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Considering upgrading RAM; is it worth it?


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#1 Xantalen

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 05:44 PM

So, i have this computer that I built early last year (the one listed in profile) and it's been a while since I've bought anything for it. I've been noticing that more and more computers have 6+ GB of RAM. As of right now I have 4GB in it. I've only seen my available RAM drop below 1000MB a couple times. Does that mean that there's no point in upgrading as it isn't necesary or is there some other benefit I could gain from upgrading that I'm unaware of? Thanks.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 08:55 PM

What it boils down to is what operating system are you using, 32-bit or 64-bit operating system specifically.

A 32-bit operating system has an Address Space of 4GB. This space is not only used for the RAM, but for other critical functions such as the system BIOS, motherboard resources, memory mapped I/O, AGP, PCI, PCI-E, and other memory allocations for PCI devices use this space as well.

Different onboard devices and different add-on cards (devices) will result in different total memory size. This means that the more PCI cards installed will require more memory resources, resulting of less memory free for other uses, like RAM. Typically a 32-bit operating system will see between 3.3GB and 3.5GB of total RAM.

A 64-bit operating system is only limited, at least for now, to what the motherboard will recognize as a limit.

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#3 Xantalen

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

I'm currently running Windows 7 Ultimate x64, so there's no issue there, and my motherboard is capable of handling 16GB (which is nuts IMO). You can get a better idea of my PC by looking at the specs in my profile.

So now that you know I'm running a 64 bit OS, where do we go from here?

#4 dc3

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:40 PM

I don't know what you are using your computer for, but if it isn't bogging down with 4GB of RAM I would leave it alone. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you are using applications like video or photo editing, CAD programs, etc. etc... and you find yourself having to wait on things to happen, then you might think about adding more RAM.

Not knowing what or how many modules you have installed, I can only generalize and suggest that you match the module/s that you have installed so that you can run in dual channel. It is important to have modules with the exact same specs, preferably from the same manufacturer.

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#5 Xantalen

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:07 AM

I built it as a gaming PC.

Yeah, I know about the whole dual channel thing. The mobo has 4 slots, so I filled two of them with two 2GB sticks of the same RAM. That's all good.

#6 Layback Bear

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 06:14 AM

You have a nice system. If I were a gamer it would get more ram. From my understanding many games will love it. Check out what your ram is doing.
Go to Start and type in resmon and go to ram. Windows 7 handles ram in all new way and it works great. You really don't need it but there is a lot of stuff we add to our system we don't need just want.

#7 Xantalen

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 12:40 PM

Wow, I didn't even know that existed. I'm gonna run some things and I'll let you know what I find out. This is how things look right now with my browser running and some other applications in the background (Avast, AIM, Everest, Daemon Tools, Nexus dock)

http://img844.imageshack.us/i/resmon.png/

Got some other things to take care of in the meantime so there's probably gonna be some hours passing by before another post but idk lol.

#8 Layback Bear

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:59 AM

Some thing that will help you is at the top of every page on this site. Startup List.
Many programs start up a boot that don't need to; those programs put there self in start up when you install them. The programs to start up a boot is your choice. The only program you have posted that I also use is Everest and only use it as a on demand only. I only have 5 programs checked to start up on boot in msconfig and it works for me. Please keep in mind that a program that isn't checked can still be used on demand. There are programs that will show you more deeply what is starting at boot but we can get to that later if needed. Do not go changing things until you do your research and understand. I don't use any 3rd party programs to do things that I can use Windows 7 to do them. Many 3rd party programs don't play well with Windows 7-64.

#9 Xantalen

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:44 AM

Yeah, I know about the whole msconfig thing, although I haven't done it in quite some time so I suppose it's a good thing that you brought it up. I took a quick look at it last night before I went to bed but didn't really do anything with it. There weren't as many programs on there as I had expected, but there's no doubt a couple of things that could be disabled.

#10 Xantalen

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:30 PM

Forgot to post here lol:

I ran through msconfig and all that good stuff, disabled everything that I didn't need starting, and it did improve startup times (although I hate that it takes like 15 seconds to get to the POST screen). Even with several applications and a game running, I didn't see my available RAM drop below 1100 - 1300MB. I suppose the only upgrade that would mean anything would be to buy faster RAM, so with that in mind, I've got two more questions:

1. Is there even much of a speed difference between 1066MHz and 1200MHz?
2. My mobo can supposedly only support certain kinds of 1200MHz RAM, and I'm not sure which ones are supported.

#11 Layback Bear

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:51 PM

I think what you are asking is will you notice a difference. In some programs or games you will notice a difference. Most things like the internet, booting, and most programs I don't think you will notice any deference. From Google your mother board it will support 1066/1200 DDR2. A couple things to double check. 1) Make sure that all Ram sticks are the same exactly and make sure they are in the correct position according to the mother boards instructions. My understanding is that they can pass a memory test being mismatched or located wrong. I also noticed that you are over clocked. That can also cause these kinds of problems.

#12 Layback Bear

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:33 AM

Looking at your post #7 again. Seems to be normal comparing it to mine. No two systems will be exactly the same.

#13 Xantalen

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 08:53 AM

lol you couldn't resist coming back to the thread could ya :thumbsup:

Well, now I'm gonna make an audio related thread in the appropriate forum as I have another issue.

#14 JonM33

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:42 PM

You have a nice system. If I were a gamer it would get more ram. From my understanding many games will love it. Check out what your ram is doing.
Go to Start and type in resmon and go to ram. Windows 7 handles ram in all new way and it works great. You really don't need it but there is a lot of stuff we add to our system we don't need just want.


Nearly all games are 32-bit so adding more RAM for a game will be negligible. Even in a 64-bit OS and running under x86-64, they are still limited with their 32-bit code.

#15 Xantalen

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:58 PM

You have a nice system. If I were a gamer it would get more ram. From my understanding many games will love it. Check out what your ram is doing.
Go to Start and type in resmon and go to ram. Windows 7 handles ram in all new way and it works great. You really don't need it but there is a lot of stuff we add to our system we don't need just want.


Nearly all games are 32-bit so adding more RAM for a game will be negligible. Even in a 64-bit OS and running under x86-64, they are still limited with their 32-bit code.


True, but I do play a few new games, and most of the more recent ones are 64bit.




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