Help formulating a coherent question

Hello group

Suggestions from management or more serious users with experience than I, my experience is minimal. So my current hardware is a 2017 MacBook Pro running the current versions of the operating system and Devon think. Getting to the end of battery life and contemplating a new laptop.

I do not know how to construct a question regarding machine learning/AI, all the current machines on offer have the same 16 neural pathways, what is an appropriate amount of ram and how much does that affect the ability of the AI to do its job?

I’m not seeing any tests nor related articles discussing efficiency, if I was a graphics person we all know that more ram and faster SSD’s make your specific jobs usually run quicker, as I’m not paid by the hour that’s not as relevant I assume, kindly correct me.

So a M1 Air, M1 Max, M1P? Best compromise on features my only consideration usually screen size. Thanks for your input and your opinions.

Oh I did search on hardware and no one has asked recently, if there is already guidance, kindly point/link to that article.

Terence D

The most RAM you can afford is top of the list. DEVONthink uses RAM for lightning-fast search and retrieval, etc. The more and larger your databases, the more resources are required to keep the balls in the air. I’d suggest 16GB minimum.

I wouldn’t get a machine without at least a 512GB hard drive, DEVONthink or not. 1TB is nice; 2TB+ is nicer (if supported). However, this is less critical than RAM.

I got a M1 Air and it’s a little monster! Incredibly fast; insanely good battery life.
@eboehnisch just got a new M1 MacBook Pro and said it is blazingly fast and filled with bonecrushing processing power.
However, my 16" Intel MBP is still an incredibly good machine.


@BLUEFROG said it all.
My own very much less informed experience supports what he says totally. I have a 64GB RAM on my MacBook Pro 2019 Intel. I will run this as long as it lasts pretty much and/or as long as it is a powerful as it is now as Jim says, it is an amazingly good machine.
M1 is so tempting though.
Folk think my RAM is overkill but I don’t think so, I think it is actually used by the machine. I am not tech savvy enough to know for sure. In fact it was nice to hear from the horse’s mouth as it were that DEVONthink 3 does consume and likes a good healthy diet of RAM.

Honestly though over all on Mac, I would say as much RAM and as much storage as you can afford. I have huge amounts of space since I don’t store video, not a lot of audio and not even a lot of photos and images. Even so, the more the merrier as they say. Who cares if you have more than you need if you can afford it? And in honesty computing, even Apple computing, if it pays for your shoes or is central to your life, is pretty cheap really.
The cost of apps is absurdly low and the slight extra cost of my RAM for example is quite marginal. I could also end up using Mathlab or something again at some point, who knows? or storing some large collection of video for some reason. If I do, the infrastructure is there ready for it.

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This reply is aimed at tudoreynon as I think “BLUEFROG” is aware of what I refer to below.

If you are curious go to the utilities folder and launch the “activity monitor”, then give any app some work to do. Several tabs to select from and you can get a handle on how your particular machine is “doing” performing tasks in relation your computer. Memory tab/button, towards the bottom “swap used” and “cached files” would be relevant. Again because I do not understand Neural “learning” and AI nomenclature I cannot say much if anything. Internal I/O is fastest with the Max, Pro and then vanilla “Air” models so that is probably relevant to overall efficiency.

Thanks for your perspective.

Terence D


Neat, I looked at that. I understood that some measuring things on IT are quite inaccurate, time taken to update for example: I understand it is very hard to program such procedures. I think I got that from a John Gruber show.
However I enjoyed doing what you suggested. As far as I could understand it I have oddles of spare power. All my apps including DEVONthink 3 just open and doing what they do with out any imput from me used about 10GB of RAM. That, in my view, leaves quite a narrow margin for a 16GB machine. I am quite sure 64GB is overkill though but I am happy; as I say, I can afford it. Without going into the guerilla economics of cups of Starbucks, vacations kind of thing?!

I quite like to run my DEVONthink 3 and apps with a lot of spare power. I don’t think I have heard the fan on this machine yet, if I have one. As I said one day I might run some heavier workloads, mathlab maybe, though I doubt it and frankly I hope not. If I do I will report back! Thanks for that info too.

I know a lot of folk have a tighter time financially and quite unfairly, but I don’t see many of them with Macs frankly. If you get a Christmas Card from your money, you can afford RAM and Storage, even large SSD’s arguably.
The economics and attitudes are interesting to me, and actually quite weird and by no means as rational as classical economics has it.