To those building a new rig...4 gigs of RAM isn't enough!!

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#1 Posted by ninjakiller (3405 posts) -

I know the mantra of the GB PC board has always been "four gigs of RAM is plenty!" well, let me tell you, that's bullshit! I've had my rig that I built a little over a year with 4 gigs in it, and after getting tired of noticeable lag in application switching, and a general lack in performance, I broke down and bought 16 gig, the max my mobo can support. WHAT A FREAKING DIFFERENCE!! All in all it cost me $110, and now my computer is blazing fast again.

If you're building a rig kick anyone in the nuts who tells you "4 gigs is plenty" and throw the max in that puppy.

#2 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -

I haven't had any slowdown or lag issues with my 4 gigs. Did you run memtest on your 4gb pair to make sure there weren't errors on them? Because that's what it sounds like to me.

#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

Well it is plenty for like 99% of the PC games out there.

It's a cheap upgrade though, but no one needs more than 8 unless you're doing a lot of photoshop, 3D design or video editing.

#4 Posted by ninjakiller (3405 posts) -

@RsistncE: Yes, it checked out. The problem was my memory overhead which clocked in at 2.5gb during normal usage.

#5 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Four GB should be plenty unless you're switching between a few heavily memory-intensive applications.

RsistncE might be onto something with your initial 4GB throwing errors in MemTest. Also, did you have tow 2GB sticks initially? If so the second stick may not have been in the correct channel and you were only getting 2GB instead of 4.

I recently upgraded from 2GB to 8GB and I haven't noticed THAT much of a difference aside from load times ingame.

#6 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

RAM is so cheap these days i see no reason to put any less than 8GB in.

unless your not running win7 64. in which case anything over 4 is pointless

#7 Posted by stalefishies (330 posts) -

This is why PCs get a bad rap for being super expensive. Yeah, the answer can be to just buy things with more numbers, but there's a huge benefit to sitting down and thinking about what's actually causing your PC to go too slow. And if you've already got 4GB of RAM, then I doubt quadrupling it is going to directly help, it's just going to offset whatever existing problem you had. You don't need to spend massive amounts of money to get a good rig.

But if it works for you, and if you're happy paying for the convenience of not having to work out what's wrong, then whatever.

#8 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I think 4 gigs is still enough, not necessarily plenty.

I don't do crazy multitasking but I think the slightly faster loading times etc. were worth the investment and there are cases where you'd want all that RAM, I personally couldn't run a Call of Pripyat mod with just 4. Whatever suits you.

#9 Posted by ericdrum (404 posts) -

When I'm playing large conquest BF3 maps, I've noticed my memory usage going up over 6 gigs.

#10 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I got six gigs and see no reason to go above that.

#11 Posted by BonOrbitz (2175 posts) -

In researching building a PC for the past 6 months, I've gotten the impression that 8 gigs should be the minimum, if not the standard, amount.

#12 Posted by Matoya (416 posts) -

You added 66% extra Ram and got perfomance increase.

Stop the fucking presses

#13 Posted by AndrewB (7510 posts) -

Still very much "enough" for me. It's not like stuffing more RAM than you need into a machine is the magic solution for everything. Going from 2 to 8 gigs in this laptop netted me next to nothing.

#14 Edited by Adamsons (877 posts) -
@sins_of_mosin said:

I got six gigs and see no reason to go above that.

This. 
 
@XII_Sniper said:

no one needs more than 8 unless you're doing a lot of photoshop, 3D design or video editing.

And pretty much this - Its more of a bottleneck than anything.
#15 Posted by Dread612 (167 posts) -

8 GB is plenty for gaming. 16 GB is overkill. Load up all your normal applications and look in task manager at your free memory.

Ram is only useful if it's being used. If you have 11-12GB still there free, then it's being wasted.

#16 Posted by Strife777 (1503 posts) -

4 GB is fine for gaming. 8 GB is better for multiple applications like photoshop or video/audio editing. 16 GB is mostly overkill, but it's a good way to be ''safe'' about it.

I have 8 GB and it's completely fine for anything.

RAM really isn't expensive anyway, so I guess it's better to go a bit over what you need.

#17 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

I have 8 and it's done me well so far.

#18 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

You can fill current mobos for under $100. It's good to see that PCs are finally catering to large sets of RAM, too (my mac had 32gb of RAM almost four years ago). When building a new machine, there's no point in not just jamming it full of as much as it'll hold.

Yeah, you might not see any reason for it. Until you decide that you need to host a couple VMs. Maybe one that you use specifically to VPN into work. And maybe use one or two to do a little development or testing on. And then have your browser and other apps running on. And . . . be fully capable of running your game, without having to go around and shut everything down.

Unless you're running into actual resource issues, having a ton of RAM isn't going to necessarily solve anything, but it will give you the capacity to do a lot more if and when you need to (and aside from the above, if you ever do anything like encoding video or audio or compiling code, you'll really find it handy to have).

It's just insane how cheap RAM has become, though. It seems like just yesterday, I was paying more than a hundred bucks for a couple 256mb sticks.

#19 Posted by excido (199 posts) -

I have 6GB on my desktop and 8GB in my laptop, my desktop has zero issues with 6GB and I still leave tons of apps running in the background while I game. but if you can easily afford it then sure throw in a few more sticks.

#20 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

I think 8GB is the sweet spot for a Gaming PC, Mine haz 16GB and it feel so manly.

#21 Posted by monkeyroach (175 posts) -

4 gigs is enough, but if you are building a new pc right now, there is no reason not to go 8gigs because how cheap ram is.

#22 Posted by RavenholmDX (174 posts) -

I have 4GB, and plan to upgrade to 8GB, but I've never really had a need to.

#23 Posted by Zelyre (1129 posts) -

4 gigs is enough. I'd recommend 8, just because the price difference is three coffees at Starbucks, give or take a marble bread slice.

I can't think of a single game that has a 64 bit executable. Maybe the first Crysis? There's a third party executable for New Vegas/Fallout that lets it address more than 1 gigs of ram, for modding.

But yeah, unless you're doing some heavy duty work or are running virtual machines, never close Firefox for months at a time, or love spyware, four gigs is enough. The eight's there for the day you need 20 tabs in Firefox open while you're running OSX and WinXP in virtual machines.

#24 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

8 is the new 4.

#25 Posted by Kyle (2323 posts) -

There's no mysterious science behind RAM. It's just storage space. Like a room. You can see how full it is at any given moment. If it's almost full, you need more. If it isn't, you don't.

4 is plenty for the vast majority of people, and no reasonable consumer needs more than 8 right now.

#26 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

Sounds like you need to do a clean reinstall of Windows. Over time Windows will slow down as more things are installed and uninstalled. It's the reason why many people do a reinstall every year if not every 6 months.

#27 Posted by JP_Russell (1171 posts) -

Technically speaking, unless you're using heavily memory intensive applications a lot, 16GB should generally increase the time it takes for things to load over something like 8GB, because you're doubling the amount of memory that the north bridge has to look through (since it goes through all memory whether it's allocated or not) to find the data that the processor is requesting, and most games and other applications aren't going to fill up 8GB enough to offset that. Just be aware of that inherent, small hazard of upgrading to exorbitant amounts of RAM.

#28 Posted by Th3_James (2576 posts) -

8 is the perfect amount, I have 16.

#29 Posted by Brendan (7696 posts) -

@stalefishies said:

This is why PCs get a bad rap for being super expensive. Yeah, the answer can be to just buy things with more numbers, but there's a huge benefit to sitting down and thinking about what's actually causing your PC to go too slow. And if you've already got 4GB of RAM, then I doubt quadrupling it is going to directly help, it's just going to offset whatever existing problem you had. You don't need to spend massive amounts of money to get a good rig.But if it works for you, and if you're happy paying for the convenience of not having to work out what's wrong, then whatever.

