAC. This will eliminate what bottleneck the cd-rom drive is (if any)... to make sure it's not a drive limited issue.

  5. crenz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    I would guess that the drive is not an issue, but it's good to make sure. Encoding AACs is much more computationally intensive than encoding MP3s. You can decide to give up more disk space in favour of spending less time encoding by switching to MP3s.

    Or, as Arn suggested, if you have a batch of CDs to import, import to AIFF first and let the laptop do the encoding to AAC overnight.
  6. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    Get the RAM. Definitely. Even if your system runs good now in a year or two you'll need more RAM, it's just how things go. Get it now while it's cheap.

    Remember the good old days when the built-in RAM module on computers went from 256K to 512K adn all the programmers said, "Holy ****! We're never going to need more RAM than that!" :p :p :p
  7. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    More RAM is always worth it, but it is not going to increase encoding speeds. That almost entirely depends upon the drive and the processor. On my 1 GHz TiBook, 160 Kbps AAC is encoded at an average of 9.6, and that's with a fuil GB of RAM. But get the RAM anyway. It's always good :D

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