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Alan Bachman

Going to 64gb of Ram

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So I have to admit that I love buying equipment.  I noticed that my computer I have been using for 4 years has only 16 gb of ram in it.  I am not sure why.  But the motherboard allows 64gb, so I am going for it.  Will I realize any improvement?

I also upgrading to two m.2 SSDS because I just found out that the motherboard (GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 ) has two M.2 slots that I just never saw!

So, it will be interesting to see any improvement enhancements!!!

Edited by Alan Bachman
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you will definitely see improvements. You can't have too much memory. Especially for orchestral music, we are fast approaching the point where people will be saying you need 64GB at minimum. I'm sure there are people saying that now.

You will see improvements in speed, and you will be able to set your buffers very low, which will improve latency considerably. And pops and crackles should be a thing of the past

when I had a computer built for me, I too only had 16GB. Eventually I felt the need for more, so I upgraded to 32. But that is the limit for my mobo, so hopefully it will be enough.

now, if we could just add more memory to our brains that easily...

Edited by mdiemer

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Don't get your hopes too high expecting a miracle, Alan.

Yes, if you're doing large orchestral projects with deeply-sampled libraries (like Micheal does), then it could make a big difference, especially if you optimize your VIs to make use of the extra RAM. But don't expect projects to load faster or playback to be smoother. You still have to read the data, which is still going to be throttled by disk latency, the I/O bus and the speed of the memory itself. 

It's true that "you can never have too much RAM", insofar as there is no downside other than the money you've spent on it. However, there's no benefit if it never gets used. I have only 16GB here, and have yet to run out of physical memory. YMMV, of course.

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If I had $1 for every person I know (mostly Mac users of course!) that bought more RAM to "speed up" his computer, only to find out it made ZERO difference, I'd have like 2 or 3 hundred bucks! If I had $1 for everyone that recommended to someone else to buy more RAM to speed up his or her computer I'd have enough to buy a 2010 Prius.

I've done seriously big projects for years, with over 100 tracks, Addictive Drums, GPO, Kontakt etc. etc. I don't use a TON of big sample libraries, and as explained, if you DO a lot you're in a different situation, but I've NEVER seen a project on my system use more than 4 GB. I upgraded from 8GB to 16GB of RAM at some point and saw ZERO difference in DAW use. Some games on the other hand did use it so it wasn't a waste of time.

Bottom line is this: buying more RAM without first seeing how much you're ACTUALLY using is kind of silly. And the important metric here is the amount CAKEWALK specifically is using in Task Manager, NOT the total RAM used by the system which is not exactly relevant.

If you're doing Vienna Symphonic library type stuff, or to RAM video rendering previews, you could use 64GB, but for almost everyone else 8GB is more than likely enough.

R

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Yes, I heartily recommend that you watch the Task Manager to see how your RAM usage goes.  

While I was in "go-big-or-go-home" mode, I built my new AMD machine with 128GB RAM because I have ambitions of running my Vienna Ensemble Pro and some other very impressive libraries that I've purchased.  Along with that, I have the intent to run AudioGridder in the AMD machine as a VST/VSTi server to my venerable 2010 Mac Pro.

So far, the high water mark for my RAM usage has been when I had DaVinci Resolve and CbB open concurrently.  Even that was a total of less than 12GB.  The biggest usage of the RAM is the 24GB that it's using for PrimoCache.  I gained experience with PrimoCache running in the Win10 partition of the Mac and was very pleased.

Even though the boot drive in the new machine is a Gen4 NVMe, and my Picture Cache for CbB lives there, on a whim I ran the Primo Cache trial and was amazed at this one thing:  I opened a CbB project that had not been touched since Feb 2020, so the Picture Cache would need to be completely regenerated.  The project is 34 mono tracks, 2 hours long.  Because of PrimoCache, the Picture Cache was generated within 15 seconds.  It was truly impressive to see all those CPU cores lit up, and to get of sense of what had to be some high-rate data movement. 

You can't directly observe the data rate of disk I/O in PrimoCache, but a benchmark like ATTO shows peak speeds over 22GBytes/sec. That's not a typo...it's 22,000MBytes/sec writing, and around 17GBytes/sec peak reading.  That's the benefit of the 'L1' RAM cache in PrimoCache. The latency of RAM is about 20-50 nanoseconds, so it's 1/1000-th the wait time of even an NVMe which has latency numbers in the 20-100 microsecond range.  The other lovely benefit of the PrimoCache implementation is that the 'L2' cache essentially makes the 'L1' RAM cache non-volatile, because it replicates the L1 RAM cache during operation, and restores it during reboot.  I have 200GB of L2 cache apportioned on a Gen3 NVMe.

