RAM 16 GB? 32 GB or more?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by tilleroftheearth, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    See:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/opinion/32gb-ram-is-my-minimum

    Curious what others are using on their most basic platform(s).

    My minimum is 32GB (Dual Channel) for any system I use personally to be optimally productive on. Not just any 32GB SODIMMs either; I install and use the latest available (see below for why).

    I recently upgraded a client's i5-8250U based two-year-old Single Channel system from 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM to 16GB DDR4 2667MHz RAM and saw an immediate improvement in responsiveness. Even with the new SODIMM running at the same 2400MHz speed (platform limit).

    I then proceeded with a clean install of Win10 1903 to an Adata XPG SX8200 Pro 2TB M.2 SSD OP'd by only ~25% (400GB unused capacity) and found a further performance boost from the 1TB EVO 960 Pro that was previously in use.

    Not just in performance and responsiveness (in some things; up to 2 times faster than the 960 Pro), but also in efficiency too with much-improved battery life (up to 3x) from when the EVO 960 1TB M.2 SSD was powering the platform previously.

    (If maximum battery life with highest performance is needed, the XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB or 2TB SSD's are highly recommended. If maximum battery life with a more modest performance expectation is required, the Intel 660P (and probably the soon to be released 665p) 1TB or 2TB drives can't be beat, especially on absolute cost.

    I used this system before I gave it back for a few days in its new configuration and was actually most impressed with it. The 16GB RAM would be limiting for me if I had installed all my productivity software, but running Office, MS Edge Chromium Developers edition, Adobe Acrobat Pro and other miscellaneous software simultaneously, the system remained fast and responsive enough.

    With each rebuild I do (and I do many each year for myself and others) I test the effectiveness of having a pagefile. With 32GB or more, I felt that the latest Win10 build (1903) benefitted with a pagefile of at least 400MB or more (the max I use is 1GB or 1024MB's for all my systems currently, regardless of how much RAM is installed). This is in regards to 'responsiveness', not really a pure productivity boost.

    On this system that is limited to 16GB Single Channel, enabling the pagefile at a 1024MB min/max size showed substantial improvement in the responsiveness and also how fast the system 'settled down' after it was booted too.

    Before doing the hardware and O/S clean install and before I had installed the newest 16GB SODIMM available on the old setup, I also tested for the effect a pagefile would have on the old setup. There was a noticeable difference, but not as pronounced as when the system was 'clean installed' though.

    The setup (clean install O/S, update firmware, drivers and software) and hardware upgrades (RAM, SSD, WiFi AX200) I performed are more than enough to bring this system into 2020 and beyond without any excuses.

    With 32GB+ Dual Channel RAM? I would be using that system myself as my main 'digital notebook' that would keep me connected and productive each day.

    What are you using for your everyday needs? Is 16GB enough for you or have you too moved to 32GB or more? How many hours a day are you using your systems for? For myself, 16 hours a day is a normal/short day on my 'digital notebook' (not counting any desktop workstations I use concurrently too) and having maximum responsiveness on my systems is not an option; it is a requirement.
     
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  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    16GB is more than enough for my daily tasks.

    Though on my ranger I run 32GB and only use about 22-24GB of ram whilst playing monster hunter: world.
     
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  3. Chastity

    Chastity Company Representative

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    I recently upgraded my PowerSpec 1710 (Clevo PA70HS-G) from the GSkill DDR4-2400 16GB (2x8GB) Dual Channel to Kingston HyperX DDR4-2933 32GB Dual Channel (2x16GB), and I'm very happy with the performance boost. System is snappier and more responsive, I turned off the pagefile w/o any issues thus far, and gaming performance better on the load lag and min fps performance. OS is running off a 960 EVO 500GB, with an Intel 660p 2TB for game installs. There's also an 860 EVO SATA 1TB for storage replacing the HGST 1TB HDD that came with it.

    Memory kit was $143 from Amazon. Using it's XMP profile for 2933 settings, which are tweaked slightly vs defaults. I haven't started tightening the settings of the 17-19-19-39 profile. (Micron memory chips) AIDA64 reports:

    CPU CPU Clock Motherboard Chipset Memory CL-RCD-RP-RAS Read Speed
    4x Core i7-7700HQ HT 3200 MHz Clevo 1710 HM175 Ext. Dual DDR4-2933 17-19-19-39 CR2 34667 MB/s
    CPU CPU Clock Motherboard Chipset Memory CL-RCD-RP-RAS Write Speed
    4x Core i7-7700HQ HT 3200 MHz Clevo 1710 HM175 Ext. Dual DDR4-2933 17-19-19-39 CR2 42065 MB/s
     
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  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    See:
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-ryzen-3000-best-memory-timings,6310-2.html

    The improvements with better RAM, even when clocked down, is impressive.

