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Vista & RAM...

by Travis2k7 / September 13, 2007 6:42 AM PDT

What's the sweet spot?

With XP I never needed more than 1GB. My new 5600+ PC just arrived last weekend with 2GB and I have 2 empty slots... Given the low cost of RAM I am wondering if upgrading to 3 or 4GB would give a noticeable improvement? Vista is sluggish on occasion but hasn't given me any huge headaches yet.

I read somewhere that there is a chance that the PC won't recognize any more than 3GB although Dell says my system can have 4GB.

I also read some comments over in a gaming forum saying that my GeForce 8600GT is a system memory hog... The card has given me great performance (video editing and mild gaming) but I am wondering if an upgrade would reap benefits there as well?

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RAM capacity...
by John.Wilkinson / September 13, 2007 10:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista & RAM...

It really depends on your tasks, so note what memory-hungry apps you run and check Task Manager (ctrl + alt + esc) to monitor both CPU and RAM usage. 2GB is usually the 'sweet spot,' but 3GB is ideal for heavy gamers and multimedia buffs. Despite the hardware being capable of handling 4GB Windows (including both XP and Vista) rarely can address that much, showing usable amounts around 3.5GB or less in most cases. (It's due to the allocation of RAM and influenced by the exact hardware installed.) Thus, unless you have a 64-bit version of Windows, which lacks this limitation, it's generally not worth it to upgrade past 3.5GB, and sometimes 3GB.

As to the graphics card, not something I can comment greatly on, though you may want to check the NVIDIA Control Panel and see how much shared memory it's looking to use.


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Thanks for the reply....
by Travis2k7 / September 13, 2007 11:17 AM PDT
In reply to: RAM capacity...

According to the control panel I have 1GB graphics memory, 768MB is shared. I guess what the guy said about the card hogging memory is true... I'm unsure if that is a normal thing.

System is a little slow at bootup loading the VC, Messenger, sound/printer control panels, etc... I have yet to go in and disable the unnecessary stuff. Once it's done with that it's blazing fast.

I can pick up a pair of 1GB 5300 sticks at Newegg for $60. It looks like it would be a waste over the 512's however.

3GB looks good I think... it would help my gaming and video stuff and wouldn't go to waste by my 32-bit OS.

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Actually I've seen that control panel.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 13, 2007 11:39 PM PDT

It didn't say 786M is shared but that it was dynamically available. For such a system I suggest the 2GB RAM solution. Missing that one word can change what it meant.


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Yeah.. DX Diag.
by Travis2k7 / September 14, 2007 12:10 AM PDT

I couldn't find any option under the Nvidia control panel. That's what I get for assuming...

I think I'll just save the $40 and stay at 2GB for now. 2 empty slots leaves me some future options at least.

On a side note, the difference between an 1800+ CPU and 5600+ CPU in converting a 250MB video from MOV to MPEG was about 40 seconds vs 8 minutes.

My jaw hit the floor. These new dual core CPU's are pretty sweet.

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