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How much ram?


jon
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The seems to be a current trend, especially since amarra that more ram equals better audio. I currently have 2 gig in my mac mini running snow leopard. With iTunes in full motion the activity monitor shows 1.5 gig free with no page out or swap files. The results were similar under leopard running amarra demo (now uninstalled).

 

What are the advantages of more ram for a computer used purely for audio playblack - other than creating a large ram disk - and what would osx or amarra do with the extra ram?

 

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Having more memory reduces the amount of Virtual Memory / Swap Memory the operating system has to use an therefore reduces the amount of disk usage. I think that's the general concensus as to why more memory results in better sound quality.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

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...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I agree that if Swaps is 0 then there is no virtual memory in use, however often there will be free physical memory (a significant amount) and yet Virtual Memory is still in use. It's very unlikely that OSX, Finder and iTunes combined use only .5 gig (IME) so there must be some VM in use on your system.

 

Anyway just put as much memory in your computer as is economically worth it. 2GB is adequate, 4GB is plenty but 8GB is better - though the cost of 8GB for most machines (using 2x 4GB) is currently prohibitively expensive and money could be spend elsewhere.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I've been wondering about this too.

 

Particularly given the current trend for creating a ram disk and running programs from the ram disk instead of from solid state or hard drive. I can understand the logic of moving data to the ram disk, but no so much with programs.

 

Is it possible that the os or program will look at the available ram, and only load those parts of the program code it needs at the time? Therefore increasing disk activity as it loads up different sections of its code without creating a swap file?

 

Of course, it's good to keep an open mind and accept the possibility that some of the sound quality improvement is a placebo effect.

 

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"I can understand the logic of moving data to the ram disk, but no so much with programs."

 

What's been reported with SSDs is the opposite - i.e. move the player to SSD for maximum benefit. TO your point, perhaps this is simply the only pragmatic approach, since there are no SSDs large enough for entire music libraries.

 

I think the logic probably applies equally to programs and data, as it's ALL just data to the OS, admittedly some of it (such as programs) would likely be treated a bit more 'preciously', by keeping it near and dear (avoiding swaps, etc.). I could be totally wrong here, I just don't know.

 

clay

 

 

 

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On Macs, one need only to look at Activity Monitor to get a bit of an understanding as to the virtual memory being used. From my limited poking around wrt RAM, it seems to always allocate some virtual memory to, e.g. iTunes, and reserve unused real memory for programs yet to be opened, whic is consistent with Eloise' point above.

 

As for me, I always buy the most RAM as is economical - which in today's market is 4GB on a Mac, so as not to be too concerned about it.

 

If one is concerned about the possible loading of more 'program' than is needed, one could use Xslimmer which strips out all of the unnecessary portions of 'fat' binaries. I use this program - not for that purpose - but rather because I don't like the idea of bloated programs wasting space on an SSD. OTOH, one would hope that OS X would never load a portion of a binary that was not required.

 

clay

 

 

 

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