How much RAM do I need to edit video?


TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
When talking to video editors who are looking to get into editing for the first time, one of the questions I’m asked most is, “how much RAM should I have?”

First of all let me explain what RAM is and what is does.

RAM (or Random Access Memory) provides space for your computer to read and write data to be accessed by the CPU (central processing unit). If you add more RAM to your computer, you reduce the number of times your computer must read data from your hard disk. This usually allows your computer to work considerably faster, really increasing the speed at which you can render video projects or test out effects and plugins. RAM is many times faster than a hard disk.

So it makes sense just to add as much RAM as your computer can handle… right?

Well no, not always. Many people don’t realize that many of the editing programs out there which run in 32-bit mode, such as Final Cut Pro 7 and earlier versions of Avid, Edius and Premiere can only handle 4GB of RAM, so whether you had 8GB or 16GB of RAM, it really wouldn’t enhance the speed of your project at all.

Newer 64-bit versions of these programs such as Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CS5 can handle an ‘unlimited’ amount of RAM, which can really speed up the editing process. However it’s worth noting you can only run 64-bit applications if you have Windows 7 64-bit, or Mac OSX Snow Leopard or higher. (Final Cut Pro X now recommends a minimum of 4GB of RAM to run well, so it really is worth investing a bit into RAM.)

Once you’ve upgraded to the latest operating system, upgraded your RAM and brought the 64-bit versions of your favorite editing programs, you’ll notice several advantages:
You can render much larger projects and effects—for preview and for final output—with larger frame sizes and larger source files.
RAM previews can be much longer.
You can work with higher colour bit depths without encountering memory limitations.
Exporting and compiling video is much faster.

I’m not sure how much RAM my computer can handle?
Fear not, a company I often recommend are Crucial. (http://www.crucial.com/uk/) They not only offer low cost RAM upgrades, but also have detection software, which can tell you not only how much RAM you have installed in your computer, but also how much your computer can handle. (Most hardware will have some kind of limit, so it’s worth checking out before upgrading.)

What’s your experience been like with RAM upgrades, and what ever things have you done to speed up your editing process? Tweet me at @editorskeys


Tags: ram | editing | iss062 | final cut pro | premiere | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

    Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

  • IDT O10 Camera at BVE 2017

    IDT O10 Camera at BVE 2017

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

    Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

  • Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

    Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

  • FOR-A at IBC2011

    FOR-A at IBC2011

  • ATTO Technology at IBC2011

    ATTO Technology at IBC2011

  • Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

    Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Editors Keys at NAB 2014

    Editors Keys at NAB 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Dalet at NAB 2013

    Dalet at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • Avid at BVE North 2011

    Avid at BVE North 2011

  • Chyron at BVE 2012

    Chyron at BVE 2012

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE

    Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE


Articles
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF
Grading BBC Sounds
Simone Grattarola

The BBC has launched its new personalised music, radio and podcast app with a campaign that follows one listener’s journey from meeting Kylie Minogue in a lift to Idris Elba on a bus. 

BBC Sounds offers a single home for the BBC’s thousands of hours of audio content, including live and on-demand shows and special music mixes curated by artists.

BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative division, took the brief to agency Riff Raff Films and Megaforce directing duo of Charles Brisgand and Raphaël Rodriguez who in turn brought on board regular collaborators Time Based Arts.

Tags: iss135 | bbc | grading | bbc sounds | davinici | resolve | blackmagic | editing | Simone Grattarola
Contributing Author Simone Grattarola Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF