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4 GB enough for gaming?

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September 28, 2012 6:45:41 PM

I won't be OCing so I'm planning to get 4 GB Corsair Dominator running at 1333Mhz. The price difference between the 2x2 4gb kit and a 2x2 8GB (Corsai's value ram) would allow me to get a Megaflow fan for my new HAF 912.

I don't run anything on the background besides the anti-virus while playing games so I feel that going for quality ram sticks with heatspreaders would be better than getting +4gb that I'll never get to use.

By the way, right now I can run everything just fine with 3.2 GB of RAM installed on an old 775 motherboard (I think the sticks run at 800mhz?). I'm mostly upgrading for the cpu (going from a pentium dual core wolfdale @2.7Ghz to a i3 SB @3.3GHz) and because I needed a case with better cooling.

More about : gaming

September 28, 2012 8:23:07 PM

a 2x2GB dual channel kit will do you just fine. especially if you keep ontop of your background programs!
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 3:36:33 AM

For now the 4gb will be ok but as more games are released they are getting increased system requirements and it does seem that they are getting higher with the amounts of ram. Some of the new games to be released and a few that are already out are having three stages of requirements.
The minimum system requirements that are needed to run the game and this is for the lowest settings and resolution.
The recomended requirements which is for those that want to be able to play at higher settings and resolution
The high performance requirements which is for those that want to play at the max settings and resolutions.
So when you have a computer that has the minimum requirements then you'll be able to run the game but not very well and they don't tell you what not very well is or how bad it will be.
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a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 3:57:19 AM

* Just would like to know which i3 CPU your looking at? I don't think there is a socket 775 based i3 (I could be wrong).
* If your running at 800 mHz RAM, your probably looking at DDR2 RAM an not the 1333 mHz RAM (DDR3) that you stated.
* I'm also betting that your running on a 32 bit OS, with only 3.2 gb's of RAM available (suspecting you already have 4 gb's installed and are probably running Windows XP 32 bit).

Could you give us your full specs so we can assist you better?
September 29, 2012 4:23:47 AM

No, 4GB is barely enough for the OS. Windows 7 should have a minimum of 8GB to run efficiently.
September 29, 2012 4:35:56 AM

For gaming, I'm going to say go with 2x4GB of RAM. That's what I have, had it with in DDR2, now with DDR3 and even though it's twice as fast, it still goes over 4GB when playing Battlefield 3 and I also do a lot of video encoding. But BF3 by itself, I've seen it go over 5GB in Multiplayer and Co-Op, just a bit though. Not much.

If your doing stuff like Sims 3 or a non-demanding game, 4GB should be enough for you. But that's just me. I'm always overkilling my build regardless because I rather overkill then have a game bite me in the butt. Good luck to you. =)
September 29, 2012 4:37:32 AM

Dingo, you are very wrong. This can be disproven by simply going to your task manager and looking at your memory used while using Windows 7. I can hardly get my memory to go over 3 gigabytes even when gaming at times!
September 29, 2012 4:41:57 AM

The newer chips will run at the same temp as your older chip, so I really wouldn't be worried about your temps. While 4GB would be fine I would personally get the 8GB. The perfomance difference between "high" and "low" quality ram tends to be negligible. Especially when compared to the performance difference between a system with enough ram vs one starved from ram.

IF you can link the ram your comparing we can give you a better idea if it's worth the trade off.
September 29, 2012 4:45:15 AM

idk if 8 is a "minimum" but i would say get 8gb if u can. 4gb is good enough but get more. if i have a game open, firefox, zune, and whatever else ill use 5.5gb
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 4:48:48 AM

We still need to know his complete specs, so we can be sure on what to recommend to him. I listed a few questions above that I'm concerned about.
September 29, 2012 2:45:26 PM

koudou said:
Dingo, you are very wrong. This can be disproven by simply going to your task manager and looking at your memory used while using Windows 7. I can hardly get my memory to go over 3 gigabytes even when gaming at times!

No, I'm not "very wrong" - here's a breakdown of what those items in Task Manager mean:

Under Physical Memory (MB), Total is the amount of RAM installed on your computer, listed in megabytes (MB). Cached refers to the amount of physical memory used recently for system resources. Free is the amount of memory that is currently unused or does not contain useful information (unlike cached files, which do contain useful information).

