Choosing RAM configurations

RAM Requirements for Adobe CS5.5

This article is the second of a series on configuring your Windows workstations for producing with Adobe CS 5.5. The focus of this particular article is the optimal RAM configuration for both a single CPU and dual CPU system for producing with Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder.

As an overview, I tested with two similarly configured systems from HP, who sponsored this testing, one with a 2.67 GHz 4-core CPU (an HP Z400), the other with two 2.67 GHz 4-core CPUs (an HP Z600). Both systems used the same graphics card, an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800. I ran multiple tests, encoding sequences created from different camera formats, from DV to Red, into multiple outputs, from MPEG-2 for DVD to H.264 for YouTube and Blu-ray. I ran the tests with three different RAM configurations, 6 GB, 12 GB and 24 GB.

As I explore in the main article, except in one or two discrete cases, I didn't see a whole lot of performance difference in the results.

RAM and CPU Configurations for Adobe CS4

If you're buying or configuring a computer for CS4, either on Mac or Windows, you should check out this Affordable HD article at Digital Content Producer, here. The article compares single and dual processor performance at various RAM levels on both platforms to identify the optimal configuration for your primary video format, whether DV, AVCHD, HDV, DVCPRO HD or Red.

Adobe CS4 at 64

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) Production Premium delivers some awesome productivity benefits, particularly the ability to send Premiere Pro sequences to both the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) and Adobe Encore for rendering or authoring while continuing to edit in Premiere Pro. Perhaps what you haven’t heard is that this capability significantly increases CS4’s memory requirements. If you’re upgrading from CS3 to CS4 on a 32-bit operating system, this can mean longer rendering times, instability, or both. If you want CS4’s features without the performance penalty, you should consider running CS4 on a 64-bit system.