You are here

What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby NuBoy » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:45 am

Hi there,
I see 32 gb of Ram for iMac is now only $450 (U.S).
What sort of performance increase would this deliver over a 16gbb upgrade?
Is it worth it?
NuBoy
Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:00 pm

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby Fealow » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:52 am

It can increase performance, but it is best to use a tested kit of matching 8GB modules
Fealow
Regular
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:00 am

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby johnny h » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:17 am

NuBoy wrote:Hi there,
I see 32 gb of Ram for iMac is now only 50 (U.S).
What sort of performance increase would this deliver over a 16gbb upgrade?
Is it worth it?

Likely none, so no.
johnny h
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3262
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby Fealow » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:21 am

yeah what John says is more or less true. It would be a very rare case to get an increase in performance although it is possible, but you'll probably never reach the need to use 32gb.
Fealow
Regular
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:00 am

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby twotoedsloth » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:49 am

Can you configure any of that RAM as a ramdrive, like we used to do in DOS?

I'd imagine a 16 gig ramdrive for your active project would be significantly faster than working from the conventional hard disc.

Not sure if this is possible, though.
twotoedsloth
Frequent Poster
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:00 am

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:58 am

The thought of a RAM disk intrigued me so I googled it. Turns out there's quite a few ways of doing it if you want to.

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3760
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Bradford on Avon

Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio.  Water down the gin and let reality in.


Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby steveman » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Surely be a lot cheaper to put an SSD in there (OK, not as easy...).
Unless you're streaming huge sample libraries or editing / compositing full HD video, not really worth it.
steveman
Regular
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2002 12:00 am
Location: London - UK

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby uphillbothways » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:55 am

This sort of question seems to crop up several times a month. The short answer is invariably "No, you won't benefit from more RAM".

The purpose of RAM is as a fast staging area for data on your hard drive. Your computer puts stuff into RAM if it needs to access it on the order of nanoseconds rather than milliseconds. You need just enough to contain your OS, the DAW and plugin software, and the first few milliseconds of every audio track and sample in your project. This is rarely more than 8GB and very, very rarely more than 16GB.

You can check for yourself whether you need more RAM by opening Performance Monitor, then loading a big project into your DAW. The critical thing to check for is "swap" - this is when the computer shuffles things between your hard drive and RAM, which is a slow process that usually causes audio dropouts. If your computer is performing swap while the DAW is playing, you need more RAM. Otherwise, spend the money on acoustic treatment.
uphillbothways
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:00 am

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby NuBoy » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:06 am

Thanks Uphill. That's a really informative and interesting bit of advice.


You should write for SOS!
NuBoy
Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:00 pm

Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby desmond » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:01 pm

uphillbothways wrote:This sort of question seems to crop up several times a month. The short answer is invariably "No, you won't benefit from more RAM".

The purpose of RAM is as a fast staging area for data on your hard drive. Your computer puts stuff into RAM if it needs to access it on the order of nanoseconds rather than milliseconds. You need just enough to contain your OS, the DAW and plugin software, and the first few milliseconds of every audio track and sample in your project. This is rarely more than 8GB and very, very rarely more than 16GB.

You can check for yourself whether you need more RAM by opening Performance Monitor, then loading a big project into your DAW. The critical thing to check for is "swap" - this is when the computer shuffles things between your hard drive and RAM, which is a slow process that usually causes audio dropouts. If your computer is performing swap while the DAW is playing, you need more RAM. Otherwise, spend the money on acoustic treatment.

Or, to put it in beer-related terms:

You're sitting at a table in a crowed bar, drinking your pint. When you've finished it, you can't drink any more until you wade through the crowds, wait to get served another pint at the bar, and then wade through the crowds back to your table.

This cuts down on the amount of drinking you can get done in any given period of time.

If, however, instead of a pint glass, you have a large bucket, you can fill it with multiple pints-worth of delicious beverage, and probably don't need to go back to the bar at all for the rest of the evening - meaning plenty of sustained, uninterrupted drinking time.

But, just because you *have* a bucket full of beer doesn't mean you will drink it all, or need to drink it all, and it won't change how much you can physically consume. It just lets you be more efficient when you want to consume a large amount of drink.
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6656
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:00 am

mu:zines | music magazine archive
Vintage issues of Sound On Sound, Electronics & Music Maker, Music Technology and more...


Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:43 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Can you configure any of that RAM as a ramdrive, like we used to do in DOS?

I'd imagine a 16 gig ramdrive for your active project would be significantly faster than working from the conventional hard disc.

It would. Except that today's operating systems and applications are very good at noting how much free RAM is available and using it as cache. So you already have a permanent ramdrive.
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: What performance increase will 32gb give iMac?

Postby buggymusic » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:53 pm

ProTools 10 lets you copy a large part of your PT session into RAM to give better access speeds as you jump around a session and in theory would be more responsive generally.

I've not used it myself, however, you get to say how much RAM you wish to dedicate to that function. The theory is sound at least.
buggymusic
Regular
Posts: 187
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:00 pm

 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest