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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations More debate fodder about the 16gig limit on the new laptops…

  • Bret Williams

    November 11, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Hmm, he doesn’t mention FCPX or Motion. I can get an out of memory error on my iMac (32gigs) with 10-15 layers all doing a push slide out while another 10 are doing a push slide in. Especially if many of those layers are compound clips made up of plugins from ripple and motionvfx. Yeah, it’s extreme, and I’ve had to reboot just to have enough memory available to export or render. But THATs what pros are putting their machines through. There’s no paging that out. But even when you’re doing some mundane stuff like scrubbing templates in the browser, (especially 3D ones with motion blur), you can just watch your available ram (I monitor with memory clean) go from 22gigs available to 5 gigs available. And if you happen to have other apps open like Motion or AE rendering, forget it, 32gigs isn’t that much. My OS takes up 5 gigs on boot and quickly ramps to 8. On a 16gig machine will I be left with 8 gigs for FCPX, Motion, Safari, Mail, messages, etc? I ask because darn it I have one on order. I’ll report back in mid-December when I finally get it. 🙂

    _______________________________________________________________________ FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists

  • Andrew Kimery

    November 11, 2016 at 6:28 am

    There is a thread on this on a FCP X FB page and most of the responses seemed to be split between 16 is good enough and 16 is too low of a ceiling. From the article though, “I am sure there are some genuinely heavy users who will undoubtedly chew down more than 16GB of RAM, and this is by no means an attempt to minimize their concerns. Working with video and audio production is one area I can see this becoming a reality, but I don’t own Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro to demonstrate.”

    Since we are throwing out fodder, the recommended amount of RAM for OS X (2gig), FCP X (8gig) and Photoshop (8gig). The least amount of RAM you can get on a 6-core nMP is 16gig and I don’t remember anyone saying “Man, why would I upgrade to 32 or 64 when it already ships with 16”? I already max out the 16gig in my MBP on a routine basis (and come close to the 24gig on my tower) so when the new mobile chips from Intel are available next year hopefully we’ll see a MBP refresh that has a higher RAM ceiling. Considering the RAM is no longer user replaceable I’m sure Apple wouldn’t mind the extra margins on the up-sell. 😉

  • Bill Davis

    November 11, 2016 at 6:44 am

    The guy also notes that with a fast SSD, disc swaps go lightening fast so RAM isn’t hammered as much as it was when a file cached on a spinning disc that took a lot longer to read in.

    I was actually wondering why I’ve never had any delay cutting longer projects on my 2015 rMBP – and I wonder if it’s the Apple 1TB SSD doing it’s stuff.

    Thomas Grove Carter noted specifically that he’s spent the week hammering 5k ProRes files on his Touch Bar unit and said nothing about any RAM issues at all. Just “butter” smooth editing.

    Could the pure specs obsession some folks focus on be a little bit of an artifact of an era when the hardware always struggled to push frames around fast enough? Maybe with the modern machines it’s just not as much a thing that holds back editing performance anymore?

    I suppose time will tell.


    Creator of XinTwo –
    The shortest path to FCP X mastery.

  • Andrew Kimery

    November 11, 2016 at 7:59 am

    I’m sure for some it’s spec thing and for others it’s not. Just like some workflows are pretty hardware intensive and some are not. For me, the more RAM I have, just like the more storage I have, the more I seem to find ways to use it. Effortlessly hop between PPro, PS, and an AE RAM preview at full quality while exporting/transcoding via AME? Yes please.

    I’m not up on the latest SSD but the ones I use for boot drives will hit about 420MB/s write and 480MB/s read according to the BM speed test utility. Certainly faster than the spinning HDDs they replaced but I don’t know how they compare to the SSD in the new MBP. Computer speeds are certainly getting faster, but the files we are working with are getting more intensive as well. Maybe 16gig is still a comfortable number for most today but will it be in a few years? I don’t really see a downside to allowing more than 16gig of RAM (other a battery life hit since Apple put a 25% smaller battery in the new MBPs).

    Is 16gig the new 640k? 😉

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    I think having “buttery smooth” editing with 5K is in the grand scheme of things quite easy with the insanely fast SSD the new machines have. I think RAM will be more of a problem when you have to compute or cache things, such as say 10 layers of 5K media with a bunch of effects or similar.

    Being the MacBooks top out at 4-cores I’d say 16GB is “decent” but on the low end of the spectrum. 32GB would make far more sense. My MacPro 8-core now running After Effects and Premiere is eating 42GB of RAM so yeah… I’d say 16GB is really low for a lot of normal post-workflows.

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    A fast SSD will make life better for sure but at 3GB/s it’s still something like 1/10th or 1/20th of the speed of modern RAM.

  • Bill Davis

    November 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    As I posted right after I got my new laptop a while ago, the SSDs in even last years MBPros are a wee bit faster than 3Mbps…

    Creator of XinTwo –
    The shortest path to FCP X mastery.

  • Steve Connor

    November 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    [Bill Davis] “As I posted right after I got my new laptop a while ago, the SSDs in even last years MBPros are a wee bit faster than 3Mbps…

    He said 3Gbs NOT Mbs

  • Jeremy Garchow

    November 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    3GigaBYTES, not bits. That’s 3000 MB/sec and that is also READ speed.

    Write speed is slower at 2.2GB/sec

    This why I think you cannot judge this laptop on a CPU spec or lack there of. You can add an external GPU and accelerate to your heart’s content:

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Yeah. I think it’s along the lines of:

    HDD = 1X or 150 MB/s
    SSD = 15X or 2 000 MB/s
    RAM = 400X or 60 000 MB/s
    VRAM = 3000X or 500 000 MB/s

    Above has to be taken with a grain of salt and it doesn’t take into context latency or other things that impact different stages of cache.

    Intels new memory tech being released next year might bridge the gap between RAM and and SSD but I don’t think we are there yet. And VRAM vs caching to disk, even an SSD, is a huge difference.

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