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  2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference? 
 
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Adam Kolak Jul 08, 2008, 07:21pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Building a new system soon and wondering how much ram you should buy for it? Check out Bit-Tech's comparison of 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB in a system running Vista x64 and various programs and applications. It's a good read and the results may surprise you.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/08/is-more-memory-better/1


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Dr. Peaceful Jul 08, 2008, 07:59pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
So they're saying... if you're a "tidy tasker", like me, who keeps no more than 10 open widows, close them whenever not needed, and this is not for a gaming / video editing machine, then really 2GB of Ram is enough. Am I correct?

TamTheBam Jul 08, 2008, 08:32pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?

Quite an interesting read there Adam. I'm more of gaming enthusiast, and for my
machine 4GB was the target I achieved. I've never seen this go above 49%.
To be quite honest, I think -for me- 4GB is more than substantial.



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Gerritt Jul 08, 2008, 09:08pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
Even when I trim back my processes I'm running 60+, so the 4GB is a achievable goal, and would remove the DRAM issues from a 64 bit implementation.
8GB may be excessive on an XP or Vista 64 system, but having a system that had the capability to be increased to that is not a bad thing.

So, 4GB for now, and have a couple of slots open.

Gerritt

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Jul 08, 2008, 09:19pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
Pretty much what I figured ... a big jump from 2GB to 4GB in most cases, from 4GB to 8GB not nearly as much.

DDR2 is crazy cheap these days, and if you're going to be doing anything with virtualization and can afford it, 8GB may be worth it. :)

Some of us are still stuck on DDR1 ... :P 4GB is more than enough for me to run 3 or 4 VM machines with 512MB each on top of Vista and still keep everything snappy. :D

FordGT90Concept Jul 08, 2008, 09:34pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
How about I make it a simple equation (for 32-bit applications):
(# demanding applications * 2 GiB) + idle memory usage rounded up to nearest bit-friendly value + a buffer for other processes at least equal to idle memory usage = amount of memory you should have

For example, I only ever run one game at a time and I have XP x64 Edition (uses about 450 MiB at idle):
(1 * 2 GiB) + 512 MiB + 512 MiB = 3 GiB

I have 3 GiB and I can't say I wasted money or need to get more.


It's trickier for 64-bit because the ceiling is much higher on how much memory the applications can address. It really can't be simplified to such a degree.

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SuPeR Xp Jul 08, 2008, 10:00pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 08, 2008, 10:27pm EDT

 
>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
I'll stick with my 8GB anyday. For me going from 2GB to 8GB was a big improvement in gaming. Well my system is also feels a lot more responsive to the touch.

I think this quote says it all IMO:
In fact, if all were equal we'd have to recommend gaming on Crysis with 8GB of memory as it's 50 percent smoother over just 4GB.

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FordGT90Concept Jul 08, 2008, 10:36pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
That's Crysis which ranks high among the most inefficient applications in history. Too bad Crysis wasn't a port. Because consoles really don't have much memory, they have to be careful about how they use it. Consoles force discipline with hardware resources.

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Adam Kolak Jul 08, 2008, 10:43pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
That really makes me wonder how badly Crysis will suck for PS3/Xbox 360. The PS3 has 256MB of system ram and 256MB of graphics ram. The Xbox 360 has 512MB of ram that are shared between both the GPU and the CPU plus 10MB on-GPU-die ram.

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FordGT90Concept Jul 08, 2008, 11:02pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 08, 2008, 11:03pm EDT

 
>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
It depends how deep the problem goes. If it is just because the maps are too large, they will have to inject a lot of area transitions (loading) screens. If the problems are related to memory leaks, they are going to have to spend a lot of time to plug them. If it is due to aggressive precaching, they will have to make it less aggressive. Most likely, it will take a combination of all the above.

As far as I know, they aren't pursuing releasing Crysis for consoles.

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Jul 09, 2008, 12:15am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
They key quote there Super is if all were equal. As Ford said, not all programs waste memory like Crysis does.

A_Pickle Jul 09, 2008, 01:39am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
McFly
They key quote there Super is if all were equal. As Ford said, not all programs waste memory like Crysis does.