Unfortunately, that's the *only* circus trick that makes all that RAM worthwhile if I'm not yet building an orchestral soundtrack for the next blockbuster. (Will we ever go to the movies again?) 

So, back to my original premise, spend some time watching the telemetry of the tools within Win10 so you don't over-invest.  I think half of the RAM I have may wind up in the new machine that I will soon build for my son.

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I should have mentioned that I use a lot of sample libraries, including various Vienna libraries, and I was experiencing Ram issues.   Thank you all!   My expectations are lowered!  

 

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2 hours ago, Alan Bachman said:

I should have mentioned that I use a lot of sample libraries, including various Vienna libraries, and I was experiencing Ram issues.   Thank you all!   My expectations are lowered!  

 

Well, then you DO fit the profile where a LARGE improvement could be noticed! Please let us know what you find out!

 

R

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Thank you, Rico.  There has been like a hurricane here (super high winds) and shipping has slowed.  So hopefully I will get the ram soon and let you and others know.

Best,

Alan

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On 9/8/2020 at 6:58 PM, Alan Bachman said:

I should have mentioned that I use a lot of sample libraries, including various Vienna libraries, and I was experiencing Ram issues.   Thank you all!   My expectations are lowered!  

 

I have 32 Gb RAM.

Some plugins, like Omnisphere, use a LOT of RAM. Others, not so much, so it depends on your particular setup.

If your setup is full of VST's, the extra RAM is a blessing.

Anyway, when I upgraded to 32 Gb, I really experience a big leap in terms of speed and reliability.

Now I can load a LOT of VST's without struggle.

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Thank you, Andres.  I was going to upgrade from 16gb to 32gb and it probably would have been fine.  But pricewise, the 64gb just happened to work out.

I always wanted to try Omnisphere, by the way.

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 I only recently  upgraded my i5 Win 10 system from 4gb to 8gb. I use it for heavyweight DAW, gaming and photography use. I have never experienced    any memory problems  whatsoever.   It is extremely unlikely you will need any more than 8gb in my experience. A lot of the expectation for more is just from aggressive sales tactics from big PC companies trying to flog you stuff that you really  dont need. 

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19 minutes ago, shaun watson said:

 I only recently  upgraded my i5 Win 10 system from 4gb to 8gb. I use it for heavyweight DAW, gaming and photography use. I have never experienced    any memory problems  whatsoever.   It is extremely unlikely you will need any more than 8gb in my experience. A lot of the expectation for more is just from aggressive sales tactics from big PC companies trying to flog you stuff that you really  dont need. 

Now I have to take the other side: it's  not "extremely unlikely" if, as stated the OP does, one uses large sample libraries. It's almost CERTAIN that more than 8GB will make a big difference.


R

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Make sure to reference  your motherboard documentation to determine what sacrifices you may have to make to use those M.2 slots. There are only so many lanes on the PCIe bus and they share with graphics, SATA and other hardware resources. So keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

my 2 cents.

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I run EWQLSO and my typical template is 135 tracks

It's never used more than 9Gb of RAM in my 32Gb system

The biggest improvement in speed was moving all the sample libraries over to a 1Tb SSD

Load time dropped from about 9 minutes to 90 seconds

Edited by Bristol_Jonesey

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7 hours ago, Hill62 said:

Make sure to reference  your motherboard documentation to determine what sacrifices you may have to make to use those M.2 slots. There are only so many lanes on the PCIe bus and they share with graphics, SATA and other hardware resources. So keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

my 2 cents.

You are correct. In my situation with A Gigabyte G1 Gaming 7 - I lost some sata ports.  It was worth the trade off though.

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As has been mentioned, use Task Manager to have a look at the amount of RAM used by your largest projects.

You need enough RAM to avoid hitting the VM Swapfile (in lieu of enough physical RAM)... as that'll kill performance.

If your largest project uses 12GB RAM (and you've currently got 32GB)... bumping up to 64GB will have zero effect on performance.

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