Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
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Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

I have a 2.2ghz intel core 2 duo. It currently has 4 gb of ddr3. I keep maxing out the cpu on my projects before I'm satisfied with them. No matter how efficient I try to be. Was thinking of replacing the 2gb stick with a 4gb, but will it make much of a difference?

I'm aware btw that cpu is not memory hah, but still

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

No.

it'll do literally nothing at all if you're not running 64 bit, also.

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:07 AM   #3
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

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Originally Posted by ghyt wembpang View Post
No.

it'll do literally nothing at all if you're not running 64 bit, also.
I am running 64 bit. So will it do anything in that case?

edit: luckily I have already come to terms with the possibility that my laptop is not going to cut it anymore
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

It will have a bit of an effect probably but if it's CPU that's holding you back it won't help.

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Old 05-06-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

2.2 GHZ is not bad.

You might want to add more RAM and switch to 64-bit.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

most of the issue is with your processor speed and HD reading speed, increase those and you increase your RAM's ability to help.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

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Originally Posted by mischjok View Post
2.2 GHZ is not bad.

You might want to add more RAM and switch to 64-bit.
I already have 64 bit
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

Live is 32 bit

adding RAM beyond 4 gigs will do literally nothing, no matter what OS you're running
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:31 PM   #9
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

OP: Just curious - with your set that's crashing: How many VST's / VSTi's are you using?
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

Id also ask "which" VSTs he is running. Lives native plugins dont really use that much memory. Having MAX devices loaded into projects can make things riskier.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scyn View Post
OP: Just curious - with your set that's crashing: How many VST's / VSTi's are you using?
I have taken notice which ones are cpu hogs, but some have just become important parts of my workflow. I use quite a few between processing plugins, effects, synths etc. But I have gone through projects before deleting one at a time to find the worst and none were all that bad. The worst probably being fm8 and a couple from sonnox

I guess if I don't want my creative process to be hindered, I need a new laptop. For now I can make due, I mean, it still gets the job done, just not as smoothly as I would like.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischjok View Post
2.2 GHZ is not bad.

You might want to add more RAM and switch to 64-bit.
adding more ram won't help with live, because live is 32bit only and can't access more memory anyways.

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #13
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton?

Yeah as said before, Live won't utilize more than 4 gigs of ram. I guess you could make sure your ram is top-of-the-line stuff? but other than that, the most powerful upgrade will be your cpu. They're on the 3rd gen of i7s now? Those things should get everything running very smoothly
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

Won't the vst's profit from the extra ram?

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #15
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

nope, you can't load 64 bit VSTs in a 32 bit DAW without a 32 bit bridge
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:15 AM   #16
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

ughh....I guess this is the reality of computers. Soon as you fall in love with the one you have, it becomes obsolete. It's not even that I'm attached to this one so much, its that I'm sure getting everything back the way I want it on a new one will be a major headache.

.......first world problems. Thanks for the help anyway guys

Edit: that being said, I7's are sexy

Last edited by Deep Dose; 06-06-2012 at 01:18 AM..
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:53 PM   #17
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lebeux View Post
nope, you can't load 64 bit VSTs in a 32 bit DAW without a 32 bit bridge
Can a vst only access the memory through the DAW (restricted to 4Gb) or can every vst use their own memory?
That could help if you would have a couple heavy ones.

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Old 15-06-2012, 09:12 PM   #18
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

Good question about the VSTs - I don't know these things, but I do know that while ableton itself will only utilize 4gb RAM, your entire system running ableton + everything in the background can easily utilize more than 4gb.
You might want to get a 4gb stick to use 6gb, but if its ddr2 its going to be frikkin expensive. 2x4gb should only cost 35$ or so.

If you're using a lot of samples though, you may want to upgrade your hard drive to a faster 7200 rpm drive or a SSD.

You may be able to replace your DVD drive with a caddy and a SSD, since you probably don't want to drop close to 500$ for a SSD close to the size of your current hard disk.
Quick lesson on ODD>HDD caddies to add a 2nd hard drive, there are basically 4 types. There is IDE/PATA and SATA, and then there is the thickness which is 12.7mm or 9.5mm
These will run you about 15$ on Ebay, with a PC laptop it should be pretty easy to figure out what type you have and install one. With a macbook you probably don't want to bother with complete disassembly and removing a slot load ODD but it can probably still work.
IDE/PATA interface is slower and not worth it for speed, so you'd want a HDD in the caddy for storage and a SSD as your primary for booting and samples.

You can tell the drive is too slow with live because there is a square with a D in the upper right hand corner that turns orange.

Upgrading a laptop can depend a lot on it NOT being a mac, but in general for the Core 2 architecture there is the pm965 chipset with 800mhz FSB and ddr2 and the newer pm45 chipset which supports some newer processors and usually ddr3.

If your sure your processor is slowing up your music production, it can be very cost effective to upgrade your core 2 duo. All you need to do is download a program like CPU-Z or HWinfo (check your temps while your at it) and find out if you have pm45/gm45 or pm965/gm965. If you have the 45 chipset, you can upgrade to a 2.8ghz CPU for 60$
[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

If you have 965 you are in a worse position and could get a t9300 or t9500 2.66ghz at a higher price. Probably not worth it.

If you've noticed your processor slowing things down it could also be throttling due to heat. You should always check your temperatures and clockrates with something like HWinfo especially while using ableton. You'll be able to see if its reaching maybe 80c and clocking down to 1.2ghz.
If this is happening you should clean out your cooling system, consider repasting the CPU with new thermal paste, and then use ThrottleStop to stop the throttling.

A note on the newest i5/i7 laptop processors: If your considering a new lightweight laptop, you'll have to look further than the processor specs to know how fast it will be in reality. These processors have very aggressive throttling, so the speed will depend on the cooling system. Many lightweight laptops basically have gimped cooling systems and processors that run too hot and too slow because of this new throttling implementation by intel.


Last edited by crackmontage; 15-06-2012 at 09:16 PM..

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Old 18-06-2012, 06:59 AM   #19
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Re: Does more memory alone actually help with Ableton Live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackmontage View Post
Good question about the VSTs - I don't know these things, but I do know that while ableton itself will only utilize 4gb RAM, your entire system running ableton + everything in the background can easily utilize more than 4gb.
You might want to get a 4gb stick to use 6gb, but if its ddr2 its going to be frikkin expensive. 2x4gb should only cost 35$ or so.

If you're using a lot of samples though, you may want to upgrade your hard drive to a faster 7200 rpm drive or a SSD.

You may be able to replace your DVD drive with a caddy and a SSD, since you probably don't want to drop close to 500$ for a SSD close to the size of your current hard disk.
Quick lesson on ODD>HDD caddies to add a 2nd hard drive, there are basically 4 types. There is IDE/PATA and SATA, and then there is the thickness which is 12.7mm or 9.5mm
These will run you about 15$ on Ebay, with a PC laptop it should be pretty easy to figure out what type you have and install one. With a macbook you probably don't want to bother with complete disassembly and removing a slot load ODD but it can probably still work.
IDE/PATA interface is slower and not worth it for speed, so you'd want a HDD in the caddy for storage and a SSD as your primary for booting and samples.

You can tell the drive is too slow with live because there is a square with a D in the upper right hand corner that turns orange.

Upgrading a laptop can depend a lot on it NOT being a mac, but in general for the Core 2 architecture there is the pm965 chipset with 800mhz FSB and ddr2 and the newer pm45 chipset which supports some newer processors and usually ddr3.

If your sure your processor is slowing up your music production, it can be very cost effective to upgrade your core 2 duo. All you need to do is download a program like CPU-Z or HWinfo (check your temps while your at it) and find out if you have pm45/gm45 or pm965/gm965. If you have the 45 chipset, you can upgrade to a 2.8ghz CPU for 60$
[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

If you have 965 you are in a worse position and could get a t9300 or t9500 2.66ghz at a higher price. Probably not worth it.

If you've noticed your processor slowing things down it could also be throttling due to heat. You should always check your temperatures and clockrates with something like HWinfo especially while using ableton. You'll be able to see if its reaching maybe 80c and clocking down to 1.2ghz.
If this is happening you should clean out your cooling system, consider repasting the CPU with new thermal paste, and then use ThrottleStop to stop the throttling.

A note on the newest i5/i7 laptop processors: If your considering a new lightweight laptop, you'll have to look further than the processor specs to know how fast it will be in reality. These processors have very aggressive throttling, so the speed will depend on the cooling system. Many lightweight laptops basically have gimped cooling systems and processors that run too hot and too slow because of this new throttling implementation by intel.

hey man, some top notch info there. Thanks a lot. Definitely a good point about ableton only being able to utilize 4gb but that has nothing to do with how much the OS is using and anything else running in the background. So, good point and I think I may try upgrading one stick anyway.

As for the cpu, I'm pretty well positive that's what is holding me back the most. I'm aware of the cooling issue, and now I keep it very cool with a computer fan blowing directly into the vents of the laptop, helped a great deal. I went on a big mission to optimize this laptop a few months ago and had great results. Actually you may want to take a look if you haven't already at the thread I wrote about my findings: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


I might actually look into getting the faster cpu for 60$. I do have the 2.2ghz so that would probably help. But does that require formatting my hard drives and starting fresh? If so I will likely just wait till I can get a new laptop. And thats kinda what I was thinking about the new i7's like, if they couldn't even keep previous generations cool, how in hell are they keeping those cool without some kind of great new technology. Anyway, Lots of stuff to think about. Thanks for the post!

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