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Windows 7: 3 Gigs Ram or 4?


26 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
3 Gigs Ram or 4?

So Im gonna be making an upgrade this weekend and was just looking for some input.

I know my intel board will only accept a max of 4 gigs on the board, however I already have a GeForce 7600GT videocard which has 512 memory on it.

I currently have 2 gigs and wanted to upgrade to 4 gigs ram on the board. The more im reading though, it seems that if i have an actual 4 sticks plus my videocard, is it a waste?

Does it mean if i have 3 gigs + my 512 videocard, thatd be close enough to 4 and not worth the extra $70 or so right?

any input is awesome guys! thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Oct 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Can I assume that you have 32 bit?
If you have 32 bit, 3GB is the limit. 3.5 at most. Save your money.
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26 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I read some benchmarks regarding RAM upgrades not too long ago and it seems 3GB is a "sweet spot".
There wasn't that much improvement gained by adding the 4th Gig of RAM.
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27 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Having had 3 GB of RAM before and now having 4 GB, it does make a difference to a degree. It gives you the freedom to run more at once, provided you are going to be using 64-bit Windows 7. If you are going to be using 32-bit Windows 7, then 3 GB would be just fine as it would not even be able to take advantage of the extra 1 GB.
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27 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Stick to 3GB....
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27 Oct 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If the motherboard/chipset only supports up to 4 GB of ram go with 3 GB, as if you use 4 GB you will be lucky to get much if any of the 4th GB useable. With the board only supporting up to 4 GB you will run into the same memory limitations as 32 bit Windows only this time it will be a hardware limitation that can not be overcome by using 64 bit Windows,

The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed

Quote:
When the physical RAM that is installed on a computer equals the address space that is supported by the chipset, the total system memory that is available to the operating system is always less than the physical RAM that is installed. For example, consider a computer that has an Intel 975X chipset that supports 8 GB of address space. If you install 8 GB of RAM, the system memory that is available to the operating system will be reduced by the PCI configuration requirements. In this scenario, PCI configuration requirements reduce the memory that is available to the operating system by an amount that is between approximately 200 MB and approximately 1 GB. The reduction depends on the configuration.
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27 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

I dont' know what would be better sticking with a card with 512 or upping it to a gig card and then it will be filled by 3 gigs of ram installed and a gig video card would make it 4 and the vid card would not take so much from the cpu which would free you up too

but it is just a opinion if you was to upgrade a nice pci card with a gig would do you better then adding the ram and there are cards to fit the budget you seek Newegg.com - XFX PVT95GZAFG GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card
Newegg.com - XFX HD-555X-ZNF2 Radeon HD 5550 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card even though the 9500gt is a fast card it only has 32 stream processors the 5550 has 320 by the way
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27 Oct 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Solarstarshines View Post
I dont' know what would be better sticking with a card with 512 or upping it to a gig card and then it will be filled by 3 gigs of ram installed and a gig video card would make it 4 and the vid card would not take so much from the cpu which would free you up too
If I am reading that right you do not add what is installed for system ram and the memory available on a video card to come up with the total available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit sp1
 
 

@stormy i basicly was saying better video card forget installing more ram a video card with more ram will compinsate a little if nothing thats what i am saying in so many words better card with 3 gigs he'll be fine

and it will lessin the load as well
I didnt mean that it would tottal out to 4 i was meerly suggesting the card will not depend on the ram so much when it has its own ram

i reread what i wrote didnt intend on it sounding that way
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27 Oct 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The real question is what OS platform are you running. That will give the answer. If you have x86, don't bother upgrading. If you have or will switch to x64, go for it.

Or, save your money for a new board that supports more memory and that upgraded memory down the road.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rap33042 View Post
I read some benchmarks regarding RAM upgrades not too long ago and it seems 3GB is a "sweet spot".
There wasn't that much improvement gained by adding the 4th Gig of RAM.
There is no sweet spot....unless you start talking about OS platform and intended uses for the computer. It isn't about benchmarks....it is about what you do with the computer. I have 8 GB and I am glad I do...as I can run multiple VMs at a time, without slowing down the host system. For an office-work only computer, 3 GB would be plenty. For a gaming system, I wouldn't go any lower than 4 GB.
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