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Any benefit from 8GB of RAM (4x2GB)?

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unknownD3VIL Posted: Sat, Apr 17 2010 7:08 PM

Hey guys,

With the prices of DDR2 RAM modules going down all the time and getting very cheap, I was thinking about adding additional 4GB to my system.

I currently have 2 sticks of 2GB each of OCZ Vista Performance Gold Edition PC2-6400 800MHz 5-5-5-18.

I was thinking about buying additional 2 sticks of exactly the same brand/model. Few questions though:

1) Will I have any benefit from having 8GB of RAM on my Vista Ultimate 64-bit OS? If so, where will I see/get the biggest improvement over 4GB?

2) Do you think I'll be able to keep my current Q6600 3.2GHz overclock with FOUR (4) sticks of 2GB each in all FOUR memory slots? Right now I have my memory @5-5-5-15 instead of @5-5-5-18 and I'm using only 2 slots of ram...

3) Does having 4x2GB instead of 2x4GB affect performance in any way? I don't want to get rid of my current 2x2GB sticks and I'm not planning to upgrade to more than 8GB in the next year or so...

Your advice will be appreciated...

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sp12 replied on Sat, Apr 17 2010 7:27 PM

I thought DDR2 was actually going up in price as production stops, regardless, I'll try to help.

 

1. It depends on what you do. I list of applications/tasks you do would help. Any specific games you play a lot also.

In general, most apps are 32-bit and coded to only use ~3GB anyhow, but some apps do take advantage of more.

Try getting a widget for ram and cpu usage, I use: http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=09cdf70c-c140-48ee-85f1-6b5eeef421da&pl=1&bt=1

Keep it visible on your sidebar while using your computer as you typically do, if you see your ram go below ~200mb free, then you do need more.

 

2. Probably, the memory controller is actually off-die, so it depends on your NB. You may have to drop down your latencies.

 

3. Yes and no, depending. More channels means more raw throughput (think of raid), but you may have to drop latencies (as above), and in some cases it can drop performance regardless. It shouldn't really matter.

 

On a more general note, more ram isn't going to matter unless you're running out of it. Even then, most things are limited more by CPU/GPU than ram speed.

If you're looking to speed up your system and determine you have enough ram, you could invest in a heavier CPU cooler and try to increase your overclock.

If you could provide a more detailed set of system specs (mobo, GPU, hard drives) along with what applications you use, it would really help me figure out what would be best.

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thx a lot

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gamemaniac replied on Wed, May 26 2010 10:03 AM

I don't know why you want to use 8 GB RAM, If you are working on some high graphical software like solid work along with cadia then might be you required.

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I hit my 4GBs of ram all the time, but I usually have a lot of stuff running including VMs which take a good bit of ram. Like what was said above it depends on what you do.

Windows 7 FINALLY does use extra ram to cache commonly used programs, so you may notice your stuff launches a bit snappier if your computer has some breathing room in the ram department.

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