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4 gigs of ram vs 2?

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October 27, 2006 1:42:49 AM

well since i will soon be building my new system i was wondering if i would see a performance gain if i were to go with 4 gigs of ram, rather than the standard 2?

pros and cons please

*and is the dominator ram from corsair worth it?

More about : gigs ram

October 27, 2006 1:44:02 AM

Running XP? No...
Running Vista? Probably so.
October 27, 2006 2:23:33 AM

I was playing around a few months ago and believe or not, my machine booted much quicker with 3gigs of ram vs. 1.5.

Couldn't believe it until I swapped back and forth a few times, and sure enough my XP box was much quicker with more.

Then I tried the same thing with another machine, same results.

I didn't even have any software running in the background other than the ATi cat driver and AntiVIR.

RAM is a lot more expensive now though. Would have made more sense to buy a load of it 2 months ago when it was much cheaper.
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October 27, 2006 2:29:29 AM

It really depends what games you want to play and what OS you're using. I doubt you'll need more than 2 gigs for any Win XP system, I only have 512 in my 478 board and it purrs like a kitten. Presumably Vista will use more RAM than XP.

RAM is expensive. General rule of thumb for those of us on a budget, if you don't need it, don't buy it. Not that the world even "needs" technology.

As far as the dominator ram, if you can get 800mhz DDR2 there's a chance you're already faster than everyone who's using DDR. With that RAM you're paying for quality yes, but you're also paying for the Corsair name and the tech's "newness." Not to mention that big fancy heatsink.

You buy the best today and tomorrow it's crap. But hey, it's your money...and I need people to buy top of the line stuff so they keep making it. Eventually it'll fall into my price range. :-)
October 27, 2006 2:33:37 AM

Quote:
I was playing around a few months ago and believe or not, my machine booted much quicker with 3gigs of ram vs. 1.5.

Couldn't believe it until I swapped back and forth a few times, and sure enough my XP box was much quicker with more.

Then I tried the same thing with another machine, same results.

I didn't even have any software running in the background other than the ATi cat driver and AntiVIR.

RAM is a lot more expensive now though. Would have made more sense to buy a load of it 2 months ago when it was much cheaper.


This could have more to do with ram speed and number of modules than simply allocation.
October 27, 2006 2:35:03 AM

As Rich wrote, under XP, you loose, but under Vista, it will probably be necessary. We might even come to the day when we need 8 gig of Ram, though I hope not.

Dominator ram is good stuff, but mainly if you're heavy into overclocking and such. Tom's did an article on it not long ago and found between 0% and 5% advantage over normal XMS, depending upon application,, as I remember. If you have the money, lots of money, fine, but the money probably would be better spent on graphics cards and a faster cpu.
October 27, 2006 3:03:42 AM

RAM speed?

Moved from 2 x 512MB + 2 x 256MB PC3200 dual channel on i865 chipset
to 2 x 512MB + 2 x 1GB modules

Same # of modules, same speed, same timings.

Just borrow some ram from a friend and try it.

Trust me, XP LOVES ram.

Won't get any extra fps in games, but it does make a difference when you are almost never paging to the hard drive
October 27, 2006 3:25:20 AM

Actually, I tried turning my page file off on my Athlon 3000+ mATX system. Ran fine with 1 gig of 3500LL pro. Wouldn't boot with only 256. On my SLI system I have a G15 keyboard, the LCD screen shows me RAM usage. When I first popped Oblivion in with 2 gigs of ram I never even used more than 60%. :-)
October 27, 2006 4:05:25 AM

ic, thanks for the reply. Well i was thinking about running vista and needing 4 gigs but since the final retail version isnt available quite yet we will have to wait to see if it makes a difference.

