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Old November 1st, 2004, 07:31 AM   #1
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Just how much RAM do you use?

Hey gang... I've just recently upgraded my Asus/P4 system due to it's insistence on torturing me! In that machine I made every effort to get it fully compatible with all components, set up the pci slots/IRQs for no conflicts and minimal sharing... and I had 512mb of 800 speed rambus in it.

This system kicked ass for 2 years. Almost everything I did on my Canopus RT really was RT.

Unfortunately the Asus decided to mutiny... and there were more chips on his side then mine.

Enter the Intel 875pbz mobo. I purposely choose a mobo that's a little long in the tooth, by tech standards, because I wanted to get a Northwood P4 upgrade (less cache, but more cash, but way less heat with no discernable performance difference over the Prescott... that WILL change as more apps take advantage of the Prescott's 1mb on-board cache... but right now it's 6% at best)... The 875 chipset is about the latest/last chipset that's going to use 8x agp... anything newer is going to pci-express. The good news is that you can get a really clean intel board for under a hundred bucks.

So now about the ram... since my last system rocked until it rolled I didn't really feel much pressure to LOAD UP on ram, but I knew I wanted at least a gig. Now with all the research I've done (because of my computer woes)... I'm actually considering going to 2 gig... or possibly even 3.

Is 3 just nuts? Does anybody on here use 3 gig and ACTUALLY USE 3 gig?
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Old November 1st, 2004, 07:56 AM   #2
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I really feel like a po' boy... I'm only running 512 on either of my machines. My Abit KG7 raid will hold up to 1 or 2 gig, I think, but I haven't tried to fill it yet, 512 is enough to keep me humming along- for now ;)
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Old November 1st, 2004, 09:09 AM   #3
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I'm not sure why you really would want to go over 1 GB, unless
you do a lot of long RAM previews. I have 1 GB in my current
machine and the only time I wish I had a tad more was with
Virtual PC running Windows Server 2003 on my Windows XP.

For video work I've never used above 256 MB, but then again,
I'm not using RAM previews on Vegas here at all at this point in
time.

Personally I would much rather buy some extra harddisk space.
Again, in my opinion it boils down to RAM preview use after 1 GB.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 09:30 AM   #4
 
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1 gig is fine...UNLESS..
a-you plan on rendering HD
b-you plan on rendering still images from a 5 megapixel or greater DSLR
c-you need to do a lot of rendering to RAM

In either of these cases, the more the better with 2 Gig minimum (recommended)
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Old November 1st, 2004, 12:53 PM   #5
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You can check how much RAM is being used up through Task Manager. Hit Crtl Alt Del and click on the performance tape.

Look at swap file usage and how much RAM is available. If there's less than 40MB or so RAM available you might be running out- take a look at the swap file and see if it's higher than normal.

When RAM runs out your computer will get really, really slow as it has to use the hard drive instead (hard drive is somewhere around 60 times slower, although its still fast). You can try this out by running a program that eats up all your RAM (i.e. Prime95, SQLIOStress).

2-
Quote:
I wanted to get a Northwood P4 upgrade (less cache, but more cash, but way less heat with no discernable performance difference over the Prescott... that WILL change as more apps take advantage of the Prescott's 1mb on-board cache... but right now it's 6% at best)...
At MPEG2 encoding it's more like 11%. Apparently the Main Concept MPEG2 encoder uses SSE3 instructions, which Northwood core processors can't do.

The differences between the Northwood and Prescott core processors that affect performance are:
cache (Prescott has double)
SSE3 instruction set (Prescott is better)
pipeline length (Prescott's pipeline length is about twice as long, which makes it slower. This doesn't show up on spec sheets.)
heat (technically the Prescott can overheat and it will automatically slow down 'thermal throttling'; if you install it correctly this won't happen)

The practical thing to do would be to look at benchmarks. The Northwoods are faster at most things except for Doom3 and for video.

The Northwood is cheaper over the long run however at it consumes less electricity. Less heat also makes your parts last longer.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 01:16 PM   #6
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Smokin' !

Our AVID Adrenaline:
Dual 3 gig processors and 3 gigs of RAM.

My desktop-Dell Dimension XPS Gen 3:
Dual 3.6 gig processors and 2 gigs of RAM.

Things happen if you even THINK about doing them.

You should have more RAM than you actually use. You don't want to tax the system by operating at capacity all of the time.

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Old November 2nd, 2004, 04:56 PM   #7
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I'm using 2gigs... but I use both Vegas5 and the Adobe pro 2.5 video collection. When running an editing app and photoshop cs and afteraffects, I use the ram....
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 07:49 PM   #8
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Hey Matt, how's it going in Missouri? I think how much memory you use depends on what applications you're going to be running. Avid Xpress Pro, for example, eats memory. Check out their forums, specifically people with and without Avid Mojo.

The minimum PC system requirements according to Avid is as follows:

Minimum PC System Specifications for Avid Xpress Pro

Processors: Dual or Single 2.4 GHz Xeon processor OR Pentium 4 1.6 GHz processor OR Pentium M 1.8 GHz processor (mobile configurations). Note: The boot drive should be IDE, SCSI, or SATA 7200 RPM. Do not use internal SCSI as a boot device if you also plan on adding external SCSI drives (in that case use IDE or SATA).

Operating System: Windows XP Professional w/Service Pack 1, 1a or 2.0

System Memory: 1.0 GB minimum, 1.5 GB recommended
Increased memory size will improve high stream count play performance.


