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Windows 7: RAM Allocation

14 Jun 2010   #21

7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by prospero View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
There's no problem here. 7 says it sees and is using all 6GB's of RAM.

You do however have a few more processes running than I do. You show 75 to my 46 processes; 24k to my 14k handles; 1000 to my 600 threads... but... you're probably doing stuff.

I do have to ask though... 6GB's on an LGA 1156 motherboard? How did you arrive at that configuration and why have you sacrificed running dual channel?
Hi Fumz. I've just used Belarc Advisor to check that my updates are OK and discovered that the MOBO is a Dell 033FF6 A00. Does that make a difference? I'm happy with the system's performance and don't plan to spend another £50-60 to add more RAM at the moment.
No, it doesn't make a difference; it only matters that the board is an 1156. However, if your satisfied with the performance, there's no need to go muddling around. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #22

Windows 7 64 bit

I find this interesting. I just bought a Dell 8100, advertised with 6gb ram... but I do have 4 chips. Does this mean they are 1.5gb each or that 1 is doing nothing? I just received it and have not turned it on, just wondering if I should pull out a stick? It's an i5-750 DDR3 SDRAM, 1333mhz. Board says DH5701.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
Integrated memory controller enables two channels of high-speed DDR3 1333 MHz memory. This memory controller's lower latency and higher memory bandwidth delivers amazing performance for data-intensive applications.
Intel® Core™ i5 Processor - Overview

The i5's have two memory "channels". You can set your board up to run in single channel mode (which is what you've done by having that odd third stick of RAM), but because the i5's have so much bandwidth, they benefit from using two channels at the same time.

However, in order to get dual channel to work, you have to place your RAM in the right slots. The dimm slots are colored differently for this very reason, so as to identify which channel is which. LGA 1156 motherboards (and that's what you have if you have an i5) use either 4GB's of RAM for dual channel, or 8GB's; they do not use 6GB's. 6GB's of RAM is typical of an LGA 1366 motherboard which has a triple channel memory controller.

Since you're using 6GB's of RAM, you have an extra stick populating the second channel, only because that second channel is not full (ie, not a fourth stick of RAM making 8GB's) your board defaults to single channel. In short, you're not getting the most out of your memory.

I thought that was odd, especially since this came from Dell. If you mistakenly have an i7 (an lga 1366 and not an lga 1156 i7) then your memory configuration would make perfect sense, but since you have an i5, it's a puzzler how Dell let you configure the machine this way?

You will get better performance if you remove the odd stick of RAM or add the fourth. Yes, generally speaking the more RAM you have the better your machine will perform, but not in your case... either remove the odd stick or get another bringing you to the full 8GB's.

If you're a gamer, then don't waste your money on a fourth stick as you will see no performance gains at all... no game uses more than 2GB's of RAM. If you can actually use all 8GB's of RAM, like with some CAD program, then get it, but if you can't, then don't bother.

As for disabling your page file, that is one huge internet myth that refuses to go away. It really won't bring you any sort of performance gains whatsoever... besides, no matter what you do trying to disable the page file, Windows will always create for itself a page file... so you can end up actually decreasing performance. Some guys have said that it's better to have the page file on another drive (not another partition on the same drive, but on a separate drive), yet, despite their insistence that performance increases, nobody, nowhere has actually ever demonstrated that with benchmarks that prove the point. If they had, everyone would be doing it who could benefit from it.

Windows does a very good job of managing the page file all on its own; let it. With the size of hard drives today, and the large amounts of RAM in most people's systems (4GB's or more) there is absolutely no need for this.

As for ReadyBoost: there is no performance gain to be had if you have 4GB's of RAM or more. RB is/was for systems that had less than 2GB's. Windows Vista - SuperFetch & ReadyBoost - Ask the Performance Team - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #23

7 Ultimate x64

6GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM3 at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs is what Dell is indeed advertising.

If all 4 slots are populated, then you're using dual channel; however, I have no clue how Dell is doing this, other than to assume they're making their own sticks, which is not outside the realm of possible given they're an OEM.

For the rest of the planet, you can't buy 1.5GB memory sticks, mostly because nobody makes 1.5GB memory sticks.

Go ahead and fire that bad boy up. No need to pull anything if all the slots are being used.


Even stranger, going to the XPS 8000 memory upgrade/purchase page, I see they only offer (the normal) 1GB, 2GB and 4GB sticks: So either they're making 1.5GB sticks, which is unlikely, or they're installing 2x2GB + 2x1GB, which seems like an awfully bizarre configuration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Jun 2010   #24

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by baarod View Post
It's ALWAYS better to have a page file on a drive other than the boot/system drive especially if that drive is an SSD. The reasons and are numerous and I'll gladly go into them in detail if anyone is interested.
I'm interested. It's always good to know the "why" behind the actions one takes. I was messing around with my page file settings earlier today and would be gald for any insight you could provide. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2010   #25

Windows 7 64 bit

I looked inside, there are (2) 2gb sticks and (2) 1 gb sticks, all "Elpida" brand, I'll leave it alone.
250gb HD is Seagate ST3250318AS, which appears to have good ratings. I think I'll leave it as my system/program drive and add the Samsung hd103sj as my data drive (with a partion for cloning the 250gb drive)... good to go; only change will be moving system to an SSD when their prices come down.

Thanks for the feedback!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 RAM Allocation

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