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32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

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32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Imran500 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:09 pm

I'm going to get 16GB of RAM in my new system but was wondering if there was any point doubling it.

I intend to use Battery 3 and Superior Drummer 2 in the same songs, along with Alchemy, Sylenth and Ominisphere. There will probably be a maximum of 12 tracks in total running these VSTs.

Will 16GB cover it or should I go mad on the RAM?
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Agharta » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:57 pm

16GB should easily be enough. If you are using Windows 7 Home Premium it is limited to 16GB maximum so you’d need Win7 Pro or Windows 8 (any version) for 32GB support.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Johnsy » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:06 pm

For the vast majority, 16GB is more than adequate.

Since the per-gigabyte price differential has narrowed to virtually nothing, if you're going for a system with dual-channel memory (eg, Sandy/Ivy Bridge) it makes sense to get 2 x 8GB DIMM's (rather than 4 x 4GB), thus leaving two slots free for future expansion to 32GB should you find you need it.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:20 pm

For the vast majority, 16GB is more than adequate


I would agree, however, when I built my new PC in January this year, I installed 8 x 4Gb of RAM (quad channel) for a 2011 socket i3930K build, because I run memory intensive video, photo and graphics applications as well as audio.

It is probably sensible to install the amount of RAM you think you will need at the time of the build, since, for example i3930K processors have on-die memory controllers and are very fussy about the RAM that is installed. You need to install not only the same make and type of RAM, but RAM bought as a set, which will be matched. However, Ivbridge set ups, (e.g. i3770K, are more tolerant. For either platform, if you overclock your CPU, when you add more RAM, you will need to go back to base clock speeds and set it all up again: sometimes you may not achieve as high clock speeds with more RAM.

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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Trebor Flow » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:49 pm

I was just looking into buying a specialist pre built workstation and was planning on going the whole hog and just getting the full 64GB.

It's relatively cheap to buy and my thinking is for the first time ever I will literally be able to forget about RAM running out.

But maybe 64GB is really OTT?
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:32 pm

You could have more RAM if you want, e.g. Dual Xeon you could install 128Gb of ECC RAM, 2011 socket 64Gb, LGA 1155 32Gb. The main variables are single or dual processor, number of cores, clockspeed, RAM and graphics card(s)and picking the right balance depends on the application you have in mind for your workstation and how much you intend to spend. If you are having it built and want 64Gb RAM, then go that route: it is your choice and may be useful for your needs, depending on what they are.

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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Agharta » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:55 am

Trebor Flow wrote:I was just looking into buying a specialist pre built workstation and was planning on going the whole hog and just getting the full 64GB.
It's relatively cheap to buy and my thinking is for the first time ever I will literally be able to forget about RAM running out. But maybe 64GB is really OTT?
How much RAM are you currently using? 64GB does seem OTT to me as many people aren’t even going to use more than 8GB. 16GB gives a lot of headroom so 64GB just seems inconceivable.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Agharta wrote:64GB does seem OTT to me as many people aren’t even going to use more than 8GB.

QFT.

I don't think anyone doing audio work can currently make use of more than 16GB without a serious reliance upon VSL/EastWest type libraries (i.e. people doing scoring work, of which some I can think of have 30GB templates upon the launch of a project). For a lot of people 8GB will most likely do depending upon library usage, although with the cheap price of RAM and the ever increasing software demands it's conceivable that we may want more than that during the machines lifetime and it might be worth looking at getting some matched up memory from the off.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Agharta » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
Agharta wrote:64GB does seem OTT to me as many people aren’t even going to use more than 8GB.

QFT.

I don't think anyone doing audio work can currently make use of more than 16GB without a serious reliance upon VSL/EastWest type libraries (i.e. people doing scoring work, of which some I can think of have 30GB templates upon the launch of a project). For a lot of people 8GB will most likely do depending upon library usage, although with the cheap price of RAM and the ever increasing software demands it's conceivable that we may want more than that during the machines lifetime and it might be worth looking at getting some matched up memory from the off.
In a system with 4 RAM slots starting with 2x 8GB sounds a safe starting point for most.
RAM has gone up recently so be aware that memory pricing is volatile due to it being a traded commodity like oil, gold etc. So pricing swings in ways that most other computer components don’t. NAND flash is also traded I believe.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby The Elf » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:05 pm

If you're serious about future-proofing the best you can do is accept that any computer you buy today will need replacing in two years time, and treat its regular replacement as an ongoing cost.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Agharta » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:23 pm

The Elf wrote:If you're serious about future-proofing the best you can do is accept that any computer you buy today will need replacing in two years time, and treat its regular replacement as an ongoing cost.
Performance hasn’t improved that much for mainstream desktop systems since Sandy Bridge was released over 2 years ago and Haswell won’t be a big deal overall for desktop systems.
Probably the best platform for upgrading is the enthusiast class Sandy Bridge E LGA2011. You could have bought a cheap(ish) quad core a year ago with the option to upgrade to 6 core CPUs plus Ivy Bridge E CPUs to follow as well; possibly more than 6 cores.
Plenty of RAM slots and PCIe lanes on most boards so that’s a system with a decent shelf life. If you were happy with quad core a year ago you have the potential for over-clocking plus moving to a CPU with more cores.
The platform costs more but as you can grow with it you save the time and cost of having to upgrade the motherboard and do a fresh O/S install.

Back to RAM it’s not an issue for most as even mITX boards support 16GB.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Scramble » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:54 pm

Agharta wrote:Haswell won’t be a big deal overall for desktop systems.
Probably the best platform for upgrading is the enthusiast class Sandy Bridge E LGA2011.

Well, see my post from earlier today.

Agharta wrote:You could have bought a cheap(ish) quad core a year ago with the option to upgrade to 6 core CPUs

That would require a whole new motherboard though, Sandy Bridge Extreme is LGA2011 (as Ivy Bridge E is also expected to be) which no other quad-core uses.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Agharta » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:09 pm

Scramble wrote:
Agharta wrote:You could have bought a cheap(ish) quad core a year ago with the option to upgrade to 6 core CPUs

That would require a whole new motherboard though, Sandy Bridge Extreme is LGA2011 (as Ivy Bridge E is also expected to be) which no other quad-core uses.
Reread my post, I said you could have bought a quad core SB-E a year ago and upgrade later to SB-E 6 core or IB-E x core. Same socket, same motherboard.
The SB-E quad core CPUs were released after the six core chips I believe by 3+ months.
http://ark.intel.com/products/63698
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Scramble » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:15 am

It wasn't clear from your post, but I see what you mean now.

There are reports that Intel will keep LGA 2011 through Haswell E and even later, although I wouldn't bet the house on that (especially with the current BGA rumours). If you're into the more expensive high-end systems it would make sense to upgrade your motherboard anyway when you change CPU, as there will be enhancements that you don't get to take advantage of without a new motherboard.
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Re: 32 GB RAM - Overkill or future proofing?

Postby Imran500 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Johnsy wrote:For the vast majority, 16GB is more than adequate.

Since the per-gigabyte price differential has narrowed to virtually nothing, if you're going for a system with dual-channel memory (eg, Sandy/Ivy Bridge) it makes sense to get 2 x 8GB DIMM's (rather than 4 x 4GB), thus leaving two slots free for future expansion to 32GB should you find you need it.

This makes sense, I'm going to stick with 16GB and 2 X 8GB to allow for upgrades
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