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  • Ram management on Mac Pro Intel?

    Hi VSL Community,
    Forgive me if this has been covered earlier in other posts.

    I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.11 on an 8 Core Mac Intel Xeon with 16 GB ram.
    I'm able to load most every instrument and articulation on VSL SE Extended at once in 4 VE instances, while running Digital Performer 5.13 as my sequencer. I'm using separate Altiverb instances on each VE and importing the audio digitally into DP through a 2nd 2408. That way I get separate audio stems in DP for woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings, each with their own Altiverb. It works great.

    I'm having a little bit of trouble understanding how to properly manage my ram load. Here are the values as listed in Activity Monitor:
    VE Instance #1 (WW)  Real memory: 1.59 GB, Virtual memory 2.64GB
    VE Instance #2 (Brass)  Real memory: 1.90 GB, Virtual memory 3.16GB
    VE Instance #2 (Gtr, Kbds, Perc)  Real memory: 390 MB, Virtual memory 857MB
    VE Instance #4 (Str)  Real memory: 16,777,216 TB, Virtual memory 2.92GB

    VE instance #4 lists it's real memory usage at 16,777,216 TB, which of course can't be true.

    Total memory used: 12.58 GB
    Free: 3.42 GB
    VM size: 21.10 GB

    The problem I'm having with all these VEs loaded is when I can't open any other programs at the same time, such as Mail, Safari or Dreamweaver. The ram usage seems to vary from day to day, because sometimes I can load all those VEs and still easily run other programs and work in them at the same time. For a while I was able to load many more VSL matrixes at once in the VEs and still function normally with the other programs, but lately I can't. The windows open only partially or not at all. The behavior is erratic, I don't get it.

    Are there some basic guidelines that I'm missing that could increase the maximum ram I can use for VSL while still having room left to load other programs? Might the performance be more predictible with future updates of VE?
    Please advise, thanks!


  • stu, ahead with all respect: in my opinion on such a music machine having all this loaded neither mail nor safari nor dreamweaver has any business to be there ... these are jobs for an office computer.

     

    the (incredible number of) TB displayed is a bug on 10.4 - AFAIK fixed in 10.5 - you will find this bug on many occasions (looks like a numeric overflow beyond 2 GB of something)

     

    memory resp. applications behaving different in different situations is related to memory fragmentation (how much continuous memory space is available after loading/unloading several things) and memory management in general. eg. i'm noticing a similar effect with photoshop 7 if used memory is close to or beyond 2 GB (on a 2 GB machine) - the application seems not to be able to access enough addressable memory.

     

    christian

     

     


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Thanks Christian for the good advice.

    I'm a little confused about the memory management, that's why I wrote in the first place - I always load all applications in the same order each time, and the VE instances all have the same size files each time, so the contiguous memory space should be identical each time, but I notice very erratic performance - sometimes I can load a LOT more than other times. I don't understand why, but I'd sure like to know how to get the best performance.

    Again, will future releases of VE improve this performance, or is it related to something else?

    Do you recommend that I upgrade to Sys10.5? Will ram performance be better in Leopard?

    My other software apps will supposedly work in Leopard, but I've been hesitant to upgrade so far... 

    Please advise, thanks! 


  • basically i'd say never change a running system ... if you like to find out if leopard works better i'd recommend to do a fresh install it on a seperate volume ...

     

    i personally am not exactly happy with memory management in OS X generally and i didn't dive as deep into leopard so far to comment on improvements or if such improvements in memory management actualy might counteract when it comes to sample streaming .... basically leopard is said to run *smoother* than 10.4

     

    OS X does the whole memory management - an application just *requests* memory from the OS and receives it. the application does not have any influence on details except that it can request memory to be *wired* (= kept in physical RAM) and not even this is imperative to the OS ....

     

    christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Good counsel, Christian, thanks.

    Perhaps you aren't allowed to comment on future updates of VE so I won't press you on the possibility that future updates may manage the memory usage on Mac Os X more efficiently. But I'll keep hoping!

    Bizarre, that loading applications in exactly the same order gives me extremly different results of usable memory each time.

    I will try Leopard on another volume as an experiment... 

    Best,

    --Stu 


  • Hi again,

    Christian, you gave me a good idea. Still on Sys X 10.4.11, on a hunch I restarted and opened (and left all windows open) Mail, Safari, Firefox, Address Book, Vicomsoft FTP Client, Digital Performer 5.13, Photoshop CS3, Dreamweaver CS and Activity Monitor, all with open documents, and then loaded my fullest saved 4 VE instances. Everything loads and works great!

    That seems to be the secret, to load up the ram first with other apps and leave them with open windows, then to load VE.

    After all the VEs load I can quit the other apps that I'm not using but when I need to open them there's enough contiguous ram to do so. 

    Beautiful thing, thanks!

    --Stu 


  • well, this is not exactly what i tried to recommend ;-) but a great finding - thanks for posting.

    christian


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Hi Christian, 

    Sometimes the best advice is unintended! :-)

    Sure I should have an "office computer" for all the non-music production applications, which is what you advised, but in the meantime this sure works great!

    I think I could load even fuller VE instances - SE Standard Plus, hint, wink, nudge.... eagerly awaiting!

    Best,

    --Stu 


  • cm, if 10.5 is the 64-bit OS, does it handle memory management any differently? Is there any reason to expect the Mac 64-bit VE to be less finnicky? (Hi Stu, long time...)

  • Hey Nick! Thanks for the greeting - I'm doing great, hope you are as well.

    Best,

    --Stu