How much is enough RAM?
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Aug 20, 2019

I thought I'd be set for a long while with 24 gigs of RAM but things kept on slowing down, especially with both Mac and Windows OS running at the same time via Parallels.

This latest upgrade I'm hoping should now last at least a couple more years!

I'd like to ask though, how much is enough when trying to prepare for whatever is the next minimum specification requirements? For example, as everything is going browser-based cloud, Google Chrome has been the biggest
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I thought I'd be set for a long while with 24 gigs of RAM but things kept on slowing down, especially with both Mac and Windows OS running at the same time via Parallels.

This latest upgrade I'm hoping should now last at least a couple more years!

I'd like to ask though, how much is enough when trying to prepare for whatever is the next minimum specification requirements? For example, as everything is going browser-based cloud, Google Chrome has been the biggest consumer of RAM!

I just got a quote for AUD 650 to upgrade to a 2T SSD drive, which might be the next best improvement!

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 5.43.38 pm


[Edited at 2019-08-20 11:35 GMT]
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Hans Lenting  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2006)
German to Dutch
Safari? Aug 20, 2019

Dylan Jan Hartmann wrote:

For example, as everything is going browser-based cloud, Google Chrome, for example, has been the biggest consumer of RAM!


Do you really need Chrome (e.g. for compatibility/plug-ins)? Isn't Safari less RAM hungry/way better integrated into macOS?

FWIW: I have 32 GB in the same iMac that you have and never suffer from RAM shortage. However, I seldom start Windows (in VMware Fusion, nowadays). (I'm aware that many translators need to run Windows apps.)


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Chrome over many devices Aug 20, 2019

Hans Lenting wrote:

However, I seldom start Windows (in VMware Fusion, nowadays). (I'm aware that many translators need to run Windows apps.)


Parallels was the killer. I have switched to Chrome for compatibility issues when using Safari, and it works well among many devices.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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SITE LOCALIZER
@Dylan Aug 20, 2019

Dylan Jan Hartmann wrote:
I'd like to ask though, how much is enough to when trying to prepare for whatever is the next minimum specification requirements?


As far as I know (but I may be wrong!), most CAT tools are not designed to make use of more RAM if more RAM is available. They will only use as much RAM as they need, and giving them more RAM won't make them faster.

But browsers are a different matter: most modern browsers use a separate process for each tab and even for individual elements on the tab. For example, this page I'm typing on right now consumes 70 MB for the page itself plus 31 MB for a twitter.com subframe and 32 MB for a facebook.com subframe (and they're not even visible to the user!), and they're all separate processes. My browser now has only 15 tabs open (most of them just text), but the Windows Task Manager tells me that Vivialdi has 32 processes, consuming a total of 1.7 GB of RAM.

Microsoft Office doesn't seem to consume a lot of RAM. I recently got a new computer with a much faster processor and faster hard drives, but I decided that 16 GB was enough for me. I remember when I upgraded from 8 GB to 16 GB, I expected Word 2016 to be more responsive (hopefully as responsive as Word 2003 on the same computer), but it remained as sluggish as ever. Now, with my faster processor and faster drives, Trados is about twice as fast (although Wordfast Pro 5 is still the slowest thing ever to crawl upon the earth). Some functions in Word (e.g. certain macros) now also run faster. So I guess that confirms that RAM isn't the big bottleneck anymore.


 

Max Jeremiah  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Member (2019)
German to English
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Go for the SSD Aug 20, 2019

I'd say you have plenty of RAM! If you don't have an SSD with Windows and your CAT software installed on there already, then that's the best gift you can give to your computer.

Do you know if your processor is quad core? If it has fewer than four cores that might be the bottleneck.


Adam Lankamer
 

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
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MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
3.4GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 Aug 20, 2019

Max Jeremiah wrote:

Do you know if your processor is quad core? If it has fewer than four cores that might be the bottleneck.


iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)

3.4GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz)


 

Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:19
Polish to English
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What about memory usage %? Aug 20, 2019

My PC laptop processor is i5-7200, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HD, so nothing special, just a middle standard. Working in Studio 2019 (with this software opened only, no internet), I don't recall occupying more than 6 GB at a time.

For experiment, I have just opened:
Studio with a small text (850 segments)
Firefox browser with two different youtube movies
Chrome browser with one youtube movie

The "search and replace" function in Studio needed n
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My PC laptop processor is i5-7200, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HD, so nothing special, just a middle standard. Working in Studio 2019 (with this software opened only, no internet), I don't recall occupying more than 6 GB at a time.

For experiment, I have just opened:
Studio with a small text (850 segments)
Firefox browser with two different youtube movies
Chrome browser with one youtube movie

The "search and replace" function in Studio needed no longer than 4 seconds to process the most important word (391 instances) in my text. I've not noticed any Studio slow down. The RAM usage reached 7,4 GB.

So, my question is: what do you need as much as 24 GB RAM for? I guess that your issues can be based on the constant conversions between Windows and iMac software. Or maybe using a different browser (not Chrome) would speed up your machine?

I suggest to open the Task Manager (as in PC; no idea how Apple people call it) and check the memory usage by application.

HTH
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Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Everything stays open Aug 20, 2019

I just counted 28 Google Chrome tabs that I always keep open.

Although, here is my current 'activity monitor' screen:

The 48 GB has really made an improvement with how smooth the machine operates, I must admit.

Screen Shot 2019-08-20 at 10.46.54 pm


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:19
Serbian to English
+ ...
How much is enough RAM? The maximum! Aug 20, 2019

If there is any single component on which trying to save money is pointless it's RAM.

Just intall the maximum your motherboard + Operating system combination can take.

Another way of improving speed would be to get a SSD - at least for the paging/swap file.


Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Not so simple: lowest common denominator Aug 21, 2019

It's not only flawed hardware, poor settings, bad timings or degradation and overheating, but also damaged files, software conflicts, and confluence what makes a computer freeze and go sluggish.

Of course, an old noname 450W power unit hardly could provide a stable performance of modern (power-hungry) components. For instance, if one DDR piece is of different brand and it has alternate capacity/timing/SPD (let alone low-voltage/OC), then all the memory pieces--and the system--may wo
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It's not only flawed hardware, poor settings, bad timings or degradation and overheating, but also damaged files, software conflicts, and confluence what makes a computer freeze and go sluggish.

Of course, an old noname 450W power unit hardly could provide a stable performance of modern (power-hungry) components. For instance, if one DDR piece is of different brand and it has alternate capacity/timing/SPD (let alone low-voltage/OC), then all the memory pieces--and the system--may work as the slowest component.

Furthermore, some old-standard parts and outdated peripheries (e.g. USB1/2 gadgets) connected to a cheap controller may slow it down. Also I found that often ultra-modern but mixed multi-band WiFi A/B/G/N/AC having 100% power signal (interfering with other devices) goes stumbling if a single gadget requires a 'compatibility' mode.

Besides even state-of-the-art pieces may be installed or configured to work not as intended.
The same goes about lack of maintenance, what may overheat CPU/video/HDD, throttling down the speed to prevent burning out and early failures.
Why, misuse, poor user settings and bad-coded software also counts)


Unfortunately, I see those hypes and resource-horse x64 trends as mere marketing, because even my old i3/RAM 4GB/HDD 500GB notebook still runs smoothly under Windows 8.1 x32.
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