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Are ram requirements overrated





ashish.salunke
We have installed xp on a "Intel celeron 433Mhz, 64mbram, integrated video"
and it ran much better than expected! I just installed xp, disabled themes and a 6-7 other services like error reporting,indexing,system restore..

The same version of Opera on this 64mb ram PC was running faster than on my PIII 733Mhz 384MB ( ubuntu)- windows runs equally fast!!
remember roadrash( that old demo game tha every one of has played) , even that ran just fine on this PC.
Other things: windows explorer also was running at top notch speed with instant startup and instant alt+tab switching..
Of course I could feel the effect of a 64mb ram sometimes. But for regular PC operations it ran just fine!! --on 64mb ram..

And now I see ppl putting 2GB ram on their xp's I guess gaming would require such numbers what is there really any need for over 700-800mb for xp?
ocalhoun
Well, RAM lets you do more things at the same time.
So you need a lot of it if you:
A: Do intensive gaming. (those graphics-heavy games use a lot of RAM)
B: Do LOTS of things at one time. (serious multitasker)
C: Run a server that has many services running.
D: Run virtual PC's

Otherwise, less than 768 MB of RAM should be fine.
diduknowthat
Try running words, internet, itunes and aim at the same time, a 64 meg ram PC would die. Currently 512-1gig is basically standard for all computers. I mean you can get 1gig ram into like a 400 bucks build.
mikethm
No, ram isn't overrated. In fact, it is underrated. How many time have you seen people spending USD250( Say a Core Duo) just on the CPU and just USD50 on ram( 512MB DDR2)?

As for your example of using just 64MB... I just recently had a friend who was surviving on 64MB ram... actually 60MB since he had to use 4MB on the built in graphics... Then he bought a scanner and it refused to work saying that he does not have enough ram.

I installed a 128MB module of ram which was lying around unused. The boot up time was halved. The scanner now work. Applications run visually faster.

If you gave me enough money for either a middle end CPU and 256MB ram or a low end CPU and 1GB ram, I wouldn't hestiate to go for the low end CPU.
psycosquirrel
Mike couldn't have been more correct; a little RAM can make a HUGE difference. I used to have an AMD 2000+ system, and it was total crap with its 128Mb RAM. I stuck in a 512Mb stick and now it runs great... It's like having a completely new computer.

Never skimp on the RAM, mobo, or PSU in a computer. Most people think they don't matter, but they really are more critical than the components most are concerned about.
ocalhoun
I do agree that you should have enough, but having too much will not help performance noticeably.
Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del, and in the task manager (assuming you have windows 2k or XP), click the performance tab. In the bottom half on the top of the right column, you have a readout of physical memory. If, when you're running a lot of things at once and using as much RAM as you're ever likely to, you check this and the 'available' RAM is very low (say, under 50,000), you should add more. Otherwise, you have plenty, and could spend your money better elsewhere.
As a rule of thumb, unless you have huge requirements for some specific activity, 768 (256+512) is the most you need with current software requirements.
Guyon
No way is RAM over rated, in fact it is hard to get enough RAM in many cases. But here is a little test so you can prove it to your self. With the PC turned off take one of your RAM cards out and put your PC under the strain of a few programs. Notice any difference? If you have more then 2 cards keep removing for an even more drastic effect.
william
RAM is definitely NOT overrated. 64 MB might be enough to run Windows XP, then try running multiple productivity applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), multiple internet windows, multiple instant messengers and let's see if it can handle it. Also, there is a lot of external hardware that will not run unless you have certain amount of RAM. Also, the same thing applies to many software applications, especially games.

If you spend money on a powerful CPU and barely any money on RAM and you will NOT enjoy the potential the CPU has.
ocalhoun
Having not enough RAM is awful.
Having just the right amount for you is ideal.
Having more than you need will not help performance.
If you have less than 512 MB of RAM, you should probably upgrade it if you want to run modern software, but otherwise, check to see that you actually need it before you spend scads of money on it.
orcaz
if you use the comp for simple stuff like word processing, then having low ram is fine. But the problem arises when you load up heavy applications like video games or image editing softwares.
diduknowthat
True, but then again its the general computer that doesn't have to be anything spectacular when it comes to word processing. I mean you can run a PIII with like 64mb of ram, and it'll run notepad and firefox fine.
mikethm
Well, I don't know how the rest of you run your browsers( whether Internet explorer, firefox or opera etc.)... but the way I often open up 4 or 5 windows... 64mb ram ain't gonna to cut it. Hell, it get sluggish even with 1 browser windows with large graphics file in it on even 256mb ram. So I don't understand how 64mb is fine for web surfing. Well maybe I am the odd one out and those of you for whom 64mb is enough for your browser somehow surf only to non graphics intensive sites( or disable graphics).
psycosquirrel
Not everyone is as picky as you and me about speed.