It's like going to a car mechanic instead of doing your own car repair. I'm sure computer stuff seems very natural to you in a way that is mystifying to others. My Mom struggles getting to her email and it confounds me. Some people can't just sit down and think about the problem the way you can. Not everyone might know that the problem with their engine is that their valve timing is just off, or something. If you consider computer knowledge on that level to be specialty knowledge then there's nothing wrong with simply paying your way out of it.

#30 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@DonPixel said:

I think 8GB is the sweet spot for a Gaming PC, Mine haz 16GB and it feel so manly.

It's not a sweet spot, it's just the best amount to get when building new. I don't know why you bothered with 16GB, you wasted a lot of money and won't be gaining anything (for a gaming PC), you should have put that money towards an SSD instead. If you already have one then you should have put it towards buying a larger one. But that's just me, I'm not really bothered about epeen points, I just go where the performance is, and >4GB RAM makes no difference for gaming right now.

Battlefield 3, Metro 2033 and Total War: Shogun 2 don't even go over 2GB of usage, I could be wrong about Shogun, but I don't think I am.

@ninjakiller said:

I know the mantra of the GB PC board has always been "four gigs of RAM is plenty!" well, let me tell you, that's bullshit! I've had my rig that I built a little over a year with 4 gigs in it, and after getting tired of noticeable lag in application switching, and a general lack in performance, I broke down and bought 16 gig, the max my mobo can support. WHAT A FREAKING DIFFERENCE!! All in all it cost me $110, and now my computer is blazing fast again.

If you're building a rig kick anyone in the nuts who tells you "4 gigs is plenty" and throw the max in that puppy.

My computer is blazing fast and Battlefield 3 is running perfect on ultra. 4GB of RAM is plenty.

Would I recommend building a PC with 4GB of RAM? No, because RAM is cheap as fuck, but I wouldn't recommend anybody to upgrade from 4 --> 8 for the purpose of gaming.

If you want a huge performance increase get an SSD instead.

Edit: If you was getting lag in application switching it sounds like you had extremely poor or maybe even somewhat dud RAM to begin with, as I have never had lag when application switching even when I was running 2GB. (and I do indeed have lots of stuff open at once time)

I'll upgrade my RAM when I do a CPU/Mobo change, I still have an i5 750 @ 4Ghz so I don't feel like changing my RAM, there's a good chance the new RAM I get won't let me run at 4Ghz stable. I'm predicting it won't be until ~2014 where 4GB of RAM starts to become a danger zone.

#31 Posted by JustinNotJason (422 posts) -

I have 6 GB and monitor my usage relatively close. In games, and web browsing (doezens of tabs) I've never seen it go above four. 3.2 GB is the highest I remember (a combination of like 10 tabs of Google Chrome, have a few tabs in FireFox open, and streaming Netflix.) The only time it goes higher is when I have VirtualBox open (for obvious reasons).

In game (Assassin's Creed II, Dragon Age) it goes to like 2.5 - 3.4 GBs. So it doesn't hurt to have more but it's not entirely required.

#32 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@Sooty: I use my PC for work (3dmax, Maya) I'm getting a new machine with 32 gigs. You can't have enough RAM for some applications.

#33 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

@Sooty said:

Would I recommend building a PC with 4GB of RAM? No, because RAM is cheap as fuck, but I wouldn't recommend anybody to upgrade from 4 --> 8 for the purpose of gaming.

This sums up my position perfectly.

Also, I'm on 4GB right now and have no issues whatsoever. Windows 7 will take up whatever it can from your memory so it can load programs faster, and that's why you had a relatively high overhead (which should now be higher now that you have more memory). The thing is, W7 will also let those resources go when it has to (i.e when a single running process requires that taken memory). Not only that, but it will also scale to the amount of RAM you have. As an example, for a short while I had to run W7 on only 2GB of RAM, and with the exact same setup the memory W7 required while idle was significantly lessened to something below the 1GB mark (in comparison to the current ~1.6-2.1GB it takes up from my 4GB RAM configuration).

