Worth it to ugrade PC memory

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Trollbait, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I have a Vista machine running 6GB of ram at 400MHz. I can upgrade to 8MB, 800MHz for about $100. Will I see a real improvement? Or should I just save the cash for a new tower with better all around specs and updated OS? This is mostly for gaming.
     
  2. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Your OS is 2 generations old. You don't mention the other specs like processor, video card, and hard drives. I'm not sure your OS and programs will access the additional memory. I'm willing to bet that any lower end computer sitting on the shelf for ~$500 is going to outperform your machine. My advice is that if you can get parts for next to nothing (or free) then upgrade. Otherwise save up & buy new.
     
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  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That's pretty much what I figured. Just wanted an outside opinion. Thanks
     
  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Vista takes about 1.1 gig for it's own use, leaving the rest for user programs. If you had 2 gig or less, I would be promoting getting more RAM. At 6 gig, you would be wildly unlikely to see any improvement going to 8 gig.

    For any gaming, a better video card is the best upgrade. Then, when not gaming, you can run [email protected], or [email protected] or another distributed computing project.
     
  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    +1

    If you are gaming, get a nice new video card. Or maybe 2 or more in SLI.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    On our Windows 7 32 bit systems, the max that can be recognized is 4GB: put in more is just a waste. It would be worth checking what your limit is.
     
  7. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    That's a good point, depends on whether he has 32bit or 64 bit Vista. There are also ways within Windows to check how much memory is recognized, how much is being used and the peak amount used during the current session. I don't know how to do that in Vista but the answer should just be a Google away.

    Once you get into that you can also check to see what is using memory and see if there is something you can shut down if you are short memory during heavy computer usage.
     
  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Right clicking on Computer in the right column of the Start menu, then choose Properties will show the memory, and if it is not all recognized, how much is.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    <windows key> plus <pause> (aka <break>) will give you system summary.
     
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    A Mac user, I was surprised nobody noticed . . . perhaps the Windows world has a different kind of reality. It had never occurred to me that reducing ram by three orders of magnitude might be considered an 'upgrade.'

    Bob Wilson
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    GB, MB, whatever, lol
     
  12. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    That's nothing, some people called Vista an upgrade from XP and now some people are calling Win8 an upgrade from Win7.:ROFLMAO:
     
  13. NiHaoMike

    NiHaoMike Member

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    6GB is likely enough for gaming. Most likely your problem is CPU or GPU.
     
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    The first step is to diagnose the critical resource which could be CPU, floating-point, memory, cache memory, or possibly memory-bus bandwidth. But without an accurate diagnosis, there is no way to tell without metrics, some instrumentation.

    My thinking is to start by asking the game vendor(s) what hardware and software they recommend and head that way. Another approach is to use the built-in system monitors to see if anything is saturated. Then you might looks at freebie developer tools that might give insights to where the system is spending its time.

    Bob Wilson
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yep... and as someone else stated, if they're running 32-bit Windows, only 4 gigs of RAM is "usable"... in fact, it'll most likely be in the lower 3 gigs being usable. Putting in more than 4 gigs of RAM in a machine running 32-bit Windows is useless.

    It depends also on what type of gaming they're doing. If the gaming in question doesn't benefit from a faster video card, then that'll be a waste too.

    What are the specs of this machine? I'd personally ditch Vista for Win 7... but give us some specs... CPU and its clock speed? Current video adapter? Hard drives? What do you find slow or lacking about it?

    I personally would get a good quality SSD (e.g. Samsung 830, Crucial M4) as a boot and programs drive (and to put the pagefile on) to substantially improve boot times, program launch time, perf of anything that disk i/o intensive and overall system responsiveness. But, that won't help directly w/most gaming and Vista doesn't support TRIM (yet another reason to ditch Vista).
     
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