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Thread: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

  1. #1
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    I've had a bit of a break from being very up to date with news an opinions, and wanted to ask about the current state of things.
    Am building a cheap rig for a friend, some media use, mostly word docs and Internet.
    His rig will be a current-gen pentium plus 2x2gb of RAM under Windows 7.
    I was wondering though if there are any early signs that 8gb might be advisable in the near future, for entry-level pc building?
    I'm not thinking about virtualised machines, or photo editing, or anything heavy at all - just basic family use.
    Any thoughts?
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    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    4GB is enough for the use you described.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Agreed. Perfectly suited to family use.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by nintriva View Post
    Adding RAM is often the most cost-effective upgrade you can make to speed up a sluggish computer(1). PCs that had more than enough RAM when they were new often have trouble keeping up with the demands of the latest programs after a few years(2). New operating systems almost always call for more memory, too(3). When a computer runs short of RAM, it's forced to swap the overflow data on and off of the hard drive, which can significantly slow performance(4).
    Welcome to Hexus, but I have to say I disagree with just about everything you say here. The only point I can see is accurate is the last sentence.

    I've added numbers to the claims in your quote to address them.

    Point 1) Adding RAM will only speed up the computer if lack of RAM was the limiting factor. For family use 4GB will not be a limiting factor therefore adding more RAM won't help.
    2) No - programs don't deteriorate and start using more RAM. If a computer had enough RAM when it was new for a given task, it's likely to still be fine years later. Only if the software for a given task significant changes to be more demanding would that be an issue, but as mentioned, for family use, it hasn't done.
    3) Completely wrong - Windows 8 uses less memory than Windows 7 did. Windows 7 uses less memory than Vista did.
    4) Correct, but not applicable.

    edit: ah, a spammer. That's why we can't have good things. Nevermind.
    Last edited by kalniel; 15-06-2015 at 01:10 PM.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    From a cost perspective; 8gb of top notch stuff is about £45 new.

    Used you might get a good deal so it may be worth considering getting eight for not a whole lot more than four. Ssd is the winner IMO, I would budget for one first.

    For what you've described 4gb is plenty. Oh this reminds me of the onion article.
    http://www.theonion.com/multiblogpos...ate-that-11538
    NSFW

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    I think it is just enough, though I tend to put 8GB in all machines these days because you only need to fire up something like World of Warcraft and 4GB is pushing your luck. With younger kids, Minecraft is a bit more forgiving though a 64 bit Java install is still recommended.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic_Ginger View Post
    From a cost perspective; 8gb of top notch stuff is about £45 new.
    You can get a single stick of 4gb DDR3 RAM from around £23 or two sticks of 2gb DDR3 from £26 so if you were on a really tight budget either option would be ok. However I agree with Domestic_Ginger in that while you don't need 8gb of RAM, the price difference between 4gb and 8gb is small enough for it not to be a problem in most cases and having that extra RAM makes the computer more future proof in that it allows the user room to expand the way they use the PC without having to expand the PC to accommodate their change in use.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    That would also be my view. 4Gb fine today, but will it be tomorrow?

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    That would also be my view. 4Gb fine today, but will it be tomorrow?
    For web browsing and word processing? I damn well hope so. Both are tasks that were performed in 1MB of RAM in the past
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    Token 'murican GuidoLS's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    For basic family use, 4gb should be fine. My primary business machine is only 4gb, and I almost always have multiple programs, browser windows, etc, open at the same time. Windows 7 is quite good with memory management (as are most modern OS's).

    But as others are going to point out, if you're going to make a 64bit system, and the machine is capable, 8gb of ram is not that much more expensive than 4gb (certainly not double), and will allow for more system intense multitasking - large spreadsheets, some browser based gaming, etc. If you're going to use the x86 version of Windows, the point is moot, as it will only allow the user access to anywhere between 3.25 and 3.75gb of ram anyway.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuidoLS View Post
    If you're going to use the x86 version of Windows, the point is moot, as it will only allow the user access to anywhere between 3.25 and 3.75gb of ram anyway.
    Not even considered a 32 bit install for years now. A win 7 license key on a 32 bit machine can be used to install 64 bit, so even my low end laptop which came with 32 bit Windows installed got upgraded pretty fast (needed to use the phone activation system). Ignoring the problem of plugging in more ram, even cheap graphics cards these days are coming with 2GB of vram on there so if you ever decide you need better graphics all your address space gets stolen by the graphics card.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    8gb is overkill for web browsing.

    2gb would be okay for that setup.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic_Ginger View Post
    From a cost perspective; 8gb of top notch stuff is about £45 new.

    Used you might get a good deal so it may be worth considering getting eight for not a whole lot more than four. Ssd is the winner IMO, I would budget for one first.

    For what you've described 4gb is plenty. Oh this reminds me of the onion article.
    http://www.theonion.com/multiblogpos...ate-that-11538
    NSFW
    Oh, I needed that so much.

    Thank you !

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    For web browsing and word processing? I damn well hope so. Both are tasks that were performed in 1MB of RAM in the past
    Ah, but will they just be doing web browsing and word processing tomorrow? That was my point.

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    If you intend on running any games then I'd go for 8gb for the few extra quid.
    Until recently I was running 4GB and if you play even an old game like wow with windows 7 and spotify or browser it will get close to the mark.

    I'd say if you can push to it then go for it.
    If you cant I'd suggest get a 4gb single stick so you can buy the other later and spread it out

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    Re: Current RAM quantity - 4GB, or more?

    New laptops are still being sold with 4GB RAM to the average user so I'd say it's fine. Web browsing/word docs etc. barely use a gig if you're not a very heavy user. I agree with others and say the safest bet would be to get a single stick of 4GB so that it would be easier to upgrade if need be. That way you're not chucking old RAM when upgrading.

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