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Any significant beneifit gained by going from 4 GB to 6GB of RAM?

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July 12, 2008 1:05:38 PM

I currently have 4 GB of DDR2 800 running on my system (Visa x64, Q6700 2.66ghz proc) and my system can handle up to 8 GB of RAM. Will I see a significant performance increase by going from 4 GB to 6 GB of RAM?

(I believe it's currently running 4 x 1GB modules and if that is correct (any easy way to figure that out without opening the case?) my plan is pull 2 of the 1GB modules and replace them with 2 x 2GB modules creating a total of 6GB).
July 12, 2008 1:24:04 PM

It may depend on whether your programs can use more memory and your use of them demands more. So what programs do you use and what do you do with them?
Also, how much multitasking do you do and how many and what applications do you have working at one time?
July 12, 2008 1:31:57 PM

a lot of diagnostic programs like "drhardware" will tell you what ram slots are populated.
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July 12, 2008 2:25:47 PM

The programs that I would guess take the most resources would be photo editing in Adobe and video editing in CyberLink Power Director 7 Ultra and Pinnacle Ultimate 12.
July 12, 2008 2:53:10 PM

If you have to ask this question, the answer is no.
July 13, 2008 10:09:31 PM

Is your memory running in dual channel right now? if so, will it be able to run with 3gb in each channel? Otherwise your computer might be noticably slower because of this?
July 14, 2008 3:45:52 PM

akagi said:
Is your memory running in dual channel right now? if so, will it be able to run with 3gb in each channel? Otherwise your computer might be noticably slower because of this?


It looks like I have 4 DIMM channels. My thougt is to run 1 GB modules in 2 of the DIMM channels and 2 GB modules in the other 2 DIMM channels.
July 14, 2008 9:44:23 PM

akagi said:
Is your memory running in dual channel right now? if so, will it be able to run with 3gb in each channel? Otherwise your computer might be noticably slower because of this?


The large amount of cache on the intel's (especially the quad cores) would negate most of the performance drop from going to single channel.

OP: You still should be able to run the 1gb sticks and the 2 gig sticks in dual channel in anycase. However, its not worth it in the long run i dont think youd notice much difference at all.

You can check slot usage with CPU-z
July 15, 2008 6:29:00 AM

How much of your RAM are you using now? While doing what you think are your most intensive applications, open Task Manager (Control- Alt-Delete) and click on performance to see how much of your current RAM you use. If using most of it - go for some more.
You may not even be able to see the full requirement as Vista may throttle back its own usage to make room for other applications, but it should give you a good idea if you are being limited by capacity.
The programs you listed are known to be good multi-taskers and to benefit from the multiple cores so I would think they would benefit from more memory, but I have no personal experience to confirm that.
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