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How much ram? - Upgrade

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May 19, 2006 11:16:50 AM

want to upgrade from 1 gig ram to 4 gig ram, & mobo to msi k8n diamond +. I use system only for gaming. OS is Win XP home ed. My question is whether the system will recognise & be able to use all the 4 gig ram? If not how do u get the system to do so?

Amd 64 3000 cpu
9800pro vid card :) 

More about : ram upgrade

May 19, 2006 11:52:51 AM

It will recognize it all, but it would actually be faster if you only have 2 GB's of good RAM. Even bad ram would be faster in 2. Only use 4 if you do LOTS of video editing, photo editing, rendering of 3d, and other ram intensive operations.

DDay
May 19, 2006 11:54:23 AM

I noticed no change in XP going from 512 Mb to 1 Gb.... Maybe if your running battlefield 2 you can have use of more than 1 gb in games.
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May 19, 2006 11:58:17 AM

Your board does support 4GB or RAM, but in my opinion its a bit overkill. 2GB is more than ample for gaming. I don't think you will really see any great performance increase by running 4GB. Of course in the future who knows...

Here is the specs for your board:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr...
May 19, 2006 1:58:40 PM

I second that, 4 GB is a but much for just gaming, I recommend getting 2 now, and 2 in the future when games need it, if that happens and you still have the same system. It will be cheaper that way too, with new innovations happening all the time. :) 
May 19, 2006 2:07:31 PM

Four gigds is way overkill seeing how for anything below cas 3 may just be two over priced. Get two gigs of nice ram as said and filter that money into a x2 cpu. You should see a great deal of performance gain if you are gamming heavy.
May 19, 2006 3:23:01 PM

Quote:
want to upgrade from 1 gig ram to 4 gig ram, & mobo to msi k8n diamond +. I use system only for gaming. OS is Win XP home ed. My question is whether the system will recognise & be able to use all the 4 gig ram? If not how do u get the system to do so?

Do it but use the second 2Gb for a RAM disk. I get less than 1 second loads on counter strike source maps by doing just this.
http://www.cenatek.com/product_ramdisk.cfm
Here's the link and it only costs $49 for the software to set it up.
May 19, 2006 5:32:00 PM

Quote:
want to upgrade from 1 gig ram to 4 gig ram, & mobo to msi k8n diamond +. I use system only for gaming. OS is Win XP home ed. My question is whether the system will recognise & be able to use all the 4 gig ram? If not how do u get the system to do so?

Amd 64 3000 cpu
9800pro vid card :) 


XP Home cannot even address 4GB of RAM. For that, you have to go to XP X64. XP Home will only be able to use about 2.5GB of that, anything above will be wasted, untill you use that RAM disk idea another poster suggested.
May 19, 2006 5:41:16 PM

here is another person reccomending just 2gigs. Put the cash toward a video card or something else.
May 19, 2006 8:04:50 PM

2GB is plenty for 90% of people. Vista only recommends 1GB for Aero so even at 2GB you will be future proof for at least a year.
May 19, 2006 8:31:14 PM

2 gigs is plenty for MOST people, but as we all know BF2 eats up RAM and can actually see benefit from more than 2 gigs when running high res(over 1600x1200). Someone in another forum games @1920x1200 and saw a good increase by adding another gig(3 gigs total).
May 19, 2006 8:55:58 PM

I really should save my standard reply to this, as this question seems to be popping up everywhere recently... *deeply inhales*....

Problems with 4 GiBs of system memory in PC's

Problem 1) The "Memory Hole" problem: because of legacy reasons, all device interface maps reside at the top of the 4GiB address space (the idea being allowing memory mapping of devices in standard memory space, start at the end (which, at the time was 2^32 bits, or 4GiB, and work backwards). This requires mapping of the memory that would be unaccessible due to overlaping these device maps to the address space above 4GiB. This can be accomplished in either software (via BIOS + OS awareness) or in hardware (via BIOS and hardware ability, only available in the 90nm chip revision

Problem 2) The "Hey, where'd my other 2 gigs go?" problem: Windows XP 32-bit (Home only comes as 32-bit) is able to address 32-bits worth of address space (without ugly hacks like PAE, but that's for another thread) which, as said before, is 4GiB. We're money, right? Unfortunately not, as Windows splits the address space and hence the memory into "kernel memory" and "user memory", and it splits this 4GiB address space right down the middle, leaving processes only able to access, at most, 2GiB of space. While there is no solution to make Windows let any process use all of the possible address space short of adding more address bits, there is a boot parameter you can set in boot.ini that may help the situation, /3GB, when appended to the boot params can allow processes the ability to use up to 3GiB of address space at the cost of the kernel only having 1 GiB. As such, I've seen this approach work wonders and I've seen this approach crash systems, requiring fine-tuning of the address split using the USERVA=##### switch to back off from 3GiB. Even after all of that, note that only certain applications that have been compiled with special flags will even be aware of the possiblity to use more that 2 GiB of memory, and most of those are in the scientific and engineering realm.

Problem 3) The "Where's the performance?" problem: As others have touched on here, save high-end video editing, veryhigh end photo editing, mathematic simulations on large data sets, running a mid level to entry-enterprise level (web|DB|domain)server, or any other application where routine access to large, large ammounts of data is the order of the day, you will see little to no improvement over 2GiB. There are many articles around (including one on THG) that illustrate this.

Problem 4) The "Windows x64 kinda sucks" problem: As stated before, the only "real" way to see all those pretty bytes is to get a system that has the kinda available address space to house that memory and the mapped devices in one go which requires an operating system that has a few extra address bits in it's addresses. What you will quickly realize is that some of your old hardware won't work anymore and, guess what? it never will. Many companies just aren't supporting 64-bit drivers and, while the situation is much improved from "the early days", it still is a problem. Even beyond that, you will have to install many 32-bit programs as there aren't 64-bit verions of them, and when there are (IE and Firefox), some plugins are not (Flash, Java plugin), which requires the 32 bit browser. Linux and BSD is much better in the driver realm, but that point is probably moot here. Thus is life on the bleeding edge.

Finally, I mean you could always upgrade later, I mean you can still buy pc133.
May 19, 2006 9:23:05 PM

For gaming a 2Gb of ramage should be enough to play games like BF2, FEAR and Oblivion. 4Gb would work but it be useless as games like the ones I have mentioned takes from 1-1.2Gb of ram to run smoothly.
May 19, 2006 9:32:27 PM

Post this one again in 3-4 years and we'll be able to tell you all about the tremendous benefits of 4GB goodness.
May 19, 2006 10:27:29 PM

Haha, indeed.
May 19, 2006 11:35:36 PM

Hmmm...This would be an interesting article, an in depth look at RAM and how the speed/quantity can help/hurt with the latest games at different resolutions from 1024x768 to 1920x1440+. Testing with multi GPUs would be nice too.

Does loosening the timings in order to add more bandwidth help or hurt and to what extent? From what I've seen it's about an even trade off, but this was tested at lower resolutions.

This should be done on an Intel and AMD setup with high end/overclocked CPUs.
May 20, 2006 2:00:57 AM

The best bandwidth he's going to get is with 2 sticks in a dual-channel setup, and generally the onboard memory controller doesn't need the timings loosened for moving from a single channel setup to a dual channel, instead the quality of the memory comes into play.

Further, multiple GPU's would help gaming performance in most cases, but would have nothing to do with the system memory (save the "hyper ultra cache" or whatever those low-end cards have which boils down to shared memory, but those aren't the type to do multicard setups with anyway).
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