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Is 3 gigs of Ram enough?

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July 12, 2010 9:08:31 PM

I guess I'm a mainstream gamer? Anyhow I currently have 2 gigs of ddr2 5300 667mhz ram running on a q6600 and I'm wondering if 3 gigs would up the performance visibly. This is what I plan on buying: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...

Note: I could get 2 of those instead of just 1 to make a total of 4 gigs but that would mean sacrificing this gaming mouse: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=2...

What do you think I should do?

All intelligible answers are appreciated

More about : gigs ram

a b } Memory
July 12, 2010 9:44:59 PM

Depends on the rest of your system specs. For most games the difference between 3 and 2 GBs of RAM will not be that noticeable (esp. in the config you are thinking of since the odd number of modules will result in slower memory throughput due to running in single channel mode vs. the 2 GB. in dual channel mode) So you may actually get slower performance after the upgrade.

So if you are going to upgrade then either go with 4GB. and skip the mouse for awhile or get 2 - 512MB modules so you can run the 3GB. in dual channel mode. But as mentioned whether it will be a noticeable improvement will depend on the game and the rest of your system.
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July 12, 2010 10:11:01 PM

JDFan said:
Depends on the rest of your system specs. For most games the difference between 3 and 2 GBs of RAM will not be that noticeable (esp. in the config you are thinking of since the odd number of modules will result in slower memory throughput due to running in single channel mode vs. the 2 GB. in dual channel mode) So you may actually get slower performance after the upgrade.

So if you are going to upgrade then either go with 4GB. and skip the mouse for awhile or get 2 - 512MB modules so you can run the 3GB. in dual channel mode. But as mentioned whether it will be a noticeable improvement will depend on the game and the rest of your system.


So then should I get 2 of those sticks in the link and skip out on the gaming mouse?
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July 13, 2010 2:22:36 AM

If you use Windows XP, 3GB is probably enough. If you use Vista or Win7, 4GB would be preferred (hopefully you got a 64 bit OS).
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a c 106 } Memory
July 13, 2010 2:23:36 AM

Here is a link to a Corsair study of 4gb vs 2gb and what you can expect.
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performan...

Loss of dual channel mode is not much of a factor when compared with the benefits of more ram.

If the mouse is important to you, then get it. It is something you can touch and feel every day.
You can get the 1gb extra stick which will help now, and you can wait to add another in the future if you want.

Also, if you are using a 32 bit os, then you will see only about 3.6gb out of 4gb so the last stick is not that much of a bump.
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July 13, 2010 4:29:08 AM

geofelt said:
Here is a link to a Corsair study of 4gb vs 2gb and what you can expect.
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Performan...

Loss of dual channel mode is not much of a factor when compared with the benefits of more ram.

If the mouse is important to you, then get it. It is something you can touch and feel every day.
You can get the 1gb extra stick which will help now, and you can wait to add another in the future if you want.

Also, if you are using a 32 bit os, then you will see only about 3.6gb out of 4gb so the last stick is not that much of a bump.


I'm running a 62-bit system (windows 7)
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July 13, 2010 10:56:31 AM

huhjunn said:
I'm running a 62-bit system (windows 7)
It's 64 or 32 bits, Windows 7 can also be 32 bits.
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July 13, 2010 3:57:11 PM

Zenthar said:
It's 64 or 32 bits, Windows 7 can also be 32 bits.


Sorry :p  meant to say 64 bit.
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July 13, 2010 4:31:13 PM

If the games you play don't use much RAM, 3GB could be enough, otherwise the 4GB would probably be more useful than a "gaming mouse".
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a c 106 } Memory
July 13, 2010 7:45:27 PM

Programs developed for 32 bit systems will rarely use more than 2gb by themselves 3gb is tops. Games are in this category because they are written to run decently for the largest class of potential buyers. If you are running a 64 bit OS, it takes specific coding to make an application use more than than 4gb. Because of that, if your main use is gaming, and you are not doing any serious multitasking, then 4gb is about all you can use.

