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Do I need 16GB of RAM?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Do I need 16GB of RAM?
I recently got a Mac Mini 2012 and am running OS10.12 with Ableton and switching to Bitwig for next project.

Most of my sound sources are hardware and I use around 16 audio channels in the DAW , with one or two plugins on each (eq and compression) and a few FX plugins.

I'm running with 8GB RAM currently and really want to run at 64 samples buffer size. This gives me around 35% CPU consumption but I'm getting audio crackles (24bit @ 44.1KHz).

I would have to buy 2 x 8GB RAM chips as the Mac has both slots taken by 2x 4GB chips currently.

Is it worth it- will it solve the buffer issue?
It might but that's usually a cpu limitation you're running into (you didn't mention what plugins you're using). It'll help in other ways though. MacOS itself will run smoother with it.
You can check your RAM usage in Activity Monitor. If you are maxing it out, buy more RAM. Based on the info you provided, I highly doubt this will be the case.

The CPUs built into the 2012 MacMinis will struggle with even modest projects at 64 samples. The i5 is pretty much unusable by today’s standards, and the i7 should be given some breathing room (definitely not just 64 samples).

The CPU load of 35% might refer to all cores/threads. However, each signal path needs to be calculated in a single thread and with a 64 sample buffer size there is not much time to complete all calculations.
OK , thanks. It's an i7 machine.

I want 64 samples audio buffer because it makes the whole MIDI + audio mix much tighter and more responsive and saves me from having to dish out 450 euros for an ERM multiclock..

I guess the solution for now is to bounce down and / freeze tracks or use fewer plugins...
2x8 ram will probably cost you 1/3 of that macmini price..
So whether it is worth it, you can only answer that.
I'd be suprised though if it helps with buffer size.

Can you lower the buffer size in one/two track projects without issues?
Panason wrote:
Is it worth it- will it solve the buffer issue?

No, extra memory will not solve your buffer size issue. CPU speed, audio driver type, audio interface type, communication protocol, hard drive type and speed, etc. all impact the latency of your audio path. Your MAC mini may not be able to keep up with the demands of a 64 sample buffer size.

Which audio interface are you using?
Are you using the latest ASIO drivers for your device?
Which protocol does your interface use to communicate with your MAC (USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt)
If it's USB, which version? are you sharing the USB ports with any other devices?
I'm able to get down to 64 samples (24bit, 48k) w/o issue on my 2012 i7 MBP. Probably didn't make a difference that I just upped the RAM but that and this new SSD I installed and this fucker is flying. Interface is Aurora Lynx 16 connected via Thunderbolt.

It might be worth mentioning that the Lynx is the smoothest and most reliable interface I've used and I've had lots of 'em. RME was also nice but didn't have the i/o I needed.
64 samples with a 2012 macmini ? No ( but i´m totally no computer expert !)
( just that i fight with the same problem) i also use a 2012 mini.

the whole architecture is way slower than modern machines.
Ram bus speed for example, beside the CPU and its architecture.

for small buffer sizes is btw. the max CPU speed VERY important ( vs. more cores)

i´d consider 128 samples buffer as very small on that machine. ( i have the fastest 2012 mini / also 8MB)
i mostoften need to go up to 1024 samples, doe to heavy FX use.
......only one audio/vst instrument track running lol
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