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Old May 5th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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How much RAM is too much?

If anyone has upgraded their RAM and seen a difference, please share your experiences.

Also if anyone has upgraded their RAM and NOT seen a difference, definitely do tell!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #2
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There is no such thing as too much RAM. I had a workstation that we bumped from 4 to 8 gigs of RAM and it improved rendering time and overall performance. Our IT guy had to tweak some settings to take advantage of the RAM, but I noticed the difference.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #3
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If you have more sticks than you have slots... you might have too much Ram.

Jeff Foxworthy is soooo goin to sue me!

Seriously though, I have an old 3D program that has issues with memory. The more processor/ram/memory you throw at it, the worse it works. It stopped working altogether with the last PC upgrade, when I traded in my AMD 1800XP for a 2400XP. It will open, but it stops, and gives you a "Not enough memory" error, then crashes.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #4
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Well, the question isn't really how much is too much, it's more: how much until you don't really notice the difference?
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Old May 6th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #5
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Right, for example, going from 512 MB to 1 gig will certainly make a difference with Vegas. Does anybody know whether going up to 3 gigs will help compared to 2 gigs?

Last edited by Bill Porter; May 6th, 2006 at 04:02 AM.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #6
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Does anybody know whether going up to will help compared to 2 gigs?

Help? Help with exactly what? Previewing? Rendering? FX results?

I'll attempt to outline my experience and the knowledge and wisdom I;I've garnered from the various Forums I've read AND the tweaks and management I've employed to get a "better" Vegas platform for working.


Build RAM Preview needs RAM. More RAM provided through Preferences the more of the project will be built within RAM for Previewing.

However, to improve rendering speeds I need to drop this figure and select render threads to 2.

So for RAM Previewing increase RAM - For rendering and project working reduce RAM. I have 2gb of fast RAM. If I want fewer issues while actually editing I keep RAM Previewing to 16 or 32. If I KNOW I wish to build a large-ish RAM preview then I mess with the Preferences.

Here's the kicker: If you AINT got enough RAM to build a Preview then you reduce that which is available for your pc to function. Obvious? Well it has taken me some 3 years to have the penny to drop. Subsequently having plenty of RAM has an advantage for Previewing and keeping the pc happy.

What makes a difference to using Vegas is a FASTER machine and then DUALLIES - dual CPUs. When I stepped up from a 250mb 1gHz RAM Dell Laptop to a 2gB, 3.2 gHz ASUS HT ( HT . .huh!!) with fast graphics I suddenly understood just how Vegas 4 was supposed to work. It was one of those, "U-huh .. I understand now" moments - I remember the effect on me. Because it is a faster PC it took a render test from 5.75 minutes down to 1.15mins. This is because it IS a faster machine: faster CPU and faster RAM. I suspect that the extra ram assists in keeping the rest of the PC running as it should while it deals with intensive work - like rendering.

So this IS a complex issue. What I would say from my own experience AND from what I've read, is that increasing RAM on an already speed maxed-out Vegas platform wold not give a noticeable improvement to your functioning of Vegas. It would provide more of a project to be seen from within a RAM preview. What is complex is that the more maths you have Vegas do for you the longer/slower it will take. Having faster and slicker systems to deal with this faster math processing will make intensive activity pass faster. PLUS adding more RAM will require more processing time/power to manage that extra RAM.

Personally, I'd love Vegas to be able to manage my extra RAM to build renders in quiet moments and to improve the whole RAM management in a more efficient way. I'd like Vegas to be able to forward RAM render for a better Preview. This must be possible - after all I'm manually selecting EXTRA ram thru' preferences. How difficult would it be for this to happen, automatically, through the program?

For me, Vegas uses faster hardware to achieve value. And for value "read" making fast edit decisions by SEEING the results of my creativity "flowing" on the screen in front of me - this is my workplace, I invest much of my life spent staring at a p[air of 17" lumps of plastic - I need to be able to apply my ideas and creativity and duly observe what I do and the effect of my life work in a slick way. I don't need my ideas to be backed-up or crunched-up by slow responses by the software that I use on a daily basis. Rendering is lower on my scale of requirements than actually getting as near to real time previewing as possible. Mostly Vegas does this well. Using a combination of Preview thru' Good and then backed back to say DRAFT - yeas draft - mode I can kinda get a view to my work. For my money? It would be neat not to have to do this "Previewing Tango". I love Vegas. I adore the way i can flip in and out of gazillions of approaches to dig out just WHAT I want. I understand just on this virtue Vegas is a serious contender. Now what I want to happen is for Vegas to make more use and manage Previewing better. More RAM? Apart from RAM adjustments in preferences, I guess Vegas wasn't set up and developed with this in mind. What Vegas does do very well is to take on many many different flavours of media and then use this through a program that can work on a wide range of PCs which have not been necessarily designed to do NBLE-work. Maybe that is a clue to what you are asking?

Do I think Vegas could be developed to use RAM or further future hardware improvements in a better way? Now THAT is a debate I'd love to have.

From what I can tell, and from my own experience, while using Vegas, more RAM needs a faster machine CPU and/or fast RAM to deal with it. In the past more RAM to have games or graphics and printing, slopping and wallowing in lashings of RAM was an advantage. I guess with the work we do in Vegas editing this may not ALWAYS be the case!

