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Does RAM speed matter for video editing?

by Nathaniel Cooper, on Oct 28, 2019 1:21:40 PM

Performance is critical for editing videos and one of the best ways to increase the performance of your workstation is by increasing the RAM.  So it would stand to reason, more RAM is better for video editing, right?  Not exactly.

First we can look at the function of RAM in a computer.  In its most simple form, it's a buffer, it's short term storage that is really fast.  It's critical to have enough RAM in a workstation to support both the OS & your non-linear editor of choice.  In most cases, this is a lot less than you probably think. 

As example Adobe recommends 32GB of RAM for a Premiere Pro workstations, both with Mac or Windows.  But once you meet that threshold, additional RAM isn't going to help much, at least not with video editing.  The extra RAM will help out if you're using lots of applications at the same time.  However, many editors have a dedicated workstation with minimal software running.

Functionally, video editing software doesn't load video files into RAM, because they are usually just too big.  So even if you load up to 1TB of RAM on your video editing workstation.  Your editing software is still going to play that video file directly off of the storage it is on.

More RA is never a bad thing, but when it comes to maximizing performance for your video editing, RAM isn't a lever to pull once you've hit the required specs.

Topics:video performanceVideo editing computerRAM

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