8 or 16 GB RAM?

Started May 31, 2012 | Discussions
reid thaler
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8 or 16 GB RAM?
May 31, 2012

I'm building a new system. I current have 8 GB in my current system and it seems to usually runs using 4-5 GB of RAM.

I'm using PS and Lightroom. Any reason to bump up to 16 GB?
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Ho72
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, May 31, 2012

Depends on what you're doing. Working up photos for Facebook is one thing, stitching 16bit panos is another.

If you're sure your memory usage is as low as you report it to be then 8GB will probably be fine. I tend to error on the side of "more is better" so I personally would go for 16...

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to Ho72, May 31, 2012

I suppose ram is cheap but whilst you'd notice a bump in performance from 4-8Gb ram you won't with 16Gb, at least not at the moment anyway.

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reid thaler
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, May 31, 2012

Thanks all. Looks like it may be good to keep it at 16 GB. With stitching panoramics, it may be good to have the room, and it's already ordered.
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hotdog321
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, May 31, 2012

Yeah, more RAM is always good and it is relatively cheap future-proofing. Some of CS6 RAW processing and filters are pretty heavy-duty. And if you get into video editing, you really should go with 16 GB.

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V1V1D
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to hotdog321, May 31, 2012

One other thing to consider, make sure you are using DDR3 which I'm sure you are but make it pc-1600 minimum. If your mobo will support higher go for it.

I'm stuck with triple channel on my gaming/PP rig and can't push it past 12gb. Though as Barry said, I doubt I would notice 4 additional gb if I had a dbl channel mobo.

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bllarkin
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to V1V1D, Jun 1, 2012

On the RAM speed, I disagree. You aren't going to see a performance increase much above DDR3 1600, and anything above 1600 is overclocked anyway (the base speeds of all current RAM is 1600).

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karl_h
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 1, 2012

FWIW,

I recently got a Nikon D800 - large files! I upgrade from 8 to 16 GB and it made a HUGE difference.

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Jim Cockfield
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memory speed tests
In reply to bllarkin, Jun 1, 2012

bllarkin wrote:

On the RAM speed, I disagree. You aren't going to see a performance increase much above DDR3 1600...

Yep, I've seen multiple articles discussing where there is a negligible difference in real world application performance by using faster and/or lower latency memory.

For benchmarks that look at memory speed as part of the test, sure. For real world apps, nope (probably no more than about 2 percent difference with most apps between run of the mill 1333Mhz DDR3 and running memory at 2133Mhz DDR3; with virtually difference at all with some apps).

Here's one example of an article testing different types of memory:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3/1

Here's another:

Here's another article with lots of tests using Sandy Bridge chipsets:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/20377

Gotta love some of the conclusion page.

"If you're looking to set benchmarking records or to compensate for personal shortcomings, K-series Sandy Bridge CPUs at least make it easy to run exotic DIMMs at blistering speeds. Everyone else can rest assured that using relatively inexpensive DDR3-1333 memory won't cost them much performance in the real world"

Of course, anymore, it's just as cheap to buy 1600Mhz DDR3.. But, I wouldn't spend more on premium memory that can run faster with lower latency, as you're probably not going to see any benefit for the extra cash, unless you're just looking for "bragging rights" as to how well a system tests on benchmarks that take memory speed into account.

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Jim Cockfield
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I'd go 16GB for the extra disk cache
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 1, 2012

With a brand new system using DDR3, I'd probably go with 16GB of 1600Mhz CL9 type memory, as a set of 4x4GB rated at 1.5v with 9-9-9-24 timing can be bought for under $100 anymore (and personally, I wouldn't spend more to get anything faster, unless it just happened to be on sale).

I'd just check the supported memory list on the Motherboard manufacturer's web site to make sure I'm buying something compatible with it, and I'd read though user feedback for the product I'm buying to see if others had any issues with it.

Here are 4x4GB sets of 1600Mhz DDR3 at newegg.com

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006127%20600006073&IsNodeId=1&name=16GB%20%284%20x%204GB%29

If you sign up for their e-mail specials, you can sometimes find memory for even less (as I see e-mail specials from them almost every day with promo codes for more off of many components).

Even if your apps can't make use of it, the Operating System should use most of it for disk cache purposes (and I rarely reboot my PCs, meaning that frequently accessed data will be more likely to be in disk cache). I do use LInux most of the time, and cache algorithms will vary by OS. But, Windows should also use most of the available memory for Disk Cache purposes.

I'm at 6GB (2x1GB + 2x2GB) on one PC and 8GB (4x2GB) on another one with Core 2 Quad in it. But, if I were upgrading to a new machine, I'd go 16GB, as DDR3 is cheap.
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Sgt_Strider
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Re: I'd go 16GB for the extra disk cache
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Jun 2, 2012

RAM is so cheap at the moment that I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade to 16GB if I were the op. In fact RAM was even cheaper in Q4 of 2011. I bought 16GB of RAM and my computer absolutely flies with tens of tabs opened and LR4 runs without any issues.

