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I am wondering whether it is worth upgrading from 4 GB to 8 GB of RAM. I know the question has been asked many times, but I can't transpose that to my case. I'm using Windows 7 64-bit.

I did a test and launched all the software that I have almost daily simultaneously started.

Resource Monitor tells me that I'm actively using about 3 GB of my total 4, and almost all remaining is in "Standby" (BTW, what is "Standby"? Is that Windows's SuperFetch stuff?) In addition, a few weeks ago I set up a RAM disk (about 256 MB) and have put Firefox's temp files in it.

So, I do know that I almost never reach 4 GB actively used, but since Windows has some pretty SuperFetch stuff, is it worth upgrading? Also, I think that with 4 additional GB, I may use about 2 of them as a RAM disk and put things like Windows's page file in it?

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Finally, I bought the 8Go ! I'm currently experimenting various configurations. For now, I have 6Go of "regular" RAM and 2Go as RAMdisk used by window's readyboost (+ the ffx temp files). Anyway, at least a thing is clear: I don't need anymore to close open apps when I want to launch a game or something.. 8Go, It's just enormous –  user978548 Mar 17 '12 at 21:10
    
6 months later, I came back to share my experience: Definitely, I not regret my buy: nothing really outstanding at first sight, but for 50usd it gave me an overall greatly increased comfort. Note that I stayed on 6 RAM + 2 used as RAMDisk for readyboost, that greatly increased the startup/shutdown time (as the ramdisk has to be rebuilt everytime )but once launched it allows to launch almost immediatly the most opened/closed (and so cached) applications. –  user978548 Oct 11 '12 at 22:53
    
Hi, could you clarify the RAMdisk/ReadyBoost part? If I got it right, you've created a RAM disk and told Windows to use it for ReadyBoost (basically, as a place to hold the swap file)? What do you copy to that disk during startup that resulted in your startup time being increased? –  Dilbert Nov 11 '12 at 12:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

More RAM means you can open more applications without crashing your computer. Even if you don't intend to use more applications at the same time, it'll be beneficial. Windows will reduce disk usage for page file/virtual memory/swap as it'll get access to huge free memory resource. So, you'll get performance boost because RAM R/W speed is much higher than disk.

RAM capacity isn't only key for performance. For ultimate performance boost, upgrade to DDR3 RAM (if its not). But, you'll need to replace your motherboard for it because RAM slots are not version compatible.

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Isn't replacing the motherboard and CPU just so you can go from DDR2 to DDR3 RAM putting the cart before the horse? While the speedup may be useful, it would seem that the speedup from getting a newer CPU and southbridge would far outstrip the RAM speedup. –  CajunLuke Mar 17 '12 at 14:11
    
I am not talking about CPU replacement... –  Sachin Shekhar Mar 17 '12 at 14:14
    
Motherboard replacement implies CPU replacement, especially when you're jumping RAM versions. I don't know of any CPU families that can drive both DDR2 and DDR3 RAM. It's very unlikely that you would be be able to put your old CPU in your new motherboard due to pinout differences. –  CajunLuke Mar 17 '12 at 14:18
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Many models of i7 can handle both, for instance.. –  Sachin Shekhar Mar 17 '12 at 14:22
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Well, 50usd 8GB is a thing, upgrading the motherboard with it is another thing.. (but anyway, in my particular case, it's a laptop and I think the next logical step would be a SSD (if I had money)). Thanks for the suggestions & advices ! –  user978548 Mar 17 '12 at 21:21

I upgraded from 2gb to 12gb recently - the difference is very noticeable I was very pleasantly surprised. Haven't bothered looking into exactly what is happening under the hood, but I'd thoroughly recommend it.

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One benefit of having more RAM concerns games or sims where there is occasional "pausing" or "stuttering". Since more of the game data can be allocated to RAM instead of the page file on the hdd, pausing should be reduced, since RAM will send the data to the cpu much faster than will the hdd.

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