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Apple Mac Mini M1

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1 hour ago, sarine said:

No.

Unless you're talking about orchestration or other heavy sample libraries, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Uhhh... yes.   

First, not all virtual-instruments stream samples from disk (Superior Drummer 3, EZ Drummer 2, Addictive Drums, etc).

Those Vi's that do stream from disk... buffer the transient of each sample using a small bit of RAM.

 

I'll use Reaper as an example (MacBook Pro in this case)... as it's cross-platform and extremely small-footprint.

Open an empty project, add a single instance of Kontakt... and load up The Grandeur (acoustic piano).

With just Reaper and The Grandeur loaded, OSX shows 4.51GB of RAM being used.

Now, add a second track with Super Drummer 3... and load  the "clean" Ayotte kit.

OSX now reports 6.61GB memory being used.

On a MacBook Pro with 8GB, you've got less than 1.5GB of free RAM.

I wouldn't consider a two track piano/drum project to be "heavy orchestration".  😁

 

If a machine runs out of physical RAM, it'll use the VM swapfile (in lieu of physical RAM).

That kills performance.

 

Professional composers working on TV and Film are running a minimum of 64GB RAM (most are now running 128GB).

Many of these folks are clients...

 

 

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Thanks Jim. 
What happens with virtual-instruments that don’t stream samples from disk (Superior Drummer 3, EZ Drummer 2, Addictive Drums, etc)?

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Just now, Fleer said:

What happens with virtual-instruments that don’t stream samples from disk (Superior Drummer 3, EZ Drummer 2, Addictive Drums, etc)?

They're loaded into (and stream from) RAM.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

They're loaded into (and stream from) RAM.

So how much RAM do we need for that?

Edith: could it be that here’s where the M1 does its magic as its RAM is incorporated?

Edited by Fleer

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Posted (edited)

there are  lots of videos that prove that 8 gb is plenty enough on an M1 mac.  They use the very fast ssd as a sort of ram.  Its a different architecture than x86. Like I said,  it changes all the laptop facts we all assumed where set in stone. BTW,  the M1 macbook pro has a fan.  I barely heard it come on when i was super stress testing it.  and it was really quite.  i had to put my ear right up to it to hear anything.   Check out the videos.    

m1 macbook 8gb daw - YouTube

MacBook Pro M1 2021 8GB vs 16GB? Memory for Music Production - YouTube

Edited by Hugh Mann
tose where supposed to be links

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14 minutes ago, Hugh Mann said:

there are  lots of videos that prove that 8 gb is plenty enough on an M1 mac.  They use the very fast ssd as a sort of ram. 

Speed:

  • PCIe 4.0 NVMe currently sustains ~7GB/Sec
  • DDR4 sustains ~20-25GB/Sec

Response Time:

  • NVMe is ~0.05ms
  • DDR4 is ~0.00005ms

NVMe is sequential (not Random Access like RAM)

While NVMe drives are fast... they're not a good substitute for RAM.

There is no magic/voodoo with machines.

Slower hardware means slower performance.

 

The M1 MacBook Air is passive-cooled.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Speed:

  • PCIe 4.0 NVMe currently sustains ~7GB/Sec
  • DDR4 sustains ~20-25GB/Sec

Response Time:

  • NVMe is ~0.05ms
  • DDR4 is ~0.00005ms

NVMe is sequential (not Random Access like RAM)

While NVMe drives are fast... they're not a good substitute for RAM.

There is no magic/voodoo with machines.

Slower hardware means slower performance.

 

The M1 MacBook Air is passive-cooled.

 

 

proof is in the pudding.  watch the videos.  they use the ssd to cache a lot more than x86.  so that makes up for the low ram.  Still,  i would get 16gb myself.  for future proofing.  So im not arguing for 8gb.  im just saying it is enough,  surprisingly.   Amazing machines.  Having had an 8gb one myself,  I can say that I was difficult  to make it crack.  only after insane amounts of ez drummer,  kontakt, diva,  etc..,  plus having video editing program open and a bunch of safari tabs.  anything I could think of to try to make it crack.  I purposely tried to use up ram as much as possible to see if 8gb was enough.  And it was! And yes,  Air are passive and Pro have fans.  But,  in the videos,  even the passive performed spectacularly.  Like I said,  apple did it right this time.  They deserve credit for finally ending the high performance=high heat and power draw of intel and AMD chips.  I am looking forward to what apple brings next.  