#34 Posted by GonzoSnot (55 posts) -

I haven't had any problems with 4GB at all. It seems to work fine for pretty much any game out there at the moment. 16GB is overkill though, 8GB is around half the price, and what I would recommend people building a PC use. The current performance difference between 8 and 16GB is negligible, and will be for quite some time.

#35 Posted by alternate (2688 posts) -

Did you monitor how much RAM your applications were using before buying more? I rarely use more than 2gb running an avg of about 20 applications and that is only because I use firefox as well as chrome and FF has that shitty memory leak.

With RAM cheap at the moment I would recommend 8gb for new builds but at 16gb you have to be wasting at least half of that at all times.

#36 Posted by Zidd (1838 posts) -

I put 8 in mine and its nice and fast. If it wanted more fast I would put an SSD in.

#37 Posted by alternate (2688 posts) -

@ninjakiller said:

@RsistncE: Yes, it checked out. The problem was my memory overhead which clocked in at 2.5gb during normal usage.

Wait I missed this. This proves your problem was not too little ram - if that was your normal average usage.

My bet is you had your swap file set up wrong.

#38 Posted by pubbles (140 posts) -

4 may not be ideal but 16 is overkill.

I sit at 6gigs and my computer can run every game still at high.

and I tab out of BF3 all the time so...

#39 Posted by FritzDude (2253 posts) -

You saw a performance difference when adding 12 more GB of RAM? Really!?

#40 Posted by amir90 (2154 posts) -

I have 6GB, never been a problem for me.

#41 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

4 GB of RAM hasn't been plenty since 64-bit VIsta and 7 became standard over their 32-bit counterparts and predesessors. In my home PC I have 8 and my laptop has 16.

#42 Posted by MB (12049 posts) -

RAM is so cheap now, there is no reason to get 4gb. I got 16gb of fast DDR3 for $59 at Fry's when I was building a new machine a few weeks ago.

Moderator
#43 Posted by Brackynews (4046 posts) -

Son, my 2009 Macbook Pro has 4GB. This year I got 16GB with my i7.

Piss all you want like it's 1998 about "games on macs", but she runs Arkham City like a dream, even with ATi.

Also don't ever buy RAM in a BTO from Apple, get it on the side and spend the $500 on games. ;)

#44 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -
#45 Posted by dagas (2751 posts) -

I had 4GB up until a few months ago and had no problems at all with lack of RAM. Now I have 8GB simply because I was buying new RAM anyway for my new rig and it was so cheap, but even 2GB would probably be fine for me. It all depends on what you are doing. Taskmanager is telling I'm using about 1.2GB out of my 8GB right now. But then I rarely have a bunch of things on at once anymore. Since I moved the PC into the living room and connected it to my TV in 2009 I'm not really multitasking and such like I was before.

#46 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Damn straight. Gotta have more ram under the hood if your rig is going to have some fuckin torque.

#47 Posted by Autumn_Thunder (79 posts) -

I don't really see the immediate need.  Even if RAM is cheap now, it'll only get cheaper still, and if few gaming applications can take advantage of more than 4-6GB atm, why not wait until more developers start making more advanced content before investing in more powerful gear? 

#48 Posted by spazmaster666 (1965 posts) -

The problem with 4GB of RAM isn't games, it's multitasking. If all you do on your PC is play games then 4GB will be just fine right now. But if you want to do any kind of multitasking, then 4GB really isn't sufficient.

#49 Posted by TomA (2531 posts) -

I have 4gb im good.

#50 Edited by mewarmo990 (831 posts) -
@ninjakiller
 
4GB was a lot three years ago. The "dream machine" I built in Dec 2007 had 4. Now, it's enough for most tasks including gaming if you're not multitasking too much. However, any builders today who care about performance should have 6 or more (dual channel is easier to deal with), especially when memory prices drop.
 
I've since doubled up to 8, and it's handy now that Firefox's memory hoarding when I have 50 script-heavy tabs open isn't a problem.

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