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I have a TOSHIBA Satellite Laptop which has 2GB RAM and an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, T5750 2GHz.

I am considering buying an additional 8GB RAM for the machine. I have little knowledge about hardware and am not sure if 8GB ram will fit the machine or not.

What should I do?

At the most basic level, do you think that it will affect my computer positively at all if I put new RAM in it? I'm considering at least 4GB but would look at 8GB if it will certainly give better performance.

The machine is currently running Windows Vista 32-bit - I plan to purchase Windows 7 Home Premium this month. Would I be able to install the 64-bit edition on this machine and it would take advantage of 8GB of RAM?

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Whats your OS? 32 bit os's are unable to address over 4gb natively. –  Kyle May 17 '11 at 19:34
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@Kyle: Incorrect. PAE will allow a 32-bit OS to access the memory, at a small performance cost. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 17 '11 at 19:37
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@tugberk - It would help to post the model number of the system. Do you see something like "M300-HF8" on a sticker on the back? If that is your model (by chance), you're limited to 4 Gb crucial.com/upgrade/compatible-memory-for/Toshiba/… –  variant May 17 '11 at 19:40
    
@ignacio I knew someone was going to come along and say that! which is why I specified natively meaning with 32bit registers (yes with extend registers it will allow more) However I have not seen anyway to over come this limitation in XP. –  Kyle May 17 '11 at 19:44
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As I wrote in my answers comments below - Sorry, your laptop will NOT be able to support 8GBs, I saw the model number you wrote above and tracked it down as a Satellite A300-1J1, this has a GM965 Chipset, and from Intel's specifications, it states that the maximum amount of supported memory is 4GBs –  William Hilsum May 17 '11 at 20:52
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5 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

To begin with, to use that amount of memory, you need to have a 64-bit Operating system.

Next, I would check the chipset of your laptop's motherboard (can usually be seen at startup, usually one letter and two numbers. Then look up the specification. I can't comment for certain, but a lot of laptops of Core 2 age don't support more than 4GB of memory.

edit -- update

Sorry, your laptop will NOT be able to support 8GBs, I saw the model number you wrote above and tracked it down as a Satellite A300-1J1, this has a GM965 Chipset, and from Intel's specifications, it states that the maximum amount of supported memory is 4GBs

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that machine is currently on 32bit windows vista. I'll purchase a Windows 7 Home Premium within this month, so I am thinking to install 64bit version of it. but not sure if I can do that? can I do that on that machine and put a new 8 GB memory? –  tugberk May 17 '11 at 20:34
    
Sure you can do that - You will not be able to do an in place upgrade though. Anyway, that aside, I am still not sure if your laptop will actually support 8GB, as I said, you really need to check your chipset. –  William Hilsum May 17 '11 at 20:50
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Sorry, your laptop will NOT be able to support 8GBs, I saw the model number you wrote above and tracked it down as a Satellite A300-1J1, this has a GM965 Chipset, and from Intel's specifications, it states that the maximum amount of supported memory is 4GBs –  William Hilsum May 17 '11 at 20:52
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You are using a Core2Duo, which, while not that old, will be more of a bottleneck for you than just going to 4gb of memory. Dont go 8gb, you wont be happy.

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With a 32-bit OS, depending on your video card, 3.2-3.5 GB is the max amount of RAM you can even use.. Buying more would be adding expensive paper-weights to your machine.

Until you get a 64-bit OS, don't even think about getting 8 GB. Even then, there isn't anything a normal user would do that needs more than 4 GB.

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To find out how much memory would be useful as an upgrade with a 64bit OS you need to know how much you use. To find out what that number is keep task manager open while you're using your system. On the performance tab the number you need to watch is Pagefile. This is confusingly named, but the left number is the total amount of physical + virtual memory your computer is using, the right number is the maximum available. Ignore the number with the memory graph above it's not the value you need to care about (it doesn't count stuff that's been swapped to your HD). After you upgrade to win64 and install more memory you want to have enough physical ram that you never need to use the swapfile (vritual memory).

If your computer consistently stays below 3GB of memory there's no need to buy more than 4gb unless you expect your memory usage to go up significantly in the future. If you cross the 4gb line then an 8gb upgrade will definitely be beneficial. Between 3 and 4gb is marginal. There's no immediate benefit, but new versions of software typically need more memory than the versions they replace so your memory use will gradually increase. I'd lean towards getting 8gb to be future proof, but if you're not planning to keep the system for more than a year only buying 4 probably isn't a big risk.

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If your laptop in fact does not support 8 GB as someone wrote, I would rather buy an SSD. This is the best investment you can make in speed up your PC.

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