How to determine amount of RAM

I have a new Windows 7 64 bit, i5 2400, integrated graphics system that I ordered with only 2GB of RAM (to add 2GB more at time of purchase added $60). The system is used for work. Ususal Internet, word processing, Quickbooks, Photoshop Elements, Coreldraw, Vectormagic, "lite" video conversion are programs I commonly use, though not all at the same time. When I have three browsers open (three + tabs each), antivirus running, Word, UPS Worldship, opening a 600dpi scan in PSE, Task Manager shows around 1.7GB memory usage...and it feels s..l...o...w. Booting and shutting down Windows takes 3 times longer than my old XP P4 1GB system at home.

I have 2x1GB installed and one pair of RAM slots empty. I can either add 2x2GB, giving me 6GB total, or add 2x4GB for a total of 10GB. It would be nice to do this once and get it over with as I plan on keeping this a while and everyone I talk to says RAM is so cheap right now (you can see I'm leaning towards the 2x4GB upgrade).

I know 10GB is way more than I need, but seems like a better deal than pulling the 2x1GB OEM sticks and adding another 2x2GB for 8GB.

I am confused and looking for a clearcut idea of if I'll need more than 6GB of RAM. Given what I'm doing, how much faster will 8 or 10GB be over 6GB? Noticeable? Does the speed hit a plateau with a certain amount or does each GB incrementally speed everything up?

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It would be best if you'd tell us what system you have..

starting with mfg name, series and model 'HP Pavilion e1406a'.

From there we can talk specifics and specific combinations.


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Sorry, it's a Dell Vostro 460.

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Some thoughts

Well in my personal experience, there's no need for you to get 8 or 10 gigs of RAM. I also use win7 ultimate 64bits, and I have 8GB of RAM DDR3 installed on my computer, plus the gcard that has 1.5gb itself, I've never gone above 3-4GB use of RAM, and I'm a gamer! I usually play one game and hit alt tab to switch to another program and then keep on playing. Although, if it's that cheap and there's really no difference between 8 or 10, I'd go for 10. Where I live (Argentina) the difference is in the area of 100usd. Before I upgraded my computer to 8gigs I had 4, and there was really not a BIG difference, in the normal tasks, it was invisible. In the gaming tasks, there were some differences given that I usually change from a game to msn or something alike (consider games like COD black ops, prototype and such), the speed was really better on multitasking.
You can be sure tho that you will most likely use this RAM in the future, maybe not next year but soon, and I'd check the max ammount of RAM allowed by the motherboard!
I hope this helps you out!

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16GB is the max, though I'm not planning on more than the 10 total (and don't know if that's even necessary).
I don't do any gaming, just deal with 10+ GB photo files and wanted things go be as stappy as practical when multi-tasking. The upgrade from adding 4GB to adding 8GB is around $45 US. Sounds like a small amount, but there always seems to be somewhere I need to spend it.

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