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Set me straight on RAM requirements for 8 core

1138 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2007 9:19 AM by Hunter Ware RSS
el Duque Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
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Apr 5, 2007 4:42 PM
I have been hearing you need 1gb ram for each core. Or at least that's what people are recommending. Isn't 8gb a little overkill?

I'm going to do HD editing. I would think 4gb ram would be pretty good. Of course, I realize more is always better, but is 8gb really necessary?

Feel free to chime in, but I suppose we will find out when the 8 core's are shipping and what Leapard/FCP will bring us in the next few months.
MacBook Pro 1.83 1.5GB Ram, Mac OS X (10.4.5), 8 core mac pro on order
  • the1sen Level 2 Level 2 (150 points)
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    Apr 5, 2007 5:00 PM (in response to el Duque)
    overkill schmoverkill...

    you get an 8 core machine for video editing, and you will need AT LEAST 8GB.

    i know people will disagree with me and that's fine. but, if you're a hard core videographer, you'd be deluding yourself or setting yourself up for problems to do anything less than 8GB. but that's not so bad since good vendors sell apple RAM at reasonable prices

    apple are a smart bunch of folks. but i don't think they are very realistic with their minimum requirements for their Intel based machines. if you could see a mac pro with 2GB, 4GB and then 8GB, you would not believe the difference. and to those who disagree with me, i ask that you just try out more RAM before commenting.

    i don't know how a g5 worked with less than 4GB of RAM, but my mac pro was anemic at 4GB! i have 12gb now and am only beginning to discover the benefits of having it.

    IMHO, no mac pro should be run with less than 4GB of RAM.
    macpro 3.0ghz, 12gb ram, 3 - 150gb Raptors, BlackBook C2D, 2gb apple ram
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,580 points)
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    Apr 5, 2007 6:52 PM (in response to el Duque)
    There is no such rule as 1GB per core.

    There is symmetrical quad-channel memory performance.

    Feeding 8 cores req'd more L2 and L3 cache. And is affected by how efficient each 1333MHz bus operates and feeds those cores.

    FBDIMMs allow for concurrent reading from, and writing to, memory, so that helps.

    Throw in some RAM for overhead, caching, and for other programs as well as for the system (hopefully not PPC running under Rosetta).

    What you will need is a good storage setup for editing, backups, projects and media files, as well as a good boot drive. But then, you can have 4-6 internal SATA II drives each on their own channel.

    4 x 1GB is the minimum for FCP for instance. Using 2GB DIMMs (2 x 2GB kits) might - it depends on budget and future needs.
    Mac Pro 2GHz 4GB 10K Raptor 23" Cinema, Mac OS X (10.4.9), WD RE RAID Aaxeon FW800 PCIe MDD-G4 APC RS1500 Vista
  • olemed Calculating status...
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    Apr 6, 2007 7:07 AM (in response to The hatter)
    I'm looking to get a 2.66ghz quad-core MacPro by June or July. I was planning on getting the stock Apple 512x2 ram and then outfitting it with an additional 4x1gb ram. I mostly do photo work (Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop) and ocassional video work (iMovie, Final Cut). My goal is to max it out at about 8gb (selling the 512x2 and eventually putting in another 4x1gb) I doubt I'd ever need to go with 16gb. The question is, should I reconsider and get 2x2gb instead of 4x1gb ram 'just in case'. I know that ram works best when all ram slots are filled.
    PowerMac G4 "Digital Audio"; MacBookPro (2 Ghz Core Duo), Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • diffkid Level 3 Level 3 (790 points)
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    Apr 6, 2007 7:24 AM (in response to The hatter)
    Feeding 8 cores req'd more L2 and L3 cache. And is
    affected by how efficient each 1333MHz bus operates
    and feeds those cores.

    FBDIMMs allow for concurrent reading from, and
    writing to, memory, so that helps.

    Throw in some RAM for overhead, caching, and for
    other programs as well as for the system (hopefully
    not PPC running under Rosetta).


    That's pretty well stated right there. Not much I could add to it. I honestly don't have a good detailed concept of how multiple cores utilize RAM, caches and bus bandwidth, and how efficient it currently is in the Mac Pro. I'd also like to know how it might scale from 4-cores to 8-scores. If anyone has that info, I'd love to read it.

