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Author Topic: Apple Macs and ram  (Read 5168 times)
David Anderson
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« on: February 10, 2009, 07:53:23 PM »
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Hi everyone, I'm looking to update my computers and editing in the next couple weeks and have a couple of questions if anyone can help -

As a background, I currently shoot/edit location stuff on 15' and 17' Macbooks (2.16 Intel) and in my office on an 20' Imac (also Intel) - all of them have 2 gigs of ram.

Because of the tethering situation I want to stick with the laptops for location work, but really need to get something faster then the Imac to knock over the big jobs.

I have my eye on one of the new Mac towers and an Eizo monitor, but would like to know if 4 gigs of ram is enough for CS4 and bridge because the price jump to 8 gigs (apple-Australia) is over a grand.

I assume the speed advantage of the tower over the Imac is already a big one, so will 4 gigs of ram be enough or is the next $1000+ money well spent ?

Is there a big difference between 4 and 8 gigs of ram when using CS4 ?

Cheers..
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 10:07:40 PM »
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Hi David-
        I got a big speed increase out of moving from 6 GB to 12 when dealing with really large files on my Mac Pro tower. At least in the US, Apple is the most expensive possible place to buy RAM (as much as 5 times as expensive as other suppliers) - the Mac Pro is very easy to add RAM to, so buy it from Apple with the minimum amount of RAM (1 or 2 GB) you can get and add extra RAM yourself. US prices are as low as $59 for a 2 GB FBDIMM (the Mac Pro takes RAM in sets of four, so you can add 8 GB for USD 240 or go all the way to 16 (removing all existing RAM) for $480. I don't know if Apple Australia will sell you a Pro with only 1 GB of RAM (they did here when I bought mine), but that's the best way to go, because you are paying Apple's extortionate RAM prices for as little as possible, and buying all your RAM from a better-priced supplier.
        Also beware of a possible impending upgrade to the Mac Pro tower in March. They may introduce a faster one, and when they do, the price on the current (already very fast) model will go way down. I'd wait to see what happens next month if you can, then either buy a faster machine for the same price or get a great deal on the current model.



                                -Dan
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David Anderson
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 12:59:08 AM »
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Thanks Dan,

In Australia they come with 2 gigs of ram and the upgrade to 4 is about $400.

That's a good point about the after market ram and I'll get a quote on it.

Thanks for the heads up on the new model as well.

Cheers.

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Dansk
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 12:15:58 PM »
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 Longtime Mac user. I operate in this manner;

When it comes to towers I buy the lowest speed processor available with the basic package ( no extras at Apple )  and then MAX out the RAM from a private vendor its easy to install yourself. In my experience this leaves me with a powerhouse that works three times faster than the previous outdated models even the TOP processor speed with canned RAM.  As a rule of thumb you want to at least double the min requirements from your most power robbing software. Keep in mind just becasue a software specs a minimum memory level that only applies to that software. AS soon as you run more than one application at once you run into trouble as that app now needs memory too and will start giving you the spinning wheel of death and possibly crash your apps especially PS its a very power robbing app. That said Maxxing out your RAM is always advisable if $$$ allows it. Nothing will make your machine run smoother and faster.

By the way dont buy RAM from Apple EVER! Complete rip off. Try these guys I highly recommend they are speedy, knowledgeable, reliable, and ship worldwide.

http://canadaram.com/
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 01:01:10 PM »
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A good rule of thumb for Macs is to stuff them with as much RAM as they can take.  The exception here is perhaps the Mac Pro which can take 32Gigs, which is a lot and is somewhat expensive.  But that said, 16G kits are relatively inexpensive (~~$600) and a great place to be.  And definitely, don't pay the ridiculous price for Apple RAM -- there are plenty of good alternatives and I have been very happy with OWC: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/  I am running 6 gigs of their memory in my 15" MBP and 16 gigs in my Mac Pro.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 01:03:37 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

Farmer
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 02:43:41 PM »
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David - since you're in Sydney, I would suggest Computers Now as a good source of Mac and related hardware.  www.icorp.com.au

I'm not a Mac guy, but we source our work Macs there and the Mac guys at work rate them very highly.
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David Anderson
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 03:49:40 PM »
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That's a big difference in price on the ram !  

Any drop in speed or quality ?



Quote from: Farmer
David - since you're in Sydney, I would suggest Computers Now as a good source of Mac and related hardware.  www.icorp.com.au

Yeah, they have really good after sales service and a good repair department - I go to the Crows Nest store..
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 06:09:04 PM »
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Quote from: David Anderson
That's a big difference in price on the ram !  

