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4 gigs vs 8 gigs RAM on MBP? - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Still don't see a link. Guess I'll find this Stereophile article myself.

Wes Phillips, in Stereophile, October 16, 2009: "In future, however, I believe I'll take JA's suggestion to use a Mac mini; I discovered how much better my iBook sounds when I maxed out its RAM at 2GB. I can jam 6GB into the latest Mac mini, and I'm salivating at the improvements that might make."

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-acoustics-qb-9-usb-dac-getting-those-last-few-drops

 

And here's John Atkinson and others weighing in on why it might make a difference:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-usb-dac-review-adding-ram-improves-sound-quality-macs-output-1

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

Wes Phillips, in Stereophile, October 16, 2009: "In future, however, I believe I'll take JA's suggestion to use a Mac mini; I discovered how much better my iBook sounds when I maxed out its RAM at 2GB. I can jam 6GB into the latest Mac mini, and I'm salivating at the improvements that might make."

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-acoustics-qb-9-usb-dac-getting-those-last-few-drops

 

And here's John Atkinson and others weighing in on why it might make a difference:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-usb-dac-review-adding-ram-improves-sound-quality-macs-output-1

 

Wow...I'm not sure what to say...I'm really trying to think of a reason why this can affect sound, but still nothing.

Most probably its software related. Still, things would have to be really bad for an improvement due to increase in RAM.

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

Wes Phillips, in Stereophile, October 16, 2009: "In future, however, I believe I'll take JA's suggestion to use a Mac mini; I discovered how much better my iBook sounds when I maxed out its RAM at 2GB. I can jam 6GB into the latest Mac mini, and I'm salivating at the improvements that might make."

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-acoustics-qb-9-usb-dac-getting-those-last-few-drops

 

And here's John Atkinson and others weighing in on why it might make a difference:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-usb-dac-review-adding-ram-improves-sound-quality-macs-output-1

I don't really see any actual, substantive evidence from that article, just speculation without much prior knowledge on the subject. The logic sort of makes sense, but with the current transfer and disk I/O speeds, most of this is pretty much null. I don't see it feasible that any of this would be audible. BUT again, this is speculation, much like what they are doing. On the subjective side, I've upgraded the ram on my laptop twice, and have not noticed any SQ improvements yet.

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

I agree that the evidence is scant. Much of what affects computer sound is still "controversial." Many folks still say that USB cables cannot possibly sound different from one another, but they demonstrably do. I know that when I upgraded from 2 to 4 gigs, the improvement in sq was unambiguous and significant. I cannot prove why, but that doesn't trouble me. I also don't know why analog cables should sound so different, but I know they do.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I agree that the evidence is scant. Much of what affects computer sound is still "controversial." Many folks still say that USB cables cannot possibly sound different from one another, but they demonstrably do. I know that when I upgraded from 2 to 4 gigs, the improvement in sq was unambiguous and significant. I cannot prove why, but that doesn't trouble me. I also don't know why analog cables should sound so different, but I know they do.

 

For the love of God.

Don't start this here.

 

There's a couple of pretty lengthy threads in the sound science section about cables. It never ends well.

If you cannot prove it, by linking it to some real scientific study or phenomenon, or by causality, please don't use declaratives.

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

I agree—I have no desire to get into this endless old argument. Hearing is a phenomenon, however, and that's enough for me. As I've shown, other experienced listeners have heard what I've heard, too. I don't have double-blind studies from MIT to share with you. If that's not enough for you, I understand. But I started this thread asking for advice, so if the only reason you're responding is to tell me I'm out of my mind and to ridicule me—or ask me whether I'm kidding—please start your own thread or watch some TV or something. You're not being helpful.

post #22 of 27

It will not improve sound quality but it will give you the ability to run more apps at once without taxing your system. Since RAM for it is pretty cheap why not upgrade ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007968&IsNodeId=1&Description=macbook%20ram&name=Mac%20Memory&Order=BESTMATCH

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I agree—I have no desire to get into this endless old argument. Hearing is a phenomenon, however, and that's enough for me. As I've shown, other experienced listeners have heard what I've heard, too. I don't have double-blind studies from MIT to share with you. If that's not enough for you, I understand. But I started this thread asking for advice, so if the only reason you're responding is to tell me I'm out of my mind and to ridicule me—or ask me whether I'm kidding—please start your own thread or watch some TV or something. You're not being helpful.

 

No one's ridiculing you. I asked if you were kidding because its the first time I've heard something like this.

We're just trying to get you to understand that there's no possible relation between the sound and the amount of ram unless its too low for your system to handle even the basic tasks.

If you want to follow everyone else, its fine.

If you want to learn for yourself and have the capability to take decisions on your own its also fine.

