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Windows 7: How much physical RAM reqd for Win'7 HP (64-bit) to run smoothly ?


12 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
How much physical RAM reqd for Win'7 HP (64-bit) to run smoothly ?

Hi,

I have been using a 64-bit Windows 7 HP based Acer notebook and sometimes find that the system has become sluggish. The notebook was shipped with 3Gb RAM. Do I need to upgrade the physical RAM to improve performance ? I use multiple browsers simultaneously with many tabs in each open. This seems to drag the system.

Also, I have one 2Gb and one 1Gb RAM module installed (only two modules possible). Would it help if I upgrade with a single 4Gb module replacing my old RAM ?

Regards,

Ramesh


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Adding more RAM may or may not help.

You need to look at the memory tab of Resource Monitor when the system is sluggish. Unless all the memory is used up at that time (no blue in the graphs), then adding more memory isn't likely to make much difference.

You should look at your documentation or Acer's website to see the maximum RAM supported and the per-slot maximums for your model. You might be able to just replace the 1 GB stick with a 4 GB stick, giving you 6 total.

I'd think Windows 7 runs quite well on 3 GB, but I don't know exactly what load you are putting on it or how many tabs you have open.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 

I'd add that the reason why speed does not depend only no RAM is additional system variables (and potential bottlenecks) such as CPU, graphics card, and speed of HDD. You need to confirm where the sluggishness is occurring from first (i.e. if your CPU is constantly at close to 100% and your RAM is just half-way used - you do not need a RAM upgrade, rather could be thinking of a better processor and so on).
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12 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Mine is an Acer Aspire 5742G notebook was shipped with 3Gb (one 2Gb+one 1Gb module). The OS as I mentioned earlier is 64-bit Win'7 Home Premium, and it has mostly standard applications installed including MS-Office 2007 Professional, Adobe Reader, Norton IS 2012. I use the notebook to do some research on the web, or casually surf the net, and sometimes chat up with friends. So, I usually have IE9 with 3-4 tabs, FF9 with 10-12 tabs, and Chrome 16 with 15 odd tabs open. I realized that after working for a couple of hours, the system feels sluggish. I suspect it may be because of the browsers, which perhaps take up lots of RAM. When my system boots up I noticed that it shows 29% physical memory usage, but when I open a few Word or Excel files, and all three aforementioned browsers the physical memory shoots up to 69%. The Resource Monitor too shows 10Mb to 0Mb Free RAM, so I feel I may need to upgrade the RAM. Hence, I am considering an upgrade. Question is whether I should retain the 2Gb module and buy a 4Gb one (to replace the 1Gb RAM module) or would it help if I buy two 4Gb modules. I checked with Acer and am assured that my notebook can take two 4Gb modules.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Personally I don't run 64bit on anything less than 4GB of RAM. Reason being, very few benefits from 64bit. With less than 4GB of RAM, since 32bit can address it all, it just seems like the more practical way to go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

@pparks1, thanks for the response. But, are you suggesting that I ugrade to 4Gb only, or would 8Gb (2x4Gb) would be overkill for my 64-bit Win 7 HP. This OS was shipped with my notebook, so I guess I will have to continue with it. Just want to make life easier by upgrading RAM from 3Gb (2+1) as often my sys seems to drag.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rameshiyer View Post
Question is whether I should retain the 2Gb module and buy a 4Gb one (to replace the 1Gb RAM module) or would it help if I buy two 4Gb modules. I checked with Acer and am assured that my notebook can take two 4Gb modules.
Well, in one case you would have 6 GB and in the other case you would have 8 GB.

I'd probably go for 8 and replace both sticks with a pair of 4s. You may not notice any difference between 6 and 8, but RAM is at an all-time low price, so you would save very little if you wanted to stay with only 6.

Talk to Acer again or look at their web site and try to find a list of approved RAM. Make sure you get the right stuff. Don't worry about the speed rating so much, but make sure you get the right type, right voltage, and a decent brand.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

if you are running ddr3 ram go ahead and get the 2X4GB sticks for a total of 8GB. it's not overkill and ddr3 is cheap. ddr2 costs about double usually. it's best to install RAM in pairs, but it's not always required

crucial's website has a nice layout to help you find what you need
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

also if you have a multi-core cpu make sure all of them are enabled. sometimes they come from the factory only using one. my acer desktop came like that back in the day
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks @ignatzatsonic and @Big Tom for your inputs & suggestions. I checked and found from Acer as well as RAM manufacturers (their vendors, actually) that Transcend make 4Gb modules are compatible and available at a good price (DDR3, 1333 Mhz) so will buy these, though it would make both my old RAM modules redundant.

@Big Tom, how do I check if all the CPU cores are enabled on my i5-based notebook ? I noticed in the Task Manager that it shows the usage graph for four cores, so I assume all four cores are enabled / active.

BTW, noticed that my Chrome browser alone takes over 1Gb RAM (as noticed in Resource Monitor) as it has some 15 odd tabs open. But, FF9 with about 8 tabs takes just 250Mb or so.
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 How much physical RAM reqd for Win'7 HP (64-bit) to run smoothly ?




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