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Sam_Oslo
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 2, 2012

RAM is really cheap in these days, so get as much as you can.

If you work with large files, PS can make a good use of 16GBB. You can always create a RAMDisk use it as TEMP-folder and scratch-disk, it will help a lot, specially if you work with editing big-files.

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RedFox88
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the more ram you have...
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 3, 2012

reid thaler wrote:

I'm building a new system. I current have 8 GB in my current system and it seems to usually runs using 4-5 GB of RAM.

The more RAM you have, the more Windows will use it. Plus the more RAM you have, the bigger your swap file will be, i.e. 1.5 times your amount of RAM

I'm using PS and Lightroom. Any reason to bump up to 16 GB?

In my view, any amount of RAM over 4 GB is wasted money as it won't improve performance because Windows will always be wanting to use a swap file. You can of course turn your swap file off which I've done for my desktop.

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unknown member
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Re: the more ram you have...
In reply to RedFox88, Jun 3, 2012

Some ideas:

It is possible to change the Windows setting to reduce the swap file size, correct?

Also if having more RAM, the user should also change the Photoshop memory usage setting to make it use more RAM.

With having more RAM, one may use a RAMDISK program to have Photoshop using part of the ramdisk as a cash & scratch disk which may significantly improve the speed performance.

RedFox88 wrote:

reid thaler wrote:

I'm building a new system. I current have 8 GB in my current system and it seems to usually runs using 4-5 GB of RAM.

The more RAM you have, the more Windows will use it. Plus the more RAM you have, the bigger your swap file will be, i.e. 1.5 times your amount of RAM

I'm using PS and Lightroom. Any reason to bump up to 16 GB?

In my view, any amount of RAM over 4 GB is wasted money as it won't improve performance because Windows will always be wanting to use a swap file. You can of course turn your swap file off which I've done for my desktop.

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BruinBlue
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Re: the more ram you have...
In reply to raminolta, Jun 3, 2012

raminolta wrote:

Some ideas:

It is possible to change the Windows setting to reduce the swap file size, correct?

Yup. Windows7 set it at 1X RAM on my 16GB system. I reduced it to 800MB on my SSD for (poorly written) programs that require a pagefile be present.

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QuicksilverCA
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 6, 2012

The more the better, RAM is fairly cheap these days anyways so you may as well go with 16GB

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herebefore
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to reid thaler, Jun 6, 2012

The simplest answer is:

Always go with the most ram you can afford with a 64bit OS.(up to the memory handling limit of the OS)

There should always be an advantage in that.
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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to herebefore, Jun 6, 2012

herebefore wrote:

The simplest answer is:

Always go with the most ram you can afford with a 64bit OS.(up to the memory handling limit of the OS)

There should always be an advantage in that.

Well up to a point my board takes up to 32Gb or ram in 8Gb x 4 sticks. But that's pretty expensive to deck that out at the max ram wise. 4x4Gb was considerably cheaper.

To be honest yes ram is cheap so no reason to skimp for the sake of a modest outlay 16Gb is pretty cheap to do (in 4Gb modules that is) I can't say I noticed a difference with 8Gb though. 4Gb is ok for most normal non heavy users, 8Gb should take care of most more demanding ones.

I can't see any reason to even think about 32Gb though even for very demanding users

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herebefore
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to Barry Fitzgerald, Jun 6, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

herebefore wrote:

The simplest answer is:

Always go with the most ram you can afford with a 64bit OS.(up to the memory handling limit of the OS)

There should always be an advantage in that.

Well up to a point my board takes up to 32Gb or ram in 8Gb x 4 sticks. But that's pretty expensive to deck that out at the max ram wise. 4x4Gb was considerably cheaper.

To be honest yes ram is cheap so no reason to skimp for the sake of a modest outlay 16Gb is pretty cheap to do (in 4Gb modules that is) I can't say I noticed a difference with 8Gb though. 4Gb is ok for most normal non heavy users, 8Gb should take care of most more demanding ones.

I can't see any reason to even think about 32Gb though even for very demanding users

I agree.. today, 32gig is overkill for most users.

I have found though, I can update one of my systems to 16 gig for about $108 (US $) with 2 8gig chips, so I have ordered them. (two chip motherboard).

The two 4gig chips currently in it will go to another mobo that has room for 4 chips (currently holding 2gig chips). I will add 2 more 4gig chips to it and have both systems running with 16gig (perfect for running Lightroom 4.# with a LARGE catalog).

The 4 left over 2 gig chips will go in the "parts box" or get used in a Linux box.

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coolaction
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Re: 8 or 16 GB RAM?
In reply to herebefore, Jun 6, 2012

I currently have 8GB in my current system and it seems to handle mostly everything, that said RAM is pretty cheap so I think I may upgrade it to 16GB in the near future.

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