Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: More RAM doesn't always amount to better performance

13 Apr 2009   #1
jimbo45

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 
More RAM doesn't always amount to better performance

Hi all
Reading these threads a lot I get the impression that a great many people think that simply by adding more RAM on a computer will automatically improve the performance.

This is not necessarily true as there are many many factors that need to be taken into account.

The amount of REAL RAM allocated by the OS is based on very complex algorithims and not purely on the size of the application being run. For example I might have a HUGE powerpoint presentation (say 50 MB -- a lot for a powerpoint demo) but the actual REAL RAM needed is of the order of a few KB (yes Kilobytes).

Most applications (possibly Photoshop is one of the rare exceptions) do not need to be 100% loaded into RAM while working. Only the amount of real data "pages" need to be accessed at any one time. The amount will obviously dependon what the application is doing , other processes etc etc.

For example in the power point example as above the data has to be transferred to a Video display -- whilst this is being done the next "slice" of data can be read from the "paging" disk.

Applications which wait a lot on input from the User (such as word processing) can use actually a very small amount of RAM since the keyboard input is far far slower than any DISK I/O required to get data from paging into real RAM.

So before you go "buying huge amounts of RAM" think what you actually need.

For a lot of people better graphics, faster CPU and above all FASTER DISKS might make for a snappier system than increasing the amount of RAM once you've got a reasonable base amount installed.

An 8GB RAM system with very slow disks and poor graphics is often far more frustrating to use than a 3GB machine with lightning fast disks and a decent graphic card irrespective of the CPU installed .

I would hazard a bet here that the biggest bottleneck in 99.9% of home systems is not RAM or graphic card but poor DISKS.

Cheers
jimbo


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #2
fakeasdf

Win 7 Pro x64 x 3, Win 7 Pro x86, Ubuntu 9.04
 
 

This is false... The amount of VMemory allocated to each program is 4 gigs on a 32 bit system. The amount actually in the RAM can be super small yes. Yes the Disk is possibly the biggest bottleneck, but your title makes it seem like more ram can be worse, where in all reality it won't ever hurt. If you have a crappy hard disk, disable your page file, buy 4 gigs of ram and run completely off ram, this will stop page faults (swapping of memory to the hard drive and vice versa) which is a huge performance gainer...

When it comes to games, Graphics cards are your bigger bottleneck, due to the fact that most of your textures etc are loaded into memory. And if you only have a little RAM then your OS is going to be forced to swap memory in and out of the page file, which will really kill you if you have a crappy hard drive, but if you are playing Crysis, more ram and a kick a video card are a way bigger factor than a fast or slow hard drive.

If you aren't a gamer and your machine sucks, get a core 2 duo or better, with a decent hard drive and a ton of RAM :P

And, it's easier to upgrade ram than say a CPU, also generally more cost effective, but unless you are someone who does some major video editing you probably won't get any performance boost above 2-4 gigs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #3
baarod

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I think this discussion needs to take into account the application's ratio of locked or non-pageable memory to it's working set. More memory will prevent commit paging of memory marked as pageable even if it is allocated in the virtual heap. The metric you really need to look at is hard page faults, that is, when memory has been allocated as pageable but insufficient physical memory conditions have caused those pages to be committed to the page file and purged from physical memory. A hard page fault occurs when that memory is accessed and has to be reloaded from the page file back into memory. That's where performance is impacted. So, more memory is almost always better!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #4
damoh

Windows 7 RTM x64
 
 

LOL ive just bought 4 gig ram, hope it helps me lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #5
Mark

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64
 
 

Have to agree with fakeasdf, I started off with a x86 OS and 2 gig of RAM and I could play Crysis but not with very high settings, then I went to x64 and got 4Gig of Ram, every thing else the same and my performance increased dramatically and I was able to play the game on much higher quality setting.

It's strange the way more memory was always better years ago, you have an old computer with 1 Gig and you add another one and WOW look how much quicker everything is, this is great.

