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Ever need 16GB of ram?

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April 11, 2011 2:07:30 AM

Im not going to do any Video Rendering or running VMs, but say im running a live stream, playing music, downloading files, backing up files, surfing the web on a seperate screen and playing starcraft 2 on maxed out settings all at the exact same time. 8GB of DDR3 RAM will be plenty for my needs correct?. I mean I was going to go for 16GB of RAM but ill really never need it if im just doing the things ive listed above. Oh and ill be benchmarking but not at the same time as everything listed XD
I will also be running DUAL GTX 580s if that has any effect on the amount of RAM I would need for gaming and benchmarking

More about : 16gb ram

a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 2:46:29 AM

I doubt you'll even hit 8GB usage. You'd probably need a fast HD (or SSD) if you're backing up, downloading, running a live stream, and playing music though. I suggest you get only 8GB, and find something else to spend the money on.
April 11, 2011 2:55:31 AM

By chance against my normal mindset regarding RAM I just threw 16 GB into one of my systems. I have to say I have no regrets. However I am using RAM Drive to assist my resource hungry Video Editing Applications. To my mind 8 is to large to be useful for the most part and to small for effective use of RAM Drive. So strange as this sounds avoid 8 GB. Either stay on 4 GB or jump to 16 GB.
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a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 3:01:18 AM

^Or, you can go 2x4GB, which leaves two more slots open for upgrade in case you find that you need more memory. OP did say that he will not do rendering or VMs, and this is probably a gaming system.
April 11, 2011 3:13:45 AM

Im getting an external for Backup and media. 2tb internal for movies and whatever else I please 60 gb SSD. This is going to be Mostly for gaming but there will be some benchmarking as well. so 16 or 8?
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 3:20:39 AM

I suggest 8, but in 4GB modules. That makes 2x4GB. This way, you get 8GB but still have 2 slots free for future upgrades, if ever you feel you need it.
April 11, 2011 3:23:31 AM

I think ill go 8. upgrading to 16 in the future when im actually going to need it will probably be the same price as 8 gb by then. It wont bottleneck dual GTX 580s will it?
April 11, 2011 3:25:13 AM

The problem with the future upgrade option is that it may be hard to match the RAM up later as I discovered recently. I had to pull the original 4 GB out which is now sitting there waiting to be on sold. A Gaming machine requires no more than 4 GB. So to my mind the choice is either stay with 4 or jump to 16.
April 11, 2011 3:29:16 AM

Ah but I said If i go 8 a 16gb kit later will be even cheaper. If I couldnt find the same type of ram I got in a 2x4 GB kit so I could put another 8 in I would just probably buy a 16 kit.
April 11, 2011 3:50:10 AM

One of the advantages of jumping to 8 is your system will provide more memory to the GPU. The maximum the system assigns is 4 GB but I am not sure if it will supply more as you have dual cards. Don't count on RAM being cheaper in the future. Prices move according to global events.

If you go 16 GB you will get more memory for the GPU's, have more than enough for applications and have enough to use RAM drive. Put your swap file on RAM drive and any temporary directories. With 16 GB you can devote at least 4 GB to this purpose.

I guess my point is 16 is very adaptable where 8 is merely OK.
April 11, 2011 3:54:10 AM

Kinda noobish when it comes to RAM drives. Explain what they are to me cause I am honestly going to tell you I have no idea what they are cept it has to do with hard drive cache
April 11, 2011 4:30:16 AM

RAM Drive is a program that takes a section of RAM and presents it to the system as a Hard Drive. You choose the size and it RAM drive installs a driver and assigns a drive letter. You can configure it to start a RAM drive on start up. You point your swap file and application temp folders to the RAM drive and Windows starts swapping to the RAM drive. RAM drive is very fast compared to any mechanical hard disk drive and many SSD's. My RAM drive hits speeds of 383 MB a second write. Essentially there is no more swapping to the HDD. With 16 GB of RAM you can do without a swap file but some applications demand a swap file. That is where RAM drive comes in because you still have a swap file but it is running on RAM. So with 16 GB you have 4 GB for your GPU's, 4 GB for your applications and 8 GB for a scratch drive or swap file drive. If you only have 8 GB you are far more limited.
April 11, 2011 4:39:56 AM

hmm. interesting. I will have to find out how to set one up.
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 4:40:56 AM

Quote:
So with 16 GB you have 4 GB for your GPU's,


Huh?
April 11, 2011 4:51:02 AM

The Graphics Card gets more system memory for itself if you have more RAM. When I had 4 GB RAM the card grabbed just over 1 GB RAM. Now I have 16 GB RAM the GPU has grabbed 4 GB RAM. As I have 16 GB RAM the GPU can have a dedicated 4 GB while leaving me enough for applications and a 8 GB RAM Drive. If I had 8 GB the GPU would grab 4 GB and I would only have 4 GB for applications and none spare for RAM Drive. That means I would not have the ability to set my swap file to a decent size RAM drive or have a decent scratch drive. That is why I believe that if you are going to go over 4 GB you really need to jump to 16 GB as 8 GB is simply not versatile enough.

