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Newbie RAM questions

Discussion in 'Computing' started by kmetal, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Sorry to have to ask these but I see slightly varying opinions on #1.

    1. With a ddr4 2133mhz stock ram, would I see any improvement in performance with say 2400, 3000, Ect? Is this determined by the motherboard? what about when overclocking, even if the max the computer can handle is 2133mhz. (Still trying to verify if 2133 is the max my cpu can take with manufacturer)

    2. Does small differences in latencies make a noticeable difference. If so where in particular, if not in general.

    3. What does the number after PC4 signify?Ie PC4 1700.

    4. Does latency numbers improve 'exponentially' as more sticks are added. In other words do I see more efficiency/enhanced improvement, specifically with reguard to latency when it's four sticks vs two sticks?

    Does the latency difference justify the expense? Price doesn't scare me, neither does going a little to medium amount past diminishing returns. 32 is the max my cpu can handle so I'm buying it right off the bat and it will remain for the computers life span so I want the 'best' that makes sense.

    Specifically I am comparing these two.

    Thank you.!!


  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yes faster memory are faster ! But we are talking in micro seconds here.. Lol
    About audio latency, it has a lot more to do with the drivers and the buffer size than how fast memory runs.
    Most of the time unless you are running only vsti, the hdd is working a lot harder than the ram memory.
    So go with what your mind and heart can agree on, you'll be fine ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Check how your motherboard interleaves its memory. For some motherboards it may well be better to have two rows of two memory sticks (all identical) inserted so the memory controller can interleave the burst fetches between the rows.
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The thing about RAM that many ( including myself at one time) don't realize, is that higher amounts of RAM might not make much noticeable difference in how "fast" your system is, but it will show more stability, and it will allow you to do more within a specific program that is specifically RAM dependent - like audio production. The number of plug ins and VSTi 's that you use should show a noticeable improvement ( as long as you're using 64 bit plugs and VSTi's), but you also need to take into account that certain VSTi's and plugs can be more taxing on the memory than others can.

    Example... you might be able to have a mix scenario where you are able to use a Waves SSL Channel Strip plug-in, independently on 16 different tracks, and your sytem handles that just fine.. no sweat.... but that doesn't guarantee that you could achieve the same thing using 16 independent tracks with a Slate SSL Strip; because Slate uses their own "rack" architecture, and the rack alone might require more memory than the actual processor that you insert into it does, especially when you start adding a separate instance of that rack and processor to 16 different tracks... follow?
    (I'm using "16" as an arbitrary number here, just for the sake of example)

    The same can be said for VSTi's as well. You might be able to insert 4 separate instances of an NI Colussus Synth, but your system might groan a bit if you tried that with your Alan Parson's Grand Piano sample library.
    (I'm not saying it will.. I'm saying it depends on the VSTi you use.)

    This is largely why UAD developed its own proprietary hardware based system, with its own memory and CPU processors. At the time they came out, they knew that very few people would be able to afford a computer powerful enough to run their plugs in the "traditional" way... back then, you'd never have been able to insert that type of processing in as many occasions into your mix in the "usual" way... it would probably have required more memory than what you could even put into your entire system at that time, when PC's were still 32 bit and only provided a maximum of 4 gig of RAM to be used (not even that much, either, because your OS would immediately take a gig or better of that available memory just to operate).

    There are other companies who have also gone this route over time - as plugs have become more powerful in what they can do and how they sound - and we are seeing more external hardware processors being used in workflows; UAD of course, also Waves has their DigiGrid system, and as far as I know, even Slate is now putting together their own hardware-based system for their plug-ins, too.

    And there are still plug ins that - even with today's much faster and more powerful systems available - are still out of reach, because they require too much power to run as "native" on a system. Bricasti is an example of this... I think Chris mentioned that the Bricasti uses the equivalent of 4 quad-core intel i7's ( or something like that), so to be able to put that into a "common" PC system, in a native software version, is still out of reach... at least to get the same sonic quality as the hardware provides, anyway.

