Preload RAM and length of time for playback

I’ve noticed that songs take longer to load and play with lots of preload RAM assigned. Should you try to use all you can? How much does say; a 4 minute song require to fully be played out of RAM? Another question, how does the song file spread itself across the RAM, whether it is 4GB or 64GB?

There’s no sonic benefit to preloading the whole song compared to just partial preloading. It’s just like cache, it avoids interruptions.

It requires exactly the file size to preload fully.

That answer now sounds so logical and obvious that I kinda wish I hadn’t asked it, especially the second part. Thank You very much. I guess that like in the olden days, if a song lasted one whole side of an album, it would load the whole thing into RAM (or like you said, part of it), you might then need lots of RAM. Some of the seventies bands used to have endlessly long and boring songs that took forever to suffer through even though you thought you owed it to yourself to listen to the whole thing. Again thank you. When I get a computer, I tend to get more and more RAM. I was going for 64 next, but maybe now I’ll reconsider. I may build one that plays music only. No printing, email, or pinging anything unneeded. Just simple and quiet. You wouldn’t need video or ports really if all you did was wi-fi. I fear my ranking will go down because of the length of this reply.

An interesting topic I’d like to learn more about. This makes sense for the small files of 3 to 4 minute songs. But how is pre-loading affected by large DSD files - eg: a long symphonic movement of some 20 minutes plus, in DSD256 format (file size 4.5GB). With 16GB RAM in my 2018 MacMini, there are still some buffering issues, with pre-loading in Audirvana maxing out at 16MB. I’m wondering if 32GB RAM would improve buffering for such large files.

That’s a good question, I don’t think there is any detriment to having lots of RAM. Also, I think the clock in an asynchronous DAC reorganizes and readjusts the timing “properly” in this long stream of data.
This is a simplistic answer, but I don’t want to misinform. I’d love to know more about this process too.
Audirvana has 64 bits to work with so things get very well crunched at the outset.

More RAM is always good but 8GB is enough, 16GB is plenty enough.

If your network and storage subsystems can’t handle the throughput needed for higher resolution files, I would invest money there.

I am waiting for wifi 6 to be implemented further in devices. I will then get a new wifi 6 mesh router network.

My take: RAM buffering helps the sound quality, as generally low system-load does. I know that´s weird given async USB, but hey: with Foobar there´s a RAM-DISK extension that provides a noticeable boost not only in sound-stage… /cheers!