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Is 2 GB DDR 3 good enough for an entry level laptop?

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May 7, 2012 5:18:34 PM

Hello everyone,

I have a simple question for which I am yet to get a fully satisfactory answer after my research on the internet so far, and so I am asking it in this forum.

I am about to purchase an entry level laptop. I have zeroed down on a Samsung machine the specs for which are as follows:

B950 Pentium dual core processor

2 GB DDR 3 RAM

Intel HD Graphics

I am quite keen on this machine because it looks good, has an attractive price, and has some nice features like a Chiclet keyboard. I also like the fact that it has a 6 hour battery life which is much better than anything in a similar price segment and also even many higher end laptops only offer a 3 hour battery life. I feel Samsung does very well in this department.

While I am happy with the choice of processor, I am not so happy with the fact that the RAM is NOT extendable.

Ideally I would have liked a system that would allow me the option of extending my RAM to at least 4 GB DDR 3, but I just can’t get that without compromising on the amazing battery duration that the Samsung machine offers. (Or without shelling out considerably more Moolah!)

My question is, is 2 GB DDR 3 enough?

I intend to use Win XP. I really don’t see the point of upgrading to Windows 7. Why fix something that ain’t broke? Also it seems to me that installing Win 7, even 32 bit will begin to expose the RAM limitation of this machine. And so, I might be actually forced to stick to Win XP if I purchase this machine.

I am a light user. I don’t play any games. Most of my usage is simple web-based stuff, surfing, e-mailing, researching stuff. I tend to open multiple tabs at a time. I might be doing some basic video editing in the coming future, nothing heavy duty though.

If I were to buy this machine, will I be forced to use XP and will that permit me to get an effective laptop performance considering that most of my usage will range between low-entry level tasks to possibly mid-level tasks like using Web Editors, maybe some video software?

Also, does it really make sense to install Win 7 (32 or 64 bit) on a 2 Gig machine? It’s technically possible, but is it efficient?

Essentially I am just trying to figure out just how hard the 2 GB RAM limitation might hit me a few months /years into making this purchase given the different Oses and technological advancements that are happening all around.

Thanks for any help.
a b } Memory
May 7, 2012 5:25:27 PM

For what you are planning on using the machine for, yes 2GB should be enough.

Also, even though the machine only has a single DIMM for RAM, there is no reason that in the future if you wanted to upgrade the RAM, you couldn't get a single 4GB Module and replace the 2GB one that comes with the machine.
May 7, 2012 5:26:33 PM

More RAM isn't going to impact your battery life negatively. In fact, depending on what you do, it might even help. This is because larger RAM allows the machine to keep more contents in the RAM instead of having to write to the hard drive cache.

At any given time, hard drives consume a few watts of power while RAM is consuming an order of magnitude less. If you can avoid using the hard drive, then you extend the battery life.

Also; Window XP will be phased out of support in a year or two, if I recall correctly. I don't see why anyone would want to use an ancient, outdated swiss-cheese of an OS, but that's ultimately your choice.
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May 7, 2012 5:48:36 PM

itzdanielp said:
For what you are planning on using the machine for, yes 2GB should be enough.

Also, even though the machine only has a single DIMM for RAM, there is no reason that in the future if you wanted to upgrade the RAM, you couldn't get a single 4GB Module and replace the 2GB one that comes with the machine.


The Chipset being offered is Mobile HM65 Express. I am not sure about the maximum memory support for this Chipset. I reckon it's 8 GB DDR 3.

Could you please clarify this?

I have no experience with laptops. Do they come with reachable slots wherein I can access the RAM and replace the stick?

If so, then I guess my problem is solved and I could go ahead with this machine, leaving any possible RAM upgrades to a point in time if and when I ever get there.

Thanks for the quick reply.
May 7, 2012 5:53:45 PM

eddieroolz said:
More RAM isn't going to impact your battery life negatively. In fact, depending on what you do, it might even help. This is because larger RAM allows the machine to keep more contents in the RAM instead of having to write to the hard drive cache.

At any given time, hard drives consume a few watts of power while RAM is consuming an order of magnitude less. If you can avoid using the hard drive, then you extend the battery life.

Also; Window XP will be phased out of support in a year or two, if I recall correctly. I don't see why anyone would want to use an ancient, outdated swiss-cheese of an OS, but that's ultimately your choice.



Actually in my price range, all the other laptops only offer a 3 hour or so battery life. Even higher end ones aren't too good in this department. However, I noticed that Samsung laptops tend to do better when it comes to battery life and so am attracted to this particular machine; the only downer was that it seems to come with only 1 DIMM leaving me as someone said, with the option of replacing the RAM with a bigger one if and when I need to.

It's just that Win XP is more suited to lower end machines with less RAM. If you have little RAM. it's probably not very sensible to use Windows 7 with or without M$ support.
a b } Memory
May 7, 2012 5:56:13 PM

yes the HM65 Express can support up to 8GB.

Usually the RAM is easily accessible, and swapping the RAM out does not void the warranty.
May 7, 2012 6:07:51 PM

itzdanielp said:
yes the HM65 Express can support up to 8GB.

Usually the RAM is easily accessible, and swapping the RAM out does not void the warranty.



http://www.samsung.com/in/consumer/pc-peripherals-print...

This is the machine I am looking at.

It says that it has 2 DIMM slots and the default configuration comes with a 2 GB stick.

Wouldn't that mean that I could technically put a 6 GB stick and get the full 8 GB?

It looks like I can actually extend the RAM with this laptop. It so happened that the e-commerce portal that I used to compare from all the different brands misled me a bit about the exact configuration of this machine.

Could you please confirm if the RAM in this one is indeed extendable?

Thanks.
a b } Memory
May 7, 2012 6:13:08 PM

Yes, it is extendable.

However you would not want 2 + 6. When using 2 sticks you want to make sure they are the same size.
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