Solved: How much memory for Windows 7?

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Alex Ethridge

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I learned a long time back that for general business and internet applications, Windows XP ran well on 512 RAM. It ran even better on 768 and I could see almost no difference between 768 and 1 Gig.

So, here's the question. With all other things being equal, where is the spot (amount of RAM) in Windows 7 where it runs as well as XP did with 768?

I hope this question makes sense.
 

DoubleHelix

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The question makes sense, but there's no simple answer.

There's no way a computer I used with Windows XP would have run well with 768MB of RAM. Memory requirements are dependent upon the applications being used.
 

Alex Ethridge

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Well, I thought I qualified the question well enough by stating I run only business apps (MS Office and the like and Firefox/IE7, etc) and seldom run more than one app at a time.

Then there's the part about "all other things being equal".

For me, 768 ran XP (32-bit) very well; but, bear in mind I run a lean system with a close watch on what gets into the startup group. I uninstall all monitoring programs and disable or uninstall all updaters. I'm not a glutton for punishment so I run no memory-hogging Symantec products.

The reason I ask is that I had an HP DV6000 Laptop with Turion 64 processor and 2 Gigs of RAM fall into my lap yesterday and I'm wondering if I would see a notable difference in performance if I added RAM. It is currently running Windows XP Media Center and I'm thinking about Windows 7 32-bit. I don't really care to double the RAM for Windows 7 64-bit.

Here's my experience with Windows XP, 32-bit:
256 - a real drag, runs like cool molasses
512 - satisfactory with huge difference in speed from 256
768 - notable difference from 512 but, not a lot
1024 - notice difference from 768 only rarely
2048 - don't remember ever seeing a difference between this and 1024
 
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I have 4gb on my new Windows 7 machine. I use the Microsoft office applications, adobe, some video editing software.
Observing the memory usage reported in the Windows Resource monitor, I rarely see memory usage exceeding 2gb. The in use memory runs about 1.5gb, the standby memory is 1.3gb with 1gb+ free at all times.
 

DaveA

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I would use a minimum of 2 Gigs on a 32 bit machine and 4 Gigs minimum on a 64 bit machine
 
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2 gig seems to be the sweet spot for most W7 users, but many report 1.5 is more than enough for non power users.

I am currently using 1gig on my old Dell Lat D600 with windows 7 Pro (clean install), with no issues, but I don't do much but surf and email.

D600 booted up with AVG network edition, and IE 8 open to my home page, one Gadget, task manager shows it is using 496mb memory. Only 41 processes running though.

It all depends on what is set to run at startup, and what you do, most store bought PCs have too much bloat software in the start up.

.
 
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clean retail install, fresh out of the box... lean and clean boot, 1GB for x86 and 2GB for x64 has been about right for me... more is always better, and 2GB is really fairly cheap now.
 

TerryNet

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Re your post # 3, Alex, I'd say double those RAM numbers for Windows 7 to get pretty much the same results as with XP (not counting the first one, as you have to do special contortions to fit 7 into double 256 MB).
 

Alex Ethridge

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Thanks for all the input. The one I am thinking about installing on has 2 Gigs. I'm glad to know I won't suffer with that amount.
 
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