6GB, dual boot Win XP Pro (32-bit) and Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit)

How much RAM do I really need if I want to dual boot Windows XP Pro (32-bit) and Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)?

RAM prices for DDR3 are cheap. I know XP will recognize 4GB but will actually use between 3 and 3.5GB RAM. And, I know XP won't see anything extra past 4GB. Will I have any performance problems with this either on the XP or Win 7 side of things? I'm thinking of upgrading to 4GB or 6GB RAM
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  1. Best answer

    As you say, XP will only use what it can and disregard the rest so you can have as much in there as you can cram in. Set XP so it manages the memory itself - Control Panel>System>Advanced>top Settings button>Advanced tab - so it manages the pagefile and you won't have a problem.

    I was amazed to be able to buy 8Gb of DDR3 yesterday for £32 including taxes here in the UK - still wants over £10 for 1Gb of original DDR!

  2. DDR3-1333 RAm is amazingly cheap! $8 (US) for a 1GB stick, $12 (US) for a 2GB stick and $20 for a 4GB stick. I have 2GB (2x1GB) now doing a Win XP/7 dual boot. But is there any performance difference between 4GB and 6GB with Windows 7?

  3. Undoubtedly, Windows 7 will use all the memory available to it and as it uses memory differently from XP, you wlil certainly notice an improvement.

  4. Upgrading from 2GB to 4GB makes the most sense, but in terms of "bang for the buck", going to 6GB is tempting. And, I only boot to Win XP about 10% of the time. Right now, it's Windows XP Pro 32-bit and Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit) with just 2GB RAM. Also, I have a multifunction printer whose software only works under XP though the printer itself does work under Win 7.
  5. Best answer selected by RD28327.
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