How much RAM to add

May budget is about $100 I was wondering if I should add 1gb (2x512) of dual channel or 512 (2x256)of dual channel. My question is how considerable will another half a gig do? I've heard that the most games now use is 1.5gb of RAM but I dunno.

I play games namely Far Cry, Battlefield Vietnam, and I want to get Oblivion, NFS: Most Wanted, and HL2.

I'm probably gonna wait until next year to rebuild a system so I'm doing the final upgrades.
Oh I almost forget my specs
P4 2.66ghz
512 dual ch.
GF 6200 (AGP) soon to be upgraded too!!
300W PSU w/ 18a 12v rail
intel mobo (bios doesn't have Ocing)
21 answers Last reply
More about tomshardware
  1. Put an extra gig in there and you'll be fine. Most games only need about 1 gig anyways, but having extra is always good ;)

    oh 2x512.
  2. Get 2x512 or if you really want 1x1gb so an extra gig could be added later but that would be counter productive considering DDR1 is on its way out.
  3. Thanks a bunch
  4. That extra 512 will help a lot, especially in BFV. Shame not alot of people play anymore...

  5. What about upgrading a vid card?? (I'm on AGP) My proc is an intel 2.66ghz none of that HT stuff either or dual core (mobo doesn't have overclocking). Which video card would I see the most benefit from.

    I've been looking at the GF 6800 and a 7800GS from leadtek (I'd have to get it shipped to the US) with a 7900 core but the same number of pipelines. but then I learned about bottlenecking so now I'm looking at an unlockable 6800GS (maybe X850XT because it's more powerful and only $20 more). I want to have most of the eye candy on my games. The most I can spend is 250 US on any vid card

    Their are a bajillion threads about this and I didn't want to add to that million about this. The other threads are with people who have faster processors so that's why I'm asking now.
  6. I would almost certainly say the 7800GS with the 7900 core, but it might bottleneck...Then we have the 6800GS (unlocked) vs. X850XT. The latter is faster, but it only has Shader Model 2.0b, while some games ALREADY have started, just barely though, using SM 3.0. So it boils down to whether you want future-proof or faster. I say get the X850XT because 1) It is faster 2) The shader model stuff is just a feature, it can be turned on or off. (It WILL be come a requirement later on, though)

    What are the prices you can get on all these cards?

  7. $240 - X850XT

    7800GS is around $300 now (I found it for 280 somewhere else)

    The leadtek 7800GS w/ 7900 core I'd have to get it shipped from the UK to US and with shipping it's $260.

    The 6800GS like $170-$200. IT was on sale but I't probably not be by the time I make my decision

    DO u think I could trust this site
    It seems to have better stuff than the US stuff
  8. i dont understand why people get 2gigs makes no big diffrence between 1gig and 2gigs; hell toms did an article on it, however i bet things will chagne with vista, is this why so many people are getting 2gigs now?
  9. You're wrong.

    Anyone who says that 2 gigs isnt needed doesnt have a clue. Every game I have played, plays better with 2 gigs.
    The load times are cut down, less laggy moments and less hard drive access and for games such as Half Life 2: Lost Coast, Oblivion, FEAR and Doom 3, those hard drive access times are virtually gone giving a much better gameplay experience.

    Play FEAR with one gig and then play it with two gigs and THEN tell me there is no difference.

    2 gigs doesnt necessarily give you higher framerates, but it will smooth them out considerably.
  10. ya u r right. i play FEAR using only 512MB with 6800gs. the frame rate is smooth, but too many hard disk access makes my 6800gs near useless. after adding another 1G, total 1.5G, the game play is 100% better, load time decrease, less hard disk access.....

    **the PCGAMER UK states that FEAR needs 2G of RAM.
  11. Quote:
    i dont understand why people get 2gigs makes no big diffrence between 1gig and 2gigs; hell toms did an article on it, however i bet things will chagne with vista, is this why so many people are getting 2gigs now?

    Hmm: large maps on BF2 with high settings. Loading all the textures takes up over 1Gb of RAM - most people have reported significant improvement in performance with having 2Gb.
  12. Yeah I now know to add a gig. So which of those cards should I go for?
  13. I think you can trust the site, their forums alone has 1,191,467 posts and 21,643 members. I think that it is a good site.

    I would now say get the 7800GS + 7900 core because it isn't that much more and I think the extra bucks will be worth it. I got a question, though. All of those cards "require" at least a 350W Power Supply... JUST the 6800GS on load will eat up 220+ watts...Are you going to be upgrading the power supply? If so, we might have to move to a slightly slower card and use the money saved for a new PSU.

  14. I've looked up PSU's and found
    Antec True Power II 550W
    OCZ Modstream
    From what I've heard these are two very trusted companies.
  15. My PSU right now is a 300W with an 18A 12V rail. From this site it says it has enough juice for a 7800GS
    I'm using the following:
    P4 2.66ghz prescott
    I'm looking to have 4 DDR SDRAM sticks
    a 7800GS
    a DVDRW
    a DVD-ROM
    a SATA (7200)
    and an IDE
    with an X-FI
    comes out to exactly 300W
    IF I get a new PSU It'll be for my next build. I'm upgrading until DX10
  16. Well, with load being on 300W exactly and you having a 300W PSU isn't too hot, but it might work. You have to remember that very few Power Supplies can provide all the watts they claim, most PSUs hit around 75-85% of their total wattage usually, some of the better ones can hit 85%+, but that is a small amount of them. I also clocked in a 7900GT instead, because it is basically a 7900GT with more memory, just brought to the AGP slot. That came to a total wattage of 309 watts needed on full load. Going with a great 85& efficiency, you get about 262 watts... So are you going to try the 7800GS+ with the 300W? Or upgrading? I'm kind of confused.

  17. I hate to rain on your parade, but I just feel compelled to...

    The only upgrade item that you can transfer to a new system next year will be the PSU, and this won't make games run faster.

    You want to play games.
    You need a new CPU (not skt478), mobo(ditto), video card (not AGP!), RAM (probably DDR2), and a bigger PSU.

    Any money you spend to improve your current rig's gaming performance will be wasted down the road. Will an extra 512MB of memory help? Yes if you're willing to throw it away next year.

    Maybe consider saving your money now, and then be able to build a whole new gaming box that much sooner. :)
  18. oh 2gb is a great increase its double the ram i mean i had 256mb and upgraded to 512 and i truely do feel the difference!
  19. Well call me cheap but with your rig I would go this route:

    Nice x800gto's granted no sm3.0 like the 7800gs but a lot cheaper and still a big upgrade from your 6200. Plus assuming you build a new computer in 1 year time it won't seem so bad on the wallet.
  20. That's a good idea. I think I have a rich friend who has one. I'm gonna try to get it from him since he doesn't use it anymore. Then I'll upgrade RAM. First I've gotta check power comsumption......
  21. What if I only use one HD and one ROM drive. I think I'll have enough power for the 6800GS or the 7800GS (7900) right?
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