    My question to the forum here...

    Is the following SODIMM a single or a two Rank module (or more)?

    See:
    https://www.amazon.com/HyperX-2666MHz-260-Pin-HX426S15IB2-16/dp/B01N7K4DV4

    See:
    https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX426S15IB2_16.pdf
     
  5. Che0063

    Che0063 Notebook Consultant

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    4GB of DDR4 @ 2133MHz single channel is fine for my parents. And they're the kind of people who drag windows down to the bottom instead of minimizing, and a) forget that it's down there or b) can't drag it up again. So they repeatedly open up new instances of programs. I'm not sure their Pentium G4560 could benefit more.

    On my laptop, 8GB of LPDDR3 1866Mhz Dual Channel at 14 17 17 40 is fine. I often have multiple edge/chrome tabs open, word, outlook etc open. The limiting factor for me is the m3-7Y30.

    IMO I think my m3-7Y30 is going to be capable until well after 2021 when I graduate from my school. It regularly hits 100% when opening programs, but does so at full turboboost with 3x the power limit.
     
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  6. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    I guess that there are still many people that would find even 1GB RAM based Win10 platforms 'fast enough' and for some of these maybe it would still be 'too fast'. :)

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't get any benefit from a 16GB+ setup. ;)

    If nothing else; just in the longevity of the device(s) they buy today and how relevant they will stay into the future.

    With a $600 minimum price for an entry-level platform, adding 5% to 10% more in RAM is worth more than the throwaway extended 'protection' packages everyone seems to buy without thought these days.

    @Che0063, your notebook CPU supports up to 16GB LPDDR3 (as I'm sure you know). What SSD are you using in it? With 16GB RAM and a 1TB or 2TB, Adata XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 installed, someone should be able to keep using this system almost into 2030. :)

    I would have upgraded that system to those specs, 'yesterday'. :) Better to do it in the early days of ownership rather than at the end when you will eventually move on to something better, that way, you can get the full power and benefit of the platform you married into for the longest time possible.

    When I make recommendations here, I am not troubled with the bottom 95% of users. I am talking to the top %age of people that want to get the maximum performance possible at the fairest $$$$ over the longest time period. ;)

    And don't forget that attempting to test a system/workflow with less than the maximum RAM capacity installed/supported on that platform is not a valid test (except for the simplest of scenarios). Windows works differently with 4/8/16/32/64+ GB's of RAM installed and available. I suggest you find a store with a good return policy and test 16GB for yourself and see if you don't find yourself more productive, and your platform more optimized in other ways too (i.e. battery life).
     
  7. Che0063

    Che0063 Notebook Consultant

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    The 8250U was paired with the PM961 (OEM Evo 960). I'm inclined to think that your boost from battery life was an updated driver which enabled deeper C-states. I achieved well over 10hrs on that 60Whr battery.

    My m3-7Y30 is paired with a 128gb Transcend 420S Dram-LESS SSD. It was 38AUD compared to at least 60AUD for the other 2242 m.2 drives (the only ones that would fit). The biggest factor now to improving my battery life is enabling DevSleep, which is impossible because my motherboard does not have the hardare wiring support for it. 9-10hrs on my 37Whr battery is good enough though.

    Fears over these DRAM-less SSD are exaggerated. It keeps up with massive driver installs as well as archive extraction fine. It didn't slow down during the WIndows 10 install either. If you are the kind of person who is going to be doing massive file writes, you 1. should not be going for these TLC drives and 2. shouldn't be trying to save money on SSDs. DRAM-less SSDs are fine for 95% of the users.

    Oh, and the RAM is soldered on... Yeah...
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  8. Chastity

    Chastity Company Representative

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  9. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Thank you. So because it's dual Rank RAM is why I saw a difference, even though the old and the new SODIMMs were both 16GB's.

    The responsiveness increase is well worth it, IMO (even if switching 16GB single Rank for 16GB Dual Rank, Single Channel).

     
  10. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 Notebook Evangelist

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    When I picked up this Clevo I knew it has a single 16GB stick of 2666. I purchased another 16GB 2666 and threw it in first thing. Both sticks are dual rank, although one is Hynix and one is Micron. I've been happy with 32GB but honestly for my use it is overkill.

    Despite the chips not being matched they both overclocked to 3000MHz and took slightly tighter timings than factory. They've been solid for months, but will not go higher than 3000MHz.

    I use my PC only 3-4 hours a day. Possibly more on my day off, especially if I am 3D printing.
     
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