That said, there is no negative performance hit with more ram than you need; only good.
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July 13, 2010 8:25:55 PM

The thing is Windows 7, on its own takes close to 1GB; if a game takes more than 1GB of RAM might therefore start doing some "preventive swap" (swap things out even if not needed right now) which could slow down games. I might over evaluate the impact, but I prefer to be careful.
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July 14, 2010 2:42:54 AM

So 3 and the gaming mouse above (im poor lol) or skip the mouse and get 4 gigs (i dont wanna get 4 if its not needed lol)
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a b } Memory
July 14, 2010 3:22:46 AM

Maybe I missed it, But is your 2 gigs of ram one 2 gig stick or two 1 gig sticks.
Reason I asked is this is simular to another post and it turned out he had one 2 gig sticks

If it is 2 one gig sticks, then go for adding two 512 gig sticks, will see a boost compared to 2 gigs (just not as Much as with adding two one gig sticks), then get your mouse.
Problem with this is that if you latter want to go with 4 gigs you would have wasted the money for the 512's. When you get around to upgrading your system - the mouse can go to your new system, but not the memory

Everything thing is relative.

Zenthar, The amount of memory taken by win 7 is dynamic in that it will take x amount when idle or say just a small program open, but as you add programs it will give some back. With a fresh boot vs webpage, word, Excell (Small spreedsheet), Photosuite (edit picture) and a blu-ray playing here is a comparision (Note total mem = 4 gigs)

Cached ... 614 ...1909
Avail ....... 3054 .. 2651
Free ....... 2575 .. 802

Paged ..... 114 ... 180
** values in MBs

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July 14, 2010 3:27:50 AM

RetiredChief said:
Maybe I missed it, But is your 2 gigs of ram one 2 gig stick or two 1 gig sticks.
Reason I asked is this is simular to another post and it turned out he had one 2 gig sticks

If it is 2 one gig sticks, then go for adding two 512 gig sticks, will see a boost compared to 2 gigs (just not as Much as with adding two one gig sticks), then get your mouse.
Problem with this is that if you latter want to go with 4 gigs you would have wasted the money for the 512's. When you get around to upgrading your system - the mouse can go to your new system, but not the memory

Everything thing is relative.

Zenthar, The amount of memory taken by win 7 is dynamic in that it will take x amount when idle or say just a small program open, but as you add programs it will give some back. With a fresh boot vs webpage, word, Excell (Small spreedsheet), Photosuite (edit picture) and a blu-ray playing here is a comparision (Note total mem = 4 gigs)

Cached ... 614 ...1909
Avail ....... 3054 .. 2651
Free ....... 2575 .. 802

Paged ..... 114 ... 180
** values in MBs


I have 2x1gb sticks. I don't mind getting another 2x1gb to total 4. I'm just wondering if its really worth getting that mouse over that extra gig. The mouse has a pretty good discount. So I'm just looking which i should go for... more ram (4gb) or a mouse (3gb)
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a b } Memory
July 14, 2010 3:31:09 AM

geofelt - thanks for the pointer to the Corsair thing - I love 'hard numbers', I don't game, and often am answering their questions (and using their hardware, about a year or eighteen months after it's the gaming 'hot ticket'!)

OP - the whole thing is so situation-dependent, it's really hard for anyone to just say 'do this' or 'do that' - gf is correct in saying that the penalty of using an 'odd number' of DIMMs from giving up dual channel is nowheres near comparable to the gains to be had from minimizing 'hitting' that swap file - the deal here is that memory operations occur in nanoseconds (10 to the minus ninth second), while dumping and retrieving memory to/from the swap file takes milliseconds (ten to the minus third second), so the difference between them is ten to the sixth, or a million times longer. The trick to figuring out your own needs is in windows itself - open control panel, click on 'Performance Information and Tools', in the list to the left, click on 'Advanced Tools' at the bottom, and select 'Open Resource Monitor' about in the middle of the list - now, run your game, and look at the monitor:

the relevant graph is circled at the bottom right - the blue line represents 'how much of your available RAM is actually in use, so the lower, the better; the green trace represents 'page faults', i.e., events where the running processes require data that is not currently in real RAM, but must be accessed from the page file (with that 'million-to-one' handicap! If your green trace in the bottom window looks, say, like mine in the one above it for network access - that is, it's high and 'spikey', you will benefit from more RAM...
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July 21, 2010 5:01:44 AM

Keep the info coming, I can't decide whether to get 2x512 or 2x1gb pc5300 ram. Scratch the gaming mouse.
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