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Windows 7: New Build RAM Recommendations

27 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
New Build RAM Recommendations

I'm going to be doing a new build in the near future. I would like some recommendations as to how much RAM I will need.

Here is the setup/ideas I have for what my computer to be capable of:
  • LCD 1080p 3 monitors (Maybe in the 27" range, maybe a 3D monitor)
  • Monitor #1: TV/Recording (I have an InfiniTV4 which can record 4 shows at once) - I have FiOS HD TV service
  • Monitor #2: Productivity - Adobe, MS Office, Browsers, some Java compiler, Visual Studio, ability to run 2 or 3 virtual machines for learning purposes
  • Monitor #3: Gaming (like Call of Duty, Battlefield and other resource intense games)
I'll most likely close games after I'm done using them but everything else I'll most likely leave up, and at night allow my computer to automatically go into sleep mode. I'm also leaning towards retaining Windows 7 instead of going with Windows 8, which is why I posted here versus the 8 forums.

That said, is 16 GB of RAM overkill? The system I'm on, well I don't have an HD compatible video card or monitor. It seems to struggle quite a bit with 4 GB, particularly when I get lazy and don't close everything and want to run a virtual box or watch TV on my computer, plus the load times are slow, considering it's about 5 years old.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Aug 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination so this is just personal opinion and others may well disagree with me. If a mobo will support 32GB RAM, and if your bank account can afford 32GB, I say go for it. To answer your specific question: " 16 GB of RAM overkill?" I believe it's better to have more memory and not need it than to not have enough. Buy as much RAM as you can afford.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Yes 16gb of RAM is overkill....Now after saying that, I run 16gb myself I have never came close to using all of it. I game, run vbox, photoshop, watch movies/ encode movies, MS Office.
Most user's including myself will never use close to 16gb let alone 8gb. So why did I go 16gb? Well RAM is cheap right now and I will never MAX myself out with 16gb.

So should you get 16gb? Well if money is tight in your build, then NO get 8 and put the extra in something better. If money is not that tight? Yes get 16gb and never run out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit, Debian GNU/Linux 64bit (virtual machine on a RAM drive)

There are some non traditional desktop uses of RAM such as RAM drives. I have 32GB and my MB will support up to 64GB, so I might upgrade to that in the future since some of the programs/games that I might want to temporarily install to RAM will be pushing 25GB. And of course they'll need enough RAM to also run on.

That aside, 8GB or 16GB should be plenty. If I were you, I'd probably go for at least 16GB though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (32-bit)

Since your are able to get a 3 monitor setup, Im guessing 16GB wont hurt your budget much so Im saying go for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2012   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

Unless their is a known problems with the motherboard or cpu handling large amounts of ram put it in there if you don't mind spending the money. If ram was cheap as it is today when I bought my ram I would of got more. Will I ever need more, I don't know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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