How much RAM is “enough”?

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,opinions,technical | Monday, June 27th, 2011

RAM usage

I’m actually scared by the fact that even 24GB of RAM isn’t enough for a high-end workstation these days. And I’m talking about projects up to a maximum of full HD resolution! I don’t even consider 2K or, hell, 4K projects at the moment as I primarily work on TV commercials etc…

This is very interesting as I remember every time I upgraded the amount of RAM of my workstation, I was very pleased with the performance and the amounts of available memory every time I worked on something. But then, not long after, I started to reach the limits of the system’s resources.

The thing is, when you reach the cap of your CPU, or GPU for that matter, your renders just take a bit longer to finish. But as soon as you reach the RAM limit, your apps start crashing and the entire system becomes unstable! So, it is a bit of a problem.

I started reaching the limits not long ago when I had tons of apps open at the same time. Especially Nuke, Max, VMWare Workstation and Photoshop. But on recent projects I started reaching the cap with Nuke and Photoshop alone! It’s terrifying as it suggests that no matter how much RAM I put in the system, it will never be enough!

So, it seems that my next workstation upgrade will, indeed, be a RAM boost. Not sure I’ll be able to buy the full 96GB of ECC RAM at once, but, I’m certain I’ll get there very soon.

2 Comments »

  1. YOU ARE MENTAL,……. and totally right

    Comment by Milan Kolar — July 4, 2011 @ 15:00

  2. don’t be silly! 24Gb usually are enough. in worst cases 32 do the shit.

    I worked with lots of different personalities lastly since people come and go;)
    and from what I see, the better the soft- and hardware becomes, the worse become the artists. this doesn’t count for everybody, and I know it also does not apply to you duber. but people get so spoiled and lazy.

    let’s have a look at the shading/lighting people. since there is vray with it’s fast nice standard GI setup, everybody is a good shading artist, because he gets out a nice image. well, guess what, I can do that shit too! and I am really not good at shading and lighting.
    suddenly images that are half as good looking as the stuff from 3 years ago, render longer and hit hardware limits on the new machines. (and I am not talking about transformers 70k pieces objects)
    simple shit like a cylinder shape in some GI environment render 8h a frame. common!!

    what I want to say, there is still hundreds of little buttons and checkboxes and methods that you can use to optimize your work. as far as I know nuke and photoshop have both a max memory usage limit. maybe I am wrong. but I came rarely across a render using more than 32GB (where it was really necessary :)

    Comment by Goran — July 17, 2011 @ 20:21

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