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Zelda_fan
02-08-07, 12:38 PM
Ok, so I'm putting together a new Core2 system which will be my main system.

I'm wondering if I should go with either 2GB or 4GB or RAM?

This build will be running on Vista, and Anandtech.com's Vista performance review says that there was a big difference in startup times of applications with 4GB of RAM as opposed to 2GB of RAM.

http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2917&p=3

We opened 104 images in Adobe Photoshop CS3 from our recent trip to Las Vegas for CES 2007; with all 104 images opened and loaded, we then timed how long it would take for Microsoft Word to start. In Windows XP, despite some swapping, Microsoft Word 2007 started in just under 8 seconds. On our Vista test bed, starting Word took almost 20 seconds due to constant paging to disk. The only difference? Vista's heightened memory requirements took a stressful situation that worked reasonably well under XP and made it far more painful with the same amount of memory.

We then upgraded the Vista machine to 3GB and ran the test again; thanks to faster application load times and intelligent prefetching, Word started in 1.31 seconds. If you thought that 2GB was the sweet spot for Windows XP, chances are 3GB will be the new minimum for you under Vista.

Now, here is the thing. I read that to actually use the full 4GB of RAM, you need to have Vista x64, becasue Vista x86 only supports 4GB of addressable memory, and a good chunk of that is allocated to the PCI-E adressing space, so in reality 4GB of RAM will only show up as 3.2GB. So I'd have to use x64. I've heard bad things about x64 like it's noticeable slower, bad compatibility, etc etc. I suppose I could dual boot, but that's a PITA.

Comments, thoughts?

Lfctony
02-08-07, 12:45 PM
I have Vista 32 and indeed, it does see only 3.3gigs of ram of 4. I'm also installing Vista 64 tomorrow to check it out. JakUp says Vista 64 are fine, and I can't have unused memory sitting around. In the worst case, I'll just remove them, I'll use them for a month, which is the allowed trial period. I've also read that the 32bit key can also activate 64bit Vista. That key I already have. :)

Zelda_fan
02-08-07, 12:47 PM
Oh, and the motherboard I'll be using is a BadAxe 2. Will their be any compatibility problems with BX2 and having 2x2GB DIMMS?

Lfctony
02-08-07, 12:59 PM
Well, it should be ok. If you download the manual off Intel's site, it should contain all possible configurations. In the worst case, you'd boot with a single stick and flash the motherboard to the latest bios, IF it has a problem or something.

Toss3
02-08-07, 01:01 PM
I really doubt 4Gb of ram is gonna make a huge difference in regular games and applications for a while. 2Gb just became a must have and before when we still used 1Gb, 2Gb was always something of an overkill, just like I assume 4Gb to be.
If you do renders and stuff like that 4Gb is sure to come in handy, but the majority of applications aren't gonna need that much ram for some time, so I guess going with only 2Gb should be the better option(and cheaper). And remember that ddr3 is just around the corner(and you can always add more later)! ;)

Here's a comparison between 2gb and 4gb under Vista (http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3135&Itemid=40&limit=1&limitstart=2)

EDIT: Holy hell, I just read the link I posted and you really do see an improvement with 4gb over 2. So just go with 4Gb if you have the money, even if it's not supported by the x86 version. Because we'll all switch to x64 some day, and then you'll be ready. :cool:

mullet
02-08-07, 01:10 PM
I really doubt 4Gb of ram is gonna make a huge difference in regular games and applications for a while. 2Gb just became a must have and before when we still used 1Gb, 2Gb was always something of an overkill, just like I assume 4Gb to be.
If you do renders and stuff like that 4Gb is sure to come in handy, but the majority of applications aren't gonna need that much ram for some time, so I guess going with only 2Gb should be the better option(and cheaper). And remember that ddr3 is just around the corner(and you can always add more later)! ;)

Here's a comparison between 2gb and 4gb under Vista (http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3135&Itemid=40&limit=1&limitstart=2)

EDIT: Holy hell, I just read the link I posted and you really do see an improvement with 4gb over 2. So just go with 4Gb if you have the money, even if it's not supported by the x86 version. Because we'll all switch to x64 some day, and then you'll be ready. :cool:

Thanks for the link. I wish the OS would be able to see the full 4GB's.

Zelda_fan
02-08-07, 01:14 PM
I really doubt 4Gb of ram is gonna make a huge difference in regular games and applications for a while. 2Gb just became a must have and before when we still used 1Gb, 2Gb was always something of an overkill, just like I assume 4Gb to be.
If you do renders and stuff like that 4Gb is sure to come in handy, but the majority of applications aren't gonna need that much ram for some time, so I guess going with only 2Gb should be the better option(and cheaper). And remember that ddr3 is just around the corner(and you can always add more later)! ;)

Here's a comparison between 2gb and 4gb under Vista (http://www.bcchardware.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3135&Itemid=40&limit=1&limitstart=2)

EDIT: Holy hell, I just read the link I posted and you really do see an improvement with 4gb over 2. So just go with 4Gb if you have the money, even if it's not supported by the x86 version. Because we'll all switch to x64 some day, and then you'll be ready. :cool:

Well I do a lot of multitasking, and preferably, I'd like to be able to play a game with apps running in the background, so its looking more and more like 4GB is for me.