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No need to watch videos...   😀

I'll grab one with 16GB RAM... and put it thru some real-world circumstances. 

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7 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

I wouldn't consider a two track piano/drum project to be "heavy orchestration".

Hey, me neither. Like I said unless you're talking about orchestration or other heavy sample libraries, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Clearly I had no idea what you were talking about. Perhaps that may in part be attributed to the fact that I don't use Kontakt.

 

Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but it was your phrasing that elicited my response of a flat "No."

9 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

With 8GB RAM, a small handful of virtual-instruments would have the machine RAM-starved.

If only you had said "could" instead of "would" and/or specified the type of VSTi, I might have shrugged and moved on. As it reads it's highly misleading to an observer who doesn't know the needs of the person you're advising here, let alone whether you even know, but may accept it as some general truth just because it's stated with such authority.

 

To provide another frame of reference, I added all my currently installed VSTi to a fresh Nuendo project and checked RAM usage:

vsts.png.7ef01f0b52a75780d4262d138237c7ad.png

 

I then loaded random patches in HALion 6 and SampleTank 4, in modest number of two for HALion, and 10 for SampleTank.

For HALion I chose two patches that I would presume to be "expensive", one from HALion Symphonic Orchestra and one from Olympus Choir Elements:

halion_loaded.thumb.png.663baf4dfaa5c42bb14bf312c763064a.png

 

For SampleTank I loaded 10 random sound sets from the ST4 SE library:

sampletank_loaded.thumb.png.22c3992aa4caf4c8b2fa3941126b1b1e.png

 

Loaded Monastery Grand in MSoundFactory:

msoundfactory_loaded.thumb.png.ece7f9f35428e94dc54c44848ac9d0ef.png

 

I generated a drumset for MDrummer:

mdrummer_loaded.thumb.png.d7d2806ae05c1f677759fbd2bea72bae.png

 

I loaded a random heavy pad patch in Iris 2, Avenger was left on init.

 

RAM usage

Empty project:

ram_no-vsti.png.bf146ae2041633f4b0974513d46bf591.png

 

Everything loaded and running:

all_loaded_playback.thumb.png.c3961baaeffcd52d05fdd60c0af1a7da.png

I checked RAM usage during playback of an exciting C major scale on all instruments in attempt to prevent any disk-swapping shenanigans from taking place. I'm assuming none did, as playback was relatively smooth (at 96kHz, 24bit, 256 samples buffered). MDrummer was triggering single-shots through MIDI channel 10, but I doubt the rhythm patterns would have made any difference.


Empty project: 292MB

Everything loaded: 9.4GB

where "Everything" includes:

  • 20 total VSTi instances, of which;
    • 16 synths
    • 4 sampler-synths, with
      • 2 + 10 + 1 + 1 = 14 sound-sets loaded (HALion, SampleTank, MSoundFactory and MDrummer respectively)

 

I then proceeded to remove samplers one by one:

 

ram_st_removed.png.5522d50356a263964cdb0d7a6923407b.png

removed: SampleTank

ram_st-halion_removed.png.e622e69c99dae40dffccb4b413765651.png

removed: SampleTank, HALion

ram_st-halion-msf_removed.png.9d4d5b5cb4ececbe6acc61ed27ea83a7.png

removed: SampleTank, HALion, MSoundFactory

ram_st-halion-msf-mdrummer_removed.png.ed8c9ca6fc6770bcc969dcd8418c80a2.png

removed: SampleTank, HALion, MSoundFactory, MDrummer

 

Finally, with the above and Iris 2 removed:

ram_st-halion-msf-mdrummer-iris2_removed.thumb.png.912052ecff8777b5cc6add4e7eaae843.png

 

We're left with 16 VSTi's (synths) consuming 3.9GB of RAM. If I find myself with diverse sound sets as this, it's usually time to start rendering to audio anyway.

I always advise people to go for 16 or 32 GB of RAM if they're building a PC on which they intend to do any kind of "serious work," but that's not to say it's necessary. I know for my own use case 8GB would be enough. It depends on what you work with and how.

The point about avoiding swapping to disk stands though. But in DAW use, in my actual projects, I've never seen RAM consumption exceed 8GB (mind you, doesn't mean that it has never occurred), and that entails experimental phases prior to cleaning up unused/redundant VSTi. YMMV.