That was until x86 reached it limit and that was like hitting the edge of the Worrld for computing and no one wanted to see past it, there is something over the horizon and it's x64 with potential to keep us going for a life time.

Saying we don't need more then 2 Gig of RAM is like saying the World is flat so wake up and smell the coffee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #6
ollie007

vista
 
 

lol philosophy from an aussie

if you use ramdisk, or just turn off pagefile, then i think you get lots of performance...HDD is the bottleneck in most cases, but SATA2 is bringing highspeed IO to homeusers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #7
whoosh

windows 7077
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by damoh View Post
LOL ive just bought 4 gig ram, hope it helps me lol
Hey good news M8 sure you will notice the improvement and be able to go 64X = yeah!

Dont wish to (ram) it home but I find the four gig handy do a lot of burning of films and editing etc ... yes a lot of burning indeed recently
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #8
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ollie007 View Post
lol philosophy from an aussie
Is there a problem with that ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #9
fakeasdf

Win 7 Pro x64 x 3, Win 7 Pro x86, Ubuntu 9.04
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baarod View Post
I think this discussion needs to take into account the application's ratio of locked or non-pageable memory to it's working set. More memory will prevent commit paging of memory marked as pageable even if it is allocated in the virtual heap. The metric you really need to look at is hard page faults, that is, when memory has been allocated as pageable but insufficient physical memory conditions have caused those pages to be committed to the page file and purged from physical memory. A hard page fault occurs when that memory is accessed and has to be reloaded from the page file back into memory. That's where performance is impacted. So, more memory is almost always better!
Yes, this calls for a chart... I tried to update the chart to today's prices, but you'll notice when you hit between ram and hard drive the hit cost is tremendous, it goes from 30 nanoseconds to 8 milliseconds! That is a terrible time loss in the computer world... (for those who don't quite understand that, the cost to hit the hard drive over ram is 266,666 times slower!)


Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2009   #10
bummpr

Windows 7 x86 and x64 - RTM
 
 
Read this!

Thanks jimbo for another insightful post. Before people start jumping all over jimbo, they might want to read this:

Do You Really Need More Than 6 GB Of RAM? : Is Too Much Really Just Enough? - Review Tom's Hardware

I think his point is there is more to consider in improving your overall performance than laying out hard-earned $$$$ (or euros or yen) for memory which may not be providing the return you think it is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 More RAM doesn't always amount to better performance




Thread Tools





Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Unusual amount of Ram being used.Help please
I have a 4gb of ram that runs windows 7 (64 bit) Dell laptop. Now my problem is that my Ram is being used up when i'm doing nothing. I noticed it a yesterday. So i disabled alot of start up programs and restarted my pc. And to see that about roughly 1.25 gb of ram was used after the boot. Nothing...
Performance & Maintenance
changing performance options doesn't save
When i disable the "animate", "fade" and other features in the "performance options"(s. attachment), it works fine until i restart the PC. After reboot the "animate" etc. are checked again. this is the same with admin and user account. This PC has a fairly fresh install and i didn't do any crazy...
General Discussion
Necessary amount of RAM
I know that the general concensus, at least to a degree, is the more RAM, the better. But realisitically, what would the absolute least amount necessary be? I ask because I'm considering an all-in-one Dell which comes with 4 GB of RAM & no option to add more during the ordering process. Is 4 GB...
General Discussion
amount of space
hey, how much space on a hard drive or SSD does it take to run the basic operating system (os), (120GB-20GB)? thanks
Hardware & Devices
What amount of Ram do I have?
Hello, Just righting in reference to the fact that I have 4 GBs of memory, but the Desktop Gadget CPU Usage says I only have 2818 MB. Any easy to understand explanations. Like to get to know the system better. Thanks for any assistance glennc
Hardware & Devices
ram amount
hi all my pc has 4g ram installed, but my pc system spec, only shows 2g ram, can someone please tell me how I can view the ram that I already have, I've tried ram inspector, but this still says only 2g phisical memory, does this mean that my pc is only using 2gig of ram and the other 2gig is...
Performance & Maintenance

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 23:05.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App