RAM: how much is too much?

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#1 Posted by Heylook (235 posts) -

Hello GB Community,

I recently built myself a pretty decent PC (i5 3.4ghz, asus p8p67-m pro, asus gtx 570, 8g ddr3 1600mhz ram) and although I am quite pleased with the performance (50-60fps in BF3 max settings and I'm curious how it holds out with Max Payne 3) I am curious to see what type of performance increase I can gain by adding another 8 gigs of ram. And would it be substantial?

I have also thought of getting another 570 to SLI however with my MB I only have 1 16x, 1 8x, and 1 4x pci-e slots thus meaning I could only run the cards in 8x. However, from what I've read I shouldn't notice too much of a difference (maybe about a 3%-5% drop from 16x).

Anyway, my question to you is should I bother with another 8 gigs of ram or save up another $300 to SLI another 570.

Regards,

Dude.

#2 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

BF3 is a 32 bit application, for example, and only ever utilizes up to 2gb of ram. Typically speaking, you should be fine on 8 gb (unless you use production software, and even then...).

#3 Posted by Korwin (2839 posts) -

Technically you can never have too much ram, ram is awesome. That being said you'll get by just fine on 8GB. Hopefully thing change it up a bit over the next 12 months, with Windows 8 going 64bit primary distro (no more stupid vendor prepackaging 32bit version) and EA dumping 32-bit support for Frostbite 2 games we might finally see some progress.

#4 Posted by Heylook (235 posts) -

Awesome, that's kind of what I was thinking but RAM is so cheap so I was like what the heck. I guess I should have added I do a lot of music production and that can be pretty RAM dependent. however the 8 gb has served fine for now.

I think I'll just save for other fancy things.

#5 Posted by bybeach (4775 posts) -

I do 12 gig but it is triple channel, so that is why I have what I do..which is nice really for the headroom

#6 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@clstirens said:

BF3 is a 32 bit application, for example, and only ever utilizes up to 2gb of ram. Typically speaking, you should be fine on 8 gb (unless you use production software, and even then...).

32bit applications can use more than 2GB of RAM. It all depends how the program was designed and what flags/extensions are set at compile time or later.

#7 Posted by shinboy630 (1134 posts) -

8gb should be more than enough, especially for a gaming machine. Just keep in mind that the more RAM you have, the more Windows uses. It doesn't really effect anything once you get in the 8-12gb range, but it's just a good little tidbit to know.

#8 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

Ever notice how people with great PCs don't want to say it.

#9 Posted by CaLe (3945 posts) -

I sometimes use 70-80% of 8GB when I'm going balls to the wall.. so I would say 16GB, for now, is almost overkill.

Balls to the wall.

#10 Posted by Korwin (2839 posts) -

@nrh79: Say what, that they have great PC's?

#11 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

8-12 is all you will ever really need.

#12 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

@Korwin: Yeah, they post specs for a PC that most people would love to have, but they come off as humble about it. I don't necessarily blame them.

#13 Posted by CaLe (3945 posts) -

@nrh79 said:

@Korwin: Yeah, they post specs for a PC that most people would love to have, but they come off as humble about it. I don't necessarily blame them.

The PC outlined in the topic is just a mid-range PC really. It wouldn't be that expensive to build.. It's a lot cheaper than it used to be to build a PC that can play anything.

#14 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

@CaLe said:

@nrh79 said:

@Korwin: Yeah, they post specs for a PC that most people would love to have, but they come off as humble about it. I don't necessarily blame them.

The PC outlined in the topic is just a mid-range PC really. It wouldn't be that expensive to build.. It's a lot cheaper than it used to be to build a PC that can play anything.

I build PCs and sell them. This is what I'm talking about. Most people would love to have that PC.

#15 Posted by ch3burashka (5038 posts) -

From what I understand, 4GB is the minimum for gamers (2 for Windows, 2 for games) but people are opting for 8 now, while A/V producers use as much as their motherboard can handle.

