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I have an HP EliteBook Folio 9470m with an Intel Core i5 processor at 1.9GHz and 4GB RAM.

Is it useful to buy an additional 4GB RAM memory with this CPU? Or would the extra RAM be wasted from a performance standpoint?

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You forgot to tell what your OS is. – ott-- Sep 14 '13 at 20:57
windows 8 is my OS – Siemen Dilissen Sep 15 '13 at 9:51

Your CPU is capable of addressing the full 8 GiB.

However, that does not mean that it will become faster. It is likely that performance will improve though.

Maybe it will help if you imagine the CPU as a car and the RAM as the trunk of the car. Increasing the trunk size (or moving to a pickup truck) might help you move stuff from A to B if you need less trips. However, if everything fits happily in one small trunk then you will not see an advantage.

In the laptop/Windows case, it is slightly more complex. Your OS will use potentially unused memory as disk cache, which will make the computer faster in time. It will, however, not suddenly become faster at all tasks.

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I've heard this analogy with a glass of water before but this one's great too. – Frank Sep 14 '13 at 21:53
How did the glass of water analogy go? – Hennes Sep 16 '13 at 14:36
The more RAM you have the bigger your cup is. If you have glass capable of holding 2 gallons of water but you only store 1 gallon of water, getting a bigger glass won't help. – Frank Sep 16 '13 at 14:51
Aha. Yes, I see how that would explain the same thing. – Hennes Sep 16 '13 at 14:53

The Intel i5s are 64bit CPUs and thus can utilize more than 4GB RAM. If your question was more aimed at whether it would make sense to upgrade RAM on a weak machine then this would depend on the software you run on it. In general, more memory is beneficial. However, whether it makes sense upgrading in your case can not be answered by anyone else but you.

Things you need to consider:

  • Do you monitor your memory usage on a regular basis and realized that your free memory is always low?

  • Do you run your operating system without swap file and experience low memory warnings?

  • Do you plan on running applications that require more memory than what you have available?

If so then upgrading would make sense. If you only want to upgrade because you have the feeling it would improve your performance, but can't really tell how much of your memory is utilized on a regular basis then you might end up being disappointed. I suggest using memory monitoring tools to get an idea of how much memory you need at times. If you experience heavy swapping then upgrading might make sense.

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Well i don't actually have the laptop already, i explained it wrong. I'm goning to order it but I don't know if i should take the extra 4GB RAM. – Siemen Dilissen Sep 15 '13 at 8:52
I see. Well, what kind of applications do you plan to run on it. I have a netbook with 6GB that would have been fine with 4GB and I have a desktop with 4GB that would probably need 32GB to suit my needs. It all boils down to what you want to run on it. – Zerobinary99 Sep 15 '13 at 8:57
just office 2013 ( word / powerpoint) and surfing. – Siemen Dilissen Sep 15 '13 at 13:20

Laptop machines generally run less powerfully than tower PCs with the exact same specs, and the maximum memory installed is generally a great idea for portables. I've upgraded memory in both towers and notebooks and there is certainly a difference, especially with using memory dependent programs such as Sony Vegas, which will require the space. If you're not using that, then yes, it will still be a little quicker, but from 4GB to 8GB is nowhere as big a jump from an i5 to an i7 processor.

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wel yes but the processor for the notebook is made not that powerfull so that it drains less battery power, so i have to compromise on that. I will use it to go to university and follow classes – Siemen Dilissen Sep 15 '13 at 8:54

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