As for the dominator ram, i do not, have the money for it but was just wondering how good it was etc.
October 27, 2006 4:07:06 AM

I'm sure it's some of the best, if not THE best on the market. I think you will see Vista using more than 2 gigs of ram frequently if you have it.
October 27, 2006 4:48:57 AM

I hope i can take full advantage of my 4 gigs ram with vista ultimate.
October 27, 2006 5:43:54 AM

this is the CPU SECTION of HARDWARE forum, please make sure next time you post it in the right section. And as for your question yes do get 4 GB of RAM its always better to be a little future proof.
October 27, 2006 6:20:42 AM

i have another ram related question :D 
How about the difference between DDR 667 and 800? is the a really discernable difference? i know that matching the frequency of the memory bus to 1:1 gives it good performance.. but by how much? and will corsair XMS2 PC6400cl3 do the job considering the processor to be E6600/E6700?
October 27, 2006 7:15:56 AM

if you can, by all means, get it, and install a 64 bit version of Ultimate on your machine (to clarify for the future, x64 version be in the disc case along with the 32 bit version).
treat yourself to some sweetness. If you can.
if not, get 3 gigs.
October 27, 2006 10:39:19 AM

Quote:
I was playing around a few months ago and believe or not, my machine booted much quicker with 3gigs of ram vs. 1.5.

Couldn't believe it until I swapped back and forth a few times, and sure enough my XP box was much quicker with more.

Then I tried the same thing with another machine, same results.

I didn't even have any software running in the background other than the ATi cat driver and AntiVIR.

RAM is a lot more expensive now though. Would have made more sense to buy a load of it 2 months ago when it was much cheaper.

YEs, especially running XP x64 you NEED 4G of RAM to squeeze 100% of your apps and as soon as more 64bit apps start to flood (all the new versions of the major software companies are supposed do have a 64bit version), 4-8G of RAM will not be that uncommon. So if I were Maverick7, I'd get 2x2G sticks with the open option for another 2x2 later.
October 27, 2006 1:16:22 PM

well in vista you can use flash drives like ram so do you really need more ram to run vista then xp? like ill have 4gigs of ram from my psp connected by usb and then 2 from my mobo.
October 27, 2006 2:21:55 PM

Quote:
well since i will soon be building my new system i was wondering if i would see a performance gain if i were to go with 4 gigs of ram, rather than the standard 2?

pros and cons please

*and is the dominator ram from corsair worth it?



Use the task manager to monitor usage.

Until Vista comes (as someone already said), it's highly unlikely you'll ever use more than 2GB RAM on a gaming machine. The money is better invested in a stroger video card, RAID 0, or RAM with better timings.

Even with Vista, you can disable Aero to reclaim a lot of RAM. Object Desktop (www.stardock.com) offers equally impressive gfx for a fraction of the resources.

Go 1x1 until you need it. I'm running a comp with 1GB of RAM and loading times are fine (BF2, F.E.A.R., etc). You won't notice the $200 investment for the extra 2GB RAM, guaranteed. You'll notice much more of a difference if you get better RAM and OC your processor.

Anything above DDR533 for a C2D is only necessary if you're overclocking, otherwise you want to focus on RAM timings.
October 27, 2006 3:21:27 PM

I am using 2gigs right now and I wanted to see how it would run with 3 so I borrowed some memory from a friend and it seems to make a difference in speed and responsiveness i mean not a major jump in performance but definitely noticeable What i dont understand is that even with 2gigs even when I have a bunch of programs open I still always seem to have a gig or more of available memory and the page file usage history is a flat line it never seems to be used. Yet with 3 gigs it still feels faster. I thought more ram made things faster because your computer is less likely to run out of ram and have to write to the hard drive. But on my system it seems that even with 2gigs I never run out of memory and rarely if ever have to write to disk according to task manager. So why then does it feel more responsive and faster with the 3gigs?
October 27, 2006 3:46:24 PM

Quote:
I am using 2gigs right now and I wanted to see how it would run with 3 so I borrowed some memory from a friend and it seems to make a difference in speed and responsiveness i mean not a major jump in performance but definitely noticeable What i dont understand is that even with 2gigs even when I have a bunch of programs open I still always seem to have a gig or more of available memory and the page file usage history is a flat line it never seems to be used. Yet with 3 gigs it still feels faster. I thought more ram made things faster because your computer is less likely to run out of ram and have to write to the hard drive. But on my system it seems that even with 2gigs I never run out of memory and rarely if ever have to write to disk according to task manager. So why then does it feel more responsive and faster with the 3gigs?


You're right about the paging.

