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Is 4 Gigs of Ram too much?

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May 3, 2006 6:28:34 PM

Hello everyone, I'm about to buy 4 Gigs of DDR2 ram for my computer. Its a Dell Dimension 9100, and it came with 1 Gig.

Basically i'm upgrading the system, getting a better video card and now the ram.

What i'm worried about is that i remember reading that too much ram is actually bad for your computer. That in some instances, having as much as 4 gigs of ram can slow your computer down rather than speed it up, for whatever reason.

Is there any truth to this? Should I pass on the 4 gigs and only get 2? Thanks for any help!

More about : gigs ram

May 4, 2006 11:18:24 PM

You should probably only get two gb. Only, I mean only exception is if you are in the video/graphics industry.
May 5, 2006 2:16:33 PM

Unless you are wirking for Disney or Pixar, 2Gigs of Ram is a very good choice to everybody.

I tried to check out the 'too much ram' part though but couldn't find anything about it being a reason for decreasing performance
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May 5, 2006 2:58:14 PM

I don't think 4Gig of RAM is necessary, I got 2Gig of corsair and can’t even use up 1Gig lol. But ya, 2Gig is good when Vista releases we will need more than 1Gig for sure to do some decent gaming and stuff. It won't slow you down if you get 4Gig but just a waste of money IMO
May 5, 2006 3:23:28 PM

Agree with others, it's not that you will get slower but there is no purpose to 4 gb right now. Make sure that you get 2 x 1 gb for 2gb and you can upgrade at any time. I also think it makes sense from a financial viewpoint, they will only get cheaper and getting two now and two later is the best of both worlds.
May 5, 2006 3:27:19 PM

Besides potentially making your swapfile too small (which can affect performance) which the ideal size is based on your physical RAM, and some systems can't run in the max RAM clockspeed when you have more than 2 chips in dual channel, I don't remember any other issues.

The biggest concern is whether you will get any noticable benefit, and unless you know you need it, chances are you don't. If you later do need it, you can always add it then, assuming you still want your computer then.

Think about it. Let's say the memory costs about $150 for that extra 2GB. If you don't buy it until you need it, you can spend it on other stuff, or just plain save it.

As a software developer, I just upgraded my laptop to 2GB, and it seems to be enough to run 3 database servers, 2 development environments, several internet explorer windows, web server, coldfusion, .NET, database editors/managers, windows grep, and anything else I feel like, and still have room to spare. This is not to mention, if you actually have that much loaded, *SOME* swapping isn't necessarily a *bad* thing. It'll only put the least used stuff into the swap file.

Just my two cents.
May 5, 2006 3:39:19 PM

If you have a 64-bit O.S., then you can use all of that memory. If not, you will only see around 3 Gigs in Windows.

Concerning the speed with all slots filled, I think it is more of a factor with an AMD system.

Anyway, I agree with the previous advice. It is a waste of money, unless you are running a 64-bit O.S. and you use your computer for heavy image processing and rendering of 3D data.
May 5, 2006 3:40:03 PM

Quote:
Hello everyone, I'm about to buy 4 Gigs of DDR2 ram for my computer. Its a Dell Dimension 9100, and it came with 1 Gig.

Basically i'm upgrading the system, getting a better video card and now the ram.

What i'm worried about is that i remember reading that too much ram is actually bad for your computer. That in some instances, having as much as 4 gigs of ram can slow your computer down rather than speed it up, for whatever reason.

Is there any truth to this? Should I pass on the 4 gigs and only get 2? Thanks for any help!

get 2. 4 gigs is a waste of cash.
May 5, 2006 3:40:20 PM

Quote:
Hello everyone, I'm about to buy 4 Gigs of DDR2 ram for my computer. Its a Dell Dimension 9100, and it came with 1 Gig.

Basically i'm upgrading the system, getting a better video card and now the ram.

What i'm worried about is that i remember reading that too much ram is actually bad for your computer. That in some instances, having as much as 4 gigs of ram can slow your computer down rather than speed it up, for whatever reason.

