RAM 16 GB? 32 GB or more?

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

  1. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    I've been using a Dell Latitude E7440 for work (Core i7-4600U processor) for six years now. It always had 8GB of RAM (2x 4GB DDR3L-1600) and I upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro about two years ago. I generally haven't had issues with system responsiveness, although I always knew it probably should have more RAM for my workflow. (MS Outlook/OneNote always open, MS Teams running, MS Visual Studio, running four .NET-based websites locally (development - no outside access), and a local MS SQL Server instance with multiple databases for the websites.) RAM usage hovered around 4.5-5GB according to the Task Manager.

    After reading this thread, I decided to max out the RAM to 16GB with a 2x 8GB kit.

    Big difference. I didn't realize there was some delay even switching between browser tabs before, and opening minimized windows. RAM usage is now around 6.5-7GB. It's like Windows can breathe more freely now.

    Given how cheap RAM has become, it's an easy decision to get as much RAM as you can. (It does make me slightly ill when I see computer makers/vendors charging hundreds of dollars for 16GB+, even more so for systems with soldered memory, forcing you to get a whole bunch of other upgrades when you really just want the RAM upgrade.)

    Next system will have 32GB+ for sure.

    Charles
     
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  2. jaybee83

    jaybee83 Biotech-Doc

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    someone just had a RAM epiphany it seems haha ;) good call on the upgrade at this time with low RAM prices!

    Sent from my Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Oxygen) using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    With my Acer Helios 500 I learned also that Windows tends to use about 8GB RAM easily especially with different tabs opened in Chrome... so having 16GB from the get go was good.
    Now that that machine is no longer available to me, I have to use an old E5420 until I can get a new laptop.

    I just installed SSD 500GB in it, CPU (2720QM) will come tomorrow or wednesday and I will of course upgrade the RAM too to 16GB (currently have 8GB in it as it came with 3GB originally and it struggled with that - so I pulled 8GB from a friends non functional laptop as a temporary use until I get 16GB).

    8GB seems to be good for Windows 10 to get by as it should without hangups... but 16GB definitely gives it more breathing room.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    My client (with the i5-8250 16GB system in the first post) came by late yesterday when I had a 32GB SoDIMM on my desk. He couldn't resist wanting to test it. :)

    I disabled the hibernation file, shut down the system and swapped the 32GB SoDIMM for the 16GB that was installed. Note that on paper, the 32GB SoDIMM was 'slower'...

    See (16GB SoDIMM):
    https://www.amazon.com/HyperX-2666M...keywords=hx426s15ib2/16&qid=1573625215&sr=8-2

    See (32GB SoDIMM):
    https://www.newegg.com/corsair-32gb...2GB DDR&cm_re=32GB_DDR-_-20-236-594-_-Product

    I reenabled the hibernation file for my client and then proceeded to update his installation to Windows 10 1909. After that finished, I ran Automatic Maintenance manually and then let him have his computer back after I had also defragged the 2TB drive (two partitions) using PerfectDisk Professional v14. All the above took less than 35 minutes with this system @ 32GB RAM, while we were shooting the breeze... :)

    Using it initially, the client could not tell if the system was a more responsive, but he didn't think it was worth the $$$ for double the RAM. However, after using the computer for most of the evening, he later called me to let me know the RAM was 'his' now. :)

    I was actually surprised that technically, single-channel RAM @ 32GB capacity made a difference over an already performant (and otherwise identical) 16GB set up.

    When I was doing the Windows, Office and other updates simultaneously, I also launched every single program he has installed and noticed that the system did not lag at all. It also showed it had almost 5GB free RAM too after I had 4 browsers open and a dozen tabs in each too. ;)

    The M.2 Adata was working hard, but it too didn't fall apart in any noticeable way. Very impressed.

    Especially after defragging the drive, the notebook went to sleep, hibernated and woke up very, very fast. When sleeping, you couldn't open the screen fast enough to see it 'sleeping' and from a hibernated 'off', it was at the desktop in less than 3 seconds. That is what 32GB RAM, a 2TB modern SSD OP'd by ~25%, and a clean Windows 10 install will get you. ;)

    This is definitely a system I could be productive with myself. Now, just give me one with a ThinkPad keyboard, a TrackPoint and Windows 10 Pro. And please don't let anything be soldered down! :)
     
  5. Chastity

    Chastity Company Representative

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    @tilleroftheearth Imagine the performance boost if he had two and ran Dual Channel!
     
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  6. Casowen

    Casowen Notebook Consultant

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    What browser uses extensive amounts of ram?

    In regards to performance, one easy way to also bolster that is to disable memory compression. Here is an article on it, and here is how to disable it in powershell directly.

    Disable-MMAgent -mc

    Not recommended if you frequently use the maximum amount of ram you have. That doesnt matter though in regards to ram system cache, and generally wouldnt matter anyway since page file acts as ram.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  7. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    I was taking a jab at chrome since it uses more resources than just about any browser I've ever used. I still don't see the specific need for 32gb in my use case (except for my server). I'm willing to bet most of these cases where typical users go from 16gb to 32gb and notice a huge difference is all placebo... I don't notice any difference and I went from 32gb down to 16gb.
     
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  8. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    I got over 16GB daily in my Ranger playing certain games. Typically hovering around 20-25GB depending on whats running in addition to it.
     
  9. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    I wholeheartedly agree that if 32GB+ RAM capacity is really not put in use in specific workflows/workloads for an individual, it shouldn't be bought/installed. Even if the O/S (Win10x64Pro) can and does take advantage of it.

    However, just like the 16GB RAM capacity minimum I was recommending a decade ago, it won't go to waste either if you keep your system long enough (and/or can move those SODIMMs to a new system too).

    My client called back this morning and told me that his battery life was ~15 to 30 minutes shorter on each charge. But the amount of work (productivity) he can do with the 32GB vs. the 16GB RAM previously more than makes up for few minutes less. What he was really excited about was having all his programs and browser/tabs open and the platform was using less power than when with 16GB RAM he would just be using the browser and 1 or 2 tabs at a time (to max out the battery). :)

    We have come around full circle again with the SSD capacity and the RAM capacity allowing us to use Hibernate on our systems once more. ~3 to 5 seconds to full productivity is real progress. And the measly 13.7GB needed for the hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys and the swapfile.sys be damned on a 2TB SSD!

    For the small %age in additional cost over what a complete platform costs, maxing out the RAM and putting in the biggest SSD you can afford is an easy way to future-proof your system and allow you to be very selective when it is time to upgrade in 4 to 7 years down the road. ;)
     
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