How much RAM do you use/buy? What processor family?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mr. Boosh, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Mr. Boosh

    Mr. Boosh Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I've meant to constantly record and monitor my RAM usage over a month to see how much I truly use, but I've never actually got around to it.

    How much RAM do you use/buy with your machines?

    I've always drifted towards 16GB, because I do some work in Photoshop and Illustrator, and because it just makes me feel like I'll get more out of my machine. But on the other hand, I always wonder if I'm just throwing money away, and never getting close to using that much. It'd also save me good money on new devices going for 8GB.

    I'm also that person that buys the i7 as well. When I had a desktop I would buy M/i3/i5 for my mobile machine, but I only use 1 device now.

    It's funny because I only do this spec gluttony thing with my computers. I have no problem using a 4 year old smartphone, or one that uses low to mid tier specs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  2. Fluffyfurball

    Fluffyfurball Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm using 32GB presently, necessary for the science applications I run (plus VMs). I can go up to 64GB on my machine, but I don't think I'll ever need it.
     
  3. Mr. Boosh

    Mr. Boosh Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ya, I don't run intensive stuff like that. I would probably be fine with 8GB, I'm just hesitant for some reason.
     
  4. Fluffyfurball

    Fluffyfurball Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I think 16 is minimum, these days. Have a few applications running, a browser with some tabs open, and 8GB gets used up pretty fast.
     
  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    My Desktop I built with 16GB of Ram. Aside from rare scenarios when I open.....alot....of big photoshop files......I doubt I ever make use of that much Ram. My desktop has a 21ux Cintiq.....so for illustration work I bounce between my Desktop....and my Mobile Studio Pro which only has 8 GB.....and despite half the Ram.....it’s never posed an issue as all. Even further to that point....I’ve been using my Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6 which has a comparatively weak Core M3 and 4GB of Ram. Now for my art....I’ve transistioned from Photoshop for everything to Clip Studio for most everything....only opening Photoshop now for my rather enormous texture/brush collection. But for ease of use I still save my files to PSD most of the time.....and in Clip Studio....the 4GB/M3 Galaxy Book has so far taken every file I’ve been able to throw at it without any real performance comprise.

    So even though I would be extremely hesitant to buy a new device without 8 or 16GB....I would still probably make due with only 4GB. (provided more then 4GB is even an option, not so with GB 10.6).
     
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  6. Mr. Boosh

    Mr. Boosh Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  7. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The thing is, the OS will adapt to whatever size RAM you have, by swapping out to the Page File. So with 4GB+ memory and a decent-sized SSD, you'll never actually run into any 'serious' problems even for even the heaviest consumer workloads.

    The effect of more RAM is to increase the overall system responsiveness during heavy multi-process scenarios.

    To test if you are bumping into your RAM limit, you should leave your system on for a few hours with your heavy workload, then go to the Windows Resource Monitor and check the stat called "Hard Faults / sec".

    Note: despite the scary name, "Hard Faults" are totally normal: ;)

    (PCWorld)
    "The higher the percentage of used physical memory is, the more likely you'll be to see high numbers of Hard Faults/sec. A hard fault occurs when Windows has to access the swap file--reserved hard disk space used when RAM runs out. Despite their name, hard faults are not errors. But if your system is experiencing hundreds of hard faults per second, either you need a RAM upgrade or a process is hogging resources."
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    This mirrors my experience rather closely. -Except that my portable has 16Gb and my desktop 8Gb.

    I don't run into trouble with either of them, although I do find that I can't completely stop worrying on the 8Gb system wrt how many files I have open. I find I need to keep clutter to a minimum. On my portable, I'm swimming in space, so I just don't need to think about it. It's quite a change from this time last year when I had only 2Gb on my portable, where I needed to be strategic about simple things like cutting and pasting between art programs. One larger project in particular needed to be done in 1/8th portions to avoid log jams!

    I've also migrated largely to Clip Studio for drawing/inking, but for fonts (in things like word balloons) and selection-heavy tasks (like flat grays) Photoshop is still in regular use.
     
  9. Mr. Boosh

    Mr. Boosh Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ya, the worrying part is the reason why I started this post. I know for a fact I could get by most of the time with 8GB, but the way the industry is nowadays, you need to buy what you need because you can't upgrade.

    I've been looking at 2017 ThinkPad X1 Yogas with OLED. i5/8 you can find for $1,000 but the spec bump to i7/16 adds an additional $800-$1000 on the used market. I do realize some of that cost is SSD. 1TB m.2 NVMe's are ~$700 for good ones.

    I keep asking myself if those extra specs are actually necessary or if I just want them because I'm an enthusiast.
     
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  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    So, basically double the price for double the RAM and some extra processor crunch. Knowing my usage profile, that would be pointless overkill. If it were only a couple hundred dollars more, I might think about it, but $1000? No way. The only reason I ended up with 16Gb in my Samsung was that it came standard with no other options. (Also soldered.)

    It depends on what you'd end up using your machine for, I guess.

    The only time I found myself annoyed with slow CPU speeds was back when I had an old Core 2 Duo and wanted to muck around with some very processor-heavy art programs, (one which would simulate wet paper, so that brush strokes would continue to spread and 'soak in' after you painted them and while you were working on other parts of the image. That pretty much gave my TPC a brain hemorrhage. Interestingly, I have no idea how well that would run on modern hardware. I just don't play around much outside basic drawing programs.)
     
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