I want a computer with really big RAM. 15 GB is not enough for me. First thing I know that I have to install Windows 7 Professional instead of Home Premium. However, what about the computer itself? I went to a computer shop and I didn't find a computer with more than 16GB of RAM. Where can I find that? or do I need to build that myself?

  • You need to be concerned about 32 vs 64bit first off (and Home Premium 64 bit does accept 16GB as max). Can you explain why you need more than 16GB? – Dave Feb 22 '14 at 13:11
  • 64bit. Because I use a lot of big programs at the same time which sometimes make my work slow. – user3314958 Feb 22 '14 at 13:14
  • Sorry to ask another question, but how do you know it's a RAM issue and not a CPU issue? Do you get error messages stating you're out of memory? – Dave Feb 22 '14 at 13:14
  • Please note, that depending on the set up, 32bit pieces of software can't read more than 4GB of memory (regardless of the OS)! So, even if I had 128GB RAM, it won't help my 1 piece of software if that piece of software requires 5GB,50GB or even 100GB – Dave Feb 22 '14 at 13:23

You need to have a 64bit machine, and a motherboard which accepts more than 16GB RAM

It may be a custom build, it may be not.

When looking at computers, read up what the motherboard is and what it can offer. If a motherboard states it can accept 24GB and has 6 dim slots, then you can install, for example 6 * 4GB RAM chips.

For example, and honestly choosing this board at random, the following https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P9X79/ supports up to 64GB RAM

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  • Great Answer Dave. How did you know all this information? I want to know everything like you. could you recommend me a book? – user3314958 Feb 22 '14 at 13:19
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    No, sorry @user3314958 recommendations are off topic. My advice is, start slow. Learning things like this takes a long time, may be some people can learn it all over night, but most of the time it comes with experience. Obviously working in an IT industry helps! Keeping an eye on sites like SU is good, as it shows you what people are finding hard and how to resolve it etc – Dave Feb 22 '14 at 13:20

Most consumer shops only offer computer configurations with the most used options. However often those computer support more RAM than in the offered configuration.

Without going into too much detail:

  1. Look how many memory modules the motherboard supports. (For consumers motherboards this is often 4, but sometimes 6 or only 2)
  2. Look which side memory modules are supported.
  3. Multiply those.

Most of the times you now have your answer.

Next check this in the motherboards manual, because there are a few boards out there which do not support using the maximum sized DIMMs in all slots. E.g. due to chipset restrictions.

Quick and dirty trick to speed this up rather than reading a lot of manuals:

1) You can also find the information on sites such as Crucials memory configurator or Kingstons, or any of their competitors.

2) You can often just look at the motherboard.

Example of a motherboard with DIMM sockets marked

E.g. the desktop I am typing this on is a 6 year old build on a Gigabyte UD5 motherboard with 6 memory slots. These are easy to recognize in the picture.

[Edit] Dave's comment on per process memory usage being limited is correct if you still use ancient 32 bit applications. However these days any OS can use 64 bit (I am ignoring the 10 year old thing called XP) and almost any application can be recompiled to use 64 bits address space. The only problem is if you use old pre-compiled applications. Sadly this is still the case on windows, but things are steadily improving there.

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