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2GB RAM chips? Taking system to 8 Gigs?

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January 20, 2007 2:54:44 AM

Question for the ram experts here -

I'm going with a 64bit OS (Vista) to get past the ram restrictions of 32 bit. I'm a very very heavy photoshop user and need the juice.

Do I have to buy special MOBOs to get 8-16 GBs of ram installed... or are there 2GB sticks coming out soon?

Also, before I sink a small fortune into RAM... do I wait till DDR3?

Any professional photoshop or video folks out there with RAM suggestions (I don't want waste money on overkill... never had a system with over 2GB of ram, so I'm not sure what the dimishing returns are on extra 3-16GBs of RAM)?

I know most of my colleagues use Macs. Please help this artist that hasn't fallen for the Mac marketing hype.

Thanks!
January 20, 2007 3:50:23 AM

I have the Intel D975XBX MB and that is capable of using 8GB of ram.I have 1 2GB kit that was about $270.The 4GB kit (2 sticks of 2GB each) are about $900,the last time I checked.Adobe`s web site says that Photoshop CS2 will address 3.5GB.If I understand correctly,35GB for CS2 and 3.5 for the O.S. for a total of 7GB.
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January 20, 2007 6:23:37 PM

Quote:
...
Do I have to buy special MOBOs to get 8-16 GBs of ram installed... or are there 2GB sticks coming out soon?

Also, before I sink a small fortune into RAM... do I wait till DDR3? ...

Most current mainstream boards w/4 DIMM slots should handle 8GB. However, 2GB DIMMs are VERY new, as is VISTA. Also, Photoshop is currently a 32-bit app.

OTOH, Core2Duo processors available now provide a substantial performance increase over previous CPUs in Photoshop, especially when stably overclocked to boost the FSB to 333-400MHz (1333-1600MHz data rate, requiring DDR2-667 or DDR2-800 memory speed to keep up), which seems to be well within the average C2D's capabilities.

Thus, in your case I would buy a solid mid-to-high end overclocking-friendly MB ($200-250), an E6400 CPU (about $230), 2x1GB of good quality DDR2-800 CL4 RAM, 2x512MB of good quality DDR2-800 CL4 RAM, etc.
That gives you 3GB total RAM now; later, when 2GB sticks are more common (and cheaper!) and when Photoshop can take advantage of it, replace the 2x512MB pair with 2x2GB sticks, for a system total of 6GB.

Here is Adobe's knowledgebase article on Photoshop and memory limits/usage:
http://www.adobe.com/go/320005
January 21, 2007 2:38:49 PM

Thanks.

You mentioned mixing 1GB sticks and 512 sticks... will that cause any issues if I plan to overclock?
January 21, 2007 6:47:09 PM

Nope, no problem. I'd try to get the same brand/line for both.
January 22, 2007 5:38:24 PM

What about buying just (1) 2gb chip now vs. (2) 1gb chips?

Is there a performance impact? Any other downside (asside from just slightly more expensive)?

Can I have just one chip in the MOBO, or does it need to be in increments of 2?
January 22, 2007 8:07:33 PM

In order to run in dual-channel mode, it needs to be increments of two (one in each channel). Modern CPUs like the C2Ds pretty much require dual-channel mode to keep up with their FSB speeds. For example, running in single-channel mode, it would take DDR2-1066 RAM to keep up with a non-OC'd C2D, but only DDR2-533 RAM running in dual-channel mode.
!