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Old 05-12-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default RAM: Can we put it to bed?

Never really understood how to find the sweet spot for RAM. Wanted all I could use, but didn't want to throw money away. Learned today that there may just be a simple way of finding the exact amount needed (close anyhow) without throwing away hundreds of dollars. Then again—maybe not.

Almost everyone in the world will tell you that you'll never have too much RAM. Maybe so. But I think it's immoral to knowingly sell someone more (especially much more) of anything than they can use IF they came to you for advise. The maker of my motherboard says that I can use no more than 32GB. What happened to “never too much”?

Crucial performed an online scan of my computer, found the motherboard’s limit of 32GB, and my existing 8GB of RAM. They offered me options of 8GB (two 4GB sticks) to go with my existing 8GB, for $69.99; another package of two 8GB sticks to go with my existing eight for a total of 24GB for $125.98; a third package sells me four sticks of 8GB RAM (scrapping my existing two fours) for $251.96! Yet another 8 x 4 pack is offered for $279.99 (presumably a faster-yet variety). All of these options conform with the motherboard’s max of 32GB.

But wait! Crucial also has a chart that shows that my Win7/64/Home Premium operating system can only use 16GB of memory. If that’s true, I need a mere 8GB to go with my current eight to be maxed out! 8GB at Crucial can be had for $69.99. If I had chosen their deluxe offering of $279.99, the over-spend would have been $210.00!

Or would it? Is the combined operating system/motherboard parameter the actual limiting factor? Or, do some of my programs have the ability to use more RAM even while confined by those two limits? If so—there’s nothing wrong with selling me even more than the 16GB. But, if the 32GB packages provide 16GB of totally wasted technology, lots of people are getting ripped.

Even as I ordered my current desktop, the sales staff could not tell me how to calculate the optimal RAM. More would always be better. Buy all you can afford they said.

So my question to the forum is: Do I factor in the mboard and the OS only? Or do I factor in something else? Best I can tell, I can spend up to $600 for RAM! I would really settle this once and for all.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

For virtually every user under the sun, 8GB is more than enough.

To give you an idea, at my job, we have a terminal server that users log into that has 32GB of RAM. At any point, there are at least 25 users logged into it, running a myriad of office productivity applications.

What do you do on your computer that makes you want to upgrade?
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

As OnShapWord said most people do just fine with 8GB. The only people that need more than that are those that edit photos and videos. And to be honest if I was editting media I would still start with 8GB.

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Old 05-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

Thanks for the responses.
"What to you do that makes you think you need to upgrade?"
Well-- Like every computer that I've ever seen or laid hands on, this one will occasionally lag a bit or do some little something that it hasn't done before. So, with all the hype about RAM, one naturally figures he should get some more. That's when you come face to face with the question of how much should I spend? When will it be enough? Even if RAM was free-- the amateur scientist in me wants to know how to measure success.

Even people in the biz, people who know PC hardware inside and out, hedge on this one. The answer is always the same. More, more, more. To me, it seems like an issue that can be evaluated scientifically, not emotionally. If there was a way to install a hundred sticks of 64GB memory, could I still use just a little more?
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

Ram is just a part of the over all performance equation. Again it comes down to what you're going to be doing with your computer.
If you're lagging running certain programs say a high end game, look at how fast your cpu is versus how fast your vid cars is versus how much and how fast your ram is versus FSB speed versus how fast your hard drive response time is versus how well written the software is.
And that's just a small part of the equation. Slapping in more ram or faster ram is not the cure all for lagging problems.
Oh yeah, add in if you're playing multi player online your ISP bandwidth and what type of connection like cable or dsl.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossiac View Post
As OnShapWord said most people do just fine with 8GB. The only people that need more than that are those that edit photos and videos. And to be honest if I was editting media I would still start with 8GB.

Mossiac
Okay. Let's break that one down into little pieces. The computer on which the editing is taking place-- Does it have more than either of the two limiting factors (motherboard statement and Winx prescription)? If those two rules do not apply while editing, then the software becomes a third justification for more ram.

And, an example would be as follows: ASUS proclaims RAM max is 32GB, Win7 HomePremiium max ram is 16GB. RAM hungry editing program requires 16 or more RAM. Will adding RAM improve performance? It either will, or it won't.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by setishock View Post
Ram is just a part of the over all performance equation. Again it comes down to what you're going to be doing with your computer.
If you're lagging running certain programs say a high end game, look at how fast your cpu is versus how fast your vid cars is versus how much and how fast your ram is versus FSB speed versus how fast your hard drive response time is versus how well written the software is.
And that's just a small part of the equation. Slapping in more ram or faster ram is not the cure all for lagging problems.
Oh yeah, add in if you're playing multi player online your ISP bandwidth and what type of connection like cable or dsl.
That statement is actually easy for me to understand. Seems you're saying that performance is not singularly pinned to RAM. If it was-- we wouldn't struggle with CPU choices in the same way we struggle with RAM and other choices. But I would still like to be able corner, to isolate the RAM-MAX issue (if possible). Otherwise you're still stuck in "more, more land" without any way of knowing when enough is enough.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

I think most on this forum will tell you that 8GB is enough for normal use and 16GB is enough for video and intense photo editing. I hate to speak for the forum (though it seems this is the 3rd or 4th time I've said that recently ) but I don't think there is anyone here who would really debate this.

In your example about the MoBo accepting 32GB but your OS only being able to use 16GB, adding more will not improve performace. Your OS won't even know the extra 16 is there and has no way of making any use of it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

The reason why there is no definite answer is because each user's particular RAM requirements are dynamic and change quite often. For instance, most days may be spent primarily browsing forums and answering emails yet other days a user may be doing intensive video editing. The RAM requirements are very much different for those 2 scenarios. The user needs to buy enough RAM for those heavy use days but on most days that extra RAM affords little to no benefit.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: RAM: Can we put it to bed?

"...other days a user may be doing intensive video editing. The RAM requirements are very much different for those 2 scenarios. The user needs to buy enough RAM for those heavy use days... "

My wife says I drive people crazy playing what-if-maybe. And I know I do. But the statement above makes no sense to me. I have the same motherboard and the same OS everyday. IF those two things define the absolute max-ram, it would not help me one bit to have more.
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