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April 11, 2011 5:04:21 AM
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Simple response: No, 16GB does not have a noticeable benefit you if you are not doing graphical technical work like drafting or graphical editing. Get 8GB.
April 11, 2011 5:08:31 AM

Having a Ram drive does sound nice. BUT. I have a SSD which will serve its purpose well. and near the same write speeds By the way I love your little animated picture I remember that game from when I had like a windows 98 XD
April 11, 2011 5:09:37 AM

Best answer selected by midget666.
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 5:33:28 AM

Yeah, I live off 4 GB, and not once have I ran out of RAM. Game: 1.5GB, Chrome: 200MB, the rest: 1.2GB. That means I usually max out at 2.9, with 1 GB left unused. I'm pretty sure I can reach that, but I haven't felt the need to somehow open the entire MS Office program suite, an IDE, 40 Chrome tabs, and a game.
April 11, 2011 5:37:27 AM

lawl good point :) 
April 11, 2011 5:47:25 AM

Btw, you know about the deal for $75 on G.Skill Snipers today, right?
April 11, 2011 5:54:10 AM

I can use up 4GB of RAM by encoding video in the background and AutoCAD and all the stuff you mentioned. But even then, the Virtual Memory stores whatever's not currently opened and I'm only doing it because I can anyways. 8GB of RAM is actually overkill for most usage.
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 5:59:10 AM

The GPUs don't use actual RAM however. They use address space so that if you have a 32bit windows you can't use that final gig. To my knowledge the GPUs don't use the RAM itself.
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 6:06:24 AM

^Yeah, 8GB might be overkill, but RAM is so cheap these days, even 16 GB is affordable. I only advised against 16 because it wouldn't be put to good use anyway. 4GB is enough for most people, 8 GB is overkill, any more and you'll just end up opening 1000 tabs in your browser for the heck of it.
April 11, 2011 6:16:28 AM

I know all my graphics cards say they "share" system memory on the Windows Graphics Adapter Properties Page:
Total Available Graphics Memory: 2047MB
Dedicated Video Memory: 256MB
System Video Memory: 0MB
Shared System Memory: 1791MB

And I know this shared memory occasionally does not show up as System Memory available on some other menus. But I don't think the system actually uses that memory unless I'm doing something where my graphics runs out of memory--kinda like Virtual Memory on the HDD.

This is in Windows 7 64 Pro, btw.

EDIT: Yep, I do a bunch of stuff just for the heck of it. I leave programs I haven't used in 6 hours running just to slow down my system. I leave paused Youtube 1080p videos all over the place.
April 11, 2011 7:09:11 AM

This article covers the issues well. The Graphics Card deposits unused textures in the System RAM. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,...

It is true that 16 GB is overkill when used in the traditional sense but so is 8 GB. That's why I got 16 GB. You have to use the extra RAM in certain ways to get the goodness out of it and 8 GB is just not enough to use in the manner this article describes. That's why I hold the view that either 4 GB or 16 GB is the way to go.

With 16 GB RAM I have RAM for everything and I have more than enough to get the best out of that often forgotten battler in the background Super Fetch.
a b } Memory
April 11, 2011 7:16:37 AM

Unless you open CAD, 3dmax, crysis 2, video renderer, and virtual machines at the same time, you don't need 16GB. For the standard usage 4GB is enough. You can buy 8GB for the overkill but 16GB is...
April 11, 2011 7:40:11 AM

OK I normally don't thrash a topic but this is an interesting debate. I have been using Sony Vegas which is a 32 bit application. Vegas really strains my Lynnfield i7 when I try and render in HD. The result is often dropped frames and lagging video. Win 7 tries to assist with Super Fetch and when I was running 4 GB of RAM Super Fetch would eat up every available piece of memory.

So I considered my position. I had a machine with 8 GB before and it made no material difference to my situation so I was loathe to go to 8 GB again. I realised that I needed RAM drive to really get the benefit of the larger RAM but if I only had 8 GB I would end up with a small RAM Drive and not much left for Super Fetch and less for my GPU.

Now I have 16 GB Win 7 uses 2 GB RAM at idle and jumps to 2.5 GB when I load Vegas. My GPU has lifted another 4 GB RAM. Keep in mind I have one application running here. I then load up an 8 GB RAM drive and chuck my video clips in there for rendering. I am now using 10.5 GB RAM before I do anything. I now have about 5.5 GB RAM left but the Video Card wants 4 GB RAM for itself. Even so I still have 1.5 GB RAM left for Super Fetch though I have noticed when using the RAM Drive Super Fetch is less hungry. Often though it will use the last of the RAM depending on the task.

