just brew it! wrote:
You guys are a bad influence. Just what am I going to do with 32 gigs of ram
Unless you're into messing around with VMs or doing photo editing on huge multi-layer high-res images, 16GB really should be enough. But if your mobo supports 32GB, it will make the system feel a lot smoother by allowing the OS to cache pretty much everything you're using at any given time, and completely eliminating the need for the OS to ever hit the pagefile.
These days I consider 8GB to be bare minimum for a new build, and 16GB to be "sweet spot" in terms of cost/performance.
If you just browse the web and don't do VM or content creation, then I would say 16 GB would be fine.
But there are always exceptions:
1. If you do audio composing with orchestral or other sample-based instruments, then 16 GB may be "minimum" and 32 GB may be "sweet spot". For very large orchestral scores, I suggest 64 GB as a minimum; especially if you are running all of your plugins on your local machine. High resolution sample-based instruments can be HUGE; just embarrassingly HUGE, and even bigger when you get a library that has a lot of articulations. The OS+DAW+violin sections 1 and 2 alone with just a handful of articulations might use up a good majority of your 16 GB. And really, what is a score if it doesn't include violas, cellos, stand-up basses (at least two!), woodwinds, a booming brass section, drums and percussion, and of course some electric guitars?
2. If you do any 3D graphic art or animation, be aware that at least one maker recently came out with a new "HD" mesh/morph character set. This is new and is just beginning to hit the market, and I think it will only grow in usage (just like 64 bit software, or the use of PCIe slots, or USB 2 and now 3). These HD meshes have a ridiculously high polygon count, but the detail can bring Hollywood quality to my home-grown cheerleader zombies.
It's easy for a 64 bit computer and 64 bit OS to position this data in memory and keep track of the polys and textures, and all else needed to properly represent pigtails and decaying flesh. Well...if you have acres of RAM, that is. I suggest 64 GB as a minimum.
If you don't do any of this crazy stuff or need to feed or shelter zombies, then 8-16 GB would probably be just fine.