RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Moderator: beatchemist

RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby daybreaker on Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:15 pm

Hi people...hope someone can help? Currently writing music on my pc, but finding my cpu a bit limiting. I have 1gb of RAM at the moment, will upgrading to 4gb of RAM make a significant difference? Any help appreciated....cheers, Luke.
daybreaker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:57 am


Re: RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby Micken on Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:06 pm

It most definitely will, but upgrading your processor will probably have the greatest effect.

RAM helps ease the work your processor and soundcard need to do. The less ram you have the more calculations these are going to have to make. So ultimately you'll be able to handle more plugins when you get more ram and your DAW will probably run a lot smoother.
Micken
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:06 pm


Re: RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby -pH on Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:45 pm

Hey Luke,

Depends on what you're running. If your machine has 1GB of RAM, then it most likely is running a 32-bit OS (Windows XP, or 32-bit Vista, etc..) so it won't be able to address the whole 4GB. That said, you should still see a significant improvement in performance for any kind of audio work w/ a RAM upgrade.

Best analogy I've heard is: Your computer is a kitchen. Your hard drive is the pantry, and your counter space is the ram. If you're rocking 256MB of ram, it's like having the counter space the size of an end table. Imagine trying to prep a meal on that. 1GB is better, but only a small counter. You can get it done, but it's going to take longer. 4GB of ram is like an open kitchen layout, with multiple islands. You can spread out and multi-task different items because you have more room to work.

Can you tell us a little more about your rig? Do you have a major brand? If it's like a Dell for example, there should be a 5-7 digit service tag on it, which can give us a lot more info about your setup... Micken's right, you might be able to upgrade your CPU- or maybe a ram upgrade would be counter productive due to cost, depending on age. Good luck with it.
User avatar
-pH
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:33 am


Re: RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby daybreaker on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:14 pm

Thanks for the advice guys, it's much appreciated and very helpfull. As far as my rig is concerned it's quite old :( ...it's a digital village i got back in 2004 when i used it mainly with hardware synths and effects etc...i now only use software synths, effects, etc...). It's spec is pentium p4 3gb cpu 800 with an intel D865perl 800fsb board, with a seagate 120gb 7200rpm H/D 8mb cache( the H/D getting on to nearly 80% full). I have an external drive which i keep movies and backup stuff on, but it's very noisy and creates backgound noise, so i don't use it when creating music. My soundcard is a fairly old EMU DSP one, not the best, but have been happy with sound i've been getting, just frustrated at the limited amount of instruments i've been able to play at the same time and the polyphony limitations aswell. I've been bouncing some stuff but find it sometimes lacks the quality of the original sound. Another thing i'm not too sure about is i'm a bit skint at the moment and may only be able to afford 2gb of ram straight away...my board has 4 slots, 2 of which have the 512mb in already...Can i add 2 1gb to the other 2 slots or do the ram boards all have to be of equal size? (i.e 2x1gb, 4x1gb, 4x512mb...). I'm sorry if i sound a bit dumb, but i don't know a great deal about computer hardware, i should take some time out to learn more really, i just get stretched for time and find it difficult enough fitting in creativeness( writing tunes ). Any help would be superb, cheers, Luke.
daybreaker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:57 am


Re: RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby -pH on Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:55 pm

daybreaker wrote:...it's a digital village i got back in 2004

daybreaker wrote:It's spec is pentium p4 3gb cpu 800 with an intel D865perl 800fsb board, with a seagate 120gb 7200rpm H/D 8mb cache( the H/D getting on to nearly 80% full). I have an external drive which i keep movies and backup stuff on, but it's very noisy and creates backgound noise, so i don't use it when creating music. My soundcard is a fairly old EMU DSP one, not the best, but have been happy with sound i've been getting, just frustrated at the limited amount of instruments i've been able to play at the same time and the polyphony limitations aswell. I've been bouncing some stuff but find it sometimes lacks the quality of the original sound. Another thing i'm not too sure about is i'm a bit skint at the moment and may only be able to afford 2gb of ram straight away...my board has 4 slots, 2 of which have the 512mb in already...Can i add 2 1gb to the other 2 slots or do the ram boards all have to be of equal size? (i.e 2x1gb, 4x1gb, 4x512mb...).


Well, it can't *hurt* performance to upgrade the ram, but the money may be better spent getting an updated machine (or saving for one), instead of sinking *any* money into a machine that's ~6years old. That said, you can go ahead and upgrade for not too much. It sounds like you have a top of the stack single-core Pentium 3GHz chip on an 800MHz FSB Intel D865 based board. That board seems to accept up to 4GB of RAM, 1GB per slot. To achieve dual-channel mode (full-speed) you need to have matching sized ram in every other slot. So if you have slots [0] [1] [2] [3] then you'll want to have matching ram in 0 & 2, and/or 1 & 3. Basically it's best to utilize as few slots as you can- it'll run faster if you have 2x512MB sticks instead of 4x256MB sticks, even though it's still 1GB total. If you have 1GB of RAM now, it most likely is 2x512MB sticks, hopefully placed in slots 0 & 2. If it's 1x1GB stick, or in 0 & 1 slots, the RAM can only run at half-speed, and will definitely bottleneck you.

That said, 2x1GB stick kits are around $60 online (here: http://j.mp/h8hDYD). Just buy quantity 2 of of them which gets you 4 1GB sticks if you'd like to max it out. I'd probably recommend that, unless that isn't financially possible for ya. I highly recommend the online ordering over say a BestBuy, but they actually have a same priced option (here: http://j.mp/fcr68U), but also seems to only be available online. So you'll pay tax & shipping through them (unless you live in Delaware.) Bestbuy typically mark up RAM to around double, or more than double the price in store. If you'd like to shop it around, you are seeking a 2GB (2x1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit. Buying 4 individual 1GB sticks usually will cost more, since kits are more popular.

Then you'll know if you've been hitting a memory wall, or if it really is the processor that is bottle-necking you. Without new hardware, you can also try wiping and reinstalling Windows, which may get rid of some offeding piece of malware, registry errors, or something else that's causing latency issues. As far as the sound card related to sound production, there are far more wise folks on that topic then me. :)
User avatar
-pH
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:33 am


Re: RAM....Will an upgrade improve performance?

Postby daybreaker on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:27 pm

You are a star PH...thanks very much for your time and help...i love forums! :D
daybreaker
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:57 am



Return to Production Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest