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How much RAM for 2019 iMac i9

jasonmrose

New Member
I recently purchased a 2019 iMac with the i9-9900k chip. I know these machines can now take 128GB of RAM, but I'm trying to figure out how much RAM I should buy before the CPU is maxed out. In other words, can this processor really operate well with 128GB of samples loaded?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

redlester

Member
If you mean one of the new models recently released, I don't think it can take 128GB. According to the Apple site, the maximum for the 27" top of the range is 64GB.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
If you mean one of the new models recently released, I don't think it can take 128GB. According to the Apple site, the maximum for the 27" top of the range is 64GB.
Isn’t OWC showing 128 available? That would accord with past practice. I don’t know specifically about this model but every Apple computer I’ve had for at least a decade has been able to accommodate twice the RAM Apple officially supports.
 

kyleogren

Member
Yes the new 5k iMac's support 128GB, although Apple claims it can only take 64GB. There's a video showing this, here's the link:


They (9to5 Mac - reliable) recommend buying only 8GB Ram through Apple (the minimum), then buying the RAM upgrade third party to save money (about half price!!)
 

kyleogren

Member
As far as the processor operating with maxed out (128GB RAM), I'm curious to know how it performs as well...
 
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jasonmrose

New Member
I went ahead and ordered 2 - 32 GB sticks from OWC. So with the existing 8 GB it comes with, I'll have 72GB of RAM. I'll see how it handles that before I order any more.
 

Jorge Puig

New Member
I went ahead and ordered 2 - 32 GB sticks from OWC. So with the existing 8 GB it comes with, I'll have 72GB of RAM. I'll see how it handles that before I order any more.
Hi Jason, how are you getting on with the iMac? I'm planning to get one and pack it with 128gb to use it as my main computer and also to replace my current slave. Would be great to know what you think so far.. thanks!
 
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jasonmrose

New Member
I’m still waiting on it! The Apple store called me two days ago and said that the box had been damaged in shipping...so they’re shipping another one. That means another 7-10 days...unfortunately.
 

gpax

Senior Member
My new 2019 5k iMac “only” has 64 Gb (from OWC), lol.

But please enlighten me on the various composing situations and scenarios which would utilize 128 Gb.

I’m not doubting this; beyond the video being about “just because I can,” I honestly cannot grasp the real-use concept here, though perhaps my needs are more modest. Several in this forum work - as working composers - with far less ram. What is being projected here, discussing 128 Gb as a standard of sorts?

I’m guessing this is about workflows with large, pre-buffered orchestral templates? Even so, I am trying to reconcile how that level of Gb demand would also utilize a workflow that is built around an arguably (and otherwise) non-expandable piece of hardware, even a very capable new iMac.

G
 

kmaster

Now in LA: let's get coffee!
My new 2019 5k iMac “only” has 64 Gb (from OWC), lol.

But please enlighten me on the various composing situations and scenarios which would utilize 128 Gb.

I’m not doubting this; beyond the video being about “just because I can,” I honestly cannot grasp the real-use concept here, though perhaps my needs are more modest. Several in this forum work - as working composers - with far less ram. What is being projected here, discussing 128 Gb as a standard of sorts?

I’m guessing this is about workflows with large, pre-buffered orchestral templates? Even so, I am trying to reconcile how that level of Gb demand would also utilize a workflow that is built around an arguably (and otherwise) non-expandable piece of hardware, even a very capable new iMac.

G
Here's an example: I have a 2015 iMac with 64 GB of RAM and what I would consider a minimum viable orchestral template - I have one of each instrument, but not (for example) HS and CSS and LASS. Why? Partly because I like the simplicity, but partly because my template takes about 45 GB all told, so adding that to the RAM my OS and other necessary applications must take up, I've only got about 20-25% of my RAM free at any given time. It's good to have a bit of "headroom" on RAM, so while I'm more or less comfortable where I am, there is nowhere to truly grow - I either need to get more RAM (impossible on that machine) or get a sample server computer if I want to have more instruments loaded up. For those of us who prefer to work on one machine if possible, 128 GB RAM is a high number, but not outrageously so.
 

Jorge Puig

New Member
My new 2019 5k iMac “only” has 64 Gb (from OWC), lol.

But please enlighten me on the various composing situations and scenarios which would utilize 128 Gb.

I’m not doubting this; beyond the video being about “just because I can,” I honestly cannot grasp the real-use concept here, though perhaps my needs are more modest. Several in this forum work - as working composers - with far less ram. What is being projected here, discussing 128 Gb as a standard of sorts?

I’m guessing this is about workflows with large, pre-buffered orchestral templates? Even so, I am trying to reconcile how that level of Gb demand would also utilize a workflow that is built around an arguably (and otherwise) non-expandable piece of hardware, even a very capable new iMac.

G
I use EW Hollywood Orchestra and it needs a lot of ram, specially if you use multiple mics.. other libraries I've got don't need that much but if I want to load the full orchestra from EW with several different articulations I need more than 64gb I'm afraid..
 

gpax

Senior Member
Thank you both for the explanations. It was pretty much as I figured: having the luxury of both more headroom and future-proofing as a practical workflow for large templates.

As I am accustomed to our frequent discussions about load times from SSDs, I tend to equate higher ram use with other machines, where there is also more I/O. The two T3 ports on this new iMac are still sharing the same bus, for example, and hence I was/am still curious about that ratio of high ram being installed, and the scenarios for accessing this.

But it sounds like a larger, well-stocked template wouldn’t be something that is loaded frequently this way, but pretty much stay up and running all the time (or loaded at the start of a day)? Again, I’m talking about the iMac compared to an iMac Pro or Mac Pro which is all about distributing the I/O more efficiently.
 
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jasonmrose

New Member
I finally got the iMac i9 and unfortunately it looks like I’m going to return it. I really wanted this machine to work, but my wife came in the room while I was working in Protools and said “Do you have a lawnmower running in here?” Very loud fans. Yes, the session had about 64 audio tracks at 96/24 with plugins at 256 buffer and the cpu hovered between 40 and 60 percent. If it would be quieter, it would be perfect.

I guess I’m joining the line of people waiting for the 2019 Mac Pro...
 
I finally got the iMac i9 and unfortunately it looks like I’m going to return it. I really wanted this machine to work, but my wife came in the room while I was working in Protools and said “Do you have a lawnmower running in here?” Very loud fans. Yes, the session had about 64 audio tracks at 96/24 with plugins at 256 buffer and the cpu hovered between 40 and 60 percent. If it would be quieter, it would be perfect.

I guess I’m joining the line of people waiting for the 2019 Mac Pro...
That’s a shame to hear. Was hoping this configuration could be a possibility for me as an upgrade is on the horizon.
 

Symfoniq

Active Member
I finally got the iMac i9 and unfortunately it looks like I’m going to return it. I really wanted this machine to work, but my wife came in the room while I was working in Protools and said “Do you have a lawnmower running in here?” Very loud fans. Yes, the session had about 64 audio tracks at 96/24 with plugins at 256 buffer and the cpu hovered between 40 and 60 percent. If it would be quieter, it would be perfect.

I guess I’m joining the line of people waiting for the 2019 Mac Pro...
This is a perennial problem with the current iMac chassis and i7/i9 CPUs. IME they are simply too loud for certain professional uses when pushed hard. The cooling solution is barely adequate, and barely adequate cooling isn't quiet cooling.

I recently set up an iMac Pro for a client, and it remained quiet under heavy load, but also cost about $9K for a configuration comparable to my $4K Windows workstation.
 

synthnut1

Active Member
I was thinking all along that the i7 iMac running hot with minimal cooling,then what would make the I-9 run any cooler....Geared more for photo/illustration work, not for music I guess....back to the drawing board....Looks like I’m back in PC land....
 
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