How much Ram do I really need.

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
How much Ram do I really need.

I am an amateur level artist using a Dell Inspiron N5050 (i3 processor, integrated HD3000 graphics and 6gigs of ram.) and am currently unable to finish my scenes due to hardware limitations. Because of this I am buying a Dell Precision M6600 mobile workstation. (i7 processor and a Quadro 4000M graphics card).

My only question is how much ram should I get? It has 4 so-dimm slots. I have the ability to buy up to 32 gigs of ram. But do I really need that much?
Old 04 April 2013   #2
If I were to build a new machine right now I'd put 32GB of memory in it. Memory is cheap these days so it's hard to come up with a good reason not to. Something to keep in mind though, just because there are more resources available doesn't mean things don't have to be optimized. Getting in the habit of always working efficiently regardless of what resources are available is a good thing!
Old 04 April 2013   #3
If you render with a memory hungry engine or run intense enough fluid sims, yeah, 32GB are a blessing (assuming apps and OS will make good use of it).

If absolutely strapped for cash and already at the limit, you can consider 16 and leave two slots empty, but the issue with that is that dell might very well fill all banks with cheaper, smaller modules instead of just two with 8GB modules (most likely, they will), making an eventual future upgrade more expensive than needed.

All in all more ram never does any harm, whether you need more than 16GB or not, only you can now, personally I hardly ever manage to get anywhere near capping my 18GB unless I'm running several (more than needed) apps at once and/or several virtual machines, and for a while I was fine even with 6GB (but not doing any rendering or sims at that time).
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Old 04 April 2013   #4
I thank you both for your speedy reply.

Seeing as I do use fluid and particle simulations quite often, I think I will buy that 32 gigs of ram. I have also discovered that buying ram from Dell would be a huge mistake. They are charging a ridiculous amount of money (about $500 for 16 gigs.) for something you can buy at New Egg ,or even Best Buy for that matter, for about $80 (2X 8 gigs). So I will most definatly be buying the mobile workstation with only 2 gigs of ram and buying the 32 gigs of ram else where.

Your help is much appreciated.
Old 04 April 2013   #5
Thinking about getting 32 gb myself. Does the speed of the ram matter much?

Thinking about picking this one up:
Old 04 April 2013   #6
From what I have heard the difference between DDR3 1333 and DDR3 1660 isn't very much. I've been told as long as its DDR3 you should be fine.

The link you supplied took us to the site but not to the ram you were implying. Try checking New-Egg. They have nice selection and very nice prices.
Old 04 April 2013   #7
Weird link works for me. It was this ram:

Corsair Vengeance Black CMZ32GX3M4X1600C10 32GB 4X8GB DDR3-1600 CL10 1.5V Quad Channel Memory Kit
Old 04 April 2013   #8
here's a good overview...

I can sum up an answer in 3 words: "not so much"

they're comparing theoretical speeds to the nanosecond difference... 1 billionth of a second.. lol, i mean really. I could see where billions of calculations being performed on random memory over the course of days may make a few minute difference.. (perhaps?), but... not a concern of mine.
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Last edited by tswalk : 04 April 2013 at 09:14 PM.
Old 04 April 2013   #9
Originally Posted by SheepFactory: Thinking about getting 32 gb myself. Does the speed of the ram matter much?

Thinking about picking this one up:

In Short, and in the context of what we do, hardly at all, I would argue not at all outside of benchmarks.
If you don't overclock get whatever you want to get as long as it suits the CPU/Mobo.

The difference between very aggressively timed RAM and sloppy one is practically nothing, and the clock itself, unless you plan to overclock or undervolt, only needs to match the CPU.

I'd pick ram based on price and heatsinks (if you fill all the slots and you have a tight case it can get pretty hot) before I'd do on max frequency.
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Old 04 April 2013   #10
Thanks for the advice, I will probably go with the one I linked.
Old 04 April 2013   #11
Originally Posted by SheepFactory: Thanks for the advice, I will probably go with the one I linked.

I have 12GB of vengeance (mixed with 6 of MMX3, which took some fiddling with the timing to get to behave together).

It's very good value for money, although not the coolest running if you have space/heat problems, but I could undervolt it with no issue once it was slowed down to match the MMX3 timing.

Link worked for me.
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Old 04 April 2013   #12
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