The most XP can use is like 3.2gb (or close to that). This is the same for any 32-bit operating system (Vista non-64 editions). If you're using all 2gb, then yes, 3gb will be better than 2gb in dual channel. Have you thought about 2x1gb and 2x512mb to keep dual channel functionality?
I've seen a 2x2 gb Corsair XMS2 for $119 at Newegg, and its only $79 after mail in rebate, so a 2x2 gb set seems cheap enough now.
To the OP, I use 3 gig in my present computer; 2x1 gb and 2x512 mb. I often have multiple programs running, so the 3 gig of ram is useful. For gaming use only in XP, 2 gb is enough and as mentioned be someon else, a 2x1 gig set will overclock better.
That is Vista's handy dandy waiste your ram by loading what I THINK you use most into it at boot. Some say it doesnt slwo anything down but last I checked fetching data to load into ram even at start up is still doing the same work. And worse it now has to FLUSH the ram of unneeded data to fill it with your app your using. Say your game wants 2gb you have 3gb in system and 2gb is preloaded with junk. Now it has to check what is and isnt needed-dump that, fetch what is and then game. LOL. It was a neat idea, but flawed from the start.
....we believe that Vista's SuperFetch and ReadyBoost will convince even the skeptics and XP hardliners that Windows Vista does more good than harm overall. Based on our test results, these two features can improve application launch time on Vista-appropriate computers by 50 to 70%. The subjective experience of SuperFetch proves to be more significant than any hardware upgrade could ever be, provided the processor and available RAM meet minimum requirements.
Real Life also has Hard Disk Drive I/O. Which has continuously become slower and slower when viewed against overall system performance. No theory involved: Items cached in RAM can be launched and used MUCH MUCH faster than if they were still on the disc.
So.... Ask yourself: Would you really rather load your program from Disc than from RAM????
Form disc if its email and other junk I want the ram open for the HOG programs like encoding and games. I dont want to have to waite for the email apps and adobe to flush out of ram so my game will load either. With solid state drives coming closer and closer each day I think microsoft put a bandage on a already healed wound. And worse its a bad bandage.
If its working so well 1gb ram would NOT be a issue, that is IF it worked like on paper but it doesnt. I ran it on 1gb it was horrible and like this guy my hard drive was being hammered cause of it.
I beta tested it too, never got much better over the betas. I got 2gb now but vista isnt coming near my machine for years, not with Ubuntu doing it all much better and most games running on it anyways.
Your reply seems to indicate a lack of understanding what SF is and how it works if you think it's loading everything in sight. If you play a game a lot, it'll cache the game. If you use your video editing software a lot, it'll pre-load that. Over time, it learns your habits. So if you come home at 6, turn on the comp, check eMail, then go and eat before coming back and playing a game, it'll 'learn' that, stage your eMail client and have your game ready later. It also can learn if you game only on weekends, but use business programs during the week. etc etc etc...
Picking on the time needed to flush memory when you have to load a game from the hard drive is pretty laughable. The HDD is several orders of magnitude slower, so no matter what the RAM is going to be empty LONG before your drive would be able to even start filling it back up.
Also - On your 1 Gig machine it would have helped lots of you stuck a decent thumb drive into a USB port.
Seriously tho - I don't care of you don't like Vista. There's plenty to not like if, as it seems, you take some time to look for that. But the fetching is actually a pretty good feature of the OS. You know, stuff that would otherwise be idle being put to some use, and all...
If you want to bash, picking on User Access Controls, the amazing resistance to wireless, and other annoyances would be more productive.
If it cashes right why I need ore then 1gb for just window use. Why it thrash hdd for nothing? Not answering the question. ITs not working JUST 100% peachy like on paper. Super fetch can be turned off thank god. Oh gee why is that a option if its perfect hehe.
I dont like vista for other reasons too, yes UAC is crap. But superfetch isnt perfect Im not saying its evil, just not all perfect like most think. It NEEDS tweaks, it can do FAR better, nix os's using similar yet notthrashing hdd or caching apps I dont use but 2x a week. And how is my 2gb of BF2 data gonna be cached on a 2gb machine with vista os loaded in ram>? It wont so why bother heh.
If it cashes right why I need ore then 1gb for just window use. Why it thrash hdd for nothing?
Ummm... Hate to have to state the obvious, but the data has to come from somewhere, right? So after startup completes, it retrieves the data it needs to cache in your RAM. This is why your memory is full and why, after you power on, your HDD churns for longer than it did under XP. And, like I mentioned above, if your box is low~ish on RAM you can use a thumb drive/SD card for caching as well as memory.
yet notthrashing hdd or caching apps I dont use but 2x a week.
Did you even read the links I gave you before?? It learns what you do and don't use. It caches what you use for faster app startup, leaves the rest, and is intelligent enough to remember a user's habits. So if you work in the morning and game in the evening, the items it chooses to cache for you also change.
And how is my 2gb of BF2 data gonna be cached on a 2gb machine with vista os loaded in ram>? It wont so why bother heh.
If you want to use that example, you wouldn't even be able to *play* the game either. So why bother. Heh.
Look - What I'm getting from this exchange is that you'd want a form of caching that magically doesn't use your hard drive to retrieve data from and doesn't use any RAM. Alternatively, because it says 'Vista' on the box it automatically becomes the subject of ridicule and not even worthy of a cursory examination of how it works, let alone a check on what actually is versus what isn't good.