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Windows 7: RAM Question


05 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 
RAM Question

I will probably be getting this motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 rev. 1.0 Socket 1155 ATX Motherboard Intel Z68 Express Intel Core i7 i5 i3 LGA1155 Processors, Dual DDR3 2133 SATA III SATA 6.0 Gb/s Gigabit LAN SLI CrossFireX USB3.0 HDMI DVI 7.1 Channels Audio-Best Computer Online Store Hous I will be putting in 4 GB of RAM. Do I need to get 2 - 2 GB or can I use 1- 4GB stick? I was thinking if I can used a 4 GB then I can just buy another 4 GB if I decide to go 64 bit. Speaking of that, I am shying away from going 64 bit now due to having MS Office 2003. Can I use that with 64 bit? Thanks,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Here's a chart for Office compatibility with various OSs:

Windows 7 Compatibility for MS Office 2003: Drivers, Updates, Downloads

Check the motherboard manual for instructions on what memory configurations are compatible. However, to use hyperthreading you must have at least two banks of memory, ie: 2GB + 2GB. With RAM as cheap as it is, I would either buy 2+2 or 4+4.
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05 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

You can use 1 stick. However, if you want dual channel (mainly shows up in benchmarks), you'll want a same-sized pair. (As far as I know, there's no connection between hyperthreading and dual channel RAM.) You can get 2X4GB of DDR3-1333 at Newegg for about $42. (2X2GB, $23.) Use their memory finder:

Newegg.com - Memory Finder Tool

Office 2003 runs well under Windows 7 X64. It's not 100%: if memory serves, Microsoft Document Imaging will not install. I've gone to Office 2010 (Home & Student), but not because of compatibility issues.
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05 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

I had Office XP running on Windows 7 64-bit perfectly fine, so I would assume Office 2003 would run fine as well. It is also confirmed by Microsoft to be compatible per kegobeer's link. Also, I highly recommend going for 64-bit and doing 2x4 GB of RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The board you picked out will run memory speeds upto 2133mhz. Be sure the memory you buy is 1.5v memory not 1.9v which is commonly seen. Otherwise the memory will be backclocked by the board to a slower speed.

Dual channel mode is disabled when only running one dimm by itself. Dimm slots DDR3_1 and DDR3_2 are used when a pair of dimms are installed. The part on memory installation can be seen on the second English download link being the first half of the user manual when selecting manual from the "Download type" at the support/download page. GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1155 - GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 (rev. 1.0)
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06 Jun 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

Use the 64bit OS, will work fine with your 2003 office.
All 32bit apps will work with Windows 7 64bit OS.

RAM, at the prices today, go with 2x4GB. Better to have 2 RAM cards installed to enable Dual Channel.
It will run with one card installed, but there is a possibility that the next RAM card may have compatibility issues with the first one. Always better to buy a kit of two or four cards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

I just got done swapping out four Mushkin 2gb dimms for a pair of Kingston Hyper X DDR3 1600 memory on the board here. The kit for $70 over at newegg. Those would have run for about $135 when buiding the case back in 2010 showing how the prices especially at this time of year tend to see summer deals.
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06 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post

Office 2003 runs well under Windows 7 X64. It's not 100%: if memory serves, Microsoft Document Imaging will not install. I've gone to Office 2010 (Home & Student), but not because of compatibility issues.
I only use Outlook, Excel and Word. If I go 64-bit, should those work OK? What are the advantages of using 64 bit over 32 bit? I don't do any fancy calculations, only surfing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I'll split my answer in two parts. First, I wouldn't hold off on memory now. All it takes is one earthquake in the right area to triple prices. Memory is dirt cheap right now, so stock up. You aren't talking about a lot of money to go from 4 GB to 8 GB.

As for Office, I'll go another route. Office 2003 should work fine, especially for what you use it for....but if you only use the basics....do you need to install it at all? Offive Live is free with a SkyDrive/Live account, and gives you Excel, Word, and PowerPoint (I think on the last one). Depending on your e-mail type, you could use Live Mail or something web-based.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

All of those programs work the same under 64-bit as they do under 32-bit.

The most well known advantage is that it can use more RAM. 32-bit OSes cannot actually use 4GB of RAM. The best you could expect with 4GB installed is 3.25 usuable. Also, even though it might not effect you right now, files in excess of 4GB are becoming more common. Such a file cannot be opened properly on a 32-bit system. 32-bit software also cannot use more than 4GB of RAM at a time. On a 32-bit machine those programs will actually be limited to around 2GB at most since the operating system uses some of the RAM available. 64-bit programs can also run faster than their 32-bit equivalents (keep in mind that 32-bit programs won't run any faster). 64-bit programs are becoming more widely available. Microsoft Office, CCleaner, Internet Explorer (and Flash and Java plugins), 7-zip, some anti-virus programs and several other programs are available in 64-bit versions now. We keep a partial list here at sevenforums. Free Native 64-bit programs

The only disadvantage of 64-bit is that some hardware from before 2007 may not have 64-bit drivers available, but the opposite is starting to take place with some newer hardware. Some OEMs only supply 64-bit drivers on their websites, so replacing 64-bit Windows with 32-bit Windows has become more difficult than doing the opposite on newer systems.
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