#16 Posted by DillonWerner (1526 posts) -

NEVER!!!!!!!!!!

#17 Posted by SockemJetpack (408 posts) -

My 386 has a turbo button. I push it when I wanna go FAST!

#18 Posted by Skytylz (4031 posts) -

I have 16gb of ram. Why? Because I can and it was dirt cheap.

#19 Edited by big_jon (5723 posts) -

16gbs seems overkill.

#20 Posted by Korwin (2839 posts) -

@nrh79 said:

@CaLe said:

@nrh79 said:

@Korwin: Yeah, they post specs for a PC that most people would love to have, but they come off as humble about it. I don't necessarily blame them.

The PC outlined in the topic is just a mid-range PC really. It wouldn't be that expensive to build.. It's a lot cheaper than it used to be to build a PC that can play anything.

I build PCs and sell them. This is what I'm talking about. Most people would love to have that PC.

... I probably shouldn't talk about the PC I built just for kicks so I didn't have to move my main box from the office to the lounge room.

In all seriousness through PC people tend to get flamed by a lot of the not haves when they get all boasty (and really, no one likes a bragger), on learns to temper that behaviour over time.

#21 Edited by TMBaker (230 posts) -

Just something to keep in mind:

For the time being 8GB will do you fine. If your case runs cool, you don't mind the extra noise and most of all you have extra PSU power to run another card then for sure grab another 570.

#22 Posted by Robinson (170 posts) -

@Heylook: as someone who owns exactly what you want to build (sli 570s), its okay, but not as great as you think it will be. In hindsight, I wish I'd taken the money and gotten a better monitor or SSD, maybe even a sound-card (i believe in 'em).

#23 Edited by benspyda (2032 posts) -

@TMBaker said:

Just something to keep in mind:

For the time being 8GB will do you fine. If your case runs cool, you don't mind the extra noise and most of all you have extra PSU power to run another card then for sure grab another 570.

Glad I've got 64bit windows 7 professional.

#24 Posted by AuthenticM (3707 posts) -

For the time being, I'd say anything over 8GB is too much.

#25 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow said:

@clstirens said:

BF3 is a 32 bit application, for example, and only ever utilizes up to 2gb of ram. Typically speaking, you should be fine on 8 gb (unless you use production software, and even then...).

32bit applications can use more than 2GB of RAM. It all depends how the program was designed and what flags/extensions are set at compile time or later.

Still yet, I think 3 is the max on a 32bit operating system when it comes to a single program. (4 being the maximum memory addressable in a 32 bit operating system). Either way, is 8 not adequate?

#26 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

You can never have too much RAM! BUY MORE! ALWAYS BE BUYING RAM!

#27 Posted by l4wd0g (1932 posts) -

You only need as much RAM as you're going use. If you only need 4 gigs anything over that is too much and a waste of money.

#28 Posted by Heylook (235 posts) -

@nrh79: I'm not trying to come off as a douche but if you got that from the tone of my post whateves man. I love my pc and I am not complaining, I can run every game on max and always have a nice frame rate.

Just wanted some input on ram bro.

#29 Posted by Cirdain (3049 posts) -

@Heylook:

6-8GB - Is sorta the most you need for gaming. Unless you're setup is ridiculous but most people have more cos' you can get some great deals constantly with ram.

8GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses Photoshop a lot.

16GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) quite a bit.

16-18GB - Is the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) a lot.

32GB+ - For any large-scale 3D modelling software or some crazy maths stuff.

(I'm guessing all of this)

#30 Posted by Village_Guy (2543 posts) -

8GB should be fine for gaming purposes for now, but I would say that it is better to have 16GB - more than that seems a bit overkill for most stuff.

You could also check out this site (note that results may be different than expected) -> http://www.downloadmoreram.com/

#31 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

>64

#32 Posted by Jayesslee (105 posts) -

I think 8 should be a good number for a couple years.