So the result is I am actually getting full use out of my 16 GB RAM
April 11, 2011 3:35:05 PM

If I do any video rendering I will probably not do it while gaming. I used CAD on occasion but I wont be designing any HUGE projects that require huge amounts of graphical processing. Just simple models. This computer will be used mostly for gaming and Benchmarking the system with everything (CPU, GPU, Memory, etc..) on a high overclock when I benchmark. I am also going to run live streams of Starcraft 2 and surfing and doing other stuff with a two monitor setup. possibly 3 monitor.
April 11, 2011 3:35:34 PM

If I do any video rendering I will probably not do it while gaming. I used CAD on occasion but I wont be designing any HUGE projects that require huge amounts of graphical processing. Just simple models. This computer will be used mostly for gaming and Benchmarking the system with everything (CPU, GPU, Memory, etc..) on a high overclock when I benchmark. I am also going to run live streams of Starcraft 2 and surfing and doing other stuff with a two monitor setup. possibly 3 monitor. :D 
April 11, 2011 3:35:37 PM

If I do any video rendering I will probably not do it while gaming. I used CAD on occasion but I wont be designing any HUGE projects that require huge amounts of graphical processing. Just simple models. This computer will be used mostly for gaming and Benchmarking the system with everything (CPU, GPU, Memory, etc..) on a high overclock when I benchmark. I am also going to run live streams of Starcraft 2 and surfing and doing other stuff with a two monitor setup. possibly 3 monitor. :D  WOAH sorry for the triple post that was weird
a b } Memory
April 12, 2011 12:53:10 AM

Wamphryi, we never doubted your RAM situation. :) 

It's just that for people who don't regularly do stuff like encoding, 8GB would be something like a "moderate" overkill. 16 GB would be "over" overkill. I could find myself in a scenario that requires me to have more than 4GB of RAM, but mostly I stay well below that. So for the occasional "I need more than 4 GB RAM" moments, 8GB is a reasonable overkill.
April 12, 2011 1:41:36 AM

:-)
July 1, 2011 7:58:43 AM

dalauder said:
I can use up 4GB of RAM by encoding video in the background and AutoCAD and all the stuff you mentioned. But even then, the Virtual Memory stores whatever's not currently opened and I'm only doing it because I can anyways. 8GB of RAM is actually overkill for most usage.



Unfortunately if you are encoding or processing any sort of video in the background your cpu usage will be maxed out and you won't have any left over cycles to run other programs to make use of your left over ram.
August 22, 2011 5:57:25 PM

Hello everyone first time here. Please bear in mind Im a PC noob so I might not know what Im talking about .

I'm just getting started in the world of computers, but my college friends were CIS majors. I saw them do a lot of stuff on thier PC's and over the past 9 years, have seen a few situtation to comment on this question.

When I first got my barebones about 3 years ago, I asked them what I would need ram wise. I told them for my frist computerm, I wanted it to alst about 3-4 years. I told them I wanted something where I would not ahve to be buying RAM every 9 months. they told me to get a computer that could do 4gb of RAM at the time and could have the option of supporting a 64bit O/S. back then 64 bit O/S's were comming, but the porgrams and drivers and all that other stuff you guys talk about werent that ummm stable to say the least. this was comming form them now. So I got a barebones that had RAM extension of up to 4GB. I was told by them this would last me a few years till I was ready to upgrade to a better computer.

Well I still have that computer today in my house. I still use it . But had I known now what I knew then, I would have gone with a quad core 775 8GB ram instead of a Core 2 Dual 775 motherboard that could only support 4gb of RAM.

Now dont get me wrong , they informed me correctly as now the "standard" of ram usage is 4gb. I still dont see many programs stressing it out that much, but then again I only play games and surf on my computer. But if I had brought the quad core motherboard for a extra $100 and the chip upgrade for a extra $75 with the potentional 8gb ram upgrade with it, I would not have brought a new desktop this year.

With that 8gb motherboard and quadcore chip, I would have probably waited another year to two to update saving my money for something nicer. But I keep reading all the time how 4gb is the standard and with 64bit O/S's on the way everything was soon gonna run on 4GB and beyond.

Maybe I bit into the hype but I just never want to go through the feeling of never having enough RAM to run the program I want to run . Had I did a little more research or gone to hardware class 6 months earlier, I would have know that even though 8GB of ram back in mid 2008 was a overkill, it would give me longer time with my PC than even 4gb back then . Ram was a lot more expensive back then as well .

But today , with RAM prices dropping , If you have a Motherboard that can take 16gb of ram, I say get it. What is overkill today , will not be over kill in 2-3 years. In 2 years after that it might be just above average. Two years after that it might be just below average. With today's prices the investment is worth it.

