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Just wondering....?

How much difference am I REALLY going to notice if I go from 512Mb of RAM to a Gig. I do play FPS's once and awhile, but not that often. I also do some video editing/converting, again once and awhile. Is it really gonna make THAT much of a difference, or should I save my money and upgrade my CPU/Mobo a couple months sooner then I planned.

I have a P4 1.7ghz if that matters(dont think it does)


OSNN Senior Addict
I assume you're running WinXP? In that case I would say that to run that bi*ch somewhat smoothly you need at *least* 512megs. A gig would definitely speed you along quite a bit. Games...they probably have a marginal rate of return as they rely more on video-card memory and on hdd speed. If I were you I'd upgrade to 1gig AND save some money to upgrade the cpu/mobo/ram later :D
It depends really. It's not really going to speed you up unless your commit charge peak is regularly going above the physical memory total, which causes your memory manager to start writing and reading a lot to your pagefile.

It's an interesting study... pagefile/memory use. Here's a link to the first of a seven page dissertation on memory needs/usage: http://www.theeldergeek.com/paging_file.htm It's pretty good reading and it will help you determine how to judge for yourself how much, if any, additional RAM you may need.

In your case I'd recommend leaving the pagefile under windows control to get the best performance with what you have (w/ the exception of making sure it's not fragmented - the article goes over how to defrag the pagefile if you need to). The articles will help you learn what all that stuff in the Task Manager under the 'Performance' tab means, which information you can then use to determine if you really do need more memory or not.

My best guess is that you're probably getting close to your commit charge limit, but whatever pagefile usage you're experiencing is minimal so save up for your new m/b and cpu. My main push is to get you to know how to determine that for yourself so read that article and find out for yourself if you need more ;)
I went from 512 (which I thought was plenty) to 768 and here's what I saw:

Games - will load faster at startup, you will be able to tab out without a significant delay, you may get rid of those annoying mementary freezes when the game has to goto disk for new textures.

Business/surfing/email applications - no noticeable change.

Video/audio conversion - no noticeable change (processor floating point unit and FSB set this performance).

Graphics/photographic work - there should be a noticeable improvement if you are working on big high definition objects. I have some big (300mB) photo's that I could not reasonably work on before. Now I can.

Is it worth it?
Mine was free so, yes. If you're talking dropping $180 for 2 512mB PC3200 DIMMs vs saving that money for an upgrade to a 64 bit MB/Proc or an 800 mHz P4 I'm not sure what to tell you. See if the improvements above are worth the cash to you.


Mentally Absent
i would tell you to go ahead to 1gb of ram, i noticed a difference when i did, my new machine has 2 gb's of ram. XP was designed to run the best with 2gb's of ram, so i did it, between 1 and two, i actually didnt see that much of a difference, but 512 to a gig, performance for games and editing and encoding video. photoshop, all that good stuff and a noticable difference


Quazatron R6 droid
I would currently recommend 1GB of RAM for two types of software usage. One is that if you are the type of person who plays alot of graphics / memory intensive MMORPGS/MMORTS or MMOFPS. This would include games such as Planetside, Everquest 2 when it appears and anything that involves alot of data shuttling and loading of large areas. As a comparison I have 512MB and its enough for general single player gaming and applications with XP running anti virus / firewall esktop skin software (Stardock Desktop X Windowblinds etc) but it need to grab extra memory while playing planetside, although to be honest its the game itself that is hungry.

Its also worth getting if you are going to do heavy graphical work as Leejend mentioned, although you really would have to want high definition graphics to make the most of it - by this I mean movie editing and photo manipulation or heavy rendering.

If you are just going to use your computer for business applications or low power usage then it may be best if you do not upgrade for now. Although of course the nature of technology suggests that the minimum maybe 1GB by the time the next windows incarnation comes out so you may just want to upgrade for the future.
Lonman: Great link. After reading the article I'm fairly sure I dont NEED the extra RAM. I'll wait until after I upgrade the CPU/MoBo.


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