Max amount of RAM

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by Yoyomah20, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Yoyomah20

    Yoyomah20 New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how much RAM would the average person be able to utilize. Basically how much RAM does the average intensive task/program utilize? (not server based)
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    There are way too many variables to answer that. That said, the "sweet spot" today is 8Gb of RAM for dual-channel motherboards (the most common) and 6Gb for triple channel. Any less and you may see a performance hit. More than that amount and any performance gains are marginal, if noticeable at all.

    Of course, that assumes modern, 64-bit hardware and a 64-bit operating system.
     
  3. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    It depends on both the capacity of your OS and MOBO, if you say use a 32bit version of windows it will only go up to the 3GB max of a 32bit windows system.
    64bit though it has no real limits except for how much your MOBO can take.
     
  4. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Extraordinary Member

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    It also depends on the CPU itself. A low end CPU, most anything below 2.0GHz, will tap out way before 6GB DDR3 RAM (which is a lot) will. So even if one has the slots available for 8GB RAM, it will be a waste.

    Once the CPU is hitting the 90 to 100% mark frequently with heavy usage, say if one has 4GB RAM, & only around 3.5GB of it is used, no need to upgrade, as the CPU itself will be the bottleneck.

    Components goes hand & hand. Many reads through forum posts/hardware articles & automatically assumes that RAM will be the magical solution to everything. Especially when there's discounts on RAM like there was late last fall. There are times that's the case & times when it's not.

    I caught a sale on 8GB (4GBx2) GSkill DDR3 (10700) RAM for $29.99 @ Newegg, for me, it was a fantastic buy, because my i5 CPU which runs at 2.66MHz (2.90 w/Turbo Boost) only hits 30 to 40% tops, except for a few seconds at startup. The 6GB RAM that was installed was running at 5.25GB, when my VM was powered on. So the extra 2GB benefited me, now my RAM usage (under strain) is less than 70%. even under strain. Before the upgrade, the task manager was reporting RAM usage at nearly 90%.

    Here's a snapshot of the notebook that I'm describing, one can see that 8GB was a good upgrade for me, & it's the max that it holds also. I also installed a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD last week.

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gWrAWhVLEJRLQj24RH6iI1b

    Cat
     
    #4 catilley1092, Jun 6, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  5. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Well, not exactly. It will go up to 4Gb, but due to the way 32-bit Windows maps hardware addresses, only 3.2 - 3.6Gb will be "usable". And 64-bit does indeed have a limit - and it varies depending on the version of Windows you have. See here.

    Sorry, but that is totally incorrect. The speed and utilization of the CPU have absolutely nothing, zero, zilch to do with the "amount" of RAM a CPU can work with.

    And of course, neither does an SSD.
     
  6. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Extraordinary Member

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    Tell me, if the CPU is tapped at 100%, and there is 4GB installed, & is not using that, how can doubling it to 8GB make things any faster? I have this issue with my desktop PC, it has a dual core CPU running at 1.5GHz, it seldom runs lower than 70% on Win 7 Pro x64. Running Win 8 Pro RP x64, that changes, CPU usage drops.

    But even if my MB could hold 8GB RAM, I cannot see having enough programs open to use it, it would crash first.

    Look my desktop PC's specs.

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/zHreUVFNiGnGmJNmIe2FH2c

    How could this PC benefit from 8GB RAM, even if it could hold it?

    Cat
     
  7. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    No! You cannot relate CPU utilization with the amount of available RAM in that matter. They don't work together in that way.

    I say again, the speed and utilization of the CPU have nothing to do with the "amount" of RAM a CPU can work with. You can have 32Gb of RAM with 31Gb free and still have a CPU maxed-out at 100%. Conversely - and typically, you can have just 2Gb of RAM and the CPU sitting at idle between 0 and 1% most of the time, and still have all your security programs running and your email, Word and browser open too.

    A slower CPU does NOT imply - in ANY way - that it can only use a lessor amount of RAM. Nor does it in any way imply it cannot benefit from more RAM. That's because Windows makes it happen (within 32 and 64-bit limits of course). But not just Windows. The bus and other motherboard devices restrictions can impact that too.

    Then you got something wrong. CPU utilization should sit at or near 0% for the vast majority of the time, and only peak at such levels occasionally, and for short periods of time. If your CPU is running at percentages above 10 - 20% most of the time, then you need to be scanning furiously for malware, or some benchmarking program, or corrupt service that has gone berserk. Some games may take that percentage up, but even the game should drop it back near 0 when idle.

    I suggest you check TM to see what has gone wild (but remember, this is not your thread).

    With more RAM the OS does not have to shove such huge chunks of data off to the slow page file. Instead, it can just stuff it in fast RAM. That alone can make a huge difference as a small amount of RAM simply means the CPU and OS will have to utilize the slow page file more. Even the slowest CPU and RAM are many times faster than the fastest hard drives.

    What? Crash first? Ummm, no. The ONLY way more RAM could cause the computer to crash (assuming it is compatible and not faulty) is if the PSU could not handle the extra demand. But if adding RAM stressed out a PSU that much, it was already too small.
     

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