If my computer lags at all or is sluggish, I MUUUST upgrade.................



ocalhoun- having more RAM than you need won't hurt, especially if you can still run the extra in 1T dual channeling Very Happy
ocalhoun
psycosquirrel wrote:


ocalhoun- having more RAM than you need won't hurt, especially if you can still run the extra in 1T dual channeling Very Happy

It'll hurt your wallet.
dz9c
ocalhoun wrote:
psycosquirrel wrote:


ocalhoun- having more RAM than you need won't hurt, especially if you can still run the extra in 1T dual channeling Very Happy

It'll hurt your wallet.

Yea I seen quality Corsair XMS2 memory dual channel 1024mb memory DDR2 PC6400 for like $180. Regular DDR 400 memory for a gig is like 110-120
DecayClan
Hmmm...They are not overrated..*i think*.... everything uses it, at high rates...and it is one of the most important parts.
the requirements, are real...Cuase, you simply turned most of the "heavy" stuff off...So, he requirements, were reduced...Thats all...
Of course, if you optimize everything, everything works better....
jarrod
never overrated alway underrated

ram is everything
neosree
I once worked on 128MB ram for 2 years, and things changed and I realize that I am running at least 40 programs at a time and all of them are using a lot of virtual memory. There will be at least 8 open windows I will be working with. Even 1GB is not enough for me, but due to budget constraints I go and buy just a 1GB DDR400 Ram as my MOBO support only that much speed. Things really changed and the responce time increased by a big margin, noe programs work fast and smooth. That is the purpose of RAM, so RAM is absolutely a must for power users. And for those who just want to do some net surfing, 64MB will do.
ocalhoun
neosree wrote:
64MB will do.

(Bump that up to at least 128, if you want to run anything more advanced than windows 98. Besides, that's practically the smallest RAM chip you can buy nowadays.)

The only thing I really am disgusted by is these extreme gamers that have 4GB of RAM for a game that requires at most 400MB.
psycosquirrel
dz9c wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
psycosquirrel wrote:


ocalhoun- having more RAM than you need won't hurt, especially if you can still run the extra in 1T dual channeling Very Happy

It'll hurt your wallet.

Yea I seen quality Corsair XMS2 memory dual channel 1024mb memory DDR2 PC6400 for like $180. Regular DDR 400 memory for a gig is like 110-120
Yeah, but most is around $125 tops. You don't need the $180 RAM, the $125 XMS will run those speeds easy.
diduknowthat
[quote="ocalhoun"]
neosree wrote:
64MB will do.

The only thing I really am disgusted by is these extreme gamers that have 4GB of RAM for a game that requires at most 400MB.[
/quote]

I don't know about exactly ram usage of extreme graphics game, but I know that running Oblivion on 512mb of ram isn't gonna cut it, heck, my 1gb isn't cutting it either Shocked Also, BF2 is ram intensive. My friend who has 2gb of ram and a inferior graphics card runs the game more smoothly than my 1gb ram and better grpahics card.
ocalhoun
diduknowthat wrote:


I don't know about exactly ram usage of extreme graphics game, but I know that running Oblivion on 512mb of ram isn't gonna cut it, heck, my 1gb isn't cutting it either Shocked Also, BF2 is ram intensive. My friend who has 2gb of ram and a inferior graphics card runs the game more smoothly than my 1gb ram and better grpahics card.

There are other important things to consider, though. (Which with 1GB of RAM, are probably the deciding factors) Some of these are: CPU speed/width, Motherboard quality, Chipset quality, Graphics driver, DirectX version, OS version, Video Driver version, RAM speed, tweaking/optimization, et cetera.

Have you ever logged your memory usage during the game play and reviewed it later? Perhaps you should.
psycosquirrel
That is a very good point too, but most users aren't advanced enough to tighten RAM timings. With my next build, I am going to get some incredibly expensive RAM (only 1Gb though) and run it with rediculously tight timings in 1T at the speed of the FSB. I can't wait Very Happy
diduknowthat
ocalhoun wrote:

There are other important things to consider, though. (Which with 1GB of RAM, are probably the deciding factors) Some of these are: CPU speed/width, Motherboard quality, Chipset quality, Graphics driver, DirectX version, OS version, Video Driver version, RAM speed, tweaking/optimization, et cetera.

Have you ever logged your memory usage during the game play and reviewed it later? Perhaps you should.


I have AMD 64 2800+ he has AMD 64 3000+. Both our graphics drivers are up to date, same with DX version. We both run XP pro. We both use DDR400 ram, with CAS latency of 3. As for chipsets, we are both running the same motherboard.
Jaan
Big companies are now recommending 2GB ram for Vista. That's huge, but it will probably set the standard, or more people will migrate to Linux. Off topic, I wonder if Halo2 for PC will be able to run on Linux?
psycosquirrel
Jaan wrote:
I wonder if Halo2 for PC will be able to run on Linux?
Doubt it, but it is always possible. I can't wait for Halo2 on PC Very Happy
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