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4gb vs 8gb of ram? Who would notice the difference?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by mjnoles1, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. mjnoles1

    mjnoles1 Notebook Consultant

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    I currently have an I5-450m with Hitachi 7k500 hard drive, Nvidia 330m and 4gb of ram. I am debating back and forth on if I should purchase 2 4gb of Samsung rams= 8gb total for $58.95 shipped.

    Would I even notice a difference? What kind of computer user would notice a difference between 4 and 8 gb of ram?

    My laptop is acting a little sluggish lately, would this bump up its performance?

    I am in the insurance business (health, life, disability, long-term care) and I have maybe 7 or so desktop illustration softwares downloaded on my machine, so I can give quotes on the fly. I believe that is what is making my system a little sluggish as I would assume these illustration softwares might be resource hogs even not in use (I am not a big computer guy, but I assume they would be).

    Would putting 8gb of ram make things act quicker?
     
  2. Jarhead

    Jarhead Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Not sure if it would speed anything up (most speed problems typically are the result of the HDD), but why buy 2 sticks? If you already have 4GB of RAM, you could just buy another 4GB stick for ~$20 on Newegg. So long as the type and speed match (DDR3 1333MHz, most likely), it'll work. I have a Samsung stick and two Mushkin sticks installed atm and never had any problem.
     
  3. ramgen

    ramgen -- Morgan Stanley --

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    People who use lots of demanding apps at the same time. Such as 5+ instances of VMWare, processing raw images on photoshop with crazy filters etc.
    Average user will never need beyond 4 Gigs (-- for now).


    --
     
  4. Jarhead

    Jarhead Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    True. On a typical basis, I usually hover around 3-4GB for daily use (few web browsers, each with multiple tabs, AV, Office, and Minecraft).
     
  5. mjnoles1

    mjnoles1 Notebook Consultant

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    I actually have 4gb total in right now. 2gb x 2....Also, mine is a 1066Mhz as its the 2010 I5 processor and not the 2011 I5 Processor. It seems like what you wrote as your last post that your "typical usuage" is not too heavy, )don't know what minecraft is however) and you hover around 3-4gb?

    Just not sure if its worth the upgrade or if I will notice any difference at all with what I do...Hmmmm
     
  6. GamingACU

    GamingACU Notebook Deity

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    You should definitely upgrade. My last computer had 4gb of RAM and I was constantly hitting 100% load.
     
  7. Steven

    Steven God Amongst Mere Mortals

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    4GB is enough for most people including gamers. Usually professional photographers and video editors need more in which case I would recommend 8GB of ram.
     
  8. dustin_broke

    dustin_broke Notebook Consultant

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    I upgraded to 8 GB and it made my notebook run faster. I never used the whole 4 GB but for somereason having 8 GB of ram starts my programs and games faster. It didn't make my games have alot more FPS but it did help some FPS.
     
  9. Ryan

    Ryan NBR Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, with browsers taking up huge chunks of RAM nowadays, and with 8GB RAM being so cheap,

    I see no reason staying at 4GB.

    Even using two browsers with like 4 tabs each + iTunes + some software like MATLAB seems to max out at 3GB+.
     
  10. ramgen

    ramgen -- Morgan Stanley --

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    How many percent of all the laptop users have MATLAB (or similar software) in their computers?

    More than 2%???


    --
     
  11. corbintechboy

    corbintechboy Notebook Consultant

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    What your seeing is cached memory.

    I have been using Linux for years and used windows 9x, memory management sucked, it has got much better.

    On Linux you can get a better view of what memory is doing. I have music player playing, Firefox running, and decided to compile in the background for this test.

    Here is all running with one tab open:

    Code:
    free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:         11879       1258      10621          0         30        458
    -/+ buffers/cache:        769      11109
    Swap:         7938          0       7938
    
    
    Now just to go to extremes, I opened a whole folder in tabs. 36 total with all still going on in background:

    Code:
    free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:         11879       1506      10372          0         33        488
    -/+ buffers/cache:        984      10894
    Swap:         7938          0       7938
    
    Then I browsed each tab with stuff still going on in background:

    Code:
    free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:         11879       1654      10224          0         34        507
    -/+ buffers/cache:       1113      10766
    Swap:         7938          0       7938
    
    This shows that although total used memory increased, a large amount of that memory was devoted to cache.

    Windows 7 has awesome memory management and even though it shows high memory management, it is devoted to making programs faster=cache. Windows/Linux will release cache to free memory if needed. 4 gigs of memory is plenty unless using virtual machines or whatnot.
     
  12. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    Guess you could do what you do on your computer and pay attention to the resource monitor you have in windows...
     
  13. corbintechboy

    corbintechboy Notebook Consultant

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    I don't run Windows so I wouldn't know. I do think resource monitor may show this info albeit not as detailed as Linux can. They're other tools to measure memory management in Linux.

    But that's another matter....
     
  14. whitrzac

    whitrzac The orange end is cold...

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    8gb worth of memory is $30 flippen $$$s.... is there any reason not to upgrade?
     
  15. corbintechboy

    corbintechboy Notebook Consultant

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    OP asked from a performance perspective.

    I do not think there is a reason to upgrade based on performance alone. But I do however agree with you. I have 12gb of memory on my desktop because it was cheap and I like virtual machines.
     
  16. lidowxx

    lidowxx Notebook Deity

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    Exactly, for the general masses, 4Gb RAM is more than enough to keep lots of tabs open in browsers, talking on skype, listening to itunes, etc all at the same time. Heck, even for gaming, 4Gb is enough if you manage your RAM carefully.
     
  17. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    I have to agree here, at that price, there is no reason not to upgrade. If you are the kind of person that launches a lot of programs simultaneously, the extra RAM will allow windows to use it as "standby memory" or cached memory if you prefer. Overall, there will be a little bit more snap to your system.

    It is not uncommon for me to reach over 4GB with steam, skype, my browser with loads of tabs, zune, a game opened, the AV and live mesh running. My drivers are of course running too, including the ones for my corsair headset so there is a little of bit of what some might consider bloat.

    Do you need more than 4GB, no. Will 8GB add more performance to your system, not really. Will it add more snap to it, not as much as a SSD would though.
     
  18. Geekz

    Geekz Notebook Deity

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    I'd try reformatting / doing a clean install of windows first before buying anything, chances are there may already be a lot of garbage running in there that you don't notice.

    @off topic, wish 5 of my VM's would function properly on 8 gig of ram (as it is 4 of those are at 2 gig each, and my dev vm at 3 gig.... excluding my main os).
     
  19. Shemmy

    Shemmy Notebook Evangelist

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    I have 8GB of RAM. Windows 7 currently has ~4GB on standby as cache:
     

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  20. hiarieshi

    hiarieshi Notebook Evangelist

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    One word ===> Minecraft.

    haha but other than that people who have a lot of programs open and multi-task. Or super high settings with gaming ><
     

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