 

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Posted (edited)

M1 Mac Mini running OSX Big Sur v11.3

This is with most extraneous things disabled.

Running idle, it's using well over 7GB RAM.

Open standalone Kontakt 6 and load The Grandeur (piano library)... and memory usage is 8.37GB.

That's no DAW application... just a single large piano sample library running standalone.

M1_mini_mem.thumb.jpeg.1a8876b21ddd5515abfd8473e9b7240d.jpeg

 

More details to follow

Edited by Jim Roseberry

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On 6/11/2021 at 4:41 PM, sarine said:

We're left with 16 VSTi's (synths) consuming 3.9GB of RAM.

FWIW, None of those virtual-instruments are using deep-sampled libraries.

Single instance of The Grandeur (Kontakt standalone - no DAW application open) puts Mac Mini well over 8GB RAM.

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So this means that, if you’re using sample libraries of some largesse, 16GB of RAM is in order. If you’re getting an Apple M1 and have to choose between upgrading to 16GB of RAM or to 512GB of SSD, better the former that the latter, as that will limit virtual memory disk swapping and you can always add an external NVMe SSD. 

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1 hour ago, Jim Roseberry said:

FWIW, None of those virtual-instruments are using deep-sampled libraries.

Single instance of The Grandeur (Kontakt standalone - no DAW application open) puts Mac Mini well over 8GB RAM.

This is incorrect with an m1. You really should test one yourself before you go spreading false information.  M1 can easily handle the grandure and way more.  

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56 minutes ago, Fleer said:

So this means that, if you’re using sample libraries of some largesse, 16GB of RAM is in order. If you’re getting an Apple M1 and have to choose between upgrading to 16GB of RAM or to 512GB of SSD, better the former that the latter, as that will limit virtual memory disk swapping and you can always add an external NVMe SSD. 

Not necessarily. Depends on use, of course and It’s a different architecture.  Can’t apply x86 rules. 16gb is better for future proofing, or video editing.   But I was amazed at how much you can do with 8gb. I had to really create insane projects and push it in ways I wouldn’t normally.  Watch the videos. It’s been out for 7 months now. Lots of info out there already.  

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35 minutes ago, Hugh Mann said:

This is incorrect with an m1. You really should test one yourself before you go spreading false information.  M1 can easily handle the grandure and way more.  

He just did?

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32 minutes ago, Hugh Mann said:

Not necessarily. Depends on use, of course and It’s a different architecture.  Can’t apply x86 rules. 16gb is better for future proofing, or video editing.   But I was amazed at how much you can do with 8gb. I had to really create insane projects and push it in ways I wouldn’t normally.  Watch the videos. It’s been out for 7 months now. Lots of info out there already.  

It’s what I got from those videos. 

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37 minutes ago, Hugh Mann said:

Not necessarily. Depends on use, of course and It’s a different architecture.  Can’t apply x86 rules. 16gb is better for future proofing, or video editing.   But I was amazed at how much you can do with 8gb. I had to really create insane projects and push it in ways I wouldn’t normally.  Watch the videos. It’s been out for 7 months now. Lots of info out there already.  

So in your opinion, do you think you could comfortably run a project that uses Spitfire Audio's BBCSO Core/Pro on an M1 mac with 8GB RAM?

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21 minutes ago, antler said:

So in your opinion, do you think you could comfortably run a project that uses Spitfire Audio's BBCSO Core/Pro on an M1 mac with 8GB RAM?

Sorry, I no longer have an m1. Returned it. Waiting for the new versions. And I also don’t have that software.  I don’t remember the specifics of my testing, but I have kontakt and diva and a bunch of other plug ins. I purposely tested the ram by loading line 20 kontakt instances. Strings, horns, guitars, piano, vocals,battery,session drummer…all ran fine. This was on top of  over a hundred tracks. diva, and a bunch of other plug ins. Also threw a bunch of fx on each track.  Oh and it was 96khz,64 buffer. Uad interface. All silent and barely warm. I finally got it to crack when I also had a video editing program open and a few safari tabs.  It is an impressive machine. Leaves intel and amd in the Stone Age. 

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46 minutes ago, Fleer said:

He just did?

Not if he’s making that claim. One instance of grandeur will not use 8gb of ram on an m1.  I think he’s assuming based on x86 architecture.  

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