How Much Memory Do I Need? - Comments Page 1

Category: Memory

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All Comments on: "How Much Memory Do I Need?"

Posted by:

Tom Campbell
10 Aug 2010

Bob, How much does an integrated graphics card come in to play? Most laptops and consumer (i.e. non-gamer) desktops run their video off the motherboard, using the system's RAM for their texture and work areas. How much difference does this make in the calculation?

On a related issue (maybe for a new article) how does integrated graphics come in to play for users who need to use lots of memory - would this impact their decision about going with 32 Bit versus 64 Bit Windows?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm glad you brought this up, Tom. It depends whether the graphics card uses "shared RAM" -- a tactic some vendors use to cut costs. This does in fact reduce the amount of RAM available to the operating system. One option is to install a "real" graphics card and disable the onboard graphics. Not sure how the 32/64 bit issues affects this, except that any add-on graphics card would need to be compatible with the 64-bit motherboard.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2010

While I find the detailed analysis spot-on, I offer the following simplification. Given what you have spent on the machine, max the memory or eventually regret it. You cannot have too much memory unless you are the most casual of users. YouTube, email attachments, whatever -- memory = performance. Performance = great experiences

Posted by:

Bob Shier
10 Aug 2010

To your advise I'd add merely one amendment. Once you have that figure of your maximum all time RAM usage, multiply it by two, and then you should be good . . . for a while. When I've done with out the multiplier I always seem to run out of memory.

Posted by:

Najat Cola
11 Aug 2010

Bob, Thank you for the information you have provided. I really need to learn more about this. I run Correl Draw and a few other programs and also need to multi-task so I understand that I now need to upgrade from 2GB to 4GB for optimal perfomrance.

The question I have is if this will help with another problem - alliviating viruses/trojans etc - My computer recently was currupted by a virus so Dell assited me in reinstalling the operating system - within a day I had ANOTHER virus (that was removed via Malwarebytes) They advised me that if i upgraded to 4GB it may help the problem - they were very pushy though in making the sale so i was a little skeptical.

For the reasons you stated in your article i'm going to upgrade but I wonder if it really does help with virus detection etc.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I can't think of any reason why having more memory would enhance anti-virus protection.

Posted by:

11 Aug 2010

You don't mention DDR DDR2 and DDR3 memory. Is it better to buy 2 giga of DDR2 or one giga of DDR3?

EDITOR'S NOTE: A gigabyte is a gigabyte, doesn't matter if it's DDR2 or DDR3. DDR3 is faster, but you should buy only what your motherboard can use.

Posted by:

11 Aug 2010

Good article. I have been a subscriber from the Tourbus days, and have learned a lot from your newletters. May I make a suggestion about your presentation of information?

One of the problems with computer information, I find, is that I understand of lot of the theory, but have little ability to apply it or to relate it to my situation. For instance, I have no idea how much memory my computer has, and I have even less idea how to find out.

My suggestion would that, whenever appropriate, such as this article on memory needs, information also be provided to help the novice reader in linking the info to his own situation. I.e. where do I look to find out how much memory my computer has?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Good question. Here's how to find out how much memory you have:

Posted by:

11 Aug 2010

Marty said it first. Max the memory your system will handle. you will not regret it.
I'm stuck with 2Gb with my system, but I've had no memory problems with XP-Pro.

Posted by:

AG Wright
26 Aug 2010

One thing that you don't mention is that some motherboards, particularly the proprietary ones, Dell, HP, Gateway... often have maximum amounts of RAM. For instance the Dell Dimension 3000 system I'm using now only supports 2 gigs. Two slots, one gig each.
Also a 32 bit OS only supports 3 gigs of RAM. That's it. To use more RAM you need a 64 bit OS.

Posted by:

27 Aug 2010

The most important thing you left out is, as AG Wright mentioned above, that there is no point installing 4GB of RAM or more on a 32bit OS.

64 bit OS are relatively unlimited in the amount of RAM you can install (limited only by the slot on your motherboard)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Microsoft states that Windows 2000 and XP (32-bit) can use 4GB.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2010

People this is almost 2011.. You need atleast 2gb of memory to get by, recommended is 4 -6gb for a normal user and 8 - 12gb for a power user. I have 24gb of DDR3 but I'm an extreme user.

Posted by:

06 Jan 2011

Yeah, seriously, no one is going to do a damn thing with 1GB of RAM, people. They shouldn't even sell a computer with that small an amount...but they do anyway. 2GB is if you are just checking your Yahoo email. 4GB is the least you should have if you are buying a computer in 2011. And hopefully it's not a mac. Just FYI

Posted by:

21 Mar 2011

I think that you should be ok with 1GB of RAM and from there on,i have an old COmpaq Presario with just 240MB of RAM and i used it as backup.It worked great for facebook email and etc. If you play a simple online game such as Pirates Online Runescape, Anything like that with at least 1.5 Gb of RAM you should be good.Now for alot of multitasking and games like WOW U need your 6 or 8 Gb of RAM. But me personally im happy with just 240Gb RAM even though i have a new Windows 7 with my comfortable 3GB RAM.

Posted by:

12 Aug 2011

The simplest and probably best way to find if you've got enough RAM, is to know if your programs are trying to eat more memory than you have or not. If you are, upgrade. If you aren't, don't upgrade. Just adding RAM won't "magically speed up" things unless you are maxing out the RAM.

Posted by:

Maurice Lampl
28 Aug 2012

I just bought new HP Omni All-In-One with 64-bit Win7 Starter in Spanish. I have Win7Enterprise 32-bit OS in English, so I installed that. My HP has 4G memory, but I'd have a streaming video running and an installed game going and the combined RAM became overloaded that my computer froze up. I wanted to try the ReadyBoost method, but noted that the 32-bit system can only take up to 4G limit and no more... Bummer!!! Advice? Sure 64-bit OS will do it, but I have a budget!!!

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