Which is better for verdion 6 of Photolab M2 with 16 gig of ram or M2 with 512 storage instead of 256 ?

Which is better for version 6 of Photolab M2 with 16 gig of ram or M2 with 512 storage instead of 256 ?
I can not afford both but would like faster loading and processing . Right now Imac from 3 years ago seems slow

Always prefer memory over disk space but 256 GB of storage means you will need to use an external disk, preferably a fast SSD.

As one can add a wicked fast external thunderbolt nvme drive but not add additional ram - I would go with as much ram as I could afford.

For my M1’s my external nvme drives pretty much delivers what they can at about 2700MB/s.
Although the M2 is a bit faster internally TB3 speeds are good enough.

Go with as much RAM you can.

Yup, agree. For these types of compute processes, RAM every time.

I agree with the others that more RAM is the way to go, but 256G is very small for modern MacOS. Does Apple offer certified refurbished units where you live? If so, have a look at what is offered there, the price difference is significant and might be enough to get both the RAM and SSD upgrade.
If that’s not for you, go with the RAM upgrade :slight_smile:

With storage, I think the only question is how much you need. I have all of my images on a network disk and as long as I’m attached with a cable instead of my sometimes flaky wifi then the max 1 Gbps I get out of the cable is plenty fast enough. Images loads pretty much immediately on my M1 Mini with 16 GB ram, and once they’re in memory there’s no difference in editing. I think the only scenario in which you might notice a faster disk is browsing directories containing many images, but I try to limit mine to 100 or so.

Everyone will have different ideas of “fast enough”, but for myself I saw no need to spend more money on a bigger disk when buying my Mini. Literally the only thing I have on the internal disk is the OS and applications, everything else I have either on the network or the USB disk I have permanently attached. I’ve had two disposable Macs (ie. no replaceable ram or disk) die spontaneously on me so I want nothing of any worth on the internal disk. The stock 256 GB is fine for me. I’d buy 128 GB if it was available. I would need at least 2 TB of internal disk for my current image archive, and getting that as an internal disk from Apple is poor value IMO. I can buy a new Mini for the price of that upgrade.

16 GB of ram is all I upgraded to on my Mini and that’s been enough for me.

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Due to the NAND configuration of the M2 line, anything less than 512 GB reduces SSD speed by 30%-50%. The models with 512 GB or more uses two SSD controllers and essentially uses a tandem NAND configuration. This means that the SSD speed is theoretically twice as fast as the single channel setup. AFAIK, the current model line either uses 1x256GB with one SSD controller, or 2x256GB(with two SSD controllers, one for each NAND chip) for the 512GB version. Larger memory configurations follow the same pattern, 1TB=2x512GB etc. etc.

A reasonable configuration for photography and video starts at 16GB RAM and 512GB internal storage.

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Yes, Apple SSD are 4 times as expensive as external SSDs. Admittedly they’re somewhat faster but I doubt if that’s noticeable regarding data storage.

I’d say memory is not as important on Apple Silicon Macs, but I might balk at only having 8 GB for using PhotoLab (I know users who just do the regular email, web, etc who use one just fine).

Regarding fast SSD, the modern Macs have ridiculously fast SSD, but I have my entire 40,000+ photo library on a Samsung T7 portable SSD and I never notice any speed issues.

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Getting as much RAM as possible instead of more drive space makes sense imo…but we should not forget that external SSD cost some money too…although Apple’s is way more expensive.

I use a M1 MacBook Air with 16 GB Ram and 1TB drive…and I’d get the M1 again anytime. M2 offers more options though and is slightly less if you stick with the 8+8 CPU/GPU configuration.

Hi, I have been asking myself the similar questions as the the OP asks and have come to the following conclusions based on watching/reading multiple videos/sites published on the web:

Extra ram is more important than SSD storage with one slight exception (see below). Deciding on how much ram is best determined by using “Activity Monitor” to see if you push your present machine into the yellow or red zones of memory pressure. For what its worth I have a late 2013 MacbookPro with 16 Gbytes of memory plus 2GBytes of GPU memory and I have been unable to get memory pressure out of the green zone while using DxO PL at the same time as Affinity Photo while editing 20 and 24 Mpixel images. This includes trying to stretch my machine by building panoramas of eight images. I conclude that both DxO and Affinity know how to manage memory.

When it comes to SSDs people are correct that the single NAND configuration is slower than multiple NANDs but tests by “ArtisRight” show that it is irrelevant as software does not use super high speeds. In his tests the small SSD machine ran real world tests such as building 1000 previews in Lightroom as fast as machines with larger SSDs. So don’t worry about SSD speeds.

The exception I mentioned above is that the System on a Chip (SoC) uses the SSD as additional memory when it runs out of RAM. The issue here is that SSD NAND chips have a life of only so many write operations. The drive controller balances the load over the SSD in order to balance the write operations and lengthen its life. Larger SSDs have a longer life just because of their size. However, if the machine has enough memory (RAM) then it will not use the SSD in this way so the issue goes away. Again for whats it worth the SSD in my 2013 machine reports that it has only used only 30% of its write operations and this was a machine that has been used daily for work as well as image processing for er fun.

So as others have said buy the extra RAM and an external SSD and try to buy Apple Care on your new machine. For me I’m not sure if I need to upgrade as in most cases my nine year old machine is plenty quick enough probably due to a combination of having a quad core i7 plus GPU and efficient coding by both DxO and Affinity. The only really slow area is exporting with DeepPrime which takes three minutes per image versus something like ten seconds on M1/M2.