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Old 04-15-2021, 01:28 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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Default How much RAM?

For a Windows computer (Core i7), what's a reasonable amount of RAM? I know there are a lot of variables, but in general? Right now I have 16GB, but I plan to either upgrade to 32GB or 64GB. There is a significant cost difference. This is DDR4 RAM.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:33 PM
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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16 gig should be sufficient but it never hurts to have more. I'm running an i7 with 8 gigs and have no problems but all drives are solid state and I use very few plugins.
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:34 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
For a Windows computer (Core i7), what's a reasonable amount of RAM? I know there are a lot of variables, but in general? Right now I have 16GB, but I plan to either upgrade to 32GB or 64GB. There is a significant cost difference. This is DDR4 RAM.

16GB should be fine for all home recording.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:19 PM
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Recording doesn't take huge amounts of memory. I doubt that RAM will be your limiter even with just 16GB. It does depend on the plugins you are using, though. There may be some that are really heavy on RAM usage, but most will probably be bottlenecked by your processor.

My recent build has 32GB but that's for video work, not the audio side of things.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:43 PM
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See video. You can also open task manager, click on performance and see your current memory usage (do that when you have a recording project running).



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6cC12-Ov1E

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Old 04-15-2021, 07:03 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Some virtual instruments are reported to take a lot of RAM, and I could suppose that humongous projects, with three-figure tracks counts or dozens of very long tracks, might take a lot of RAM. But recording alone with minimal effects and acoustic instruments is not RAM or CPU intensive.

I still have 16 gb RAM on my main audio editing/mastering computer (Windows) and 16 gigs on my Mac Mini "recording in the box" computer with a lot of virtual instruments and plugins on board that one, including some orchestra instruments with large sample libraries. Neither seems troubled handling that, but then I think my biggest projects are around 30 tracks and less than 10 minutes, and a lot are smaller than that.

But just plain recording of acoustic guitar and voice? Though i get much less use now-a-days (no band recording) my studio computer is "worse" spec-wise than either of those, but then all it has to do is handle up to 16 tracks of audio coming in. Folks were doing that last century, with last century computers and old "spinning rust" mechanical hard drives running off FW400 and RAM was measured in single digits for sure -- and while operating systems might be more RAM hungry, that sort of pure audio recording has never needed superb amounts of RAM.

In terms of large sample libraries used by virtual instruments, having fast SSD drives to store them on made a noticeable difference in responsiveness.

If you're running with 16 gb I don't know how much performance improvement you'll get with 32, though you might get more VI overhead protection or "future proofing." I myself, wouldn't go to 64 if the cost was dear.
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Old 04-15-2021, 07:04 PM
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I currently have 12 Gb in my 2011 iMac. With a track count of 2 to 8 and perhaps a few plugins, I don't experience memory issues or CPU spikes.
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Old 04-15-2021, 07:05 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Unless you're using large sample libraries or a lot of convolution effects you probably won't need more than 8-16GB
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:19 PM
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I agree 16 is fine. But if you think you might be doing some video production to go with your recording, more is probably better. I have a 32 in my Mac because I'm often running Logic and Final Cut at the same time..
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:57 AM
j3ffr0 j3ffr0 is offline
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I can use 32 with audio interface, a few channels recording, daw, and some plugins. Open a browser and a couple websites and it might be more. Future OS upgrades are just going to use more and more too. I would go at least 32 if buying today. Don't skimp.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
For a Windows computer (Core i7), what's a reasonable amount of RAM? I know there are a lot of variables, but in general? Right now I have 16GB, but I plan to either upgrade to 32GB or 64GB. There is a significant cost difference. This is DDR4 RAM.
As has been noted depends on specific needs (And how long you plan to use the computer. ) on the one hand predominately audio productions don't need a lot of memory BUT as also noted Generally speaking new software both OS and DAWs tend to increase RAM requirements
Me I would go with 32 at a minimum
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:47 AM
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I have decided to opt for the 32gb of RAM for now. I haven't really had a lot of issues with 16gb, so 32gb should give me enough to handle most things. In another two years I'll probably upgrade the whole system.
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Last edited by BoneDigger; 04-16-2021 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:20 PM
phcorrigan phcorrigan is offline
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I have recorded six tracks with my i5 laptop with 8GB RAM. Having said that, I probably wouldn't (and don't) do my mixing and editing with that computer. My primary PC has an i7 CPU and 16GB RAM, which I would consider to be the minimum, and I've had no issues. I've been considering adding more RAM, but this is an eight year old computer, so I'll just wait until my next build.
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Old 04-16-2021, 04:30 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
I have decided to opt for the 32gb of RAM for now. I haven't really had a lot of issues with 16gb, so 32gb should give me enough to handle most things. In another two years I'll probably upgrade the whole system.
32 should be fine for most applications. Just be careful when purchasing to make sure the ram will work with your motherboard. I ran into an issue recently when I upgraded my PC from 32 to 64. I used pcpartpicker.com to confirm the ram would work with my motherboard, but when I installed it, my monitor stayed dark. Pulling the new ram restored my screen but reinstalling it made it go dark again. The ram was the same brand and same numbers, just a different model and a little less expensive than the two 16gb chips that were in the computer already. I returned the chips that didn't work and ordered the same as I had in the computer already. Worked without a problem.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:53 PM
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Thanks for that heads up. It's the brand made by the computer maker and SHOULD work, but if not I'll return it I suppose.
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