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4GB of RAM with Windows Vista

By JoeM076 ยท 19 replies
Oct 8, 2007
  1. I am thinking about getting rid of my old RAM, and upgrading to 4GB of Corsair RAM so my PC will run games smoother and more efficiently.(My main goal is to be able to run Crysis as good as possible.)

    -First of all, I have heard that Windows Vista doesn't utilize 4GB's of RAM, and it doesn't make a difference in performance with your PC. ---Is this true?
    -If so then I'll get 2GB's of RAM instead of 4GB.

    -Second, if 4GB of RAM IS worth getting, then which type/brand should I get?


    -Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
    -Nvidia XFX 8800GTX
    -Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe Gaming Motherboard ----- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131031&Tpk=Asus+P5N32-SLI+SE+Motherboard
    -Windows Vista Home Premium Edition

    - I know nothing about choosing and purchasing RAM, so if anyone can suggest some helpful solutions that would be great! :)

    - Would four of these be good? --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145034
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    if you only have a 32bit OS then there's no point in getting 4gb of ram plus it may give you problems. this is because 32bit OS's can only recognise 4gb of ram in total and that has to include the graphics card ram and something else, i think it's the virtual memory. you could get 3gb of ram and be fine, after all, 3gb is more than 2gb ;)

    you'd know if you had 64bit vista because it would be written everywhere and you'd be having trouble trying to find programs that work :) if you do have 64bit, though, you might as well go with the 4gb :)

    that ram looks pretty good, the best brands of ram are corsair, ocz and kingston if i remember correctly. i think crucial is good too but i think it can be expensive. the best type of ram is the best that your motherboard can support ;)
  3. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

    I have Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, 32-bit. Also, is this RAM compatible with my motherboard?(**Which one is better if I was to get 3GB's of them?**)

    - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145153

    - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145573

    -I found this concerning the 32-bit problem you mentioned: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html

    If I got 3GB's of 1GB modules, and then added another half of RAM, 512MB, I could then get the most possible RAM supported by my operating system without any modifications. = 3584MB...I think..
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    We have users here who have OS 32-bit use 4GB of RAM and the VRM is set to 4096/4096 No problems. What are you talking about.. You got some MOBO that handle 8GB of RAM.
  5. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

    But Windows Vista 32-bit doesn't utilize 4GB's of RAM
  6. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,413   +809

    Vista 32-bit carries a 4GB memory limitation that is inherited for backwards compatibility, so in Microsoft's words about 3.3 GB of that memory is addressable. If you want to go above the 4GB limit you should look for 64-bit Vista.

    Now, more memory won't translate into better performance.

    I'm running 32-bit Vista on an Athlon X2 CPU with 2GB RAM. Even when multitasking my main memory sits at about 50% usage. When I work heavily on my machine say I have open Frontpage, Excel, Word, Outlook, Adobe Fireworks, Firefox with 15 tabs opened, Trillian IM, and I'm moving around between all those programs, I sit at around 60-70% max. Basically I don't feel it in terms of speed.

    So my conclusion is that 2GB is sufficient for normal desktop use and for gaming it should do fine, too. Before considering more RAM (even when it's so cheap these days), you could get considerably better performance boosts from upgrading to a speedier 10k RPM HDD (this one goes high up on my list) or a better videocard for gaming.

    Unless your PC serves the purpose of a workstation/server or you have to work with very large files, then moving to 64-bit and more RAM makes sense.
  7. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

    So if I get 4GB's of RAM will I get more RAM performance than if I get 3GB's of RAM? I wan't to get the MOST performance from my PC to get ready for Crysis and the other graphically demanding games that are coming out soon.

    -I found this RAM that seems to be the best for my PC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145034
  8. cosmos100

    cosmos100 TS Rookie Posts: 56

    I don't think 4GB is really needed (not now anyway) - though as you have it you may as well keep it, there really wouldnt be much difference between 3 and 4...

    I agree with Julio I recently upgraded from 1GB to 2GB and it feels about right everything works and even when I'm gaming it doesnt put strain on the RAM.

    PS - is the 32 bit/ 64 bit something to do with the computers chipset?
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    the 32/64bit thing is to with the operating system. 32 bit OS's have a 4gb memory limit whereas 64bit has a higher one (i'm not exactly sure what it is ;)) so if you have 4gb of ram in a 32bit system it will only show up as about 3.3gb because the graphics memory is included in the 4gb.

    you could get 4gb's if you wanted, but like i said, unless you have a 64bit OS you won't be able to use all of it so you might as well just get 3gb if you have a 32bit OS :)
  10. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

    Well I can get 3 modules of this...
    - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145153
    ..but the Cas Latency is 5...

    Whereas this..
    ..seems to be the best, but it only comes in pairs.

    -There is also this..
    ..but again the Cas Latency is 5...does this have a big effect on performance?
    ---Any suggestions on what RAM to get would be greatly appreciated! :)
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

    Dual channel RAM is fastest so get the sets of matched pairs. The motherboard you listed in your first post supports DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) but not DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500), so go with the former not the later. I don't think Cas 5 will be an issue.
  12. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

    Lower is better with regard to performance. That RAM is a good choice and at a really good price too (rebate, free shipping).
  14. JoeM076

    JoeM076 Topic Starter

    Thank you to everyone who responded to this thread! :)
  15. LeapingThongs

    LeapingThongs TS Rookie Posts: 39

    didnt mean to the jack the thread but.... athlon64 939 and pentium4 (630) both on xp is 64bit right? is that mean it can take full advantage of 4gig ram?
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Both are 64-bit (although I don't know what you mean by "on xp").
  17. LeapingThongs

    LeapingThongs TS Rookie Posts: 39

    both is windows xp home. since it is both 64bit... is that mean it can take full advantage of 4gig ram?
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    XP Home doesn't come in a 64 bit variety.

    64bit processors for typical PCs have been around since...... well the early Athlon 64s right after the Athlon XPs. Just because you have a 64bit processor doesn't mean that if an OS runs on it that the OS is 64 bit. 64bit processors run 32bit windows fine, 32bit processors do not run 64bit OSes.

    I suspect Mict knew what you were getting at, but didn't want to write a full explanation.
  19. LeapingThongs

    LeapingThongs TS Rookie Posts: 39

    so all I have to do is get windows vista to be real 64bit? and 4gig of ram will take full advantage?
  20. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    just getting windows vista does not mean you have 64 bit

    those are 64 bit processors but you need to get windows xp 64 bit or windows vista 64 bit - you will know it is the 64 bit version because it will have it written all over the place but it depends on whether you'd rather have an extra gig of ram or ease of finding compatible programs because not every program works on 64 bit os's

    personally i'd rather stick with 32bit and 3gb of ram for now :) well i would if my mobo could take 3gb of ram ;)

    also, please don't quote the thread above your own unless you want to highlight a specific part of the post, do not quote the whole post, just post a normal reply by clicking the "Post Reply" button at the top or bottom of the thread
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