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How much RAM do I need? (gaming laptop)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by blacklight186, Nov 20, 2010.

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  1. blacklight186

    blacklight186 Notebook Consultant

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    Hi guys,

    I'm about to purchase the ASUS G53JW-A1 and I just have a doubt on how much RAM to purchase.

    I'll be using the laptop for mostly gaming and occasional photoshopping/video encoding (no 3D editing); but I only do one at a time. At all times there will be 1-2 torrents downloading in the background and ESET antivirus.

    The specs are:

    Core i7 740QM 1.73 - 2.9 GHz
    6 GB DDR3 RAM (3 x 2 GB)
    Nvidia GeForce 460M
    1 x 90GB SSD OCZ Vertex 2
    1 x 500GB HDD @ 7200 RPM
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

    The retailer is offering me 8 GB RAM (4 x 2 GB) for an additional USD 20. Do you think is worth?

    Thanks,
     
  2. JVRR

    JVRR Notebook Evangelist

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    8gb would not be necessary, but for $20 why not?
     
  3. blacklight186

    blacklight186 Notebook Consultant

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    thank JVRR

    It's just that I had already overshot my budget by including an SSD/additional HDD...

    Secondly, I had read so many articles that the full 8GB is not utilized unless you are doing a lot of multi-tasking...

    Also I had a doubt if the dual-channel (4 x 2GB) might actually perform less than the tri-channel (3 x 2 GB) considering it's an i7... What do you think?

    Thanks,
     
  4. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon Super Moderator

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    Normally, I would advise going above 4GB of RAM for your usage pattern, as you won't need it and it won't benefit you (won't be fully utilized at all). However, a 2GB of module of DDR3 RAM itself costs $30-40 right now, so a $20 upgrade from 3x2GB to 4x2GB is a steal. Go for it!

    Regarding the RAM channel: I believe the RAM usage is actually dual channel in these i7 chips. The only i7 chips that utilize tri-channel were the i7-9xx desktop CPUs. 4 sticks of RAM would give you better performance, theoretically, than 3 sticks.
     
  5. JVRR

    JVRR Notebook Evangelist

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    Fancy hardware questions are beyond me.

    But I do know 8 gb > 6 gb > 4 gb.

    That's where my answer was coming from :).
     
  6. blacklight186

    blacklight186 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks guys...

    Do you think games in the future (1-2 years) need 8 GB of RAM... or will the Nvidia 460M prove to be the bottleneck first?
     
  7. JVRR

    JVRR Notebook Evangelist

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    The GPU is more likely to bottleneck. To be completely honest, my desktop is by no means stellar, but I have found my 4gb to have staying power as far as gaming and multi-tasking goes.
     
  8. blacklight186

    blacklight186 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks JVRR :)...

    @MidnightSun - you're right regarding the RAM channels... I just now checked Intel website... Only the Desktop i7-9xx series have 3 channels of memory... even the mobile i7-9xx series have only 2 channels of memory... Thanks..
     
  9. Apollo13

    Apollo13 Vista Downgrader

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    $20 is an unusually good price for that upgrade; usually the manufacturers rip you off on RAM upgrades but that is actually a legitimately good price that you'll have to hunt for to match aftermarket. But 8 GB certainly isn't needed. I agree with JVRR; 4 GB has a lot of staying power, and 6 GB almost certainly will be enough. If you weren't over budget I'd say go for it, but seeing as you are over budget, it certainly isn't necessary, and if you do need 8 GB in a year or two, you may be able to match that price aftermarket without too much difficulty.
     
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