TechSpot

RAM-Do I need more?How much is really used?

By Steeevoe
Dec 10, 2007
  1. Currently, my system is running 32bit vista on 1GB RAM, 64bit dual core 2.8GHz, GForce 7300LE

    The pc is using 50% on idle.


    Will buying extra RAM improve the speed of the computer?

    If you fill a computer up with as much RAM as possible, will the computer use all the RAM you have installed? If so, how much RAM do computers use?



    I have four RAM slots in my MoBo, does this mean its dual channel?

    I have heard that the maximum RAM 32Bit can handle is 4Gb, then 8Gb for 64bit. is that correct?

    If so, is it best to get two 2Gb sticks?
    Do these only work in dual channel?

    If the time comes where everyone upgrades to 64bit, I won't have to replace 1Gig sticks to get over 4Gig of RAM, I could just stick some more 2Gig sticks.
     
  2. archer56

    archer56 TS Rookie

    Are you running a laptop or a desktop? Cause that makes how much RAM your computer will be able to handle vary greatly.

    Yeah its possible to Overkill on RAM which could lead to a RAM error or your computer will still function it depends on the machine.

    Anyway if your running a 64bit quad core xeon Mac Pro most of the new ones can hold up to 16GB's of RAM vs. a dell insperion 6000 can only hold 2GB of RAM. A considerable difference.

    If your looking to see the optimal amount of RAM the manufacturer's site will be able to help you determine how much you will need. If your PC is at 50% idle you definitly need some more RAM to say the least. The computer will utilize all the ram used, Just depends on how often it utilizes it based on what your running. Games with high graphics and use a lot of CPU will use more RAM than Microsoft Word.
     
  3. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Yep 2GB of ram with Vista is a good thing. A 32 bit operating system can map out to 4GB of memory, but to do that you'd need to disable Windows virtual memory. You need some virtual memory for Windows and your installed programs to run correctly for the most part, so I'd have no more than a total of 2GB system memory with a 32 bit operating system. Your video card memory also counts toward that 4GB total, and just as a precaution I'd switch to a 64 bit version of Windows if I had 2GB system memory and 1GB of video card memory or more.

    If you had a 64 bit operating system you could have terrabytes of memory not just 8GB if you motherboard would accept that much. Up until now memory was fairly expensive, or at least expensive enough for the average user to be unwilling to put more than a gigabyte or two in their computer.
     
  4. Steeevoe

    Steeevoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Dual Core Desktop!

    Ah, didn't realise graphics memory also contributed.

    Might just get a cheep 2gig stick then! Less money!

    Thanks for your help
     
  5. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    Go to the Crucial site and run their scanner, it will tell you how much RAM your mobo can take and what sorts. You could put 3GB of RAM in your pc (if you mobo takes over 2GB) but you might not get 100% use out of it, you might see something like 2.8GB showing as opposed to 3GB.

    It's up to you, really, but Cinders' post is a very valid one and makes a good point about the memory limit on 32 bit OS's.
     
  6. Steeevoe

    Steeevoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If I purchase a 2gig stick of the same frequency as the 2x512Mb sticks, can I put all three in to give me the 3gig, or do they all have to have the same capacity?
     
  7. Steeevoe

    Steeevoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, thanks for the website, that clears that up.

    What happens if you use different frequency sticks?
     
  8. Xander667

    Xander667 TS Rookie

    Some people always want more, 1gb is ample, I'd advise 2gb for hardcore gamers on a computer.
     
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    If you run different frequency sticks then they will all run at the speed of the slowest one(s) but it's recommended to get ones of the same speed, really.

    1GB is fine for Windows XP but for Vista, more is required. I'm running Vista on 1GB myself, but you will get better performance with 2GB or more.
     
  10. Xander667

    Xander667 TS Rookie

    Hmm but why, why does Vista require so much more power?

    From what I have seen it doesn't appear alot more technically superior!

    -Cheers!
     
  11. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 2,031

    I don't want to sound mean but I'm not getting into another "why does vista need more specs" debate.

    All I will say is that any new version of an OS is going to be bigger (and supposedly better) than the last, so it will need more resources.

    I have explained this more in another thread but I am short on time so i will find the link to that later and post it here.

    There are lots of "behind the scenes" changes in Vista that make a lot of difference, and while it's not running as fast in some areas as XP does right now, well that's because XP is 6 years old and has 2 service packs, soon to be 3, whilst Vista is still on the original release.


    Edit:
    From this thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic94074.html
     
     
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