If it feels more responsive, is it possible that you had your RAM misconfigured and you weren't using dual-channel? It's easy for a computer to feel more snappy after an upgrade, because it's mental. Try running a benchark program such as sisoft sandra to really see what's going on. It's possible your chipset works better with full mem banks.

If the new RAM is different, it's very possible it could be putting a strain on the old RAM (forcing better timings), and your old RAM is just taking it like a champ.

Check the specs on the RAM, and run a benchmark before and after.

Getting more RAM is like buying a bigger house. Just because you have more room doesn't mean you have enough junk to fill it, though chances are you will over time.
October 27, 2006 4:46:56 PM

Quote:
I am using 2gigs right now and I wanted to see how it would run with 3 so I borrowed some memory from a friend and it seems to make a difference in speed and responsiveness i mean not a major jump in performance but definitely noticeable What i dont understand is that even with 2gigs even when I have a bunch of programs open I still always seem to have a gig or more of available memory and the page file usage history is a flat line it never seems to be used. Yet with 3 gigs it still feels faster. I thought more ram made things faster because your computer is less likely to run out of ram and have to write to the hard drive. But on my system it seems that even with 2gigs I never run out of memory and rarely if ever have to write to disk according to task manager. So why then does it feel more responsive and faster with the 3gigs?


I'm telling you guys...more modules can = faster CPU throughput. =P

I should mention that on some boards, you have to make sure to put your memory in the right slots or they won't be activated. I don't know how much you know, I never assume. Adding another module of ram may have in fact enabled the 2nd slot, causing you to go from 1 gig to 3. My point was as far as turning off page file, is that if you have 2 gigs, you're likely barely using the page file as it is. 2 gigs with a small page file is plenty for most of today's apps.
October 27, 2006 11:15:23 PM

4 gig of ram is noticeably better in Battlefield 2. No pagefile for that game is amazing. I wish i even had 2 gigs... but to get another gig of pc 3500 mushkin lvl 2 bh-5 would be such a waste. I'll settle with my 1 gig...

By the time i build a new computer it will probably be quad core with RDram. ^^
October 27, 2006 11:19:36 PM

I don't play Battlefield. Haven't ever even seen it on-screen either. I'm still playing StarCraft. Been hooked for almost a decade now. LOL Stupid games!!! I bought Oblivion the day it came out, and haven't gotten very far in it yet. I just get bored too easily I guess. Rainbow Six 3, Neverwinter Nights, etc...buy them one day, trade them in the next. I'm just hard to please. It's why I quit shaggin' your sister and your wife. :-P
October 28, 2006 12:12:59 AM

I was wondering about this earlier. XP comes in two flavors, 32-bit and 64-bit. Now, why is it that XP 32-bit is limited to 3 gigs? Isn't it 2^31 power? 2^31 power is 2147483648. I'm so confused. Can someone please explain?
October 28, 2006 12:33:13 AM

4bg over 2gb in BF2 does not show any noticeable differance in BF2 unless you are gaming at uber high resolutions with everything turned on. If you're at 16 x 12 with all on high, there will be no visible improvement.
October 28, 2006 12:35:37 AM

Quote:
this is the CPU SECTION of HARDWARE forum, please make sure next time you post it in the right section.


Just about to say that myself. Although the CPU section gets more views than most others, please don't post an irrelevant topic there, if you post it in the RAM section it will still be answered, even though it could take longer.

Next time, please check which forum you're posting in.
October 28, 2006 1:01:55 AM

So, whatever happened to the flaw with the AMD 939 where if you filled up all four slots, you lost Dual-Channel, so you were actually going yourself a disservice?

Has this been resolved with the AM2? I know the Intel chipsets never had this problem and it has kept me from going all the way with RAM in my box. That, and XP/32bit seems to have problem approaching 4 GB.
October 28, 2006 1:10:06 AM

This doesn't even relate to me. :-) My X2 and my Athlon 64 systems both run XP Pro X64. :-P
October 28, 2006 1:10:20 AM

It doesn't have a problem approaching it - it has a problem addressing it ;) 
October 28, 2006 2:19:59 AM

Quote:
What i dont understand is that even with 2gigs even when I have a bunch of programs open I still always seem to have a gig or more of available memory and the page file usage history is a flat line it never seems to be used. Yet with 3 gigs it still feels faster. I thought more ram made things faster because your computer is less likely to run out of ram and have to write to the hard drive. But on my system it seems that even with 2gigs I never run out of memory and rarely if ever have to write to disk according to task manager. So why then does it feel more responsive and faster with the 3gigs?