    As Marco mentioned, you might not see much improvement with latency ( if any at all), because a lot of that has to do with your audio device, its drivers, and the buffer settings.

    And Bos is spot on as usual... make sure you find out how your system wants the RAM to be installed as; some systems will work better with 2 sticks of 16 than they will with 4 sticks of 8.

    But with more memory, you will see greater stability, ( as long as you get the right RAM and install it in the best configuration) and system stability is certainly not nothin'. ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. 2 things to clarify. The first is the latency I was referring to was the memory latency rating the 15-15-15-35 of the first, and the 13-13-13 of the second. I was wondering how THAT latency came into play in and audio system.

    Second was If say for instance the motherboards maximum ram speed was 2133mhz, is there any benefit to putting say 2800mhz ram. And also if it scenerio comes into play when overclocking.

    I've read that it could allow your ram to run cooler of use less voltage particularly when overclocking. Not sure if my motherboard is even capable of overclocking, and stability is more important to me than a minute increase in performance. At a least until I get evening running smooth.

    As far as vsti, I don't use a lot of instances but I will be using heavy cpu vsti's. Particularly Vienna strings, BFD, and some sort of high def piano.

    Also to take into consideration, is I will not be using a lot of tracks, (by rendering and bus processing), but I will be at 192. Since I'm going video, I want to be able to have future compatability, and keep up with blue ray, and ultra HD.

    That's why I'm investing in xara (magix sister company) movie edit pro-premium edition, and PTHD. Sequoia may be in the mix (pun not intended) but that alone cost more than my whole software set as is/spec'd.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I think that the "trick" is to try to look into the crystal ball, and anticipate what you might be doing - a year from now, or three, even four. It's much easier to determine what we need based on our current needs and workflow, but you have to at least try to see into the future a bit, to anticipate that which you haven't yet considered. And I can't even tell you what those things might be, K, as technology is moving so fast, and different features and processes become available to us...

    But you have to sit down for a while, put your Mr. Wizard cap on, and do your best to think about what might be... what could be.

    Will we be looking onto more memory-intensive modeling processing? Virtual mics? Or perhaps even virtual acoustical correction of some kind? Will the samples that we listen to right now - those that we think sound so fantastic today and that makes our jaws drop - sound weak in comparison to what will be "common" just a few years from now? Will USB 2 become a thing of the past? Will VST3 become the standard - or, is there another brand new format on the horizon? Are things moving back in the direction of PCIe hardware? Will 192k become "standard", like what 44.1 was just a few years ago, ( some of us still use 44.1 all the time) and we wake up one day in 2018 and suddenly Presonus or Focusrite has developed and released the first 576k SR/ 128 bit i/o? LOL... I know, I know... it sounds ridiculous, fictional... but how do we really know? Half of what we use today and now take for granted as "typical" was but a pipe dream to us less than only a decade ago.

    Read and research the trades - Mix, SOS, EM - not only to see what's cutting edge now, but to "read between the lines" of that, to see where things could end up - based on what the hot technology is right now.

    I know, it's not easy. But you're a really smart guy, and you have to at least try.

    This system has to last you for awhile, Kyle... and by "awhile" I mean like 5 years, minimum.
    And because of that, you need to make sure that whatever you invest in is flexible and expandable, to accommodate new processes or formats that are the result of rapid technological growth and its relation to music ( and video) production.

    Use a good old pencil and paper, and as questions pop into your head, make a list of the things you're thinking about. At least you'll have focused notes to look at, and be able to ask certain knowledgeable people the questions you have.

    I'm not claiming to be one of those people, BTW ... but we do have some wickedly intelligent people here on RO, and I'm sure there are probably people you know in your town as well who are just as smart.

    I guess I'm suggesting that what you might feel will suffice for you now - either with musical or engineering/production style or current technology - might change for you over the next few years. It's obvious that you're in this for the long haul, that you're making moves towards a serious career with this; and I admire that. But being in business - any business - means that you have to anticipate the needs of your client-base, not just for right now, but for several years from now, too.