Riptide
02-08-07, 01:16 PM
4GB :eek:

What a pig of an OS

Xion X2
02-08-07, 01:20 PM
I'd go with 4GB if you can afford it. Jakup posted some benchmarks with games running in Vista on 4GB compared to 2GB and there was a noticeable difference in a # of them (like 10-15fps).

And if 32/64 is a concern for you, then pick up the retail version of Vista. If it doesn't already come w/ both, it should come w/ a 32bit disc and the option to be mailed a 64 bit disc for a small fee.

Toss3
02-08-07, 01:22 PM
Well I do a lot of multitasking, and preferably, I'd like to be able to play a game with apps running in the background, so its looking more and more like 4GB is for me.
Well then 4gb is right for you as almost all of the newer games use as much as 1.8Gb, which doesn't leave much for background applications.

And if you look at the last page of the link I posted you'll see that 4gb gave a nice improvement in almost all the games they tested.

I think I'll have to stick with XP for a little longer as I was thinking of going 2Gb with my next upgrade. :D

ArrowMk84
02-08-07, 01:44 PM
I've been thinking about going to 4GB myself. Would you guys recommend getting another pair of my current sticks, or going for 2x2GB?

Zelda_fan
02-08-07, 01:47 PM
I've been thinking about going to 4GB myself. Would you guys recommend getting another pair of my current sticks, or going for 2x2GB?

I think you get better performance when you go dual channel (2x2GB) as opposed to filling all 4 slots with RAM.

Plus, it leaves room for future upgrades, and it's only a little bit more expensive to go 2x2GB.

Xion X2
02-08-07, 01:48 PM
Just get 2 more sticks of 1GB. I can't foresee a time in the near future when you'll need more than 4GB of ram. Timings on the 2GB models aren't that great now, anyway.

As long as you can pick up some sticks similar to what you already have, they should overclock fine.

ArrowMk84
02-08-07, 02:02 PM
Hehe. It looks like my board's current BIOS doesn't support fully 4GB yet, according to reports on the Asus forum, and Newegg is out of the same sticks (gotta love order history!). And getting 2 more 1GB sticks is less than half the cost of getting 2 2GB sticks.

Xion X2
02-08-07, 02:08 PM
What sticks are those, slawter? Good timings.

TiKiMaN1
02-08-07, 02:09 PM
4GB FTW!!!

SH64
02-08-07, 02:19 PM
For Vista the 4GB seems worth it. i'd go for it!

Monolyth
02-08-07, 02:54 PM
FYI OZC just released their 4GB kits as they said they would months ago.

OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Vista Performance Gold Dual Channel (http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr2_pc2_6400_vista_performance_gold_dual_chan nel)

Bearclaw
02-08-07, 03:05 PM
4 GB.

Schugy
02-08-07, 04:10 PM
Maybe what Vista 32 bit can see is 4 GB - pagefile-size. Seems like virtual memory is still activated.

lee63
02-08-07, 05:07 PM
I tried 4GB of GSkill, 2x2GB sticks with Vista 64 bit, I couldn't get it to work :( I got BSODs before Windows finished loading, I tested both sticks and they where fine, I think it is a problem with the OS. BTW 4GB worked fine in XP64. I think Im gonna stick with 2GB for now and get 4GB of DDR3 when it comes out(lee63)

Amuro
02-08-07, 10:51 PM
Sticking with 2GB here. Will get 4GB when upgrading to DDR3.

Slammin
02-09-07, 01:07 PM
I've been thinking about going to 4GB myself. Would you guys recommend getting another pair of my current sticks, or going for 2x2GB?



It's usually harder to overclock with all 4 slots filled (you can't clock as high), at least for the ram, and sometimes you are required to run the ram at 2T instead of 1T when you use all 4 slots.

Not sure if that is all true with Intel mobo's, but it certainly is with AMD, but the hit is not noticable with AMD but it would be for Intel.

Then again, I'm so behind on hardware these days that none of that may be true anymore :-)

ArrowMk84
02-09-07, 01:40 PM
It's usually harder to overclock with all 4 slots filled (you can't clock as high), at least for the ram, and sometimes you are required to run the ram at 2T instead of 1T when you use all 4 slots.

Not sure if that is all true with Intel mobo's, but it certainly is with AMD, but the hit is not noticable with AMD but it would be for Intel.

Then again, I'm so behind on hardware these days that none of that may be true anymore :-)

My sticks are rated for DDR2-800 with a 2T command rate anyway, and I'm happy leaving them synced to the FSB.

DRen72
02-09-07, 04:36 PM
I wonder if a 2GB USB Readyboost memory stick would give similar gains that an additional 2GB of RAM would?? Curious.