Any drop in speed or quality ?

If you mean the OWC ram I linked to above, no, it is the exact same spec as Apple's ram.

Cheers,
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GregW
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 10:55:10 AM »
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If you need a new system now, buy what you need.

If you have a little more time, the Mac Pro is due for an update soon and the iMac is expected to be updated next month with a quad core processor.
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David Anderson
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 02:51:25 PM »
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Quote from: GregW
If you have a little more time, the Mac Pro is due for an update soon and the iMac is expected to be updated next month with a quad core processor.

No huge rush if it means getting the older one cheaper or a new model for the same price..  

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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 06:55:20 PM »
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Quote from: David Anderson
No huge rush if it means getting the older one cheaper or a new model for the same price..  

*IF* there is a new Mac Pro on the horizon, it will be at least 6 months and probably a year before you see it on the shelves.  Regardless, when it comes out, you can expect a 15% discount on the current models, and the new ones released at about the same pricepoint as the current ones.  More to the point I think is that software is still *wayyyyy* behind the abilities of the current system and still behind even the previous 8-core Mac Pro system
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 06:55:55 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

David Anderson
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 09:32:37 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
Also beware of a possible impending upgrade to the Mac Pro tower in March. They may introduce a faster one, and when they do, the price on the current (already very fast) model will go way down. I'd wait to see what happens next month if you can, then either buy a faster machine for the same price or get a great deal on the current model.

Good call Dan ..  

I held out a bit longer and look what's arrived ?    

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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2009, 10:03:38 PM »
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Yep, and look how stupid I was
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phila
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 03:17:44 AM »
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I recently upped my Early 2008 MacPro 2.8GHz from 8 to 16GB RAM (8x2GB) and was surprised at the difference! A much smoother experience altogether.

As I have many times previously, I bought it from OWC/Macsales - as linked to here earlier. Great prices and service.
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David Anderson
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 04:59:01 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Yep, and look how stupid I was



If I had jumped in a couple weeks back I might have cause to take you off the christmas card list ..    


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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2009, 08:28:21 AM »
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Quote from: David Anderson
If I had jumped in a couple weeks back I might have cause to take you off the christmas card list ..    

Well in fairness to me, it still remains to be seen exactly how much faster the new 8-core 2.93 is compared to the older 8-core 3.2 machine with real-world apps we all use like CS4, C1, Lightroom, etc.  Even Apple's own specs only show a 20% increase with Aperture, and I still need to see that hold while processing a bunch of really large files, and CS4 is so poorly coded for new machines I expect even less of a gain with it.   I also am curious about drive I/O for a bunch of larger files -- is it still going to be the major bottleneck? Probably...  For sure the new DDR3 RAM is going to help a lot, the fact that the new chip -- at least the 2.93 -- will automatically over-clock itself to 3.33 on non-multi-core processes is very cool.  However, comparing prices you can save about $2000 buying the older 8-core 3.2 machine, and $2000 buys a lot of drives, cards, cables, external boxes and ram...

So, we'll see  
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David Anderson
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2009, 05:31:37 AM »
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I'm sure any of the new, or just superseded towers would lunch my older Imacs or 17's..  

Might be a good time to save some money and just update to another Imac anyway, the 24' looks pretty good for what they cost..

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Sfleming
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2009, 12:21:23 PM »
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I thought sure they would link this site for you.  'They' meaning the great guys like Jack that help us less informed folks all the time on this board.

http://macperformanceguide.com/OptimizingP...shop-Intro.html

I just learned about it here and I've been reading ever since.  Be sure and check out all the links throughout his pages.
 

PS:  Digilloyd's blog is good too.


Quote from: David Anderson
Hi everyone, I'm looking to update my computers and editing in the next couple weeks and have a couple of questions if anyone can help -

As a background, I currently shoot/edit location stuff on 15' and 17' Macbooks (2.16 Intel) and in my office on an 20' Imac (also Intel) - all of them have 2 gigs of ram.

Because of the tethering situation I want to stick with the laptops for location work, but really need to get something faster then the Imac to knock over the big jobs.

I have my eye on one of the new Mac towers and an Eizo monitor, but would like to know if 4 gigs of ram is enough for CS4 and bridge because the price jump to 8 gigs (apple-Australia) is over a grand.

I assume the speed advantage of the tower over the Imac is already a big one, so will 4 gigs of ram be enough or is the next $1000+ money well spent ?

Is there a big difference between 4 and 8 gigs of ram when using CS4 ?

Cheers..
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