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4Gb RAM,Worth it?

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October 31, 2007 12:45:27 PM

I have Vista Business 64-bit and my specs are Q6600,8800GTX,2Gb Ballistix and a 19" monitor.Should I get 2 more 1 Gb RAM sticks?Will I see any increase in performance with 4 gigs or 2 are enough?How will more RAM benefit my system?RAM is pretty cheap nowadays,but is it worth it?

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October 31, 2007 1:38:28 PM

I don't know exactly to answer yes or no, but in my experience after a long run with 2GB RAM, it's enough for this moment if you don't do much multitasking.

Vista memory utilization are around 500-600MB. Let's say you play crysis which utilize around 500-600MB, means in total you are using 1-1.2GB RAM. The rest of 0.8-1GB are there, maybe there are antivirus, antispyware, background services and other softwares which are in total of them around 200-300MB. Well, in conclusion, around 500-700MB RAM are free all the time and if you have 4GB, you would see those 2 GB RAM will always free.

Different picture if you are multitasking such you burn CD, converting videos, converting photos, designing your house while playing games would give a boost if you have those 4GB RAM.
October 31, 2007 1:41:24 PM

I would definitely say it's worth it.
Especially with Vista which has a slightly higher memory footprint.
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October 31, 2007 2:03:26 PM

Star - It depends on what you are doing. For normal usage, even in Vista 64 (which I am also running) you will never need more than 2GB. It's possible to exceed 2GB with a select few of the new games - Crysis is rumored to be able to do that, and certainly some of the newest RTS games can since there's so much going on in terms of textures, units running around, and all. But in general, even a gamer wouldn't approach 2GB (with shooters, for example) unless they like to have a load of other stuff running while they play.

As far as Vista's footprint: A lot of people look at the %age used and decide Vista is a piggy-pig-pig with resources because the meter shows 1 point whatever gigs are being used just sitting. But Vista pre-fetches commonly used programs and stores them for launching in active memory. This RAM gets surrendered to other programs should they need it. It *does* use more, but neither is it the pig that people like to blame it for being.


RAM is cheap enough now that if you have the OS for it, you may as well. But it's not necessary for most, even with Vista 64. If you *do* decide to go 4GB, reach out to Microsoft and install KB 929777. There's a potential issue with certain controllers and over 3GB of RAM that this fixes.
October 31, 2007 2:11:15 PM

not to go berserk example-attacking, but crysis is set to need more than 2GB of memory space for itself alone. vista is known to take up to 1.2GB of ram in the extreme case.

back when i briefly used vista ultimate, it ran fine with 2GB of ram. on the other hand, i wasn't able to stress it with any games or what not (no RAID drivers).

i remember a lot of the budget machines that ran XP back in 2002 had 256MB ram, and the power machines had 512MB or more. now, value xp machines have 512MB and power machines have 1GB or more. well currently, a budget vista machine barely makes do with 1GB, and a good machine runs 2GB or more.

i'm just saying i could easily imagine vista taking us into the 4GB for a common gaming box and 8GB for a power box era. and at the very least, having 4GB will allow you to kill the page file most of the time.

ram is dirt cheap right now. cheapest i've ever seen. two years ago, $250 for a DDR-400 2GB kit wasn't bad. now? i wouldn't pay over $120 for 2GB DDR2-800. there was an oversupply in the channel and thus dram prices dropped like a rock. it's possible prices will go back up. i don't think they'll go further down though.

just my two cents!
October 31, 2007 2:57:44 PM

I am facing the same question. I ordered 2GB of RAM with the rest of my computer components and I hope that it will be enough with Vista64. If its not, its probably the easiest piece in the machine add on.

I think RAM is probably the last in line to reduce performance in gaming.

It would be nice if there were some benchmarks out there comparing FPS in identical systems with 2GB and 4GB
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October 31, 2007 3:58:19 PM

Vista x64 takes atleast 1gb for me just to load, loading crysis or hellgate takes up atleast another gig. 4gb is totally worth it especially considering how inexpensive it is.
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October 31, 2007 4:06:22 PM

Personally, since DDR2 is so cheap, might as well get it.
October 31, 2007 4:15:09 PM

I saw the 2x2GB sticks I bought drop from $210 when I bought em to $160, so I've been thinking of upgrading to 8GB with XP-64. I really really don't need it, but if its so cheap, I can do it now and not chance this memory price going back up in the future if/when its time to need 8GB.
October 31, 2007 4:21:45 PM

I also have Vista 64 and moved to 4GB. I will never return to 2GB! :) 
I could reduce my Swap file to 512MB.

I am a BF2142 player and my HD was swapping a lot after the game was closed. Since I have 4GB, no more swapping and Windows is responding right away.

My best recommendation:
1) Try your rig with only what you have, 2GB.
2) Reduce your swap file to 512MB. You don't want lag because of that.
3) Play games, start your favorites application, ...

If your Vista crash for insufficient memory, well...
!