Once again Im still learning about things and my best friend still plays City of Heores on his 2gb P4, but he got it also back when 2GB was overkill as well.
October 8, 2011 9:26:48 PM

hello everyone!
this is so interesting so i would like to give an input.
am using an i5-2410m,8gb ram,1gb radeon.
Im playing now SC2 (minimized), 3 tabs open on IE9, and a Resource Monitor..
which reads:
..........

hardware reserved (OS Unusable mem) 859MB
in use: 4370MB
modified(written to disk) 56MB (cached mem)
standby (superfetch?) 2680MB (cached mem)
FREE 226 MB

......recap......

in use 4370MB
available 2900MB (standby and free mem)
total usable memory (less unusable) 7333MB
total installed memory 8192MB

............
(figures are +/- 10MB coz its running, except for total,usable,unusable,modified mem)
so I would say that win7 64bit can use this amount of ram if you are multitasking. Superfetching, services, application, unusable memory... they all use the 8gb ram with only 225MB +/- free. But Im glad that the superfetch use it and does its thing. No program will slow you except bottle-necks in the harddrive and in gpu...so i support the 16GB man if we are to use the Ramdisk.. tY
October 8, 2011 9:42:43 PM

by the way forgot to mention that SC2 uses 1.8 Gb on my system even now that I aborted the mission... i came close to having only "27MB FREE" when I opened 2 tabs in mozilla in addition to above programs. but of course it can use the "+/- 2680 MB standby memory" of the (superfetch?).
October 8, 2011 9:43:26 PM

by the way forgot to mention that SC2 uses 1.8 Gb on my system even now that I aborted the mission... i came close to having only "27MB FREE" when I opened 2 tabs in mozilla in addition to above programs. but of course it can use the "+/- 2680 MB standby memory" of the (superfetch?).
November 6, 2011 7:43:17 AM

midget666 said:
Having a Ram drive does sound nice. BUT. I have a SSD which will serve its purpose well. and near the same write speeds By the way I love your little animated picture I remember that game from when I had like a windows 98 XD

lol i have a intel i7 with a ssd and 16 gigs of memory it hasent even gliched yet its ony been 5 days since i had it built its soo fast
November 8, 2011 7:53:00 AM

Interesting and informative thread. I just got 16gb DDR3 1600 HyperX mainly because it was $59.99 after rebate. I have a Phenom II X4 840 Propus, so I figured 16gb might be worth the gamble. Have not built the system yet as the MB and PSU arrive tomorrow. Be interesting to see how things shake out. Will definitely check out the ram drive thing.
April 21, 2012 3:41:44 PM

midget666 said:
Im not going to do any Video Rendering or running VMs, but say im running a live stream, playing music, downloading files, backing up files, surfing the web on a seperate screen and playing starcraft 2 on maxed out settings all at the exact same time. 8GB of DDR3 RAM will be plenty for my needs correct?. I mean I was going to go for 16GB of RAM but ill really never need it if im just doing the things ive listed above. Oh and ill be benchmarking but not at the same time as everything listed XD
I will also be running DUAL GTX 580s if that has any effect on the amount of RAM I would need for gaming and benchmarking


the average internet user only needs about 2gb ram but if your a gamer 4-6gb ram should be good. Anything over 8gb ram isn't need for 2012 maybe 10 years from now you'll probably would want 32gb ram. plus anything over 8gb ram is expensive and you won't notice the difference unless an os or game uses that much short term memory. if you want your PC to be fast than get and Solid State Drive its about 2 to 5x faster than a regular hard drive.
April 7, 2013 6:10:28 AM

If you are building a new gaming computer to last for years, I would say definitely go for 16GB. I was told 2008 to buy 4gb ram, I still have that and I deeply regret that choice.

Also windows OS seem to reserve always 20% of memory. That is why I'm limited at 3,2gb and the poster with 8,2gb is at 7,33gb. I can see it as a buffer. When it hits the 3,2/7,33 limit, it begins freeing up memory and temporarily goes above the OS limit making sure you'll never hit the physical limit. I have had rare times it would hit the physical limit and completely lock up my system.
a b } Memory
April 7, 2013 6:22:42 AM

I don't think I've mentioned it in this thread but I have 16GBs. Why? I viewed it as why not. First, with DDR4 coming the cost of DDR3 can only go up. Second, DDR3 is pretty cheap right now. Third, while no single program/game would need that much I currently don't worry about closing programs. Everything stays open, windows says fast. I can alt tab out of a game and bring up my 20tab Firefox and everything stays nice and fast because its all still in RAM. No swapping to the harddrive for info. And because it costs less then $100 (at least when I bought my 2x8GB sticks) it didn't seem like a lot of $$$ to me. You don't NEED 16GB and 8GB is probably more then enough. But there isn't much "wrong" in getting 16GB either.
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