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How Important Is RAM?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by FOX45, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. FOX45

    FOX45 Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    So, currently, Im running Windows 7 ultimate, 32 bit, with 4 GB (only 3.2gb recognized) of ram, a 3.2ghz quad, and an ati 5870.
    I use my computer for gaming, recording, recording game videos, and other random miscellaneous stuff.
    Im just wonder, how big of a deal is RAM? I know windows 7 ultimate 64 bit supports 192 GB of RAM, if I just go with say, just 12 GB of ram, will I notice a difference in FPS when/without recording, start up times, program launch times, internet browser load times, anything?
    What advantage would I have with 12 GB as opposed to 3.2?

    Also, is it possible to install a 64 bit W7 over my 32 bit W7 without having to reinstall everything? (like an upgrade?)
    And are there any driver problems or compatibility issues with games and graphics card drivers in w7 64bit?
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I doubt you'll notice any difference whatsoever if you already have that much RAM.

    You need to install 64 as a new installation and it can't be used to upgrade a 32-bit installation.
     
  3. FOX45

    FOX45 Thread Starter

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    Really? I thought for sure that 3.2gb would definitely seem slower when put up against 12gb, but whatever.
    Then why do a lot of people say you should upgrade to 64 bit because of it being faster?
     
  4. Compiler

    Compiler

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    RAM varies depending on what you do.

    - Will 12GB increase your FPS?... no.
    - Anything else get faster? Maybe... only if you're running out of 4GB of RAM.
    - Advantage... is you're running huge programs or a database.

    - No, you'll need to do a clean install of Windows7. If your Win7 Ultimate is OEM, you'd have to buy the 64bit version for about $160.

    - Yes, there are some driver & compatiblity issues with 64bit... but nowhere near as bad as WinXP-64. Any hardware device MUST have a 64bit driver to work. Look up your hardware from the manufacture or used MS's Win7 compatibility database.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/Default.aspx (Click on 64bit on the left side bar)

    Hit CTRL-ALT Delete, start TASK manager and then Resource Monitor - click the Physical Memory bar so you can visually see your memory usage. It shows I'm using about 1015MB of RAM (out of 2GB) running all my apps. There is only one game I have that eats ALL my memory... Otherwise UT3 and anything else runs fine. As I type this, I'm recording a live TV show, Opera browser, MS-Word and some small tools and the computer is running fine.

    So, with those task managers (stretch it out), see what happens under normal use and even play your games. Then come back and see your memory usage. Until you get around 300MB free... don't worry about. When I get that low on SuCom, it causes Win7 to complain - UGH! But I can play a bit more - but when it gets around 100mb free - the game crashes out.
     
  5. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Most of those are VISTA users. If Win7 was as bad as vista... we should all be using at least 3/4GB of RAM for a low end computer. Both my desktop & notebook run great with 2GB. I can't really notice much difference between 1GB and 2GB on my ThinkPad.

    So for vista users, the extra memory is actually to help the computer from running sloooower. :)
     
  6. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    The old days where adding memory is always a good idea and a great benefit are gone. Though I have 12 GB's of RAM on one machine, since it is never used, I created several RAMdisks out of 8 GB's of it. My temp folders and temp internet files are there, for example, and that greatly speeds up some web page loads and program installations that use temp files. I also run some programs from the RAMdisk. But my reason for adding it all was never to "speed up" my system. I added it because it came with the board and then had to determine how to use it.

    Boot time is quite a bit longer than it was with just 4 GB's, and on some machines, everything will be a lot slower with excessive RAM. The page file should not be set too large, either, since paging will slow down many things.

    I'm running Vista with 740 MB's of RAM on one machine and it actually seems faster than another dual-core with 4 GB's that I have. Machines are not all the same, except within certain broad parameters. Trying things out is still the best way to know for sure.
     
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