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Windows Vista RAM requirements

by joddyjackson / March 20, 2007 8:52 PM PDT

My Pc has 1GB DDR2-533Mhz RAM(2 X 512MB sticks in Dual-channel).Is 1GB Ram in Windows Vista enough to have pretty good performance with games like Need for Speed Carbon, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Fifa 07, for surfing the net and also with not many softwares installed.

My PC Specs :
Intel 945G chipset
1GB DDR2 PC2-4200 533 Mhz RAM (2 X 512 MB in Dual-Channel)
Intel Pentium 4 HT Technology 3.06 Ghz EM64T
Nvidia Geforce 6 series 6200 128MB with TurboCache
Windows Vista Home Premium

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Sorry, I'm coming to the conclusion it's 2GB
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2007 12:46 AM PDT

Or the users tend to complain. Where XP had a sweet spot at 512 to 1G, Vista in my travels seems to demand 2GB or there will be complaints.


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I got to agree
by Thomas Petty / March 21, 2007 2:33 AM PDT

I have a Dell Dimension E521 w/ 1GB of RAM and it runs like a lame turtle. I spoke to a friend that is using 4GB and getting much better results.

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its not the game or os
by Firebgre / May 2, 2007 9:35 AM PDT
In reply to: I got to agree

They are slow because you have store bought PCs. Those Pcs are just pcs upgraded from XP. I ran fifa, max graphics (+ ATIs added filtering) with excellent results using

Windows Vista Ultimate
1GB DDR RAM 800Mhz
AMD Athlon x64 3500+ 2.2Ghz
Nvidia SLI chipset
ATI Radeon x1600 512MB GDDR3 + 256MB Hypermem (shared)

Now ive got
Windows Vista Ultimate
2GB Dual channel RAM
AMD Athlon x64 3500+
Nvidia sli chipset
ATI Radeon x1600 512MB GDDR3 + 768MB Hypermem (shared)

The second specs are much much better, but the point is that it ran excellent with 1GB. Intel isnt good for gaming unless its the best one intel has, a core2duo.

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should i add 256 MB DDR2 extra to the current 1GB RAM ?
by joddyjackson / March 22, 2007 7:42 PM PDT

I have an extra 256MB DDR2-533Mhz RAM stick. Should i add it to the current System Memoty of 1GB(Dual-channel),since my Motherboard has 4 RAM slots (2 slots remaining).
Is 1.25 GB better than 1GB RAM to attain a bit more improvement for my Vista PC configuration ?

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For games, definitely more RAM
by Igiveup2 / March 21, 2007 4:22 AM PDT

Out-of-the box 1 GB machines can be slow because their startup configuration is bloated with unnecessary apps. Once that's cleaned up, basic RAM use is in the neighborhood of 650 MB. 1 GB can get you through basic web surfing, word processing, etc., but not much more.

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I haven't found this to be true.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 21, 2007 5:22 AM PDT

I've looked over a dozen as-delivered Vista machines and can't write that's true. Can you give a web site with details about what you would remove and before/after boot times?


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Stick with XP...
by AMDguy / March 21, 2007 8:26 AM PDT

Forget about Vista! If you like the look then just download a skinning program like Vista tranformation pack or VistaXP. I have an XP machine with a vista theme, same amount of memory that you have and it runs like a champ!

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Here's how the experiment went.
by Igiveup2 / March 21, 2007 9:59 AM PDT

The unit was a new Toshiba Satellite A135-S4487 (1.66 MHz Core 2 Duo T5500, 2GB RAM, 256 MB integrated graphics). I won't be able to provide a "before" boot time, but my general impression is that it was surprisingly slow with the stock startup configuration and McAfee Security Suite installed. I monitored the RAM use and found that it used right around 1 GB at startup. I then disabled non-system and non-security items from the startup configuration and verified that they were still functional after a re-boot. When all is said and done, the basic RAM use with a lean startup configuration is around 600-650 MB (wi-fi and security running), the boot time is 50 seconds, and all of the applications kicked off the startup are fully functional on demand.

It's a little puzzling to me why manufacturers load their startups the way they do. Maybe there's some contractual obligation to the parties who are franchised to put their stuff on the machines. But the result (as you well know) is world-class buyer's remorse as people plug in their shiny new 1 GB machines and find that they run like turtles. I would guess that at least a few returns have resulted and at least a few people have soured on Vista. But if people are aware of this situation, they'll at least not feel that they need 2GB RAM for basic word processing, e-mail, and web surfing when a well-configured 1 GB machine is adequate for their limited system demands.

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i completely agree
by ramarc / March 22, 2007 12:29 AM PDT

vista isn't a speed demon, but (according to benchmarks) its performance hit is rarely more than 5% and some apps actually run faster. yes, it does need more ram, but 1gb is sufficient for mainstream users and a 1gb readyboost cache does improve things (i've got a 1gb SD card dedicated to readyboost in my 1gb laptop).

also, vista is constantly mothering us. it checks apps (mostly those that aren't designed for vista) everytime they are run. that's one reason why there's often a (seemingly) huge delay between clicking the start menu item and seeing the window appear.

p.s.: apparantly you didn't give up.

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No speed demon, yes
by Firebgre / May 2, 2007 1:30 PM PDT
In reply to: i completely agree

Yeah its no speed demon, but the new direct x 10 helps the games A LOT. with my old AND new specs, fifa would lag in xp, but it flies in vista even with 256MB!!

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Memory manager
by Firebgre / June 24, 2007 2:55 PM PDT
In reply to: i completely agree

Experiment a bit. Run a game, modern 2004-present, on an XP machine and on a vista machine. Both with at least 1GB of ram 3.5GB virtual mem and a decent CPU. Minimize the game and open another. you will find that Vista has much better memory management. XP can barely run 1 game and surf the net at the same time. Ive run 3+ games all at once, accident, and didnt even notice them running.

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Dell sold XP computers
by glb613 / May 2, 2007 11:07 AM PDT

with 128MB of RAM. For a long time, it was common for new XP machines to have only 256MB installed. I think most manufacturers include the minimum RAM recommended by Microsoft despite knowing it isn't really enough. It is one way to keep the prices down.

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