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IS 4GB of Ram enough


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#1
georgewashington16

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I was planning on upgrading to Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I have been told that 32-bit OS's can only utilize 4GB of Memory. Will 4 GB be sufficient for the next couple of years for gaming?
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#2
Seltox

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I'm not all that great with RAM problems, but it may be quite useful to others if we know what type of ram, DDR,DDR2,DDR3... And I believe it's a MAX amount of 4gb that XP can utilize, not actually sure though.
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#3
Poseido

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Gaming is really hard to judge in todays world. Reasons being the fact that there coming out with new technology every day. So, I'm guessing the 4gb ram wont do you for a few years. but if that doesn't last you and you want more. You will most likily have to buy a new motherboard.

But, Hey, Thats my opinion..

Thanks
Poseido :)
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#4
sandman01086

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4gb will be enough for the time being, the lower end of the vista scale can utilize up to 16gb and higher end can utilize something ridiculous like 128gb, so use 4gb until you can afford to buy a new system
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#5
jackflash1991

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32bit Vista can only utilize ~3.25GB of RAM. If you get the 4GB and have 32-bit Vista ~0.75GB of RAM will not be used. On the other hand if you go with 64bit Vista it will recognize more (I forget the exact number of GB it recognizes but it is way more then you need for 64bit.) You could go with a 64bit OS but there are some driver issues. I say in like a year or maybe sooner it would be time to make the switch to 64bit, but at the moment it is a little bit of a headache to deal with.

Today games only need ~2GB of RAM, an extra 1.25GB of RAM will help a little but not a lot. But RAM is so cheap nowadays that it would not hurt to get 4GB. If you were to go with 4GB I would get some high performance gaming RAM DDR2 800, like this: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820220144
You could get 2 packs of this and for a total of $36.99 each after mail and rebate.


To answer your question YES 4GB should be good. I say no more then 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM at the moment. If you really want to waste money you could go with the DDR3 RAM but that is very expensive and it is not very cost efficient.

Edited by jackflash1991, 30 December 2007 - 02:07 PM.

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#6
georgewashington16

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Thanks man I will take your advice.
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#7
sandman01086

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what's the deal with DDR3 RAM? i did some reading on it, and it said something like 4 times the amount of data channels or something, I didn't really understand it
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#8
jackflash1991

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It is basically doubles the bandwidth and allows for faster RAM. DDR3 is out but it is not quite perfected yet so it is worth it to stick with DDR2 and save some dough.

The 3 forms of SDRAM:

DDR SDRAM

Main article: DDR SDRAM

While the access latency of DRAM is fundamentally limited by the DRAM array, DRAM has very high potential bandwidth because each internal read is actually a row of many thousands of bits. To make more of this bandwidth available to users, a Double Data Rate interface was developed. This uses the same commands, accepted once per cycle, but reads or writes two words of data per clock cycle. Some minor changes to the SDR interface timing were made in hindsight, and the supply voltage was reduced from 3.3 to 2.5 V.

DDR SDRAM (sometimes called "DDR1" for greater clarity) doubles the minimum read or write unit; every access refers to at least two consecutive words.

Typical DDR SDRAM clock speeds are 133, 166 and 200 MHz (7.5, 6, and 5 ns/cycle), generally described as DDR-266, DDR-333 and DDR-400 (3.75, 3, and 2.5 ns per beat). Corresponding 184-pin DIMMS are known as PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200. Speeds up to DDR-550 (PC4400) are available for a price.

[edit] DDR2 SDRAM

Main article: DDR2 SDRAM

DDR2 SDRAM is very similar to DDR SDRAM, but doubles the minimum read or write unit again, to 4 consecutive words. The bus protocol was also simplified to allow higher speed operation. (In particular, the "burst terminate" command is deleted.) This allows the bus speed of the SDRAM to be doubled without increasing the speed of internal RAM operations; instead, internal operations are performed in units 4 times as wide as SDRAM. Also, an extra bank address pin (BA2) was added to allow 8 banks on large RAM chips.

Typical DDR2 SDRAM clock speeds are 200, 266, 333 or 400 MHz (5, 3.75, 3 and 2.5 ns/cycle), generally described as DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-667 and DDR2-800 (2.5, 1.875, 1.5 and 1.25 ns per beat). Corresponding 240-pin DIMMS are known as PC2-3200 through PC2-6400. Speeds up to DDR2-1250 (PC2-10000) are available for a price.

Note that because internal operations are at 1/2 the clock rate, DDR2-400 memory (internal clock speed 100 MHz) has somewhat higher latency than DDR-400 (internal clock speed 200 MHz).

[edit] DDR3 SDRAM

Main article: DDR3 SDRAM

DDR3 continues the trend, doubling the minimum read or write unit to 8 consecutive words. This allows another doubling of bandwidth and external bus speed without having to change the speed of internal operations, just the width.

(Actually, DDR3 supports "burst chop" operation where bursts of only 4 words appear on the data bus. However, this requires the same amount of time internally as an 8-word burst.)

DDR3 memory chips are being made commercially [2], and computer systems are available that use them as of the second half of 2007 [3], with expected significant usage in 2008.[4]. Initial speeds were 400 and 533 MHz, which would be described as DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066, but 667 and 800 MHz (DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600) are now common[5] and speeds up to DDR3-1800 are available for a price.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SDRAM
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#9
PsychPosse

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Running 64bit Vista Ultimate here. 4GB RAM is the maximum.

Keep in mind too that Vista idles on 1GB of RAM. So by all means, install the maximum.
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#10
georgewashington16

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I thought Vista 64-bit could handle more than just 4GB.
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#11
reconman

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I thought Vista 64-bit could handle more than just 4GB.


I'm pretty sure it can hold up to 128gb (that should be good for a few years :))
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#12
sandman01086

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i was told by someone that vista business and above could take 128gb, i'm pretty sure that's right
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#13
happyrock

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What is the Right Amount of Memory for Vista?

Generally speaking more computer memory is better than less. However, installing more than 2GB of RAM doesn't necessarily translate into a faster Vista desktop PC. Only a few applications may see improvement, and then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. So 2GB of RAM is generally considered the sweet spot for Windows Vista. As the operating system matures, along with supporting software, it's possible that number will climb. ...
more info here...on Benchmarking Vista Memory Sizes
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#14
sandman01086

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i run vista on a system with 2GB and i find it painful :)

the spec of my system is:

AMD Athlon X2 4200+
2GB RAM
256MB GeForce 8600
2x500GB SATA HDDs 16MB buffer

my computer gets about 5 or 6 on the performance test so why is it so slow?
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#15
starjax

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32bit versions
Due to the limited addressing space, 32bit versions can only support up to 4GB of RAM.

64bit versions
Because of the extra 32bits, 64bit versions are able to support much more. See below;

128GB: Ultimate, Enterprise, Business SKUs
16GB: Home Premium
8GB: Home Basic

While for now 4GB might seem a lot for the average home user, but for IT Pro, 4GB might be a soon-to-reach limit. In the long run, 64bit is the way to go.

To answer your question, yes 4gb of ram should be enough for gaming. Your more likely to run into video issues (need a better video card) than you are to run low on memory.

Sandman: your taking a hit for your processor and especially your video card. a better video card would greatly improve your experience.
Keep in mind that you processor will eventually bottleneck the video card performance.
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