4GB of RAM

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by FeelTheRads, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    Is it worth getting 4GB of RAM considering I have to switch to a 64bit OS (XP or Vista are my choices)?
    I understand they're useful for graphics software, which I need, but do they have an impact on games too?
    Also how does a 64bit Windows deals with older software/games and which should I choose, XP or Vista?
     
  2. horse

    horse Vault Fossil
    Orderite

    May 31, 2003
    if you have to deal with anything that should work, xp. hehe.

    and more ram is always better. i have 3 or 4 (dunno, really), but the upgrade from 1 gb made things considerably easier in a lot of apps.

    edit: made me check., its 3 gb
     
  3. victor

    victor Antediluvian as Feck
    Orderite

    Dec 12, 2003
    I have 8 GB.
     
  4. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    OK, let me rephrase then.

    In order to be able to use 4GB, I have to use a 64bit OS, which I don't otherwise need. So, is it worth the trouble (if there are any troubles like incompatibilities with old software etc.) or I should settle for 3GB and a 32bit OS? Is the performance greatly increased with 64bits?

    The system I'm thinking of getting is:

    Motherboard: Asus M2N-VM-DVI
    CPU: Athlon 64X2 5000+
    GPU: GeForce 8500GT
    RAM: 2*2GB Kingston KVR800D2N5K2OMGWTFROFL

    Also, a recommendation for an Intel alternative with similar price and performance would be useful.
     
  5. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    I would say go for 3gb and 32-bit. 64-bit Windows is getting better, but the support and performance advantage isn't quite there yet. In fact, "64-bit" only refers to the memory addressing capabilities, and has nothing to do with faster processing per se. Long story short, unless you need to utilize 4gb or more, don't bother with 64-bit.

    Also at least get an 8600GTS, dude. 8500 is seriously terrible. I could throw you an alternative build or two, but what is your price range, and what components are you looking for, exactly?
     
  6. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    All of today's games are designed with 2gb in mind. 64bit OS are for users running high-end visual design/video editing software; not gaming.
     
  7. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    as far as I know, only 64-bit Vista can use more than 2gb ram. I think the 32-bit version uses a maximum of 3.20gb ram, but if you have a powerful graphics card with a lot of ram it's going to take up a lot of that. so there's really no reason for any more than 2gb ram. xp can only recognize 2gb ram.

    as for games, most are made for 2gb but having more will definitely make a difference. especially if you play mmorpg's since these use a ton more ram than normal games.
     
  8. FeelTheRads

    FeelTheRads Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 15, 2004
    Hmm... looking at the price difference it doesn't looks like I can afford it, but I'll look more.
    Either way, I don't really need that great of graphics card, since new games interest me none. I'd rather have a powerful CPU.

    Eh, a bit difficult given my currency and conversions and shit... it would be about 400 USD, but it should also include a hard-disk, a case + PSU and a DVD writer.

    What I'm looking for mostly is good performance in graphics software, and decent in games just in case something will raise my interest.
     
  9. zioburosky13

    zioburosky13 Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 24, 2004
    More RAM can never hurt, regarding the OS.

    4GB is consider normal this day. I started having 1GB on my XP when others were still thinking 512MB was fine to run XP. Those were the days.... :mrgreen:
     
  10. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    32-bit and 64-bit variants of any OS can use more than 2gb.

    Yeah, usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.3gb, but YMMV.

    And this is exactly why! Video RAM occupies the top-end of the address space (which is a maximum 4gb in 32-bit systems), and the more video RAM your graphics card has, the more it'll take up of that address space.

    No, 32-bit XP can utilize the same amount as any other 32-bit OS, and 64-bit XP can yadda yadda 64-bit OS blah blah.


    I'll take a quick gander at Newegg and see what seems decent for you, FTR.

    EDIT: Better yet, if you have a preferred online retailer, give me their address and the price limit in your currency and I can figure it out from there. Certain components on Newegg may not be available to you, or may be more expensive, etc., so this may eliminate confusion in the long run.

    EDITEDIT: Here's an Intel-based alternative you may like:

    A comparison of the graphics cards is here.
    I didn't find a direct comparison between the processors, but the E5200 is at least comparable to the X2 5000+. When overclocking is involved, the E5200 really shines.
     
  11. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    are you sure? I've been trying to do some research and it's hard to find reliable information on this, but most people say that Vista/XP 32-bit cannot allocate more than 2gb ram to any program it runs. I used to have 3gb on the computer that just died on me and it said 3gb in bios etc, but it only said 2gb in XP. I think you can do something in bios to allow XP to use up to 3GB ram however.

    edit: I just got a final answer for it: a 32-bit OS can't handle more than 3GB RAM. with the latest service packs they added so that windows shows you more than 3GB if you have more, but it's only for looks and it still can't handle it. people buy new computers and get 4gb RAM then they complain that their OS only show them 2-3GB installed. so Microsoft has added that only to stop the complaints, but the limit is still 3GB.
     
  12. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    Being unable to allocate more than 2gb of RAM to any one program is probably true. It rang a faint bell, but I'm not entirely certain. Been a long time since I've brushed up on all this, really. :?

    Not the BIOS, but the BOOT.INI file. You add the /3GB switch after your OS partition line and it allows you to utilize more memory.
     
  13. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    check edit in my post above.
     
  14. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    Huh, well I guess that answers that, hm? I recall hearing that before now, and I am definitely no expert. Anyways, 2gb is the safe/smart limit for 32-bit Windows, then.
     
  15. aenemic

    aenemic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jun 4, 2008
    well, I can't say it's FACT, but I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

    I say stick with 2gb or 3gb if you have a 32-bit OS. if you go 64-bit you can add more.
     
  16. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    Well, according to this Microsoft article, the change is more than cosmetic, but applications must be coded with a specific flag in order to take advantage of the additional address space. May as well be merely cosmetic, I guess.

    But hey, aren't we getting a bit OT?
     
  17. Roflcore

    Roflcore Mildly Dipped

    581
    Nov 2, 2008
    the 800mb more ram is not really worth the stress just for gaming purpose. the performancegain should be minimal to say the least.
     
  18. Rev. Layle

    Rev. Layle A Smooth-Skin

    667
    Jul 26, 2005
    (i think i have this correctly, some chip in if i am incorrect)

    the maximum ram you can use in a 32-bit windows OS, depends, IIRC, how much memory mapped devices you have. The OS will map upper memory addresses directly to devices on your system. The more devices you have, the more memory chunks on the upper-end it needs.

    SO, theoretically, the 32-bit OS can address 4GB of ram (32-bit memory addressing). In reality, you may only access 3-3.5 GB because upper memory is being mapped to a device instead of your actual RAM.
     
  19. Leon

    Leon A Smooth-Skin

    681
    Oct 10, 2008
    That is essentially correct.

    64-bit systems treat device memory the same way, but with such a high limit (16 exabytes) it's obviously not going to be an issue for a long time.
     
  20. Rev. Layle

    Rev. Layle A Smooth-Skin

    667
    Jul 26, 2005
    hence why i have only 3GB on my 32 bit XP system, knowing well that buying more memory is a waste :)