You should check out the Anandtech article measuring the scalability of CrossfireX. Most games don't scale perfectly to four GPU's, as is expected -- but the games, at the very least, acknowledge that a third or fourth GPU is actually plugged in. Crysis basically ignores those -- it is the worst scaling game that Anandtech benchmarked.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3232

I'm glad those Yerli brothers had all the bases covered, so that just in case anyone DID spend enough money to build a computer capable of running it in the near future, they'd STILL not be able to run it. I also like how a new "feature" of Crysis: Warhead, is that it will actually run. Yes, they are actually playing that up as a nice feature of the game.

</crysisrant>

Sean Costello Jul 09, 2008, 02:52am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
see with these guides im sure they're right but i do just fine with video/photo/audio editing, gaming and all that jazz with just 1GB. In Vista x64

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A_Pickle Jul 09, 2008, 03:08am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
Well yeah -- the benchmark just shows where and what kinds of performance improvement you'll see when you upgrade. You have DDR or DDR2, Sean?

Sean Costello Jul 09, 2008, 03:24am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
DDR

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john albrich Jul 09, 2008, 04:28am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 09, 2008, 05:01am EDT

 
>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
FordGT90Concept said:
...I have 3 GiB and I can't say I wasted money or need to get more....


Just for technical completeness, I would have liked to have seen them include a 3GB memory configuration in the test.

From a cost standpoint, there isn't a significant delta between a 4-stick 3GB, a 4-stick 4GB, and a 2-stick 4GB configuration, so one might as well install a 4GB config if starting from scratch. But in the tests, I believe that increased granularity on how the system actually behaved at 3GB config would have been quite revealing. It might have convinced some folks to re-use (instead of just adding to landfills) those 512MB sticks that came with their computers.

Cost comparisons (based on real-fast look at newegg, subject to change)
(all PC2-6400)
3GB (~$80, 2x1GB 2x512MB)
4GB (~$85, 4x1GB)
4GB (~$90, 2x2GB)

edit-add comment re: reducing landfill

FordGT90Concept Jul 09, 2008, 04:44am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
With DDR2, I think I would go 4 GiB over 3 GiB just for the sake of keeping some slots open. It also helps with how cheap DDR2 is by comparison to DDR.

However, with Nehalem being tri-channel, 3 and 6 GiB configurations may become common place. I think 3+ GiB configurations are going to have to be more thoroughly tested in the near future.

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Plug & Play Jul 09, 2008, 06:02am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 09, 2008, 07:42am EDT

 
>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
Seriously for games I think 8GB is hugh over kill as the chart shows its very slight the improvement if any in games. And using Crysis as a benchmark does not cut the mustard as the game is so badly coded IMHO it does not bear that all benches should be used on this I would prefer to see 2/3 games ran on COD4 etc, as tam said I am also using 4GB and the highest I have ever seen the performance manager on the G15 go is 56% that was on COD4 maxed @1920x1200....have not tried that trash crysis.

I do however think that not long ago 2GB was the norm for games, this has rapidly changed now for the 4GB norm barrier which is more then enough for games,That are coded well in anyway.

I do belive that intense applications like photo editing, CAD etc maybe it would be benefical if fact I would say its Crucial but even with DDR2 prices falling 8GB is not going to do much for the majority of peeps and the money would be better served getting a higher end GPU/CPU.

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Supreet Virdi Jul 09, 2008, 03:01pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
I'm happy with 2GB, and will keep it for another couple of years may be, thank you.

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Adam Kolak Jul 09, 2008, 03:53pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
Supreet Virdi said:
I'm happy with 2GB, and will keep it for another couple of years may be, thank you.

But do you run Windows XP or Windows Vista?

Adam Kolak
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Gerritt Jul 09, 2008, 11:54pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: 2GB vs. 4GB vs. 8GB - Does it make a difference?
There are many, many folks with 2GB of DRAM that are happy with thier performance, no matter what the OS is. I personally, NEED at least 3GB and getting that efficiently requires a 2 stick resolution.
When I finally upgrade my 929 system this may change, but for now I will stick by the 4GB minimum for MY USES.

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO

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