Open GL graphics cards: NVidia QuadroFX 1300 PCI Express, Nvidia QuadroFX 1100 AGP 8x, NVidia QuadroFX 500 AGP 8X, or NVidia Quadro4 980 XGL AGP 8X

Add-in IEEE-1394 PCI card (required if no built-in 1394). Note: The add-in PCI card must be a universal PCI card with the T.I chip set. Current qualified /supported cards include:
ADS Pyro PCI 64, part #API-311
SIIG 1394 3-Port PCI i/e, part #NN-440012

40 GB or larger internal disk drive

CD or DVD-ROM drive

I have 2GB of memory running in my dual Athlon MP system.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 09:57 PM   #9
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Well this discussion is over at my end anyway... I decided to wait on the card for a few weeks and just double up on ram. With my last system the memory was hard to find a few months down the line... it actually went UP... and never down... so I figured "screw it"... so I'll have 4 identical sticks until this machine finally kicks it. Memory. Done. (2g)

Thanks for your input! I honestly don't think you can have too much memory. There was just something about paying MORE then the initial retail price on a 6800 that I can't get over... I can wait on that.

Two video computers ago I had a Radeon 7000... paid over $200 for it... You can buy that card from Newegg now at $40ish... and I wouldn't give you that much for it.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:26 PM   #10
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Ram

I just built a new rig that has an Athlon 64 3500 socket 939. An MSI Neo Platinum2 Mobo. I have two 512 Kingston Hyper X. The low latency is what attracted me. It is Cas2. I have an MSI Radeon 9800 Pro video card and two 10,000 RPM WD Raptors at 74Gb each. I have a Plextor DVD burner. I am not running a raid config but use the second HD as an AV Hd. All writing and rendering is done to the second disk. It is a good rig but the CPU has only 512 cache. It does render quickly though. I am new at video. I am at the phase where I am trying each NLE out as I get a chance to. I would like to convert years of video to DVD discs but notice that the DVD rendering shows some fuzziness over the original DV tapes. Even at the best settings. I have Vegas 5 and Adobe Premiere Pro. I hope to figure out a way to render the captured DV into DVD with no loss in quality. I need to learn color curves so that I get some life back into the videos I render. Any advice is mucho appreciated.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #11
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Michael, you should start a new thread if the topic is different.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 12:28 AM   #12
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topics

Well Glen, I just touched on about ten topics so I would not know where to put that post. I started off mentioning the amount of ram I use. Seems nobody mentions whether what people call "gaming ram" has any importance in video rendering. I then re-read my post and see that I touched on several topics. I am new to this so I will try to tighten up my posts a bit. Thanks for all input.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 12:53 AM   #13
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Sounds like you have a good rig there Michael. I hope it serves you well. I'm thinking that we may finally be getting out of the dark ages of computer video... some would argue that we've been out for a long time, but 2.5 years ago when I built my third editing computer I felt forced to use proven compatible products at every level. Basically I designed my system to spec out the same as a dvline or something like that. Even today when you look at Safe Harbor or 1 Beyond turnkey machines, they don't spec out as high as you'd expect for $5K and up systems. So how do you handle the conundrum? Ultimately the most important thing to me is stability. I intentionally chose a little lower performing machine for a better guarantee of stability. I've had cas2 ram in a machine before, along with an Athlon XP and an Asus overclocker's board. Needless to say, that machine became crash-happy with multiple video apps going.

So where are we today? I don't know for sure... even though I built, or re-built you might say... my current rig for stability first... I did still splurge on the video card, hoping that I can get away with at least one really trick component for non-2d purposes and not end up with a crash/freeze problem. (BFG 6800gt oc)

I had a promise raid 0 before too, and until I hear that people are really loving raids I'm done with those also.

One other thing that I think is STILL a good idea is to get a mobo that doesn't have anything on it that you don't plan to use. I specifically got a board w/o audio/video or raid. My previous machine was the same way... That clean Asus board cost more then the full-featured ones at the time, but it sure was pretty... nothing but 1" wide gold traces connecting a few choice components. Too bad it called it quits.

I'm all Intel now, and every part of this machine, save the video card, is a direct component of the higher end turnkeys.

I sincerely hope we're almost to the point that designing a fast, stable, video computer isn't such a lengthy experiment!

I should add that I went with 2 gig for this machine also, but I agree with Michael that for outright performance a lower cas is probably better then simply having more ram... depending on the apps of course... but lower cas AND more of it should be the trump card.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #14
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1gb for about 1.5 years now. no problems crunching DVDs or anything i throw @it. strangely enough... bit-torrent is the one thing that can kill my RAMs =).
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Old November 11th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Seems nobody mentions whether what people call "gaming ram" has any importance in video rendering.
I did some tests of my own and found that memory latency (i.e. the CAS setting) makes no measurable difference on rendering speed. This is a surprising outcome that can save you a bunch of cash if you are planning a new machine...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18841

CAVEATS:
Applies to 865PE chipsets. You should get similar results with the 875 and newer Intel chipsets. It may not necessarily be the same for AMD chipset/platforms- they benefit more from lower memory latency/timings than Pentiums do, and benefit less from increased memory bandwidth.

I also tested the effect of hard drive speed on rendering. It shows what the limits of a faster hard drive is.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18784
I didn't have a RAID to play with, but if you had an insanely fast hard drive (i.e. a RAM drive, ~60 faster than a hard drive) your rendering speeds would only increase for simple renders (which don't suck up a lot of time anyways).

Anyways I've digressed a lot here...

Quote:
Well Glen, I just touched on about ten topics so I would not know where to put that post.
Feel free to go ahead and start several new threads for each topic. The board's here for discussion so there's nothing wrong with starting several new threads if you have lots of questions. Just make sure they weren't covered recently (and I don't remember your topics being discussed recently). And of course don't do it in an existing thread because then it becomes hard to follow (although I don't quite follow my own advice... see my digression above).
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