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Difference in Performance 8GB vs 16 GB

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April 9, 2013 8:06:04 PM

I know that 8GB is the sweet spot for RAM now a days but will 16 gb give me any better performance in loading programs, windows itself, etc.? I was going to get 2 x 4GB or 4 x 4GB

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a b } Memory
April 9, 2013 8:10:32 PM

You will not see better performance unless you run programs that use(combined) more then 8 gigabytes.

If you did run such programs with less memory, your computer would have to swap data from the hard drive to memory(back and forth at times).

Honestly, I do not think most users would see the difference(And I say this as a user with 16 gigabytes on one system 12 on the other and 8 on another 2 systems.).

4 was kind of cutting it close at times, but 8 seems to be as you say the "sweet" spot.

If you DO use lots of programs or multi game + host lots of game servers(and VMs/massive Photoshop use/ect), the extra ram will help keep things smoother(less need to go to the hard drive to swap data).

Loading will be the same as long as you do not run out of memory(hibernation, if you use it will actually take longer as it has more data to write to the drive.).
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a b } Memory
April 9, 2013 8:12:31 PM

If you use ur comp for gaming and normal usage, 8GB is more then enough but if you use it for photoshop, 3D or video rendering, etc.. the more the merrier.

Having high capacity in ram doesn't give u better performance in window boot up or program loading. For that, u will need to use SSD.

For the higher speed ram with tighter clocks, it doesn't help much in gaming but u will have a slight edge on programs that use the ram heavily like those professional apps.
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April 9, 2013 8:12:49 PM

I have 8GB and have never seen it come close to using it all... I run BL2, WoT, and some other games on 1 monitor with Chrome open on the other running Pandora and 10 other tabs without any issues. So, no, I do not think you will gain from it.

Use the money and put an SSD as you boot drive and the spinning disk as data and applications. If you want advice on how to do this... ask.
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April 9, 2013 8:19:48 PM

I dunno, if you made a RAM drive and really really wanted one particular program to load up immediately it would. Much faster than from an SSD. But that is pretty specific.
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April 9, 2013 8:39:40 PM

I also have similar experiences to everyone here. Even my 6GB set up has never run into any memory issues, but it cuts it close at times. More than 8GB of RAM should only be necessary for very specific applications, like large-scale photo editing, that require large amounts of memory to run effectively. For gaming, 8GB is more than enough, and for casual use you might even be able to get away with 4GB and not run into major issues.

On the other hand, if you want better loading performance, definitely go for an SSD. You will immediately notice a performance increase from HDD to SSD, both in bootup and opening programs
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April 10, 2013 12:32:01 PM

Thanks for the help guys, I went with the 8Gb so I could afford non OEM components ( annoying OEM )
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April 11, 2013 5:36:58 AM

nukemaster said:
You will not see better performance unless you run programs that use(combined) more then 8 gigabytes.


Do you mean that Windows disk caching is a big myth? If I load all the memory with apps then nothing remains for file caching. Right? And, you say that nothing changes?

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a b } Memory
April 11, 2013 7:22:22 AM

Not quite, Windows disk caching does work, but some users do not like its hard drive use while background loading. Personally it never had any negative effect(and I still have it on).

While it works well enough, any user with an SSD will not honestly see the improvements(maybe in a benchmark, but not in a blind test). If you have a very slow hard drive it may be more noticeable.

It can also be hit and miss. It will not cache a new program or game until it has been used for a while. Almost all the standard day to day stuff should be easy to cache within a system with 8 gigabytes.

Just as an example. My old(yeah I only call it old because I had it before my SSDs) WDC 2TB was a very fast drive and even with caching , a slow Kingston ssd(V series 100) with SRT made a noticeable improvident across the board(even after letting the cached files max out of 16 gigabytes of memory). I would have expected that after idle, things would load near instant from the cache, but they did not, while the ssd(and HDD using SRT) did get things much closer to that.

With a larger SSD only setup, things got even better.

While the caching feature is nice and has some improvements, they only go so far from what I could see.

Ram is FAST(I run some things off a ramdisk), but the implementation or caching does not seem to show it as much as one would hope for.
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April 11, 2013 11:38:53 AM

Which negative effect are you talking about? Aren't caches invoked for positive effects?

