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How much RAM does Mastercam really need?

11/16/23 1:36 AM / by camInstructor Mike

Does more RAM make Mastercam better? Lets find out!

Building a new computer or thinking of upgrading your current rig and not sure how much RAM you need for Mastercam? Hopefully I can shed some light and on this and help you make a better choice!

In the video, I tested several different RAM configurations and ran them through some benchmarks to see if there was any difference. I tested 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and finally 64GB. All were the same speed. The benchmark is the typical one used for comparing system stats and I've run it once after a fresh reboot, the second time has many applications open to try and fill as much RAM as possible.

For the open apps, trying to mimic what may be open on a machinists computer, I had Outlook open, Excel, Teams, Spotify, 4 File Exporers, 10 tabs in Firefox, SolidWorks with a 100 component assembly, and Camtasia. This doesn't include apps that always open on startup like Dropbox or some of the other software I use, but these were open for both benches so they won't effect the numbers here.

The third benchmark is a demo file from Mastercam that is an F1 wheel machined on a Mill Turn machine. Lots of different toolpaths from turning to 2D and 3D milling as well as some part transfers. This is a good file for test a wide range of Mastercam crunching!

As you can see in the video, the amount of RAM only effects performance if you are using it all. If this happens, you force the system to start using your disk storage which is much much slower.

If you find yourself maxing out the amount of RAM you have, first, I'd see if closing any open apps is enough to solve the problem, you'd be surprised how much RAM 10 or 20 browser tabs can use up. Next, check what programs are auto loading during startup. There might be some RAM hogs in there you aren't aware of. If you're still maxed out, upgrading is probably needed....but don't go too far!

Simple overclocking using XMP settings in the BIOS can give some pretty good improvements if the system can remain stable. I've found at 64GB I cannot be stable using XMP. 32GB however, runs perfectly fine. XMP will likely give you a slight boost but if you absolutely need the extra RAM, the trade off of using XMP and having the system write to the disk drives is not worth it.

I should also note, I'm still working with DDR4. DDR5 may show different results. We'll test that on the next system.


8GB You can use it. It won't be great.

16GB will be fine for most until you start running a lot of apps simultaneously, or have very large part files.

32GB should be the max most users would need. If you are building a system and are unsure how much to get, I would suggest this. Its future proof and won't bottle neck most.

64GB only if you know you'll actually use this much.



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Topics: Mastercam, Benchmark

camInstructor Mike

Written by camInstructor Mike

camInstructor Mike is Mike Wearne, an avid machinist, cnc programmer and overall connoisseur of all things machining. Mike is one of camInstructor's resident cad/cam/cnc experts and works part time at his local college teaching aspiring machinists how to program CNC Machines of all types.

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