Do I need 32GB?

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Do I need 32GB?

Post by RichardT »

I’m thinking about getting an M1 Pro MacBook Pro. Is there any likely benefit in getting 32GB of memory as opposed to the default 16GB? I do use a lot of Kontakt Instruments, but with my current 16GB machine I rarely see any disk activity.

What factors should I consider when making the decision?
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by ef37a »

I know nothing of macs (and very little of PCs!) but if the cost is within your budget the only downside I can see is a bit more heat and a little less battery time?

Dave.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by RichardT »

ef37a wrote: Tue Nov 16, 2021 11:18 pm I know nothing of macs (and very little of PCs!) but if the cost is within your budget the only downside I can see is a bit more heat and a little less battery time?

Dave.

Hi Dave, yes, it’s cost that’s the issue. I’d rather not spend £400 on this if I don’t need to!
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by Luke W »

If it were me I'd probably go for it to future-proof a little bit. 16GB RAM for me was becoming really limiting, but I am on an older Intel machine and I've heard a lot about the M1 RAM being more efficient due to it being directly on the chip itself so it may be less of an issue.

Personally I'm always keen to over-spec, especially where the option to upgrade is limited or impossible.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by MOF »

Probably no need for 32GB for the latest 14” and 16” machines because of the integrated CPU, graphics etc.
I bought the 13” 16GB MBP and it runs very cool and no hint of glitches.
At the time I looked at YouTube videos to check that Logic works on it, though I don’t run lots of Kontakt instruments. There are bound to be versions reflecting the new chips.
I bought 1TB drive to give it plenty of working room.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by Airfix »

I gather that if the M1 runs out of ram it can use the SSD as ram. I'm not sure if this is a new thing. - brilliant none the less.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by MOF »

I gather that if the M1 runs out of ram it can use the SSD as ram. I'm not sure if this is a new thing. - brilliant none the less.

Yes virtual RAM has been available for some time on older hard drive systems, it’s the much faster SSDs that are able to keep up with the CPU/RAM and now that the SSD memory is integrated it’s even faster.
I did see a video adressing the concerns of ‘too many’ writes to the SSD due to 8GB having to work much harder than the 16GB version and it seems that unless you’re doing lots of 4k video editing every day the SSD will last longer than the MBP will.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by Airfix »

Of course - Virtual RAM -- whizzing disks - How could i forget? Thanks MOF.
In the past we would say that you can never have to much RAM. However, considering how fast I've heard SSD virtual RAM is - i think i'd keep the 400 bills.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by Funkyflash5 »

While there's a ram savings on the m1 vs integrated graphics, it's a much smaller difference than 16gb. With my desktop I started hitting the limit with 16gb and was able to add the (planned for) extra 2 sticks to get to 32gb. While ssd swap is much faster now, it's still an order of magnitude slower than ram and audio is an application where speed counts! If you plan on using the mbp for more than a few years, get the extra ram.
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by MOF »

Have a look at this before you spend money on 32GB.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1-YAb823XP8

Edit: This follow up video shows it can play even more tracks https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CTWbLt1g2_c
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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by Rockrooms »

Funkyflash5 wrote: Thu Nov 18, 2021 11:42 pm While there's a ram savings on the m1 vs integrated graphics, it's a much smaller difference than 16gb. With my desktop I started hitting the limit with 16gb and was able to add the (planned for) extra 2 sticks to get to 32gb. While ssd swap is much faster now, it's still an order of magnitude slower than ram and audio is an application where speed counts! If you plan on using the mbp for more than a few years, get the extra ram.

I'm not sure about the new M1 memory layout, but in PC world, having 2x8GB sticks vs 1x16GB will generally mean the memory controller is running in dual channel mode, so significantly faster. 2x16GB is going to mean that even if you weren't using all of the RAM, the system will, all things being equal, be performing better for RAM access. That said, there's no substitute for real world benchmarks with your work flow.

You mention using Kontakt, the last thing you want is to be streaming samples from your disk and then it paging out ram to the SSD because the system is short of memory. As mentioned RAM is an order of magnitude faster than SSD, it really shouldn't be treated as extra RAM. Excessive paging on a memory starved machine can bring it to its knees, no matter how fast the page storage.

It is a lot of money, but you have to weigh it up against the cost of finding out later that you really needed the extra memory after all and how long you plan to have the machine for.

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Re: Do I need 32GB?

Post by BobTheDog »

Airfix wrote: Thu Nov 18, 2021 8:07 pm Of course - Virtual RAM -- whizzing disks - How could i forget? Thanks MOF.
In the past we would say that you can never have to much RAM. However, considering how fast I've heard SSD virtual RAM is - i think i'd keep the 400 bills.

I used to work with the son of one of the inventors of “virtual memory”: https://www.ithistory.org/honor-roll/pr ... all-sumner

1964 I thought though that page says 1963.
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