#33 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

I have 16 gigs of DDR3, it's unnessesery. i barely ever use more than 6.

Online
#34 Posted by Raven10 (1763 posts) -

I have only 6 GB and I never have hit a wall with it. I've never seen a game recommend more than 4 GB. You still have more than 10x what consoles have. Like others have said, unless you are doing video production or using some very advanced scientific programs 8 GB is more than enough. Ask again in a couple years when next gen consoles have hit and the answer may be different, but for now 8 GB is fine.

#35 Posted by alternate (2694 posts) -

I'm packing 8 and never have any complaints. Wait, what are we talking about?

#36 Posted by M_Shini (551 posts) -

One day in the future there will be games were you will need 8-16Gb of ram, maybe not for a bunch of years, but hay it will happen eventually, depends if your deciding to build or upgrade to a newer rig 3 or 5 years down the line or if you eanna super future proof it now, if you got money to just burn up you don't need hay go for it, i will prob do the same in a year or two when i get myself a newer rig.

#37 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

To me, up to 16GB is more than enough for a lot of tasks.

#38 Posted by GS_Dan (1402 posts) -

@Cirdain said:

@Heylook:

6-8GB - Is sorta the most you need for gaming. Unless you're setup is ridiculous but most people have more cos' you can get some great deals constantly with ram.

8GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses Photoshop a lot.

16GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) quite a bit.

16-18GB - Is the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) a lot.

32GB+ - For any large-scale 3D modelling software or some crazy maths stuff.

(I'm guessing all of this)

You don't need 8GB for Photoshop unless you're editing some crazy-ass files.

#39 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

24GB of RAM (all 6 slots filled, maximum amount supported by my Motherboard revision) in my primary computer. It's all about quality of life, it's changed the way I use that computer. Typically I close applications because they are misbehaving or because it's becoming a bother navigating to the application I want to use.

I can have Graphical Editors, Developer tools, Diablo 3 and Firefox/Chrome with hundreds of tabs running at the same time without really noticing anything.

I used 6GB previously, before I upgraded, and I was really struggling.

Anyway, system memory is dirt cheap. *shrug*

#40 Posted by TobbRobb (4592 posts) -

More than 8 is for crazy people. Getting more won't raise your framerate, it'll just allow you to have more crap running at the same time.

#41 Posted by Cirdain (3049 posts) -
@GS_Dan

@Cirdain said:

@Heylook:

6-8GB - Is sorta the most you need for gaming. Unless you're setup is ridiculous but most people have more cos' you can get some great deals constantly with ram.

8GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses Photoshop a lot.

16GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) quite a bit.

16-18GB - Is the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) a lot.

32GB+ - For any large-scale 3D modelling software or some crazy maths stuff.

(I'm guessing all of this)

You don't need 8GB for Photoshop unless you're editing some crazy-ass files.

Yeah, there are a selection of highly used, ram intensive filters and effects that would just crash out of its process if you don't have enough ram.

For day to day photoshop though you don't need 8gb.
#42 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

@TobbRobb said:

More than 8 is for crazy people. Getting more won't raise your framerate, it'll just allow you to have more crap running at the same time.

This.

Either get a second 570, or like someone else suggested, maybe invest a new monitor or something (unless you already have something great). Or you know... just save the money.

#43 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@clstirens said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@clstirens said:

BF3 is a 32 bit application, for example, and only ever utilizes up to 2gb of ram. Typically speaking, you should be fine on 8 gb (unless you use production software, and even then...).

32bit applications can use more than 2GB of RAM. It all depends how the program was designed and what flags/extensions are set at compile time or later.

Still yet, I think 3 is the max on a 32bit operating system when it comes to a single program. (4 being the maximum memory addressable in a 32 bit operating system). Either way, is 8 not adequate?

