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I have a Dell Inspiron 14r (N4110) with an Intel Core i3 and 4gb of ram. It runs very smoothly, however gaming on this laptop is very limited. This is mostly because of integrated graphics but i have seen a computer with a Core i5, and very similar specs otherwise, run games that the N4110 cannot. This other computer has integrated graphics and 6gb of ram.

I am wondering whether upgrading ram or upgrading the processor make the most difference in performance. Which setup would get better performance, an i5 with 4gb of ram or an i3 with 8 gb of ram? (Both with integrated graphics)

Also, is there a certain point at which you have too much ram for the computer to ever possibly use? For instance is there really any difference in performance between 8 gb and 16 gb of ram?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Dave, harrymc, Kevin Panko Jun 14 at 17:27

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I assume you use windows, but is your OS 32-bit or 64-bit? –  Ĭsααc tիε βöss Jun 12 at 20:04
    
You cannot upgrade a CPU in a laptop, at least easily. Also, if you have a 32 bit OS, upgrading your RAM would be pointless. –  Cfinley Jun 12 at 20:08
    
I have 64 bit Windows 7. I understand that a laptop upgrade in a laptop is rare, but the question is theoretical. Which setup would run better if you could replace the processor? –  Evan Jun 12 at 20:16
    
@Evan i5 has more cache-memory(6MB) than i3(3MB), integrated grahics is better than i3, if more ram, then i3 has to send instructions to fetch and search for whole 8GB.. upgrading RAM won't give performance. trust me.see here and also see this comparision –  Ĭsααc tիε βöss Jun 12 at 21:00
    
@cfinley I have 32bit OS and 8GB –  richard Jun 12 at 22:42

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If, your OS is 64bit, then why not opt for a dual chanel RAM configuration, having two similar RAM sticks installed. For integrated graphics, that seems to be the best option to increase performance, even if the increase is of about 10-20%

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So you are saying the ram upgrade would give the best performance? –  Evan Jun 12 at 20:19
    
Actually, it serves as the only possible possible alternative, you cannot easily upgrade the processor, and if it is soldered, you cannot upgrade it at all. –  Siddharth Jun 12 at 20:22
    
Yes, that's true but will it really increase my performance much? –  Evan Jun 12 at 20:22
    
@Evan That is actually a difficult question to answer, but from my experience, it does increase the performance. Can you tell me the generation of your processor? –  Siddharth Jun 12 at 20:25
    
My processor is Sandy Bridge. –  Evan Jun 12 at 20:26

core i5 with 4GB gives better performance. Performance rarely rely on RAM, it's used to store data that can be accessed by CPU. If your RAM filled up then performance won't rely on CPU until the memory is freed up..

If your Operating System is a 32-bit version, then NO programs can use more than 4 GB, so it's waste on 32-bit OS. But in 64-bit version, the running program also have to be a 64-bit version to utilize more than 4GB..

Upgrade your CPU.

i5 has more cache-memory(6MB) than i3(3MB), integrated grahics is better than i3, if more ram, then i3 has to send instructions to fetch and search for whole 8GB.. upgrading RAM won't give performance. trust me.see here and also see this comparision

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Thanks, this answered the question. –  Evan Jun 12 at 20:16
    
Most processors today aren't "purely" 32 bit. Any individual app (or the kernel) can only access 4Gb at a time, but the system can let the multiple apps use the extra memory. So Chrome can (and will ;) use 4GB, but your mail app can use some. How much you can use depends on the OS, most "32 bit" OSes can use 8, or even 16gb of ram (36Bits of addressing) –  Rich Homolka Jun 12 at 20:31

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