Apologies for the l o n g reply, but I hope that at least it has introduced some "other" ways of looking at the whole increase RAM debate and faster hardware options that could be potentially "won" by the Vegas/Sony developers.

Best regards,

Grazie
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Old May 6th, 2006, 02:27 AM   #7
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Hello,

I started out with 512MB, then went to 1GB, then 2GB, and then to 3GB.

I stopped noticing any difference (before tweaking Windows XP Pro) after 2GB though and only then found out that Sony Vegas will only 'see' up to 2GB of RAM.

However - by applying various tweaks to Windows XP Pro I have been able to improve overall system performance somewhat and some of these tweaks do make use of the 'spare' 1GB so - for me - 3GB does the job. If the truth be told, however, I only stopped at 3GB because I only have 3 slots!!!

Remember that there are also different types, speeds, and quality of RAM.

Also remember that the quality of your video card, as well as the amount of RAM on your video card, can make a slight difference to overall system performance especially when using multiple monitors for editing and preview etc. etc. Some software even claims to use the GPU on your graphics card to speed up rendering (although I have always questioned the merit of this and never seen it make an actual difference).

Regards,

Dale.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #8
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Ram

I can probably be described as one of those IT guys, since I work both as a wedding videographer and as a computer PC support specialist.

I run Vegas 6 on two machines: One is a dual CPU Athlon MP 1800+ (4 year old CPU) with only 512MB of DDR1 RAM; the other is a brand new Alienware P4 3Ghz with HT (Hyper threading) with 2.5GB of DDR2 RAM.

I experimented with rendering the exact same clip from the RAID drives (both systems have RAID 0 stripe storage) to the same RAID drive. I found that both systems rendered within 3% of the same time.

However, the main performance difference is in previewing and editing. The more RAM the longer and more complicated of a project you can view in the timeline with out slow downs.

There are some limitations to Vegas when it comes to more RAM. Vegas can only render a RAM preview of up to 1GB of RAM. It simply cannot make use of any more RAM. I have never run out of RAM while rendering or editing on my Alienware. That means the performance is limited by the CPU and disk storage system.

Jason
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #9
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http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mem...y/2gb-ram.html

Pretty surprising stuff in here
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Old May 8th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Well, the question isn't really how much is too much, it's more: how much until you don't really notice the difference?
The problem is kind of moot, really. While most "pro" or consumer motherboards these days have 4 Ram slots and will (probably) accept 4 RAM modules, there are two problems:

A) 32-bit Windows will not be able to "see" all of the RAM -- 3 to 3.5GB out of the four if you are lucky.

B) On most of these motherboards, if you use more than 2 RAM slots, you will have to lower the RAM timings from T1 (the fastest) to T2, or lower, which can be a big performance hit.

Unless you are planning on purchasing an "engineering/workstation" motherboard, then 2 Gigs is your current best, most economical choice.

And if you think you have too much RAM with 2 or more Gigs, then you can always turn some of into a RAM drive instead of main memory RAM.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #11
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memory addressing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Ries
A) 32-bit Windows will not be able to "see" all of the RAM -- 3 to 3.5GB out of the four if you are lucky.
That is the issue. 32bit hardware can only talk to (address) a certain maximum number of things. If there are more possible storage locations in memory than space to address it, then the CPU cannot talk to that location. This is kind of like having more people in an area code than space in the 7 digits of a local phone number. In order to address more locations, there needs to be a new "area code."

For example, as a computer science undergrad, I designed a 10bit basic CPU capable of addition, multiplication, subtracting, etc. However, due to the limitations of CPU design, my 10bit cpu could only address 8bits of information in memory. The extra 2 bits were overhead necessary to perform certain operations. That meant I could only talk to 2^8 or 256 locations. So whatever memory I used could only have a maximum of 256 individually adressable locations. Memory is addressed in bytes, or 8 bits, at a time. So I could address 256 individual bytes, totaling 2048bits, or 1/4 a KB of data.

This is the case with current 32bit processors. 32bits of addressable space means that only 4294967296 memory locations can be addressed. A maximum of 34359738368 bits, 4096MB, or 4GB of data can be addressed.

Another limitation is in the windows design itself. Windows splits memory usage in 1/2 between applications and the kernel aka the OS itself. So in a system with 4GB of memory, the OS will NOT allow a single application to use more than 2GB even if an entire 1GB allocated for the kernel is sitting around unused. So in a system with 2GB of RAM, only 1GB of ram will be allowed for use by all programs combined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Ries
Unless you are planning on purchasing an "engineering/workstation" motherboard, then 2 Gigs is your current best, most economical choice.
No kidding. For dual CPU systems, memory must be "registered" and is usually ECC (error correcting) in order to make the most effecient use of the architecture. A single 1GB stick of ram for my dual Athlon MP system (PC2700 spec) costs about $200 where I just bought a 1GB stick of DDR2 466MHz ram for my alienware mobile system for $110. The alienware RAM was not registered or ECC and is about 4x as fast, but is still far cheaper.

jason
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