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Windows 7: Does it worth to increase RAM?

08 Feb 2019   #1
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Does it worth to increase RAM?

I own this i5 desktop that runs quite fine for mostly of what I do. It's equipped with 8 GB RAM, a primary 120GB SSD, a secondary 320GB HDD and a bunch of USB disks that I plug-in and out as needed.

Besides W7 and the necessary programs, I have a virtual machine with XP installed to run some legacy app versions.

Anyway, my computer boots extremely fast (less than 10 seconds if the USB disks are unplugged) and overall it's OK. My daily tasks are basically coding and media editing (photo, video and sound), besides, of course all the rest that everybody does (texting, web browsing, etc). As I clean up the storage devices once in a while My HDDs are around half full and my SSD has about 30GB free for Windows.

I was wondering if increase the RAM (say put extra 8GB) would mean a significant difference.

Opinions?

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2019   #2
iko22

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone
 
 

Lets make a start. You need RAM for the Operating System and your Programs to function. Some OSes and Programs require more RAM than others. Multi-Core CPUs and Multi-Tasking operating Systems can run more than one Program at a time. Many programs running at once means more RAM. The biggest bottleneck has been for a long time, the HDD. Now people use SSDs, and then the perceived bottleneck is the Page File. More RAM means a larger Page File. The minimum RAM for Windows 7 is 2 GB, but many people say that this is too low for smooth running. Even with 4 GB there are still performance issues. The issues seem to be reduced once 6 - 8 GB RAM are used. Next is security, with features like DEP has been around since about 2007. Features like DEP and ASLR potentially use RAM to hide the start address of an executable, therefore more RAM would seem like a more secure computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2019   #3
Pete4

win7hp64
 
 

open task manager and see how much RAM are you using. I rarely see more than 5-6 GB and adding extra RAM wouldn't make any noticeable difference to me, especially that I have SSD so file swap is much faster, but if you keep open 10-20 tabs in web browser, running memory hogs in background etc. your story could be different, especially with video encoding, those could be very large files and having them all in memory could speed things up, but if I was you, I would increase SSD size, before I would increase RAM, since I have some 4k video files that are 20-30 GB, so they wouldn't even fit on your SSD to work on them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Feb 2019   #4
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1
 
 

I agree with Pete. I would watch task manager while you perform your regular tasks (internet browsing, email, word processing, etc) or what I call light computer usage. Then look at how much is used when running XP. Then look at how much you use during video editing. Video editing will likely use the most ram. Maybe then consider multiple programs and if all you usually use is no higher than about 6 gb then you are safe with 8. Also look in the XP settings and see how much ram it is set for. I can't image that you need more than 1 gb for XP and probably only 512 mb so maybe you can lower that and save ram. Contrary to popular belief having 16 or 24, or even 32 gb of ram will not in itself increase performance over 4 or 8. What will increase performance is making sure that you have enough for what you do and to make sure that you are taking advantage of dual channeling or triple channeling. See if you don't have enough ram then you force windows to use virtual memory which is way slower than ram (even if you have a solid state drive) on top of excessive use of your drive. If your peak usage while video editing is close to 8 gb or especially if higher then you will benefit from more ram. Otherwise not likely. I only have 8 gb and it sounds like I do everything you do with my computer except I don't do video editing. Plus I run heavier virtual machines than XP. My peak usage is probably no higher than 6 and that's with 2 virtual machines going.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2019   #5
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I see... thank you for the help! Seems that I do NOT need any increase in RAM then. My memory usage rarely touches 5GB having ten tabs in Opera, Photoshop opened, MP3 playing and a video rendering; everything at the same time. And if I run XP together it goes a bit over. I think that I am fine with 8GB. Maybe invest on a second SSD is a better idea.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2019   #6
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

You didn't mention it but since you already have 8GB of RAM, I assume that you are running 64-bit Win 7 and that your system currently sees the full amount of installed RAM.


I run 16GB in my main system and rarely use more than 1/2 of that. I'm not a gamer and the only time I can really put that extra RAM (above 8GB) to use is by running multiple VMs.


IMO, it is doubtful that doubling the RAM will allow you to notice any difference in the use of your machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2019   #7
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
You didn't mention it but since you already have 8GB of RAM, I assume that you are running 64-bit Win 7 and that your system currently sees the full amount of installed RAM.


I run 16GB in my main system and rarely use more than 1/2 of that. I'm not a gamer and the only time I can really put that extra RAM (above 8GB) to use is by running multiple VMs.


IMO, it is doubtful that doubling the RAM will allow you to notice any difference in the use of your machine.
Oh, sorry, yeah, I really failed by omitting it (although it's showing up on my profile right under my avatar). Anyway, yes, my W7 is 64bits.

In any case it's good to know that increasing the RAM at this point would be such a waste of money. Thank you for adding your testimony!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2019   #8
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1
 
 

If XP is maxing you out you might try decreasing how much you give it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2019   #9
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by townsbg View Post
If XP is maxing you out you might try decreasing how much you give it.
No, it's not, townsbg. Win XP is a very small part of my equation... I actually have only ONE program installed in it (that refuses to work on W7) which I run like once every couple months for no more than 5 minutes. I know that it sounds to be too little to justify keeping a VM but unfortunately I cannot give up of it.



But thank you for the concern!

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 Does it worth to increase RAM?




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