Apps can use more than 2GB. The LBA switch is just one way that's possible (by telling the Task Manager that certain exes can address more than 2GB0 but there are others I have 8 and and even that can be taxed if I run a VM and a game at the same time. BF3 can use substantially more than 2GB (sometimes around 4) on the larger maps in ultra detail.

#44 Posted by llamaegg (225 posts) -

@Cirdain said:

@GS_Dan

@Cirdain said:

@Heylook:

6-8GB - Is sorta the most you need for gaming. Unless you're setup is ridiculous but most people have more cos' you can get some great deals constantly with ram.

8GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses Photoshop a lot.

16GB - Is sorta the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) quite a bit.

16-18GB - Is the average you need for someone you uses After Effects (video editing) a lot.

32GB+ - For any large-scale 3D modelling software or some crazy maths stuff.

(I'm guessing all of this)

You don't need 8GB for Photoshop unless you're editing some crazy-ass files.

Yeah, there are a selection of highly used, ram intensive filters and effects that would just crash out of its process if you don't have enough ram. For day to day photoshop though you don't need 8gb.

It also depends on how large of files you're working with. When my buddy had 8GB's their was times he was maxing it on and that's without fancy filters, just large file with tones of layers.

#45 Edited by mrcraggle (1895 posts) -

@Skytylz: Where do you get it from? I always read comments of people on the internet saying how cheap their RAM is but I can never find dirt cheap prices. On Scan it'll cost nearly £80 (not sure about shipping) for 16GB. For 32GB of RAM it'l cost over £200.

@Cirdain: You need a hell of a lot of RAM in Photoshop if you're working with incredibly large files or stitching photos together. Dell sell a computer that has 128GB of RAM I believe it was which starts at $20,000. A photographer stitched the worlds largest panoramic using it and it too over 24 hours of constant processing until it was complete.

#46 Posted by fini_fly (767 posts) -

You can always add a solid state swap drive if you want more.

#47 Posted by Heylook (235 posts) -

ITS FINAL IM GETTING A SSD!!!!

I could use a second 24 inch asus monitor but I've got one right now and another 19inch acer P.O.S.

I've only got a 500gb drive at the moment so throwing a SSD into the mix for my apps would make things even more smooth :D

Also, I may in fact bump up to 16gigs mainly just for production purposes (as I say once again I am an audio engineer and reverb plug-ins eat ram like its nutella (shit is delish))

AND FINALLY THANK YOU GB COMMUNITY FOR YOUR INPUT

ILY BRO

#48 Posted by BonOrbitz (2182 posts) -

@Heylook said:

ITS FINAL IM GETTING A SSD!!!!

I could use a second 24 inch asus monitor but I've got one right now and another 19inch acer P.O.S.

I've only got a 500gb drive at the moment so throwing a SSD into the mix for my apps would make things even more smooth :D

Also, I may in fact bump up to 16gigs mainly just for production purposes (as I say once again I am an audio engineer and reverb plug-ins eat ram like its nutella (shit is delish))

AND FINALLY THANK YOU GB COMMUNITY FOR YOUR INPUT

ILY BRO

When I built my rig last Oct, I used a 120gb SSD as the drive for my OS and a few programs with a 1TB drive for my games, movies, music, etc. I love how fast the SSD is and highly recommend it. Prices are dropping on SSDs so you might want to get more than 120gbs. I'd also recommend a 2TB drive instead of a 1TB.

#49 Edited by Jayzilla (2559 posts) -

ATM you can play whatever you want with 4GB of RAM. If you want room for performance growth over the next 2 years, get 8GB of RAM if it is for gaming specifically. Any more than that for just gaming will not do a single thing for your experience. Most games can not utilize it because they aren't built to utilize it.

#50 Posted by Bollard (5403 posts) -

@Heylook: Wait, you have 8GB already, and you want to buy more instead of another graphics card? You're mad. I've yet to see a game use more than 4GB of mine. Ever. Unless you're running games and about 142 other programs at the same time you won't need any more RAM any time soon. I have 6GB and have never had any issues.

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