4GB of RAM to be ideal for Vista?

By Justin Mann on February 21, 2007, 2:47 PM
With each iteration of Windows, slews of articles come out related to optimal hardware for getting the performance out of the machine you desire. With XP, we saw a significant increase in optimal RAM, with figures of 1GB to 2GB, depending on usage, for a smooth desktop. With Vista, we're seeing a large jump again, with some citing that the “sweet spot” will be a massive 4GB.

Well, maybe not so massive anymore – afterall, 2GB memory kits are maybe half the price they were four years ago. That, coupled with Vista's “minimum” of 512MB and SuperFetch (a great expansion to Prefetch), may be sane reasoning for plugging 4GB into a system:

That's due in part to Windows SuperFetch, which takes data from the hard drive, stores it in the available RAM and makes it readily accessible to the processor. SuperFetch depends a great deal on user predictability and takes snapshots of user activity. If SuperFetch determines that an application is launched at a particular time, it will have it loaded into the available RAM. With more RAM, there's more caching and better software response, said Short.
Of course, don't expect “budget” systems to be able to fill that need anytime soon. Odds are, however, systems with 512MB and Vista will be few and far in between in the following months, as vendors realize that the minor cost increase moving to 1GB or even 2GB are easily offset by the boost in performance. Even king Dell is suggesting 2GB of RAM for a Vista system, along with Samsung. Some may lament the ever-bloating nature of PC software, but I am not surprised in the least.

User Comments: 15

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Phantasm66 said:
Chill out. I've ran it on my T42 thinkpad with 1.5GB of RAM and a Pentium M processor and its FINE FINE FINE.
Per Hansson said:
It depends on how you use the system
Phantasm66 said:
Per you could say that about any machine - of course how you use it determines what specs it should have. What I am saying is that a lot of this "vista hardware scaremongering" is just that - scaremongering. Microsoft says nothing about needing 4GB of RAM or even 2GB come to that.[url]http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsv
sta/editions/systemrequirements.mspx[/url]I am LOOKING at getting myself a laptop with 4GB of RAM in the future - but that's to be able to run like multiple virtual machines, WebSphere, Oracle, etc at the same time. You can run Vista with 1GB of RAM just fine believe me.This happens every time Microsoft releases a new OS - all these hardware manufacturers all start appearing saying you need to upgrade or buy new kit, when in fact all they are trying to do is boost sales.
Julio said:
1GB should be sufficient for most, but the new sweet spot is certainly 2GB for heavier multitasking. That is my recommendation after using Vista for quite a few months.If you perform any other heavy operations that require lots of memory, then your RAM requirements will not come from the OS necessarily but from whatever other applications you run.
black_death said:
ideal? 256 Terabytes of RAM would also be ideal it doesn't mean you need it, people laugh at me when I say I run Widnows XP on 512 MB of RAM, but then I end up laughing at them when even though they've got twice as much RAM and a better processor mine still runs faster; software tweaking goes much farther than hardware tweaking.
nathanskywalker said:
I've only run the beta, so I don't know about the actual product, but for anyone doing anything in multitasking or even medium-heavy tasks, at least 2gigs with a good video card (if you want to run aero, which I don't see why you would get vista if you didn't). that's my experience anyway. Vista is a flipping memory hog.
[-Steve-] said:
black_death that is interesting, 512MB of RAM really is the bare minimum I would run with XP so if you are flogging systems with 1GB and faster processors those are some serious tweaks!
eazy_duz_em said:
if you're a gamer 1gb ram is seriously a little amount..and about that software tweak..i can hardly belive you black_death..i think 4gb woud be just fine fot top notch games.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I've run Vista Ultimate, both 32-bit and 64-bit, with a laptop with 480 MB RAM (512 of which 32 for graphics chip).I can use Office 2007 just fine with it, after turning off the "usual" Windows services & background apps.
phantasm66 said:
I'm posting this right now from my 2GB t42 vista thinkpad - and its flying. 4GB my ass.
luvhuffer said:
[b]Originally posted by nathanskywalker:[/b][quote] (if you want to run aero, which I don't see why you would get vista if you didn't).[/quote]Aero is lame. That's the first thing I'll turn off when I get Vista. Ummm... make that Vista SP1. I don't need the flying windows. I seem to navigate easy enough when I have 5 or 6 programs running at once, on my XP. As for the transparency, I had a hard time reading what was in the window with the background showing through. You can keep the eye candy. It's all bloatware from what I've seen. Vista Transformation Pack 5.0 will give XP the same stuff with hardly a noticable amount of resource use, if the look is all you want.
phantasm66 said:
I think Aero is sweet, actually. So is the cool 3D window switcher thingy too.
ohsilly said:
Whoa whoa whoa! every one of yo who already installed Vista please press Control+Alt+Del and find out what Physical Memory is still available out of your installed RAM . You can find it under Performance tab nd Look under Phsical Memory (K). I suppose Vista has same thing as XP. Ihave a 1 GB RAM but only about 550 MB is used up with a lot of idle Ram lying around. I wonder what Vista is using up??
Mictlantecuhtli said:
SuperFetch. The purpose of the memory is to be used, is it not? Isn't it faster to keep applications & files in RAM cache than to read them from hard disk drive?Of course the SuperFetch memory will be freed in case you load a game or an application requiring a lot of memory. After you quit the game, the memory will be used for SuperFetch again.
captaincranky said:
Much ado about nothing. I say the more RAM the merrier.It's an ideal talking point for the mid-level techno-braggart."My RAM's bigger than your RAM." See how well that works out.
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