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More RAM = Faster Conversion?

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
Just thinking of getting an ATV2 for the kitchen and wondering if it's better to just convert all TV stuff into compatible files instead of mkv at present.

I am using IVI from the App Store and its a simpler and equally capable App as HandBrake. Happy with the results but HD PassThru doesn't work for loads of stuff so full conversion is happening.

I am using my Mac Mini Plex machine to convert, with source files on the NAS and destination on the Mini. My Mini is a 2010 model with 2.4GHz Core2Duo and 4GB RAM. Would I benefit from an upgrade on the RAM? I think 8GB is the Max but correct me if wrong?
 

MC77

Well-known Member
Just for comparison, I have a 2011 2.1ghz Mac Mini with 8GB, and I convert MKV files to MP4 for the Apple TV through Handbrake.
Roughly takes about 20-30 minutes for a 5 or 6GB file to convert.
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
MikeCleal said:
Just for comparison, I have a 2011 2.1ghz Mac Mini with 8GB, and I convert MKV files to MP4 for the Apple TV through Handbrake.
Roughly takes about 20-30 minutes for a 5 or 6GB file to convert.

That is a lot faster than I am getting!

Can I assume you have an i3 chip in yours though?

I am guessing we have a few differences to consider:

1. Potentially different CPU.
2. 4GB vs 8GB.
3. NAS based source vs locally stored.

I only have control over number 3, so doing a test on a few local files to compare.

I am actually watching The Walking Dead on the Mini now and streaming from the NAS too, and not affecting conversion at all. This suggests the RAM is not the bottleneck?
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
CamFire said:
Why not just do a trial conversion and use ActivityMonitor to observe the RAM usage?

Ok, so what shall I look for specifically?

The unused amount or check out page in's and page outs? What should the latter be?
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
Just on the SystemMemory pane of the main window. Value for PageOuts should be close to 0, if you are not seriously loading up the Mac with loads of simultaneously running apps.

EDIT: frankly, with such low RAM prices, I'll proceed with the purchase of the extra RAM anyway...
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
CamFire said:
Just on the SystemMemory pane of the main window. Value for PageOuts should be close to 0, if you are not seriously loading up the Mac with loads of simultaneously running apps.

EDIT: frankly, with such low RAM prices, I'll proceed with the purchase of the extra RAM anyway...

My sentiment was due to the low price of RAM nowadays tbh. Didn't bother so far as without conversions running it has never been necessary.

It shows page in's as 3.29GB and page outs as 15.30GB, although free memory is over 400MB and inactive is around 740MB. Excessive or not...
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
Sounds like your system is using the HDD big time as virtual RAM as the PageOuts is 15GB :eek: , but probably this is accumulated over time. Or you are running plenty of simultaneous apps.

More RAM it is then.
 

paulktreg

Active Member
More CPU cores = Faster Conversion (as a rule). ;)
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
CamFire said:
Sounds like your system is using the HDD big time as virtual RAM as the PageOuts is 15GB :eek: , but probably this is accumulated over time. Or you are running plenty of simultaneous apps.

More RAM it is then.

I have queued up a pile of stuff and it's been running for a day or two non stop. I think Page outs is cumulative so meaningless at this time. I don't have loads running though tbh.

When this batch of conversions are done, I will reboot and monitor one conversion running only.
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
I am pretty sold on upgrading to 8GB, which I assume is the max for the 2010 Mini?

Not sure quite how much difference it will make until the time comes?

Even thinking about an SSD possibly...
 

CamFire

Distinguished Member
I know HandBrake can queue plenty of conversion jobs to complete overnight as you sleep, so do you really need to be in such a hurry?
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
Rebooted last night. Did an overnighter of conversions and page outs only racked up to 400MB. It has taken 7 hours to convert 6 720p DD 5.1 TV Shows though.

Think I will upgrade the RAM for sure as Crucial have 2x 4GB for £35 ...
 

Nape Dog

Active Member
I have a 2009 mini with 2ghz and 4gb. It takes about 6 hrs to convert a blu ray movie rip to atv2 using handbrake so the speeds you are getting sound amazing.
 

bpsmith

Distinguished Member
MikeCleal said:
Just for comparison, I have a 2011 2.1ghz Mac Mini with 8GB, and I convert MKV files to MP4 for the Apple TV through Handbrake.
Roughly takes about 20-30 minutes for a 5 or 6GB file to convert.

My speeds are ok, but the above quoted speeds are phenomenal!
 

MC77

Well-known Member
Really? I just assumed that was the 'Apple way'
When I used to rip DVD's on my old Dell, they would take about 6 hours or so, bloody nightmare. Now I just rip them to MKV and then convert them through Handbrake, works perfectly and takes about an hour or so all told.
 

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