So around 1700mb is being used just for having the operating system loaded up in vista. I have 4GB altogether of DDR2 800 ram, i play games on my computer and wander if it would be a good idea to add another 1GB onto my 4GB to make 5GB to play games. I am playing very contemporary games apart from Battlefield 3, and some others. My computer has some thing i suppose running on start-up but i would like to keep them running while playing games, these are windows sidebar with some useful gadgets i have things like ATI Tray Tools, Xpadder, GamerOSD, Steam, AVG all running at the same time in the task bar, and sometimes xfire.
This brings the memory usage to around or bellow 1800 mb, so i have around 2200mb of ram to spare, i wonder if it would be useful if i added another 1GB of ram on my computer, to make sure i am getting optimal performance from my games. I want to have a couple of browser tabs open at the same time, would i perhaps be better with a 2gb upgrade?
web browsers with either open tabs with pages like toms hardware or google searches don't use CPU performance to have them running? What about having youtube videos in multiple tabs open does that use much CPU performance? Not having the videos playing, but having them loading in tabs?
You are trying to do too much with too little RAM. I'd disable and close a lot of what you have running. At idle, Vista shouldn't go over 1300MB. Beyond that, what memory module configuration do you have now and what motherboard? some motherboards don't support more than 4GB and having an odd number like 5GB will hurt performance by messing up the RAM channels.
4x1GBor 2x2GB gives 4GB of dual channel RAM, removing one 1GB module from the first with a 2GB module gives us 2 1GB modules in dual and the second 1GB and the 2GB are messed up differently instead of operating in dual channel.
All of this is assuming the motherboard supports more than 4GB and would allow such a configuration.
You might be able to go for 6GB, 2x2+2x1 if you have 4 memory slots. That would work in dual channel and if the motherboard supports more than 8GB it should work. That's assuming you can get two kits of different capacity similar enough to run right, ie same frequency, voltage, chip density, timings, etc.
To be honest, I recommend you save up and replace your computer rather than pouring more money into an already out-dated system.
i read some information on Hardware secrets, and learned all about the dual channel technology, so i see that the ram would downscale if i were to add another 1gb of ram. What you said about me wasting money upgrading an old system is very disproportionate; i have a Phenom ii x3 720 and an ASUS 6850 with a 1280 x 1024 resolution monitor i don't think at all that by buying a 1GB memory stick for £15 that i would be wasting much money at all compared to a £150 overhaul of a motherboard and memory upgrade. I actually prefer this AM2+ motherboard to some of the AM3 boards for Micro ATX motherboards, it has more fan sockets to install 3pin fans than another motherboard i installed for another computer. Seeing how DDR3 1333Mhz ram would give me about 1-2 FPS more in Crysis, or a maximum of 10FPS more in games that i am already getting 135FPS in. Until AMD comes out with a revolutionary processor DDR2 is here to stay with me.
Any DDR2 system is outdated. At this point, any AMD system is outdated compared to Intel's current systems, especially in gaming. Upgrading to AM3/AM3+ isn't much of an upgrade anyway. To get much better performance you would need an Intel system, that is if AMD's Piledriver doesn't run circles around Phenom II and Bulldozer.
Using Crysis as a basis for saying your computer isn't outdated isn't a good idea, Crysis isn't even close to being among the most demanding games anymore and you are using a low resolution. Right now isn't the best time for an upgrade, that's where the waiting and saving up part of my comment comes from. Once new games come out that utilize the upcoming video cards and CPUs better, your system will be quite outdated. You would probably still be fine with your low resolution, but that doesn't make what I said have any less merit. I know that I couldn't get DDR2 memory as cheaply as you can.
Your video card isn't outdated, but it is bottle-necked by your CPU. Your CPU, in turn, is bottle-necked by your RAM. Your video card is perfect for your monitor's resolution and a better system wouldn't make much difference in most current games without a higher resolution monitor.
I recommended saving up and getting a better system for a good reason. Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs have about 30 or 40% more IPC than AMD's Phenoms and using DDR2 hurts that even more. That means that unless you are running at a CPU clock frequency over 30% higher than a sandy bridge CPU's frequency, your CPU is slower in games. Even the $70 Pentium G620 would perform similarly to or better than a 3.4GHz Phenom II. Bring a faster CPU like an i3 at around 3.2GHz instead of the G620, the Phenom II needs to run at well over 4GHz to match the i3 in gaming.
Also, 6GB can be run in dual channel, two 1GB modules are one channel and two 2GB modules are another. If you mix the modules in each channel then it would lose dual channel. I ran 2.5GB in dual channel on an old P4 system, two 1GB modules and the two 256MB modules it came with. They were identical besides the capacity difference, even down to the chip density.
If you have two 2GB modules now then you can get either two 1GB modules or two 2GB modules for a decent RAM upgrade, but I stand by what I said about a replacement being better.
I haven't read your 6 paragraph speech on the basis that my question wasn't about upgrading my system from ddr2 to ddr3 but on the simple enquiry whether i would benefit from an extra addition of 1GB of ram. But i have realised that i would be better off with just 4 because it wouldn't run in dual channel mode if i did add another 1GB module.
It's not about upgrading to DDR3 at all... If you want to remain ignorant about this then fine that's your choice. Upgrading to DDR3 isn't a huge benefit and I made that pretty clear too.
You can run 6GB or 8GB in dual channel as upgrades to your system if you have two 2GB modules. two 2GB modules and two 1GB modules can do dual channel. Two 2GB and two 512MB modules can run in dual channel, that would give you 5GB. then there's four 2GB modules for 8GB in dual channel or two 4GB modules.
I'm not interested in the topic any more. Do you think i want to unzip my pants for business man to do me in the bottom and service my account? The fundamental point of the question was asking for whether a simple upgrade of a 1gb or 2gb ram module would be necessary, not that i wanted to completely upgrade to a new computer configuration (thus spending alot of money and helping the right wing neo-liberals to increase their hegemonic position). The topic is answered, it would be irrational if you would exert forward further advice.
Did you ignore what I said about the RAM in my last post?
It's irrational for you to ignore information about the best options. I'm not pushing anything further and I didn't in my last post either, I acknowledged that you chose what you chose.
If you don't want to upgrade, fine. But please tell me... What is your rationalization for your comments about business men and the like, and why are they right wing neo-liberals? Yes, the people that control the companies are greedy people that mostly (maybe all of them) deserve to rot in jail until they die or worse. However, you seem to have taken such an extreme stance here, even with all things considered. Why must you spend a lot of money anyway?
I'm fairly experienced in building so I'd appreciate it if you don't tell me it's expensive to do something that easy when I've done it cheaply. I'll leave and not respond to this thread again since you seem to dislike me, but don't hate me for giving you a better option and a way to just do a RAM upgrade, which is what you asked for anyway. That's what this forum is here for.