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Topic: How much memory do I really need?

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  1. #1

    How much memory do I really need?

    I have seen several comments that 1GB total memory on a PC is not quite adequate for GPO. I have 1GB on my machine right now, and although I have not encountered any problems yet, I haven't tried any large scores either.

    Here is my question: I can upgrade my machine to 2GB or 3GB. Upgrading to 3GB costs more than twice as much as upgrading to 2GB, because the larger memory modules are more expensive per unit of memory.

    On the surface, then, it would appear that 2GB is the way to go. Unfortunately, if I upgrade to 2GB, I use up all the memory slots in the machine, and I then cannot upgrade to 3GB unless I discard some of the memory that's already there. So if I am going to need to go to 3GB in the near future, I should do it now.

    So my question to the more experienced GPOers out there: If I go to 2GB, am I likely to regret not going to 3?

  2. #2

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    I'm still on 1 GB, and doing well, even with complete orchestral scores. I sometimes have to "freeze" a few tracks in Sonar, but if I'm using only GPO even that is rare.

    I think 2 GB should be plenty for almost all musical applications (on a PC), depending on how clean you keep your system. Of course more memory is always more fun, but I wouldn't sweat 2 GB as being insufficient at all.

    I'm going to be getting a brand new DAW-only machine at some point in the near future, and will probably just go with 2 myself.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    I have the same problem. 1 GB is just not enough for a symphonic setup. I tried that yesterday. In Finale 06 I could just squeeze 64 instruments in with DFD activated and buffersizes at a bare minimum. 44 MB was all that was left unused - this is not going to work in the long run, I think. One more GB right now would not crush my piggybank, and a total of 2 GB should be enough for GPO. But what about GPOA? Will 2 GB be enough? If it ain't, then 2 additional 512 MB sticks now would be a waste of money, since there would not be any more vacant slots.

    So if anybody has the slightest idea about the RAM requirements of GPOA, please speak up now or remain silent for ever

  4. #4
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    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Unless you're running 64 bit, I don't believe you can utilize more than 2GB of memory. I currently have 1GB, and wish I had more, but my PC doesn't support it, so it will have to wait until I get a new DAW. I can't currently load anything like the entire GPO, but since I'm just playing one track at a time, I can live with it for now by bouncing and freezing in Sonar, and converting midi to audio as I go along.

    If you can upgrade, by all means get as much as your rig supports.

    Regards,

    Michael

  5. #5

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Windows XP will support up to 4GB, though if you use 4GB some of it is inaccessable because of being overlaid by devices.

    I would guess that no single process can be more than 2GB on a 32-bit machine. However, if you're running GPO together with something like Sonar that presumably can use lots of memory for audio samples, or if you are running GPO and JABB together (Can one do this? I don't really know), there would be no problem using more than 2 GB.

    On the other hand, right now Task Manager tells me that of my 1GB, a smidge more than half of that is currently unused. So adding another 1GB of memory would triple the amount of free memory, and adding another 2GB would multiply it by 5.

    So far it sounds like 2GB is likely to be more than adequate, and 3GB would be luxurious...

  6. #6

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Windows XP supports 4 (or close to 4) GB - I can't remember the exact number. For me, the question is more like: what does my piggybank support. Sonar, Kontakt 2 and GPOA are also on my wishlist, so setting priorities is a sad fact of life.

  7. #7

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie Fønshauge
    Windows XP supports 4 (or close to 4) GB - I can't remember the exact number. For me, the question is more like: what does my piggybank support. Sonar, Kontakt 2 and GPOA are also on my wishlist, so setting priorities is a sad fact of life.
    To put things in perspective: For my computer, an additional 1GB is $128; an additional 2GB is $288. So Kontakt 2 is more expensive than either memory upgrade. However, I hate to spend that extra $160 for the third GB if I don't need it, and would hate even worse to have to throw away $128 worth of memory if I did wind up needing it.

  8. #8

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Make sure your motherboard supports 3gb. Sometimes you can't put over a 1gb RAM chip into a single slot. I'm getting a new DAW soon (been talking about it for around four months--eventually it'll happen) and it'll have 3 1gb chips (I'll be running Gigastudio too). Just about every motherboard I looked at had a limit to 1gb per slot. Make sure your motherboard can handle the 2gb chip.

    I currently have 1 gb and it works fine with GPO. I can have a pretty good sized orchestra if I close all background applications. Adding a harp or pipe organ (forget the piano )is really pushing it, so I just use the Cakewalk TTS-1 for those. It doesn't sound that great, but it gives me a good general idea of what I'm writing. Of course, you can just freeze and unfreeze synths if you use Sonar. That works very well! A great feature!

    -Chris

  9. #9

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Koenig
    However, I hate to spend that extra $160 for the third GB if I don't need it, and would hate even worse to have to throw away $128 worth of memory if I did wind up needing it.
    Exactly my concern.

    BTW, my motherboard has 4 slots, two of which are occupied by 512 MB sticks, so I won't be needing 2 GB sticks.

  10. #10

    Re: How much memory do I really need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie Fønshauge
    Exactly my concern.

    BTW, my motherboard has 4 slots, two of which are occupied by 512 MB sticks, so I won't be needing 2 GB sticks.
    Ditto for mine. So I can buy two more 512MB sticks or two 1GB sticks. I have to buy two, and they have to be the same size (but the two pairs can be different sizes).

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