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Windows 7: Will Windows 7, 64-bit HOG RAM?


02 Aug 2010   #1

XP SP3
 
 
Will Windows 7, 64-bit HOG RAM?

On another forum, I was advised that my proposed new PC build could create a memory issue if I go with Windows 7, Professional, 64-bit version. Specifically, I plan to use the configuration (below) which includes the Intel i5-661 Dual Core processor and the Intel DH55HC MOBO, which will utilize the on-chip, integrated graphics without the need to install a separate graphic card.

I am NOT a gamer and don't use large graphic files.

However, I was warned that (in effect) without a separate graphics card the CPU and OS could use "all of the memory" -- i.e., all of the 4GBs of RAM.

[FWIW, I am currently using a Dell Vostro 200 with integrated Intel (dual core) graphics and I run AutoCAD, Corel Draw, and Sketchup without any problems -- provided that the files are not HUGE. I currently have 2GBs of RAM. My proposed build will have 4GB.]

Does the configuration below (including the proposed OS) create a RAM issue?

CASE: Lian Li "Lancool" PC-K7B, mid-tower ATX;
MOBO: Intel DH55HC, with Intel heat sink and fan;
CPU: Intel Dual Core, Core i5-661 Clarkdale, 3.33 GHz, LGA 1156;
PSU: Corsair 400CX, 400W, ATX;
RAM: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR3, SDRAM;
HDD: WD AV-GP 500GB SATA 3.0 Gb/sec, 3.5"'
DVD: Lite-On, 24X SATA Model iHAS424-98 LithtScribe support;

Thanks,

Louis

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Aug 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Louisaz View Post
On another forum, I was advised that my proposed new PC build could create a memory issue if I go with Windows 7, Professional, 64-bit version. Specifically, I plan to use the configuration (below) which includes the Intel i5-661 Dual Core processor and the Intel DH55HC MOBO, which will utilize the on-chip, integrated graphics without the need to install a separate graphic card.

I am NOT a gamer and don't use large graphic files.

However, I was warned that (in effect) without a separate graphics card the CPU and OS could use "all of the memory" -- i.e., all of the 4GBs of RAM.

[FWIW, I am currently using a Dell Vostro 200 with integrated Intel (dual core) graphics and I run AutoCAD, Corel Draw, and Sketchup without any problems -- provided that the files are not HUGE. I currently have 2GBs of RAM. My proposed build will have 4GB.]

Does the configuration below (including the proposed OS) create a RAM issue?

CASE: Lian Li "Lancool" PC-K7B, mid-tower ATX;
MOBO: Intel DH55HC, with Intel heat sink and fan;
CPU: Intel Dual Core, Core i5-661 Clarkdale, 3.33 GHz, LGA 1156;
PSU: Corsair 400CX, 400W, ATX;
RAM: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR3, SDRAM;
HDD: WD AV-GP 500GB SATA 3.0 Gb/sec, 3.5"'
DVD: Lite-On, 24X SATA Model iHAS424-98 LithtScribe support;

Thanks,

Louis

The configuration itself does not create a "ram" issue. You can prevent the integrated gfx chip from using "all of the 4 gigs", but in doing so you may slow down your Autocad, Corel, and to some degree Sketchup.

If you are only going to have a total of 4 gigs ram, and you intend to do CAD, and other Memory intensive apps you might want to consider what your most important issue is.

4 gigs of ram, in a 64bit OS, doing cad, and rendering will slow down, integrated video or not.

We could use more information on the size of the files, how often you will be doing memory intensive apps, etc.

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Louisaz, welcome to Seven Forums!




If this is the main-board, why not just spring for more RAM and populate all 4 DIMMs, then all this will be moot and you would have nothing to be concerned over?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Aug 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I agree with BFK. Throwing in more RAM is probably the cheapest approach. A decent dedicated graphics card for a non-gamer can be had for $80 to $100 - e.g. a GeForce GT 240.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Of course, using up all of the RAM means you are taking full advantage of what you have. Windows will clear memory as it needs to in order to launch other applications and such. There really is not a good reason if you have 2, 4 or even 8GB of RAM to keep 50% of it free at all times. If you were able to do that...you might as well have purchased 1/2 as much RAM and saved some cash.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You should always be able to set the amount of memory used for video in the BIOS. However, it will use part of your system memory. Given that Windows 7 offloads some visual work to a capable video card, I would put a dedicated one in regardless of your usage. You don't game, so there's no need to spend $100-$500 on one. You could easily pick up something cheaper, in the $40 range that would better the onboard video card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #7

XP SP3
 
 

Ken, Barefoot Kid, and WHS,

Thanks for input...

I'm thinking that adding another 4GBs of RAM will be the thing to do -- if necessary. The size of the typical AutoCAD (LT) and Sketchup files I may generate will be much smaller than 1 GB. [I know that the CPU memory "overhead" to run these programs is more of a lug.]

If I have 4GBs of on board RAM to begin with, I am guessing that I will not experience an issue with either program -- given the smallish size of the files I'll be generating. FYI, AutoCAD LT is a 2D program (as is Corel Draw) while Sketchup is a 3D program and is more ram intensive when you're maneuvering (regenerating or rendering) a 3D model. I think I will try the build as configured and then opt for more Ram if necessary or a graphics card if another 4GBs of RAM doesn't do the trick. I will use my AutoCAD and Sketchup very rarely.

Again, my current Dell, with 2GBs of RAM, a slower dual core Intel processor, and integrated graphics doesn't complain -- with smaller CAD and Sketchup files. I will have to run my existing CAD and graphics in the 32-bit mode (virtual XP machine) -- which is why I will use the Windows 7 professional -- or I must upgrade the to the 64-bit versions of the programs. IF I run them in the 32-bit mode, I cannot see how I'd have an issue. If I upgrade the programs and use large files, I'll likely have to graduate to a fast, independent graphics card and 4 more GBs of RAM.

Any thoughts?

Louis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you want to keep the graphics card option open, you might want to opt for a 500 Watt PSU rather than 400 Watts. Just to be on the safe side.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #9

XP SP3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Of course, using up all of the RAM means you are taking full advantage of what you have. Windows will clear memory as it needs to in order to launch other applications and such. There really is not a good reason if you have 2, 4 or even 8GB of RAM to keep 50% of it free at all times. If you were able to do that...you might as well have purchased 1/2 as much RAM and saved some cash.
I like your logic! So why don't I simply add another 4GBs of RAM and call it a day.

I'm a 67-year old retired Architect. Occasionally, I'll play with AutoCAD and Sketchup, but as I am no longer practicing, the files I will generate will be smallish.

I'm guessing that with the advent programs written for 64-bit architecture, they will become more graphic and RAM intensive. That's fine. IF I am using a 64-bit OS (Windows 7 Professional) and my PC will run 64-bit programs I can always replace my 8GBs of RAM with 16GBs sometime in the future.

I agree that RAM is increasingly the name of the game.

Thanks,

Louis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2010   #10

XP SP3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
If you want to keep the graphics card option open, you might want to opt for a 500 Watt PSU rather than 400 Watts. Just to be on the safe side.
I used a program and checked the combined wattage for the proposed build and it is under 250 watts. I assume there is a surge during a cold boot, but what should the factor of safety be?

Louis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Will Windows 7, 64-bit HOG RAM?




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