So, your recommendation to have no extra mem is inconsiderate of the conventional mechanical hard drives based-systems? Thanks, it starts making sense now.

Do you understand that you are talking about the case when all the memory is taken up by the user application and there is no more place for the OS file cache? You say that user should not buy more ram than is consumed by his applications. It means that there should be no room for the cache. Right? Which 8 GB are you talking about? Which hit rate can you have with zero cache?

EDIT. No clue how I edited your post(was sure I just hit reply to get a quote), but sorry.
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a b } Memory
April 11, 2013 12:00:45 PM

Valentin Tihomirov said:
Which negative effect are you talking about? Aren't caches invoked for positive effects?

Some users had reported slow downs as a result of the background caching(same has been said for file indexing). Again. I have never seen issues with this.

Valentin Tihomirov said:
So, your recommendation to have no extra mem is inconsiderate of the conventional mechanical hard drives based-systems? Thanks, it starts making sense now.

What? 8 gigabytes will leave most users PLENTY of spare.

Valentin Tihomirov said:
Do you understand that you are talking about the case when all the memory is taken up by the user application and there is no more place for the OS file cache? You say that user should not buy more ram than is consumed by his applications. It means that there should be no room for the cache. Right? Which 8 GB are you talking about? Which hit rate can you have with zero cache?

I do not see very many normal users running low enough on memory to run out of space for at least some of the cache. If the user is a "power user", they are not going to be asking, they are going to be buy 16/32(Win7 pro needed) gigabytes from the start.

The op asked if they would have a noticeable improvement(better performance) with more memory. Simply put, I do not think they would. This is based on multiple systems with various amounts of memory. 2 sticks will also place less stress on the cpu memory controller.

This is kind of like asking will a 2gigabyte video card be faster at 1024 x 768(or if 8 gigabytes of memory is enough for a normal user[even a gamer].). No. You can come in and say well IF they go upto 2560 x 1600(power user) it will. Yes it will, but IF the OP never does that, the extra memory is not needed.

The end result, the op got what they needed and some non OEM parts they wanted. seems Win-Win to me.
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April 12, 2013 4:46:11 AM

nukemaster said:
What? 8 gigabytes will leave most users PLENTY of spare.


Let me remind you your words

nukemaster said:
You will not see better performance unless you run programs that use(combined) more then 8 gigabytes.


Did you forget them or just think that taking up all 8 GB still leaves you a plenty of space?
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a b } Memory
April 12, 2013 7:48:13 AM

I think it still leaves plenty of space(for any non power user.).
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April 12, 2013 7:52:26 AM

nukemaster said:
I think it still leaves plenty of space(for any non power user.).


Please tell the full phrase: "consuming all the memory leaves a plenty of space in the memory"
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a b } Memory
April 12, 2013 8:06:10 AM

This will go on forever with you won't it?

8 gigs is plenty for any user with enough left over for those times they decide to use more.

Again, a user who KNOWS they use lots will get more.

You can quote and twist words all day long, but the fact is the OP will get no noticeable performance boost from more memory and will actually have a slow down if they use hibernation in many cases.

I will not be wasting time replying to any more quote of you said this but also this. No amount of memory is right for EVERY user, so you can have many answers. Heck someone may even be just fine with 4 gigabytes and I have seen some business systems with only 2 gigabytes of memory on Win7. Why? because it is more then they actually need.
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April 12, 2013 8:31:16 AM

nukemaster said:
This will go on forever with you won't it?

8 gigs is plenty for any user with enough left over for those times they decide to use more.

Again, a user who KNOWS they use lots will get more.


Why do you say that I twist over and over again if you start twisting again instead of stating a simpler rule: when one needs more memory and when existing is enaugh.

Why do you keep saying that 8 gb is plenty of memory if you do not want to say that nobody needs more? There is no doubt that 8 is plenty of memory. But the case is it is used completely. What happens to file cache then? How does it Why do you twist instead of analyzing the typical case? How do you know the answer in every particular case but not in general if all cases are the same: used memory comes close to the physically installed?
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