Under Kernel Memory (MB), Total shows the amount of memory being used by the core part of Windows, called the kernel. Paged refers to the amount of virtual memory the kernel is using. Nonpaged is the amount of RAM memory used by the kernel.

The System table includes five fields:
•Handles. Number of unique object identifiers in use by processes. This value is mostly of interest to IT professionals and programmers.

•Threads. Number of objects or processes running within larger processes or programs. This value is mostly of interest to IT professionals and programmers.

•Processes. Number of individual processes running on the computer (you can also view this information on the Processes tab).

•Up Time. Amount of time that has passed since the computer has been restarted.

•Page File. A description of virtual memory (also known as paging file) use. The paging file is space on your hard disk that Windows uses in addition to RAM. The first number is the amount of RAM and virtual memory currently in use, and the second number is the amount of RAM and virtual memory available on your computer.


Essentially, if you only have 4GB of RAM installed, you are handicapping Windows and are making it use a Page File. If you went one step further and looked in Resource Monitor-Memory tab to see how much RAM has be portioned for "Standby" you would probably see a different picture.

My system (in my sig) uses 1.89GB just getting into windows and running MSI Afterburner, after running IE to browse Tom's for a minute. The amount in Standby is equal to the amount In Use and Modified. AND I don't use a Pagefile because I have enough RAM - which makes Windows run much better and efficiently.

...Elementary my dear Watson...
September 29, 2012 3:24:40 PM

Most games are 32-bit anyway.
4GB is the minimum you need for gaming these days.
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 3:59:19 PM

4 gig is enough for now, but buy now intending to add another 4 gig later when you have the money.
September 29, 2012 4:33:58 PM

4GB is "enough" for gaming :) 

Just don't run multiple applications while playing games.
September 29, 2012 5:50:13 PM

lunyone said:
We still need to know his complete specs, so we can be sure on what to recommend to him. I listed a few questions above that I'm concerned about.


What I meant is that I'll be upgrading from a 775 mobo to 1555. I was wondering if there would be any increase in speed after switching from 800mhz sticks to 1333mhz ones.

Anyway, would I really need high performance RAM (say something like Corsair's Vengeance at 1600ghz) if I'm planning to OC a 2500K?
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 7:06:05 PM

Ah I see, but it would be nice to see all of your specs. There probably won't be much difference with the RAM changes as far as gaming goes, but I'm sure there will situations where the RAM speed will make some difference. The CPU change will probably be noticed a bit more than the RAM changes, but that also depends on what your doing with your system.
September 29, 2012 7:53:18 PM

I'll be gaming, but mostly stuff run in the source/unreal engine. The most demanding game I'll buy is Bioshock Infinite, but the reccomended system specs just ask for a quad @2.0 GHz.

I was thinking of getting a i3, but since the price difference is so low, I will go for a i5 2320 and a cheap h61 Asrock motherboard. I'll recycle my 1 TB Barracuda HDD, which did give a nice boost in performance when it came to emulation (Playstation, N64 and Nintendo DS). I'm pretty happy with it so I won't be upgrading any time to a SDD just to get faster boot/loading times, but I'd like to at least get USB 3.0 for my external HDD. A friend suggested me to just get a USB 3.0 controller card, which could really come in handy for me since I could use it on the other computers I own.

Would I be fine with a 2x2 kit of 4gb Corsair Valueram sticks? That way I could pass down this rig to someone else once it becomes sluggish for gaming without worrying about 4 gb not being enough for whatever they will use it for. If anything I expect this rig to last me 5 years since technollogy as a whole has slowed down when it comes to gaming, and with engines like Unreal managing to deliver high quality to low-spec systems, I don't think I'll need more than this + a good GPU (I'm thinking of getting a 7850) to run most future titles at medium.
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 7:54:32 PM

