Is 16 GB ram enough?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by jephotog, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. I am building a pc for photo editing, after years of just using my laptop. I am thinking of starting off with 16 G of ram. But wondering if I
    might want more down the road. If so I would star out with 2 sticks of 8 instead of 4x4.
  2. Here is some more info.

    I shoot with a Canon 7D, and do some HDR and pano stitching, so can potentially be working with some huge files,
  3. I would do nothing less, but 32 gig is a good place to start with a desktop these days. I have 12 gigs of ram on my PC and have no problems.
  4. lwg


    16GB is probably enough, but I would leave the option for more. I'm back down to using 16GB on a MacBook Pro. I miss the 24GB I had on the older Mac Pro when working on large scans. Other than that 16GB works fine, even with many D800 files open in Photoshop at once.
  5. 16 GB made of 2x 8GB, though if budget allows, just put in the 32GB right away (since my casing is a small design casing, I did not want the hassle, so I went straight away for 32GB).
    Do take note, though that some versions of Windows (in case you use it) are artificially limited to 16GB of memory - so it's worth checking first if your planned version supports all the memory.
  6. 16GB works for me. In addition, my ASUS Desktop PC CM6870 uses an Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40 GHz. The video card is a 3 GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 640.
  7. 16 probably fine, but plan for future expansion.
  8. It may be an idea to just to check your chosen mother board can support 32gig of ram and if it can. check it can run it at full speed.. my old AMD socket A could support 3 gig at pc2700 or 2 gig at at pc 3200..
  9. Again, it all depends on what you want to do. If you're just editing a simple photo, not created large number of layers, 16GB will be fine.
    I was like that, doing simple work, and had 12GB of memory, was happy and content, then I started doing HDR, things slowed down, then I started doing panorama pics made up of 18-25 pics, things slowed down even more, eventually, I started doing HDR panorama pics, and my computer ground to a halt
    My current PC, I just decided to go for it and max it out, just to 'end the argument' or stop piecemeal upgrades
    Intel I7-3930K 3.2Ghz - 6 cores / 12 threads
    64GB Memory
    500GB SSD boot drive
    500GB SSD drive used for Lightroom catalog and previews
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 uses for co-processing
    Some larger Panoramas:
  10. Generally, 16GB will be enough. If you specialize in panoramas and like to stitch together 6 huge tiff files, then more might be needed. 16GB will handle the occasional pano and/or multi-shot HDRs.
    I'd go SS for your HD, but go external for you the bulk storage, rather than internal. Also, try to include and off-site back-up.
  11. stp


    I'm using 8 GB on my MacBook Pro. I sometimes stitch 4-5 medium format tif files with it, and I use Nik software to do HDRs with 3-7 original photos. I also do stacks with 7-8 different focus points. All of this involves tif files derived from both "35mm" and medium format (40 mp) raw files.
  12. I am using an iMac quad core with 12 gb. I use both Photoshop CS6 and Aperture and I have no significant problems. As files get larger with larger camera sensors I will most likely have to get more but for the time being I am good.
  13. If it is not cost prohibitive, I would recommend 32 GB. I use a HP DL160 G6 server as my Photoshop workstation with 96 GB of memory. My previous Intel motherboard system with 8 GB of memory didn't cut it, as saving a 4x5 film scan file often took 20 minutes.
  14. I have 16 GB on my MacBook Pro Retina Display and don't seem to have too much problem. I use it to edit Final Cut Pro X plus D800 (36 megapixal images) on a regular basis.
    BUT, my rule of thumb is to purchase the most that I can afford at the time based on the concept software needs will continue to increase and in time what I have purchased today will not be sufficient in a few years.
  15. I have 16GB on my 17" MacBook Pro (which is the most it supports--however, if it supported 32GB, I would've installed 32GB). I run Aperture, and DxO Optics Pro Elite for editing Nikon D800E RAW files, and everything seems to run pretty fast (my memory monitor always shows a healthy surplus). So, generally speaking, I think 16GB is "enough."
    However, it may be more economical to buy 32GB now (more is always better), rather than possibly have to throw away two 8GB sticks later, should you decide to replace them with larger sticks in the future. This all depends on how many DIMM slots are on your motherboard, and how they need to be populated (e.g., if you have four DIMM slots, you may be able to populate two with 8GB sticks, and the other two with 16GB sticks--check with your motherboard's manual to confirm its DIMM requirements).
    You also need to check the maximum RAM your particular motherboard supports. While most max out at 32GB; some higher-end motherboards will support up to 64GB. So you need to check both the number of available DIMM slots, and maximum GB supported.
    As far as operating systems, note that 32-bit Windows7/8 only support up to 4GB (Windows7 Starter, only 2GB; however, 64-bit Win7 supports up to 192GB; 64-bit Windows 8 supports 128-512GB, depending on version). Check this MSDN sheet for further details, and for information on additional Windows operating systems:
  16. Also, keep in mind that your software may be more dependent on processor speed rather than RAM memory. With DxO Optics Pro, 8GB or Ram and a 3.2 MHz processor will likely be much faster than a 1.6 MHz processor and 16GB or Ram. Also, if your software is enabled to work with OpenCL, then a higher end graphics card might add more speed. It's not going to be the same with all software.

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