    Don't lock yourself into one mindset with thoughts like:
    Those are things you see as being intrinsic to what you do now. You need to look into the future and determine if this workflow will in fact remain that way, and if this will give your clients what they need in 2019.

    That's all I got for ya, brother.

    IMHO of course.
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Excellent point d. Especially about the vsti. I think maybe I should consider %20 of watever budget I have as a bit of a future safing. Things that I'll actually need, but didn't anticipate.

    If anything I have learned that from the studio which is basically focused on live tracking w mics and amps, with digital performer. With very little soft synths or midi, I have definatly been stumped with some of the r n b hip hop guys requests, or taken a very roundabout way, which cost time and money. I've spent a fair amount of time with midi on my own, particularly reason, and BFD, but there's some things I hear out there in the electronic world that makes me go huh??

    I think your very right, your point is intriguing, and I'm going to have to think more well rounded, as the future is very wide open. Lol that's after some killer converters tho, I'm stuck on the mothership. A new set of monitors are due too. I can't/shouldn't ignore gear items, just because I wouldn't personally use it much, after all this is a service industry, and my job is to give others what they want.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    So uh @Boswell @pcrecord should I take this as a 'no'? lol
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Of course you're right. For as much as we'd like to be able to look into that crystal ball, we are limited by what is available to us now, and, what we can afford right now.... obviously, you have to keep making money, so you have to do whatever it takes to stay operational...I didn't mean to give you the impression that I thought you should wait. :)

    And if you're saying you've already bought the Burl conversion, I'm certainly not suggesting that this was a bad move by any means.
    You're going to need good conversion eventually anyway, no matter what your workflow ends up being, so if you have already purchased the Burl system, that's one less thing you need to worry about.

    Besides, it's not like Burl makes junk. ;)

    My point wasn't so much about external "gear" at this juncture ( converters, pre's, mics,etc., although those things do matter, too) but more about what to research before going to purchase your production computer.

    I just didn't want to see you getting locked into something that could be obsolete 2 years from now, or have you frozen into a system that you can't build and expand upon ... suggesting that it would be best for you to do some research before you pulled the trigger on the computer itself - read the trades ( both audio and computer), talk to experts, research as much as possible in an effort to cross as many of the "T's " as you can, to insure that what you get is flexible enough to expand to the ever-changing technology and needs of computer-based audio production... things like CPU's, available PCIe and RAM slots, HDD's, USB versions, Thunderbolt, the number of monitors ( video) you would be able to run, etc.

    And, it's also just as much about not spending money on certain things, too, K.

    For example, if you are considering the "2 DAW" system that Chris and Bos use,
    ( @audiokid @Boswell ) - IMO, there's no real need to spend huge amounts of money on a powerhouse PC that will only ever act as your "mixdown deck". You don't need a blazingly fast processor and maxxed-out RAM for that purpose... certainly, you wouldn't want to use a dinosaur, LOL, but you don't need a PC that is packed with the same power and speed as what your multi track PC requires; because all you are using that second computer for is as a "capture" system... think of it like a 2 track R to R or DAT machine. You just need to be able to capture the audio coming from your main production PC ( think of this as your multitrack tape deck) in a hi res format... at that point, after you've played your mix and captured it onto your 2nd computer in real time, you've got your finished mix. Further processing isn't necessary. You don't need to do anything other than to simply hit "save"... in whatever format you desire.

    The few times I worked with this 2 DAW method, I used an 8 year old laptop, with a dual core 2.5ghz cpu and 4gig of RAM ( actually less RAM than that, because 1.5 gig of RAM was sliced off the top just to run the OS, ( Windows 7), and I used a borrowed Focusrite 2i4 USB to input the audio into the laptop, using SoundForge for the capture software... and it worked fine. No issues whatsoever.