From what I understand, Windows uses spare RAM to keep portions of itself resident in memory for quick access--but it obviously needs to leave memory available for your applications to run! So I think it looks at the amount of memory available, leaves some (percentage) aside for applications, and takes the rest. So adding more RAM increases the likelihood that when an application calls for some system service, it is already in memory and does not need to be loaded from disk (probably causing some other pre-loaded part of Windows to be purged).

This memory caching scheme obviously breaks down if you only give Windows some small amount of memory to play with, as both Windows and your applications are going to be caching like crazy to this limited amount of memory. As the OS gets bigger and bigger, it needs more and more memory to play with efficiently.
October 28, 2006 3:43:17 AM

Thank you Captain Obvious. :-P I think most of us kinda knew that, but it was still well stated. Bravo lad, bravo.
October 28, 2006 4:33:40 AM

It happens that I used to have 2GB RAM with my Win XP Pro box, but I've upgraded the CPU to a dual core Athlon64 S939 and also got 2 GB more of the same RAM, so I end up having 4x1GB, Corsair XMS Pro. Old motherboards and WinXP 32 bit version are not very well tested with 4GB RAM, so I have some issues. I can't even see the 4GB because the VIA Southbridge maps some I/O resources in the upper ram. So, in 32 bit XP, I can see only 3.6GB. In 64 bit with a special BIOS setting I can see the whole 4GB. The speed diff is not really noticeable. Maybe even slower. The question is: are you going to use some software that needs lots of RAM? Or are you going to have lots of programs running in the same time, each with lots of RAM requirement? If so, it's worth going to 4GB. Otherwise not. I needed 4GB because I'm running an old aero similation software that needs 2GB RAM to run.

Vista changes the equation. But, because you talk 2GB versus 4GB, I would say buy 2x1GB sticks now, and 2 more later if you upgrade to Vista and see that you need more ram. It's really easy to upgrade.

So, to summarize, the question is one of what software are you going to run and in the end it's very easy to upgrade later to 4GB from 2GB, as opposed to upgrading from 1 to 2GB.

Peace,
Lav
a c 96 à CPUs
October 28, 2006 4:46:29 PM

All modern OSes love RAM as they cache stuff in it so that you don't have to read from the HDD. Even Linux, the OS known for its low resource requirements, loves RAM and will use as much as you throw at it.

And to the OP: You will only see a benefit from running 4GB RAM if you have a 64-bit OS. You will see a benefit in 32-bit XP running 3GB RAM but if you put four in there things slow down from what I have heard many people say. I'd suggest 2x1GB sticks now and then another 2x1 or even 2x2GB sticks when you get a 64-bit OS.
October 29, 2006 8:39:57 PM

Quote:
well since i will soon be building my new system i was wondering if i would see a performance gain if i were to go with 4 gigs of ram, rather than the standard 2?

Depends on the application that you expect to use. Some applications swallow more ram than others.
A good rule of thumb is that your system should rarely (preferrably never) swap to HD, under normal conditions. Go for RAM size rather than speed or low latency.

Quote:
and is the dominator ram from corsair worth it?

Short answer: No
The gains are too small to justify the cost. The money is better spent on more RAM, a better processor or a better graphics card.
October 29, 2006 9:16:42 PM

Quote:
well since i will soon be building my new system i was wondering if i would see a performance gain if i were to go with 4 gigs of ram, rather than the standard 2?

pros and cons please

*and is the dominator ram from corsair worth it?


Why do u need 4 gigs? Heavy photoshop editing? Video and audio? If not, save your money. If u are rich, put 16Gb and give me $1000.
October 29, 2006 10:07:12 PM

Quote:
Why do u need 4 gigs? Heavy photoshop editing? Video and audio?
A combination of these, perhaps?
October 29, 2006 11:27:46 PM

actually i am not rich but i intend to future proof my pc when i eventually do get it once the R600, QX6700 and vista come out. and since i dont know enough about vista i was wondering if 2 gigs for xp would be the new 4 gigs for vista.. ie enthusiast/gamer group etc..