    I'm mostly arguing against this idea that 8-core is going to solve everyone's problems, and trying to offer a more practical perspective.
    Mac Pro 2.66Ghz - 3GBs RAM - X1900XT, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • the1sen Level 2 Level 2 (150 points)
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    Apr 6, 2007 7:29 AM (in response to olemed)
    the 1GB chips are fine.

    if you plan to run the programs you mentioned with 1GB of RAM, you may very well find your machine with the Beach Ball Of Death showing up quite often. you won't really see the benefit of the mac pro with so little RAM is what i mean to say. mine had 4GB and apps would quit all the time, the Beach Ball would come out to play often, and my entire business has come to rely on my macbook instead.

    based on that, here are a few questions to ponder:

    -are you using the machine for business?

    -have you considered a nice iMac instead?

    -how long will it be before you are able to get the extra RAM? and can your work wait that long?

    no matter what you do, good luck.
    macpro 3.0ghz, 12gb ram, 3 - 150gb Raptors, BlackBook C2D, 2gb apple ram
  • William Robinson Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Apr 6, 2007 7:32 AM (in response to diffkid)
    According to this Apple doc

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305352

    the 8-cores require different RAM (probably with larger heat sinks).
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • olemed Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
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    Apr 6, 2007 7:47 AM (in response to the1sen)
    Thanks for your suggestions. I'm not using it for business, just personal/recreational use and I would get the 4x1gb sticks right away (as soon as the MP is ordered, actually) and perhaps if that didn't do, sell the stock 512x2 and fill the remaining slots with 2x2gb. I have looked at the iMacs but I love towers, their upgrade-ability alone is worth the extra money.
    PowerMac G4 "Digital Audio"; MacBookPro (2 Ghz Core Duo), Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Anhaedra Calculating status...
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    Apr 6, 2007 10:28 AM (in response to el Duque)
    Unless you are an extremely high end user, having more than about 2 or 3 gigs of RAM will not make any difference. Having more cores does not mean you need more RAM.
    Atari ST, Other OS, TOS 1.20
  • blayzay Level 3 Level 3 (630 points)
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    Apr 6, 2007 5:53 PM (in response to Anhaedra)
    Also i should think the more highend grapic-card, also makes a big difference interms of performance, like-wise rams.
    Fr. BlayZay.
    PPC/G4-1.25DUAL 2GHZ, MAC/PRO 2.66 MACKIE/LOGIC/CONTROLLER, Mac OS X (10.4.9), dellta 1010 soundcard,logic/pro 7.1 EXT TRINITY/PRO,KORG-X5 MACKIE32-08
  • Phil Shockley Calculating status...
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    Apr 7, 2007 6:50 AM (in response to el Duque)
    "Phil, do me a favor... PLEASE... check your page ins/outs and try running your machine a little harder and you tell me if you see a difference when you do get your RAM... "

    Of course I'll see a difference. I EXPECT to see a difference, that's the point. But where you and I differ, is that you're expecting the upgrades to make your machine more stable. Mine is already stable - the only thing I'm expecting is increased performance. I'm sure page outs won't be completely eliminated, but they'll be much, much more reasonable that what they are now. I also use a G5 Quad with 8 gigs of RAM and rarely are the page outs "zero". However, even with them about 5-20%, the Quad doesn't skip a beat.


    "Mr. Shockley only has 2 GB of memory, but I bet he can go to dinner and come back by the time his workflow has completed."

    Well, not quite that long but sure - the limited RAM I now have is causing tasks to take longer than needed. (I've developed a serious hatred for the sounds of disk access!) But while they take longer, the tasks DO get completed. Keep in mind I use several apps in Rosetta, including Photoshop CS3.


    "Uh oh, I ordered my Ram before I knew it used different chips."

    It wouldn't hurt to call but I don't think I'd worry about it. The 8-core blurb probably just means the new part numbers reflect what Apple has tested. None of the third party RAM vendors/companies are showing a "specific" module for the 8-core. (Even before the 8-core machines, Apple would never publicly say third party RAM was "compatible".)

    Apple also says the same thing in the blurb about hard drives. I can't imagine one SATA hard drive is compatible while another is not.

    Their term, "qualified" means they've tested the part.

    -phil
    Mac Pro 2.66, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 2 GB RAM
  • Hunter Ware Calculating status...
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    Apr 7, 2007 9:19 AM (in response to el Duque)
    Sheesh guys...

    Memory requirements are not Voodoo. They are driven directly by the software that is running and the data it is running with. If you run a MacPro (MP) with only one CPU module (and thus 2 cores), but have enough memory to run the task you are working on without swapping, then adding 2 or even 6 more cores will not change the memory requirements one iota. Period.

    If you have an MBP right now and 2G is plenty of memory then 2G will be plenty for your present needs with a shiny new 8 core MP. The golden rule is "just to add enough memory that you no longer swap regularly" and people above and in other threads have more than clearly described how to figure that out.

    Anyone telling you different is propagating "cargo cult" memory myths.
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.9)

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