    Now, what I didn't have, is something that I think you should talk more about with Chris ( @audiokid ) ... and that's integrating a monitor controller... pick his brain about the details of this; especially if you're planning on using the 2 DAW system at some point...he's done a lot of research on controllers, and he has some very useful insight on how incorporating one into his production workflow made a substantial difference.
    From what I've been able to gather from reading his various posts on the subject, this turned out to be a crucial link when working with a 2 DAW workflow.

    All IMHO of course...
    kmetal likes this.
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    No there is none.. In fact, some motherboard won't even boot if you don't match it with compatible RAM
    kmetal likes this.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Totally d. Didn't take your thoughts as discouraging at all. Rather a reminder that if in shooting for global online service I need to think beyond mixing rock records style. To open up more into current electronic vsti' and the trends. I listen a lot but like I said a lot of times particularly in mainstream pop and dance, I go wtf was that effect!!

    Elxcellent point about the powerhouse. I did actually research Alienware and PC audiolabs. So I was in the ballpark with things like MOBO and processors, just with more features and higher model components. (Basically the highest model of each mainly psu, MOBO, processor, and ram. I that way my brands and generations were the same, just maxed out. Even doing this left me with a better computer (on paper) for half the price. I think staying inline with them helped ensure comptibilty w current software. Hopefully, lol. As that is really the crucial part. They have the advantage of testing software extensively, and optimizations, BEFORE release

    As far as my current new computer I'm just maxing it out, and is hase the newest generation, chips Ect. Off the shelf lacks a good psu and miniamal ram. And low hard drive space. Fortunately, they advertise this as an easy to upgrade machine so they have that in mind. Only time will tell.
    My goal for it is 2 years as daw, then a very nice mixdown machine, which would possibly double as a dedicated vsti instrument cpu, like many of the scoring guys are doing. This gives me time for saving, and other peices of gear.
    By the time I buy a powerhouse, the component models will have changed, but the price point will likely be similar or rather proportional.
    I can only hope lol. A computer isn't a whim purchase, but for $ 650 I had to buy within a week or not went to $ 750. I did my best to make sure it would work.6th gen Pentium processor (i5, 2.7hhz) and 3 HD bays, and ddr4 memory. All of which the first computer I bought 2 weeks before for $ 350 and brought back, didn't have.
    Burls are a dream for me. I'm stuck w the berringer Ethernet interface when I pick it up, as the car totaling ate my converter/monitor controller budget.
    Fingers crossed lol. Fwiw I made sure I couldn't build a similar computer for less, as the next model up i7 3.2ghz was well into diminishing returns.
    In fact, it was you mentioning you use an off the shelf computer, that gave me hope, as $ 1200+ for the one I specd was 6-12 mo the out of reach. Being daw-less as an engineer didn't feel good, as I moved into working a bit more independently of the studio. Nothing against the studio I love it. But $ 55-75 an hour is a tough sell more moxing and editing. A great deal however for tracking, with amazing rooms and mics I'll not afford for many many years.

    I'm looking more into projects where I can produce singers/songwriters, and indie bands much earlier in the writing and arranging process. Agiain people don't want to try many of those changes full price at the studio. As well as online mixing/video/broadcasting (eventually). The studio just can't afford to keep up with that kinda technology, with 6 macs, and 2 6+ room studios to pay rent and utilities on. It's tough just keeping all those macs up to date and smooth. And needless to say I wasn becoming discouraged with 8 years old CPUs, and older software, with 32bit processing. 15-18 plugs, and 24-25 was chuggin them. NeverMind the constantly newly breaking gear, and it's fixing rotation. Or other engineers being inconsiderate and leaving the studio a mess as far as the cabling and what's supposed to be left hooked up as 'default'
    Tony is an amazing guy, a hell of an engineer, loyal, and brave. He's a great mentor. He's fine with my current business model, and always supported my freelance work. Tis not and end just a new beginning and evolution. The more Buisness I do, the more people I can bring into his place, and I surely will go to no other studios in the area. It's just I need to stay away from Punch clocks and the rate I get there ($ 15) just didn't cut it, even full time, as generous and lucky I am for getting that. Plus the studio has 6 others sharing it, bringing in Buisness as much as they can too. Between the whole team we keep the doors open. But there's just simply no way we could all work full time.
    I anticipated this years ago, just not quite this soon. As the building has a 15year lease max. The landlord has already said when it's up, the studio is coming down.
    A big part of my foray into video is not to make/shoot/edit films, rather to be able to import and align the clients YouTube stuff, and accept sessions from people who need some scoring or advertising work. I did take an entry level course in it in college, about film and camera shooting fundemtnals, and editing Ect in Final Cut Pro. I made a short 5 min surf film, w music, and storyboard. I got an A+.