* i would be using the pc for playing games, hopefully on completely maxed settings and everyday stuff..
October 30, 2006 12:27:40 AM

this is what i know! Windows XP only uses up to 2gigs. it reads that u have 4 or 8gigs or what ever u have but it only uses 2gigs for Windows XP. Now if u have Windows Vista it will use everything thats in the system. It will even use flash drives that u have plugged in as ram! :D  So if u really feal like spending the money to prepare it wouldnt hurt, but if it were me id say just get 2 and save some money!

PS this is only talking about Windows, if ur running games or intence apps then i might not be right. All of the stuff that i mentioned might of been said already its just i didnt feel like reading other peoples posts. GL :wink:
October 30, 2006 2:17:15 AM

Well...You have a bad habit if you don't read other posts before posting something yourself. You might end up in just posting nonsense. A couple of people like you and you end up in having a thread that is very hard to read and totally not helpful. Read my previous post. I'm running Win XP Pro 32 bit edition using 4GB ram, but the OS sees only 3.6 GB. Even without the the /3GB option I can perfectly run two instances of a program that use each 1.5 GB ram on my dual core machine. And as a matter of fact I do it almost every day.

Next time when you post, think about it, do you add value or disinformation? Furthermore read the other posts.

Lav
October 30, 2006 8:50:57 AM

Ahahahaha! Future proof. Good one! :-P
October 30, 2006 8:53:14 AM

Quote:
Well...You have a bad habit if you don't read other posts before posting something yourself. You might end up in just posting nonsense. A couple of people like you and you end up in having a thread that is very hard to read and totally not helpful. Read my previous post. I'm running Win XP Pro 32 bit edition using 4GB ram, but the OS sees only 3.6 GB. Even without the the /3GB option I can perfectly run two instances of a program that use each 1.5 GB ram on my dual core machine. And as a matter of fact I do it almost every day.

Next time when you post, think about it, do you add value or disinformation? Furthermore read the other posts.

Lav


LOL? Learn to correctly form sentences that are easily comprehensible. :-P You need a visit from the comma fairy.
October 30, 2006 11:57:21 AM

Quote:
this is what i know! Windows XP only uses up to 2gigs. it reads that u have 4 or 8gigs or what ever u have but it only uses 2gigs for Windows XP. Now if u have Windows Vista it will use everything thats in the system. It will even use flash drives that u have plugged in as ram! :D  So if u really feal like spending the money to prepare it wouldnt hurt, but if it were me id say just get 2 and save some money!

PS this is only talking about Windows, if ur running games or intence apps then i might not be right. All of the stuff that i mentioned might of been said already its just i didnt feel like reading other peoples posts. GL :wink:


This is a REALLY good point, but your information is a little flawed (good call, though :!: :!: ).

32-Bit XP is actually limited to 3GB for apps.


http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PA...
October 30, 2006 12:58:09 PM

Misinformation here...

1. ALL 32bit system (aka OS and applications) are limited to addressing 4 GB of memory. Meaning anything more than 4 GB is invisible, thus unusable. This is a mathematical limit.

2. Windows XP separates that 4 GB in to 2 partition. First 2 GB is for the kernel (aka OS) and the second half is for applications and tasks (aka 'user').

3. In order for Windows XP to allocate more than 2 GB to applications you must install the /3GB switch. Without, you are limited to 2GB for all your applications.

4. Most games and consumer applications rarely need more than 1.5 of RAM. Most gamers overestimate their RAM usage. People forget that system using heavy RAM, tends to be CPU intensive either. Not like you are switching between Oblivion and Adobe Premiere.
Even with Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, if you actually monitor your RAM usage - its not that much. Unless you are editing the next Spielberg epic and touching up a Times Square poster - most casual video and photo editors are not using that much.



3GB is fine.
October 30, 2006 1:01:34 PM

Quote:
Unless you are editing the next Spielberg epic and touching up a Times Square poster - most casual video and photo editors are not using that much.



3GB is fine.