Is there any truth to this? Should I pass on the 4 gigs and only get 2? Thanks for any help!

get 2. 4 gigs is a waste of cash.
May 5, 2006 3:59:38 PM

technically to reach 4 gb of ram, is because you going to use 4 x 1gb sticks.

and 1gb sticks dont have as good timing as 512mb sticks.
that was the thing about having too much ram "slowing" down your computer (from the overclockers point of view, cuz they want the fastest... ). But if you use more than 2gb of ram... then having more will definitenaly help since ram > HD ( virtual memory ).

And prolly, like mentionned, is you don't need 4gb of ram. most likely 2gb is plenty for you and you could save th emoney to invest it later or in something else that you could benefit from.
May 5, 2006 4:02:46 PM

On AMD systems the memory controller is a buggy so you would have to run 2T timings. Lucky for you, Intel's isn't bugged.
May 6, 2006 9:55:15 PM

Thanks for the advice guys, ended up getting 3 Gigs of ram and a GeForce 7600 GS video card to replace my old crappy one. Have to say its perfect, every game runs like a dream. All together cost me about 450 bucks.

Thanks again
May 6, 2006 10:39:15 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the advice guys, ended up getting 3 Gigs of ram and a GeForce 7600 GS video card to replace my old crappy one. Have to say its perfect, every game runs like a dream. All together cost me about 450 bucks.

I would say get the 4Giga of ram but use 2Giga as a solid state drive. Place your swap file and anything else you need loaded really fast and see loads faster than dual raptors.
May 10, 2006 4:57:20 PM

2 gigs max if it's your home computer that you use for media and games. Mainly just because 4 is a waste of money.
May 10, 2006 5:17:15 PM

2 gigs max if it's your home computer that you use for media and games. Mainly just because 4 is a waste of money.
May 10, 2006 5:29:11 PM

I have 4 Gigs installed right now. There really is not any use of it at this moment, but in Vista it can be used like extra "harddrive" cache.

It easy to upgrade whe the Vista will eventually... come out, but for me it was easy chose. The price of DDR is going to come up in few years, so why not upgrade now...

But as everyone has said. 2 Gigs is good for far future!
May 10, 2006 5:56:12 PM

The only way that having 4GB of memory would really "decrease" performance is that higher capacity DIMMs tend to have slower latency timings.

Plus, as many people have said, it is kind of a waste of money. The 32-bit OS will only see about 3.5 - 3.75 GB of the RAM (with some tweaking). Plus, as applications stand now, you won't really see a performance gain going beyond 2GB (even in the 64-bit OS), unless of course you're doing high-end rendering.
May 10, 2006 6:23:06 PM

Other applications where 4GB of memory comes in handy include simulations on medium to very large datasets, general number-crunching on large datasets, and software dev if you need to test on many platforms via virtual machines.

Admittedly not what your average home user's going to do, but I've done some of all of the above (plus some 3d rendering) on my machine, and found the extra memory invaluable (for the 3d rendering, the single process ended up taking up 3.4 GB all by its lonesome 8O ). Plus, as others have mentioned, the fact that you should at that point be using a 64-bit OS and all the headaches that come with that.

Also, in my case 4 sticks actually improved the performance (by achieving dual dual-channel and allowing NUMA capabilities) , but again this in not the standard case. For any systems with only 1 memory controller, try to stick to 2 sticks, as others have mentioned.

/My $.02
May 12, 2006 4:37:35 AM

Quote:
I have 4 Gigs installed right now. There really is not any use of it at this moment, but in Vista it can be used like extra "harddrive" cache.

It easy to upgrade whe the Vista will eventually... come out, but for me it was easy chose. The price of DDR is going to come up in few years, so why not upgrade now...

But as everyone has said. 2 Gigs is good for far future!

Software base solid state drive is what your talking about. This can be done now and is much faster than say iram PCI card using SATA. The software is like $59 and you can always as you stated use the memory later with Vista.
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