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Old June 7th, 2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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Mac much RAM?

I plan on ordering a Mac Pro next week. I'm waiting to see if Apple changes specs on it this week. Either way, I need to know how much RAM is enough. I use 2-4 GB on my PC's that I use to edit. I was told that I might need as much as 8 GB for FCP. What do you guys think? I'm just editing HDV video (capped as Pro Res) and maybe some Motion stuff down the road.
Also, is it best to buy the RAM from Apple or order it from Newegg?


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Old June 8th, 2008, 05:12 AM   #2
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I'm editing HD on my Macbook Pro with 2GB RAM without many problems.

But because you have 8 cores, I would look at indeed maybe 8GB RAM. I think I've read once (but I can't confirm or tell why) that it's best to have at least 1GB per core.

Don't order RAM from Apple! It's so overpriced, you couldn't believe! Nobody orders RAM from Apple, that's just crazy, you'll pay 3x as much money.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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According to their minimal specs: 2 GBs for uncompressed SD and compressed HD (which should be fine for HDV); 4 GBs for uncompressed HD. I don't know anything about the "1 Gig per core" thing that Mathieu referred to; that's the first time I've ever heard of it and sounds like urban-techno myth to me.

Apple is over priced... way overpriced. Check out Memory2go, I have ordered memory from them before and they have good stuff at reasonable prices. And yes, they do sell memory with the Apple approved heatsinks.

BTW, I'm about to order a Mac Pro as well. Was thinking of placing the order today, in fact. I haven't heard a peep about any upgrades to the Mac Pro line (they just had an update a few months ago), so I don't think you need to wait... or has anyone heard anything I haven't?
Mike Barber
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Old June 8th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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I edited HDV on an older G5 with 2 gigs, now I'm using a 17" MacBook Pro with 4. Two is adequate, four is great.

As noted above, do not buy the extra memory from Apple. It's more than double the going price.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #5
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Love it!!

I just got my Mac Pro on Wednesday. I got the dual 2.8s with 2gb of RAM, 320 and 500 hardrives installed when I bought it at the Apple store. I then ordered 4GBs of ram from OWC. Cost me 200 bucks overnighted to my door for the RAM. I also ordered 2 more seagate 500s(119/each) from them. All were installed on Friday and I have been playing all weekend with my new toy.

I still cant believe how great it runs. I would suggest to go with 6gb of RAM.

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Old June 9th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #6
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You can never have too much memory or hard drive space.

That said, start with 4GB and take a look at your Activity Monitor at the end of the day.... is there a high percentage of swaps? If so, you can benefit from more memory. Most applications on the market simply can't see more than 4GB of memory anyway. However, the OS can manage any amount of memory simply making multi-tasking that much more fluid. If you have FC AND Motion open, you may benefit from more than 4GB of memory.

For what it's worth, I have a Dual 1.8 with 3.5GB of RAM and a Dual 2.7 with 7GB or RAM... I notice the difference by working with multiple apps on the 2.7. If I am just straight cutting, I can't tell a difference between the two.

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Old June 9th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #7
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Perfect! I'm going to order it with 2GB and have another 2GB shipped from somebody online. I will be using it as a render box for right now. Once I learn FCP, then I will actually do some editing with it. I will also use it for dumping/converting HDV.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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I have 8gb that I purchased from OWC and couldn't be happier. I also have a 5 spinpoint 1tb drives in a raid 0. The spinpoints in a raid 0 will give you the needed bandwidth to edit multiple streams of HDV.
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Old June 10th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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I have 8gig in an 8 core 2.8 macpro. You will need this amount if you use motion. If you install istat menu, you can see the amount of memory that is being used at any time. Also you can see which of the 8 cores are being used.
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