It's all about this!
October 30, 2006 1:18:58 PM

Quote:
Unless you are editing the next Spielberg epic and touching up a Times Square poster - most casual video and photo editors are not using that much.



3GB is fine.


It's all about this!
In my Job one of the things I do is car branding and it only takes a medium sized van image to fill 3G and mess with HD swapping. Also ultimate raytracing is a process which uses A LOT of RAM, the same for video editing. When new versions of photoshop, 3D Max etc are released (Lightwave8 is there) the world will get a strong shift towards 64 bit and it is going to happen much sooner than many people believe.
October 30, 2006 1:31:49 PM

Quote:

In my Job one ...


Exactly - in your professional environment you have use for 2+GB.
As I said, most gamers and non professional video/photo editors rarely will need more than 3+GB of RAM.
October 30, 2006 1:34:20 PM

Quote:
Unless you are editing the next Spielberg epic and touching up a Times Square poster - most casual video and photo editors are not using that much.



3GB is fine.


It's all about this!
In my Job one of the things I do is car branding and it only takes a medium sized van image to fill 3G and mess with HD swapping. Also ultimate raytracing is a process which uses A LOT of RAM, the same for video editing. When new versions of photoshop, 3D Max etc are released (Lightwave8 is there) the world will get a strong shift towards 64 bit and it is going to happen much sooner than many people believe.

The switch would be happening faster if Intel didn't insist on MS making a 32bit version of Vista!
October 30, 2006 1:36:47 PM

Because Core2's gain on 64 bit vs 32 bit is around 10% vs ~16% of K8 :wink:
October 30, 2006 1:51:09 PM

That's what I said! All these new processors are 64 bit, even most new servers are 64 bit. Why even bother with 32bit? Focus people, focus. M$ is practically a monopoly. They can implement a change. They have the power. Maybe they're trying to stop lawsuits from software developers that have been working on 32 bit software for several years...

Darn, if only M$ would've been thinking ahead and warned them...oh well. By the next Windows version I'm sure we'll all be on board. Maybe.
October 30, 2006 1:53:36 PM

Quote:
Because Core2's gain on 64 bit vs 32 bit is around 10% vs ~16% of K8 :wink:


Are you trying to say that adding another string isn't very helpful? Forget gain percentages. It's the same size increase! It's a whole "nuther" string of calculations!
October 30, 2006 2:12:05 PM

Quote:
Unless you are editing the next Spielberg epic and touching up a Times Square poster - most casual video and photo editors are not using that much.



3GB is fine.


It's all about this!
In my Job one of the things I do is car branding and it only takes a medium sized van image to fill 3G and mess with HD swapping. Also ultimate raytracing is a process which uses A LOT of RAM, the same for video editing. When new versions of photoshop, 3D Max etc are released (Lightwave8 is there) the world will get a strong shift towards 64 bit and it is going to happen much sooner than many people believe.

M25,

I gotta ask, just what kind of performance do you expect out of your system? Real time? Ive seen you refer to the swap file several times. You do know that it not always the answer, problem or even an issue? Ive had problems with my new system to which you responded "swap file" which I know is in fact not the problem. It was, and is ATIs "wonderous" drivers. But who cares.

The system in your sig...is that what your running? What OS are you using and what programs exactly? What interface are your HDDs? Are you running more than one? Are they sharing a channel? Whats your video card?

Ive used Corel for years..3, 5, 7, 9 and 12. Ive used a bunch of different 3D and video software as well. Through Win 3.1, 95, 98SE, XP Home and XP pro. Ive never had any kind of significant hardware problems. Ive recorded 37 gig(continuous....I fell asleep) of MPEG2 720x480 29.95FPS (about 4GB/hr)no problem under XP home on 2x512MB of ram. In my experiance, problems with graphics and video tend to be (in order of precedence):
1) Windows
2) Video drivers
3) Software/hardware conflicts (brand new, on either side)
4) HDD space
5) HDD fragmentation
6) channel sharing

The only RAM problems I've ever experienced was the size limit on win 98, and that was easily solved by going back to less than 1GB.

The swap file does not slow things down that terribly, or for that matter, even noticeably for most people. I think you may expect too much from your hardware, or you may have some artificially induced hardware limits.
!