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JoeGBradford

Extra RAM - what benefits?

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My CPU fan packed up the other day so I'm having to pluck up courage to go inside the PC - not something I do very often. Whilst I am there I've decided to up my RAM from 8Gb to 24Gb - what benefits will this bring me in terms of running CbB and VSTs - also other general benefits?  I was just going to buy 8Gb more but my PC enthusiast friend encouraged me to go for 16! I'm expecting it will decrease sample loading times especially for VSTs such as Miroslav Philharmonik but I am interested to find out if my money has been well spent!

Whilst diagnosing the problem I also gave the inside of the PC a good clean for the first time in it's several years of life!

 

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I doubt you would see any performance improvements unless you replaced all of your RAM with faster RAM. You always want to add the exact same ones you already have, and even then sometimes you will run in to problems. The manufacturer could use different IC's for the actual memory/RAM chips of the memory module and on rare occasion that will cause problems. You definitely won't see any latency improvements regardless of RAM speed. 

CbB shows you your entire system's RAM usage. Unless you see that over 50% while working in CbB I wouldn't worry about it.

Get a cheap little wrist harness to ground yourself to your PC case so you don't fry anything. 

Run Memtest 86 before installing the new RAM and after to make sure everything is working properly. You may find you actually have a failing stick of RAM and you might as well replace it all now.

Don't overclock. All it does is stress your system. Buy actual faster RAM if it's that big of a deal to you. I ordered one of the recommended memory modules that my mobo manufacturer actually tested with the mobo. It's just straight RAM, none of the fancy stuff with heat sinks that are designed to be overclocked. 

I have 16GB. I just loaded a song with 9 tracks of TTS-1 and have at least 1 VST on every track, 4 busses with several VST's and Pro Channel in use on almost every track. I'm at 21% RAM usage for my entire system. It loads almost instantly and I have my buffer settings at 64. See my specs in my sig..

HTH.

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Thanks that's very interesting. I've ordered the Ram sticks already. Same manufacturer as the ones I have (Corsair) but faster 1600 rather than 1333 Mhz. I understand these will only run at same speed as my existing Ram. It might be best then to ditch my existing Ram and just use the new ones? So that would be 16gb rather than the 8gb I have at present or 24 GB if I kept the existing with the new

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58 minutes ago, JoeGBradford said:

I understand these will only run at same speed as my existing Ram.

Not necessarily. Some motherboards will address RAM in different channels/banks at different speeds. Your manual will show you how to install the sticks so they are not mixed on the same channel. 

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6 minutes ago, slartabartfast said:

Not necessarily. Some motherboards will address RAM in different channels/banks at different speeds. Your manual will show you how to install the sticks so they are not mixed on the same channel. 

But if you brought an OEM desktop like Dell, a lot of times the settings are not available in the BIOS.  YMMV.  

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7 minutes ago, InstrEd said:

But if you brought an OEM desktop like Dell, a lot of times the settings are not available in the BIOS.  YMMV.  

It was a custom made one from Chillblast. It has four Ram slots in two pairs close together

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You have to check the BIOS and see.  If you have access that will be great.  Good chance you will since you got from a custom builder.

 

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You won't load the samples any faster, but you'll be able to load more into memory at the same time: the performance gain will be that you can run projects with many/large instruments more smoothly. With less RAM, there would be constant swapping between the physical RAM and the virtual RAM on disk, probably leading to stuttering.

Think of it like having three Buffet plates to yourself instead of just one at an all-you-can-eat. You can't get the food any faster and it won't help you eat more than your fill, but you'll be able to get three plates of food and bring it to your table in one go, rather than going back multiple times.

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The more I've looked into this the more I am thinking I may be best just using the new RAM and ditching the old. It will still give me twice what I have already. I don't want to risk the PC becoming unstable or having BSOD issues!

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3 hours ago, JoeGBradford said:

The more I've looked into this the more I am thinking I may be best just using the new RAM and ditching the old. It will still give me twice what I have already. I don't want to risk the PC becoming unstable or having BSOD issues!

Yep. While 'technically' you can mix and match different types and speeds of RAM, it's not a good idea. Too many things can go wrong. 

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1 hour ago, craigb said:

*Patiently waits for Alan Parsons to make a comment...* 😏

"RAM is everything" - A.P. 

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7 hours ago, JoeGBradford said:

The more I've looked into this the more I am thinking I may be best just using the new RAM and ditching the old. It will still give me twice what I have already. I don't want to risk the PC becoming unstable or having BSOD issues!

The best thing about making physical changes to your system that result in instability is that they can generally be undone in a couple of minutes. Plug in RAM--BSOD--remove RAM--fixed. If you have both sets of RAM already purchased, you can experiment for nothing, without worrying unnecessarily that you are going to smoke the machine as long as they are electrically equivalent. That said, you are likely going to be able to get the same performance without a huge amount of RAM, and having unused memory sitting in the box heating up the planet may be an issue for you. Or you may be able to sell the old sticks for a few pennies on the dollar and buy something more useful. 

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7 hours ago, Shane_B. said:

Yep. While 'technically' you can mix and match different types and speeds of RAM, it's not a good idea. Too many things can go wrong. 

The only thing that will go wrong is your system will see which stick has the slowest CAS latency, timings and clock speed, then set all the others to that.

On 2/6/2021 at 5:41 PM, antler said:

You won't load the samples any faster, but you'll be able to load more into memory at the same time: the performance gain will be that you can run projects with many/large instruments more smoothly. With less RAM, there would be constant swapping between the physical RAM and the virtual RAM on disk, probably leading to stuttering.

The vast majority of modern sample libraries make use of disk streaming due to the very large file sizes on samples. In many instances, having a fast hard disk or SSD yields more benefits.

 

Edited by Bruno de Souza Lino
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Thanks for all the responses - the sensible ones anyway 🙂

As it happens the RAM I bought won't quite fit behind the heat sink & fan (though my replaced fan is working which is a great relief - unfortunately I did have to pay £25 for the whole assembly as they no longer sell the fan as a spare which would have only cost me about £5!).

The RAM has heatfins which makes it quite a lot deeper than my existing RAM - it was hard to judge whether it would fit until I tried. I'll have to return the RAM to the store (Scan) but I am not sure I'll bother getting replacements as I'm unsure now whether it is really worth it as my main hope was that it would improve sample loading times - if that is not the case I don't really have any issues with anything else at the moment so maybe wait and see if I ever get to the point of having problems then reconsider. I've learned a lot from the discussion here so thanks again 🙂

 

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