If your into gaming then here is the order of parts that make the most difference down to the least.
The video card is the most important in terms of performance and FPS.
The CPU is next in that you want a Quad core to keep up with the video card and not be a bottleneck , the processing power of the cpu is important as well and by overclocking it you increase that processing power.
The ram is next and tied with a SSD , higher frequency ram would naturally be better but will not give much notcable performance increase the better the ram the more chance it can keep up with the other two components and having lower frequncy ram and a smaller amount will show up as more of a chance of bottlenecking. The SSD will help with loading the game maps faster and with the overall performance of the computer in daily use.
I think that ram at 1600mhz or 1866 mhz just makes the computer run better and doesn't cause issues wit stability like if your trying to run 2133mhz or 2400mhz and have to worry about crashes because your pushing the limit.
If your motherboards list of ram speeds that it accepts goes up to 1333mhz and anything higher is accepted as overclocked then you may be better off running 1333mhz. If your MB has 1600mhz as the default then run 1600mhz.
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 8:06:58 PM

If you want to use 4gb of ram and keep the background programs to a minimum then you can do that. The way Windows works is that it uses space on the hard drive as virtual memory so that when it doesn't have enough ram to address then it uses that virtual memory. Naturaly it's not the best because the virtual memory is a lot slower then ram.
What some people do is if they have large amounts of ram like 16gb and higher they take and put the virtual memory down to very little or none to make sure that Windows uses only the ram.
With the prices of ram so low these days and the rabates that are out there it isn't that expensive to get 8gb of ram. You can pick up an 8gb set of Corsair ram for under $50.

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9R
$44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMV8GX3M2A1600C11
$35.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 29, 2012 9:02:59 PM

inzone said:
...The way Windows works is that it uses space on the hard drive as virtual memory so that when it doesn't have enough ram to address then it uses that virtual memory. Naturaly it's not the best because the virtual memory is a lot slower then ram.
What some people do is if they have large amounts of ram like 16gb and higher they take and put the virtual memory down to very little or none to make sure that Windows uses only the ram....

Exactly what I said in my post - BTW this is called a Page File (or Pagefile), and you don't need 16GB to turn it off
a b } Memory
September 29, 2012 9:16:56 PM

If your going the Intel route, than I'd suggest the z77 based mobo's, since you'll get onboard USB 3.0 (so you can hook directly to front USB 3.0 ports - if you have a case that supports it).

Here's an example of a decent z77 based mobo, not much more than the H-series mobo's that your talking about.
$95 shipped
ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Forgot to mention that you are better off getting 8 gb's of DDR3 1333 or 1600 mHz stuff, as long as it's cas 9 and runs at stock voltage of 1.5v. This will minimize any issues that you will run into in the next year or 2 and also give you ample RAM for future games/apps.
September 30, 2012 8:44:56 AM

dingo07 said:
No, 4GB is barely enough for the OS. Windows 7 should have a minimum of 8GB to run efficiently.

no 4gb is sufficent for win 7.look i have 8 gb ram right but only 1.86 gb is used at browsing.
September 30, 2012 8:47:41 AM

Try Kingston HyperX 1600mhz ram onboard coolers are great(low profile)
September 30, 2012 6:06:40 PM

i just re-built a p4 with parts that were laying around in my garage

even with 2gb of old ram Windows 7 felt sappy


Anyway, I'll go with the 8GB RAM just to be on the safe side. I think performance RAM will do me no good if I'm not going to OC it (or my CPU).

But I'd like to OC my 7850 2gb (non-oc edition). Do you think I would have any issues if I OC it paired with Corsair's value ram @1333GHz?
a b } Memory
September 30, 2012 6:18:18 PM

No , you can overclock your vdeo card and there will be no issue with the ram. Hving 8gb will give you a cushion to avoid any bottleneck. If you had stayed with the 4gb then I would have said there could be an issue. If you have a decent MB even the value ram can be raised a bit for a little extra speed over the 1333mhz.
Staying on top of the background open programs is tough as there is always something that wants to be open and having 8gb gives you that extra to accomodate that.
a b } Memory
October 1, 2012 12:48:11 AM

8 gb's of RAM (even the stock stuff) will be fine. You can OC the GPU and not affect the RAM or CPU at all. You should be just fine with that setup.
October 1, 2012 12:50:21 AM

I would say it depends on what type of games you play and what OS you use. Assuming you use Windows 7 64bit i think you could cut it at 4gigs but as earlier posters suggested you would not have a cushion and would have to use paging if your system suddenly needed the ram. If you use Windows XP 64bit 4gbs is more that enough and the same goes for linux.
!