RAM upgrade from 8 to 16 GB?

virbing

New member
Quick question,

I have been running VideoRedo on a Mac Mini 2011 (in Windows 10 BootCamp, of course) with 8GB of RAM and things have been working great. It’s pretty cheap to move up to a used 2012 model with the next gen Ivy Bridge i5 processor & more importantly USB3 ports (since I am running an external USB3 RAID.) With the upgraded machine, is it worth going to 16 GB of RAM? Will I see any performance gains? I am not sure extra RAM is going to make a difference since the only app I am typically running on is VideoRedo but I figured I might as well check about upgrading when swapping up if it makes sense.

Thanks,

Ben

Also, thanks for fixing the QuickSync issue - I never had a chance to reply but the new bet totally fixed that issue.
 

musicvid

Member
Direct performance gain? Maybe not so much...
Better handling of buffers and virtual memory management? Quite possibly.
 

Otter

Member
Would not expect any gain with 16 GB & VRD at all.
Running a single instance of VRD doing a 2-pass software recode, my rig only uses 4.8GB total memory out of 16GB. Of that 4.8GB, almost all is Win10 or loaded programs. What VRD is actively using is 300-400 MB for the program itself and 150-300 MB for the data processing and swapping. Can do 2 instances of VRD at once and still keep under 7GB memory in use.
Having large amounts of memory gets much talk, but only a few uses can actually benefit (gaming, photo editing, etc.)

If you have limited cash to spend:
- Buy a PC! - Apple uses the same hardware inside but charges 2-3 times for it. VRD runs no better on OS than on Windows.
- Spend it on your storage sub-systems by getting a MB with NVME slots and a fast NVME drive. (Could also put NVME in USB3 housing and still beat SATA speeds)
- Get the fastest processor you can afford - VRD can use all 12 cores/24 threads of my Ryzen.
- Could also get a NVidia Turing graphics and switch to GPU/HW recoding - it has a few quirks, but is very fast and does good overall with quality.
 
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virbing

New member
Would not expect any gain with 16 GB & VRD at all.
Running a single instance of VRD doing a 2-pass software recode, my rig only uses 4.8GB total memory out of 16GB. Of that 4.8GB, almost all is Win10 or loaded programs. What VRD is actively using is 300-400 MB for the program itself and 150-300 MB for the data processing and swapping. Can do 2 instances of VRD at once and still keep under 7GB memory in use.
Having large amounts of memory gets much talk, but only a few uses can actually benefit (gaming, photo editing, etc.)

If you have limited cash to spend:
- Buy a PC! - Apple uses the same hardware inside but charges 2-3 times for it. VRD runs no better on OS than on Windows.
- Spend it on your storage sub-systems by getting a MB with NVME slots and a fast NVME drive. (Could also put NVME in USB3 housing and still beat SATA speeds)
- Get the fastest processor you can afford - VRD can use all 12 cores/24 threads of my Ryzen.
- Could also get a NVidia Turing graphics and switch to GPU/HW recoding - it has a few quirks, but is very fast and does good overall with quality.
Thanks. I am paying under $200 for a used MacMini 2012 running an i5 ivy-bridge and I’ll argue that Apple hardware does a better job or running Windows than many PCs. I agree that a higher performance processor would be advantageous - I was looking for the i7 version of the MacMini 2012 but they are harder to find and pricier - and a Ryzen 12 core processor alone would be about 2 to 3 times the cost of the whole computer. Truth is that my workflow is to sit down and edit (mostly removing commercials) a whole bunch of content that I have recorded with my Silicon Dust HDHomeruns and then just batch them and let them run in the background. What I am mostly interested in is increasing the response during the editing process, not during the encode. I’m a Mac guy and not only will the Mac Mini run the most current Catalina OSX system for other functions, but I also haven’t found anything in Windows that can write metadata like Subler and I am also doing all my media serving through iTunes. In my current MacMini, I have been using an SSD for the OS and my external storage is a a RAID0 so moving up front my current 2011 to a 2012 will give me USB3 transfers to my RAID.

I didn’t think that upgrading RAM would have much of an impact but since I will likely be transferring my SSD to the MacMini 2012, I figured I would check since I will already have the hardware open.

Regards,

Ben
 

musicvid

Member
What I am mostly interested in is increasing the response during the editing process, not during the encode.
Adding more RAM may reduce lagging during editing, but don't expect a huge gain.

What you really need to focus on is a unit with a beefier CPU. Since you are on a budget, an i7 4th Gen would be the minimum. Your 3rd Gen i5 isn't even a contender. And more RAM.
 

virbing

New member
Adding more RAM may reduce lagging during editing, but don't expect a huge gain.

What you really need to focus on is a unit with a beefier CPU. Since you are on a budget, an i7 4th Gen would be the minimum. Your 3rd Gen i5 isn't even a contender. And more RAM.
I’m confused because at first you say to not expect huge gain from adding RAM, and then you end with saying add more RAM.

Fwiw, I am currently running on a 2nd Gen i5 (MacMini 2011) and things are running fine even though I am recoding everything from ts to mp4. And most of my re-encodes are of existing programming of 23, 46, and 120 minute HD files. Maybe it’s because I am running on Apple hardware instead of PC hardware. 😀

Upgrading my hardware is primarily because it looks like an extremely low cost (under $200 less whatever I can get for selling my current hardware) way to increase performance. I am expecting increased HDD throughput from going to USB2 to USB3 out to my RAID. I didn’t think upgrading RAM would have much of an effect, but as I mentioned since I am moving up, I thought I would ask.
 

Dan203

Senior Developer
Staff member
It depends on what you're doing. RAM might help for navigating the file in the UI, especially for 4K files but is unlikely to help with output. Output is either CPU limited if you're recoding, or disk limited if you're doing a smart edit. If you're doing smart edit the easiest way to increase speed is to add a second disk and put the source file and the output file onto different disks.
 

Danr

Administrator
Staff member
The basic functionality will use up to 3GB of RAM and much, much less than that. Extra RAM can be used by VRD in the following instances:

1. Windows will use unused RAM to cache large files. This can speed up navigation. We have no control over this (other than to totally disable it which we don't do).

2. VRD will use more RAM when encoding H264 or HEVC video. I've seen 4K encodes consume up to about 7 GB of memory. This is influenced by the number of physical cores / threads that your processor has. The more that they have the more memory is allocated.

3. VRD will cache decoded frames to make navigation faster. This generally works better on H264 and HEVC files that have large GOP sizes. You can set the size of the frame cache on the Tools>Options>H264 page. For HD video each frame takes 3.5 MB, got 1,000 frames = 3.5 GB. For 4K video, each frame takes 12MB so 1,000 frames = 12.5 GB.
 

musicvid

Member
I’m confused because at first you say to not expect huge gain from adding RAM, and then you end with saying add more RAM.
Not confusing in the least, if you will but take my points in sequential order. So, in plain English:

1. CPU
2. RAM


Nothing more confusing than that....
 

Danr

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with virbing. If you already have 8 GB of RAM more / faster CPU will give you a bigger payoff than RAM. If you have less than 8 GB of RAM, and work with H264 or HEVC files then bumping RAM to 8 GB would be better. If you work primarily with MPEG2 files, then 4 GB is is tipping point.
 
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