    You'll notice in my gear lists there aren't outboard pres or compressors, or eqs(which is what I really really want, as it's a hole in most people's collections including the studios). Tracking gear besides a nice stereo pre, is it for a long time. And I'll make due w my 3-4 sm57s and one 414xls. It is what it is I guess.

    Thanks again D, your comments are always well placed and somehow true from all angles. Cheers buddy! Maybe I'll be making mix adjustments via Bluetooth/iPhone from my new car by the end of 2016! Just like you guys did w fm transmitters.

    What's the saying, ametuers borrow professionals steal??? I prefer original but.... Ya know.

    THANKS MARCO! You saved me money. I'm also Lea I got toward the slightly slower ram, as the price difference pays for a power supply. (Corsair ax860). The no digital one. Again o. Your advice from the other thread. Your advice is invaluable!
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Not sure if this is a double post, but this is the computer I got


    Good thing I checked looks like it's on sale for $ 600! Hopefully I can get my $ 50 off, I think their price guarantee is a month. Hope they'll honor my email receipt, the paper copy is gone. Lol always a twist or complication w me.
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Found a nice compromise on RAM too. $ 30 more and a couple points lower on 2 of the latency ratings. Not quite as fast as the expensive one but that one is wayyyy past diminishing returns. This one is a good compromise. A small price increase and a decent little performance boost. Finally settled on the ram stick.

    pcrecord likes this.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    @kmetal @pcrecord

    Just be sure to remember what Marco said about RAM - you have to match the right RAM to your system; if the RAM isn't the type your system requires, it might not physically fit into the slots; and even if it does, and it's not installed in the correct configuration, your system could suffer greatly, and in some cases, your PC might not even boot up.

    I learned that myself on an older computer I had a few years ago... and I learned it the hard way - LOL, when upgrading from 8 gig to 16. I had the right type of RAM, but I installed it incorrectly... IIRC, I think I was trying to save money by using the two 4 gig strips I already had, and then buying just one 8 gig strip; and my PC wouldn't even get past the initial BIOS screen. In the end I had to buy another 8 gig strip. ;)

    If you go here: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/memory-info
    you can have your system scanned, and it will tell you exactly what type and config you need.

  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Nice! Good link. The pin out is the same as far as I know, it is however PC1700, and my stock is PC1600. Stangy I wasn't able to find PC1600 after market sticks. I may if all else fails have To buy from Lenovo directly, I hope, that they only used up 2 slots, and had a 2x8gb configuration, instead of 4x4gb.
    Ripjaws site says they've tested with 'most motherboards' and it's 'widely compatible' but ya know.

    I feel like a 'should be' ok but really want to be sure. The last thing I want is the computer to not turn on or blow up.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Well the plot thickens!!! Got the computer for the $ 599 sale price! $ 50 less than i paid on my b-day two weeks ago, whoohoo!!!!!

    Using the crucial system advisor, and re-looking at the manual for my computer told me I ONLY HAVE 2 RAM SLOTS!!! Wow, huge oversight. The original computer had 4, this one has 2! Man oh man. THANKS D! for the link.

    I'll include some pics, but it looks like my MOBO can handle ddr4- 2133mhz,PC1600 (pc-1700 compatible), and ddr4- 2400, PC4 19200. I will double check with Lenovo tomorrow to make sure it can actually handle the PC-2400.