 

Whether you want to upgrade your RAM is for you to decide. 


Edited by proton007 - 10/1/12 at 8:48pm
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

I agree—I have no desire to get into this endless old argument. Hearing is a phenomenon, however, and that's enough for me. As I've shown, other experienced listeners have heard what I've heard, too. I don't have double-blind studies from MIT to share with you. If that's not enough for you, I understand. But I started this thread asking for advice, so if the only reason you're responding is to tell me I'm out of my mind and to ridicule me—or ask me whether I'm kidding—please start your own thread or watch some TV or something. You're not being helpful.

 

It's always healthy to get criticism from the other side. Makes you question and consider things more, as there's more of something to prove. Asking for subjective experience on the subject is fine, but ignoring other factors that might influence this, without even considering or substantiating a valid reason of any kind for why an improvement can be discerned does not help your cause at all. Anecdotal evidence simply does not translate into solid scientifically evidence all the time. I'm not completely putting down your hypothesis, it could very well be true, but there has not been enough reasoning for why, and rigorous enough testing to prove anything as of yet. 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ijchan223 View Post

It will not improve sound quality but it will give you the ability to run more apps at once without taxing your system. Since RAM for it is pretty cheap why not upgrade ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007968&IsNodeId=1&Description=macbook%20ram&name=Mac%20Memory&Order=BESTMATCH

 

A lot of the boring everyday stuff we do just doesn't warrant RAM upgrades as the end-all-be-all solution. I remember 8 years ago when I used to browse the Net, check my email, play my Quake, music, etc, all on 512Mb. Oh, wait, I still do that. Sorry, just another rant tongue.gif

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mink70 View Post

Wes Phillips, in Stereophile, October 16, 2009: "In future, however, I believe I'll take JA's suggestion to use a Mac mini; I discovered how much better my iBook sounds when I maxed out its RAM at 2GB. I can jam 6GB into the latest Mac mini, and I'm salivating at the improvements that might make."

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-acoustics-qb-9-usb-dac-getting-those-last-few-drops

 

And here's John Atkinson and others weighing in on why it might make a difference:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/ayre-usb-dac-review-adding-ram-improves-sound-quality-macs-output-1

 

I went through the linked discussion: it does not provide any logical explanation, however I can think of a scenario in which this could happen. In my opinion, the particular iBook's power supply could have been overloaded or simply inadequate for the audio job. Disk access somewhat increases the load on the power supply, causing voltage fluctuations which affect the audio circuit's performance. Adding more RAM caused the disk to be accessed less frequently, therefore power for the audio circuit was more stable resulting in the better audio quality.

 

It's just a hypotesis - those who have some idea about electronics will no doubt chime in and (in)validate it. The point is that it is quite likely that adding RAM may have reduced the symptoms, but has not really addressed the issue.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

 

I went through the linked discussion: it does not provide any logical explanation, however I can think of a scenario in which this could happen. In my opinion, the particular iBook's power supply could have been overloaded or simply inadequate for the audio job. Disk access somewhat increases the load on the power supply, causing voltage fluctuations which affect the audio circuit's performance. Adding more RAM caused the disk to be accessed less frequently, therefore power for the audio circuit was more stable resulting in the better audio quality.

 

It's just a hypotesis - those who have some idea about electronics will no doubt chime in and (in)validate it. The point is that it is quite likely that adding RAM may have reduced the symptoms, but has not really addressed the issue.

 

Disk access can be an issue.

But the disk starts running as soon as its switched on. So it would constantly draw the power, regardless of the access state. If its not for this, its for something else.

 

And I'd seriously doubt it would cause a voltage droop. That means its badly designed, but I wouldn't expect that of apple.

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

Disk access can be an issue.

But the disk starts running as soon as its switched on. So it would constantly draw the power, regardless of the access state. If its not for this, its for something else.

 

And I'd seriously doubt it would cause a voltage droop. That means its badly designed, but I wouldn't expect that of apple.

 

The current drawn by a HD is not constant: rotating the platters is one thing, but heads are powered by a separate motor which is activated only on access. According to the article the issue went away completely when the HD was replaced by a SSD, which draws much less power and does not increase power consumption on access. 

 

The thing is a short time voltage drop (within reason) does not really matter for the digital components, so consequently many computer power supplies are built to optimize efficiency and cost, not quality in terms of stability and purity of delivery. I don't know anything about macs, but wouldn't be surprised if they weren't that different from a typical PC in that regard.

 

I admit that this theory may seem far fetched: typical PSU delivers several hundred watt and R/W disk access adds less than 1W to the load. To me however this is more rational than the conclusion that more RAM and faster disc access equals better sound quality. I can't think of anything else that would explain this phenomenon.

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