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Thread: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

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    Almost in control. autopilot's Avatar
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    Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    I recently installed Vista x64 and i am shocked at how slow it runs on my PC, i find my games (FEAR, HL2, COH - which were great under XP) are completely unplayable and even just having a few windows open my PC grinds it to a halt. I think its down to only having 1GB of RAM, as the HDD is going crazy pagefiling.

    I have an aBit AN8 with 2 512 sticks of Corsair TwinX DDR400 which i assume are running in dual channel mode. i have about £60 for this, so have come up with these possible options;

    1) Get 2 1gb sticks of Corsair value RAM and put them in the remaining to slots. This would give me 3gb's of RAM. Not sure if the sticks can be mismatched like that, i am assuming the only drawback could the lack of dual channel mode?

    2) Take the Corsair TwinX sticks out i have and just have the 2gb's of Value RAM in. Less RAM than option 1, but would it run in Dual mode and should i really care?

    3) Try and get another 2 512 sticks of the RAM i already have. But i cant find any anywhere and would there be any real benefit?

    What would people here do? Anything else i should consider. Am i wasting my time with the CPU i have?

    Cheers.

    PS - i also have an Athlon 64 3700+ (2.2ghz) and an nVidia 7600GT.

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    Vista does love it's ram.

    I have 2GB on my laptop and it uses 40% of it when sat Idle, current 55% with a dvd playing and firefox.

    Could you not go back to XP for a while until you have enough for a bigger upgrade?

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    2 gig is definitely the sweet spot for Vista.

    I'd go for 2x1gb of RAM - that way you can stick it in the two remaining slots and see if dual channel is ok with all four sticks - if not, then simply pull the two 512 sticks out and you're still golden.

    Your CPU is ok - dual core would be better BUT i'd go for the memory first. Gaming problems are really graphics card driver related - are you using beta drivers from nVidia? The latest ones? Vista 64 will try and stop you installing beta drivers but that can be easily disabled.

    Vista uses any spare RAM as a cache, and frees it when programs ask for more memory.

    If you do go back to XP 2gig is good to have for gaming anyway.
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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    yup memory is key here.
    you could sell you current ram to a computer exchange company and get either cash or exhange value (which is slightly higher). put in 2gig though i think for £70 you might be able to get hold of 4gig! i saw a post somewhere here about that, 64bit will address that as well.

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    I'd just add the additional 2GB to take the machine to 3GB. Any advantage of dual channel will be lost with the benefit of 3GB over 2GB anyway.

    Almost no virtue in selling the old sticks - they are just about worthless these days.

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    Quote Originally Posted by freddie View Post
    yup memory is key here.
    you could sell you current ram to a computer exchange company and get either cash or exhange value (which is slightly higher). put in 2gig though i think for £70 you might be able to get hold of 4gig! i saw a post somewhere here about that, 64bit will address that as well.
    That'll be DDR2 though - DDR is still expensive (sadly).
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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    Thanks guys.

    I'm leaning towards option 1.

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    Good choice. You should still be able to run dual channel no problem.

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    While 1GB RAM is too low for gaming on Vista, I have found that vista gfx drivers for anything but the new DX10 cards to be more miss then hit.....

    Might be worth speaking to another vista gamer with a similar gfx card to see if it performs well.
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    Senior Member 2Cold Scorpio's Avatar
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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    He said he's using 64-bit Vista...so the more RAM the better; the 64-bit can actually use the extra RAM over 3-3.5 GBs (depending on yoru vid card) that the 32-bit will actually use.

    For my new machine, I got 4 GBs even though 32-bit XP/Vista can't use it all (it was on sale, and was only $20 more than the two kits to make 3GBs would have been...). Patriot Ram (which is what I got), it supposed to be pretty danged good (4-4-4-12 timings @ 800MHz), and I got my 4x1GB kit for $140 on NewEgg. You could likely get their other kits quite a bit cheaper than Coursair memory.

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    Re: Need to upgrade my PC for Vista, but what should i do?

    I have Vista 64 with 4Gb RAM. With an app that uses >2Gig of that 4, and Explorer (4 tabs) open, it says 66% used (=2.64Gig). I reckon Vista uses about half a Gig. This means that 1Gig isn't enough for much, but 2Gig should be fine for most things.

    OTOH more memory is always welcome - the reason I went for V64 - so I would also go for the 3Gig option.

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