    Now it gets tricky, for a noob at least I'm going to search more ram manufacturers/suppliers to see if there are even better options but...

    This top one (g.skill, ripjaws V) ddr4-2400 has higher latencies for the first and last numbers, but lower in the middle two numbers. Than the other option.

    The corsair vengeance ddr4-2400 (middle pic) has one point lower on the first rating, but 1 point higher in the middle 2 ratings. It has 4 points lower on the last rating.

    Or yet another option, again corsair vengence, ddr4 2133mhz (pc1700), which has the lowest latency numbers of all three!!!!???? Arrrgh. It the 3rb pic, down at the bottom.

    Lol I've been at this for two hours. This is becoming a brutal learning experience. But hey that's why I spend/buy hypothetically first.

    I am officially confused. I have no idea if these difference are even minutely significant. Also I have no idea which (if any) of those numbers are more important.

    In other words, which ram should I get? Lol @pcrecord and/or @Boswell

    They are the same price, and I'm not gonna invest much more of the budget to ram unless I can see a big diff for a little more. Wtf, lol, I am officially lost.

    -edit- just searched for crucial and Kingston, couldn't find the crucial anywhere but there site and it was $ 250, with no latency specs. Ditto for Kingston.--




    Attached Files:

  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Screenshots from crucial. Basic specs, and compatible ram.


  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Well after 5 calls to Lenovo, I finally got the answer. Supposedly (gonna doubly check again before order) my computer can handle ddr4 2666 (2666 MHz) ram in a 2x16 configuration.

    So I've narrowed it down to 2 models. There is a $ 65 (75% if my calculations are right) difference in price. This doesn't bother me a whole whole lot in the grand scheme. Although the latency differences are better, only by 1 point across the board. Although with the fastest, they don't list the last number.

    Also, I have had the idea of using these stock spare parts, form the computer to make a budget mix machine. Having a 300w power supply and 8 gb of 2133mhz memory should be a good start. I will have a decent software set. So instead of waiting another year or two for a beast machine I'm. Going to make due with what I have. Having the spare parts brand new doing nothing, doesn't seem to maximize the use of what I have. Just thinking aloud here as the idea just crept up.

    Anyway, here are my choices, lol I swear this is the last time I'll ask but what do you guys think? What would you go with? Again cost is a factor, but secondary to performance. If the expected performance is negligeable id strongly consider the cheaper option. Other than that the difference is only a matter of a week or two extra wait time for me to accrue the money. Thanks for all of your help and patience on this! I'm going to decide and that will be final. I've picked the psu already (corsair ax860), and the ssd's (2xSamsung sm 863- OS/sample) and the HDD (Seagate enterprise, forgot model, for audio). The stock hybrid drive will hold my music collection in an external usb 3.0 (5gb/s) case. so it looks like the computer hardware portion of the upgrades is selected, at least enough to fire her up and see what I got goin on!!!! Graphics card and cooling would be my next areas of concern, but I want to hold out to judge noise, and wait till dual display 1k cards hit the market. Yeasaaa!!! @pcrecord @Guelph_Guy @Boswell @DonnyThompson


  19. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'd go with the 2666 but I'm not an expert on ram..
    It always surprises me when they put heat sync on some ram an others with equal performances don't have any.. How hot can a ram chip be ?? ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    That was my thinking too, plus it's cheaper, more money towards software. I actually didn't even realize the other one was 2400. I'm all rammed out I think. The ripjaws is the fastest (lowest latency) rated 2666, in the sub $ 300 price range, as well as the cheapest. Cheaper thAn most of the 2400s too! Also has similar or better than most of the 2400s too! Sold!!!!

    I think they out the heat sinks of for looks mostly from what I've gathered. Gamers have see through cases and actually put serious care into the look of their computer. You can even buy wires in particular colors. It's not my thing but everyone's got something.

    Thanks again Marco!
    pcrecord likes this.

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