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Advice on new desktop...how to decide amount of RAM

I have been on an on-again, off-again search for a new desktop for work. The nice thing is prices keep going down while speed keeps going upHappy. Trying to decide on whether I really need a 64bit/4GB RAM+ Windows 7 Pro system , or if 32 bit/3-4GB RAM config is sufficient. First, I plan on keeping it for at least three years, so I figure a little overkill on specs will give me a longer lifespan.

The type of uses are Internet, Word, Quickbooks, Coreldraw, Photoshop Elements, etc. though not open all at the same time. I sometimes have three browser windows, a Word doc and maybe a couple folders open at once, and don't want a sudden full system virus scan to slow things to a crawl if I happen to open Photoshop Elements.

How do I decide if 64bit/4GB RAM is necessary?
Thanks!

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Comments
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Frankly?

No reason for me to avoid the 64 bit WIndows 7 machines. Since the day 7 arrived I've been using mine daily for work and more. I won't be going back to 32 bit. Not a single reason here to do that. ALL my apps run on 64 bit fine.

As to RAM, it's hard to avoid a 4GB machine today. The difference in performance from 3 to 4GB ram should be a single digit point.

"don't want a sudden full system virus scan to slow things to a crawl if I happen to open Photoshop Elements."

Sorry but today NO system exists that would not slow down during a full system virus scan. Why not schedule that for when you are not on the machine?
Bob

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Re

I'm trying to save some money at the Dell Outlet, and 64 bit systems are rare. As far as scheduling a virus scan, it's not a big problem usually, but I'm a bit impulsive on when I need to use the computer. Also, I always shut it down when the day's over so running it at night is inconvenient. Mainly looking toward the future and my general impatience Wink

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Link, comment.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10454406-1.html?tag=smallCarouselArea.1 writes something of interest.

"from entry-level systems starting at $329 to massive $2,000 gaming monsters."

That's nothing short of amazing that the entire spectrum of PC performance is inside such a narrow price range. If saving a few bucks is paramount, start at that 329 buck level and inch your way up.
Bob
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Go 64

For what it's worth, I agree with Bob. We're in one of those big technology transitions in desktops, and they are all moving to multi-core 64 bit processors. IMHO, staying with 32-bit will limit your options in about 6 months or so. Look at sales and refurbs to find what you need at the price point you can afford. I shopped Black Friday pretty hard and got an AMD Quad core with 8 GB, 1 TB and Win 7 64-bit with 20-inch LCD monitor and printer for $500, so I know the deals are out there.

Another Bob

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Limiting myself

I guess the tough thing is I have kinda limited myself to Dell's Business lines, and the Outlet has pretty good deals, usually around $200 off new. I get coupons all the time for their Home systems, but never Business. I'll keep trying. My sense is exactly what you said, that 32 bit is running to the end of the road, but wondered if 4GB RAM might be good enough for a while. I know, in computer years it won't be long until the next generation of RAM sucking apps roll out Wink

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