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1GB or 2GB RAM for 32 bit Win 7

By shoeseat
Mar 2, 2010
  1. Hi guys.i have 2GB RAM now and 32bit win7.I am planning to upgrade RAM but not sure whether to go for 1gb or 2gb due to 32bit OS limitation.I have nvidia 9800GT 512MB as well and play lots of games.I am not sure i will go for 64bit OS in future.Even if i do will 4GB be enough for 64bit OS.Also what's the impact dual channel will have if i only upgrade to 1gb only?Oh i have DDR2 memory and price went up due to shortage where i live.So what will be suitable for me?
     
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,715   +397

    Planning to add to your current RAM? If you really need more than 2GB right now I would buy 2 512MB sticks (assuming you are using 2 of 4 slots now which is a big assumption) to bump you up to 3GB. You'd be wasting some of the RAM if you went to 4GB, and I've ran Vista HP 32bit on 3 gigs (2 1 gig sticks and 2 512 sticks) for a long time and it was fine. I'm now running Win 7 64bit on that same setup, again with no issues, both performed well.

    It is generally not advisable to run 2 different brands or timings or speeds of RAM, but in many cases it works without issue (my setup above is an example). I recommended the 2 sticks of 512 because of the dual channel thing, you don't want to run an odd number of sticks. The price of DDR2 is up everywhere too (like you said) so unless you are running several RAM hungry programs at once I don't think it is wise to put 4GB in there. Your next system probably won't even run DDR2 so its not like you can reuse the RAM in a future build.
     
  3. shoeseat

    shoeseat TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    thankx for the reply.i forgot to mention that my MB has only 2 slots for RAM.I am currently using 2GB stick.No i don't user any heavy RAM using programs but i play lots of games.I am just planning to upgrade RAM so that it won't get shortage like the DDR RAM and the future games may require more than 2GB RAM.Also will the extra 1GB impact the performance of game where the requirement is written 2GB?
     
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,715   +397

    The extra RAM should help a bit in games. Since you already have a 2 gig stick, I recommend you pick up another 2 gig stick rather than a 1 gig (because you have limited slots). I'm not sure that size mismatched sticks run in dual channel (don't think they do), so to get that benefit you'll need the same size. Preferably the same brand with the same speed and timings, if you can't get the same brand try to at least match the speed and timings (if that still isn't possible, buy one faster - it will run at the slower speeds).
     
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    I usually just go by this:

    2GB = 32bit (XP/Vista/7) - 2x1GB sticks
    up to 4GB = 64bit (Vista/7) - 4x1GB sticks or 2x2GB sticks

    i wouldn't recommend less than 1GB for anything besides XP. 2GB is enough to play games on a 32bit system and 4GB on 64bit... anything more is kind of a waste. go with what sng said about the brand and timings though, matching sticks are best.
     
  6. shoeseat

    shoeseat TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Thankx for the help guys.I will be getting 2GB stick with same memory clock/speed.
     
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