2 GB or 4 GB ( is 4 overkill?)

Bozzvegas

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I'm purchasing some ram for my 680i motherboard
i was looking at either:

4 sticks or 1 gig ram @ 667hz
or
2 stciks of 1 gig ram @ 667hz
or
2 packages of dimm 1gb packages 512mb by 2 running at 533mz

any suggestions would be great!!!

Thanks!
 

sailer

Splendid
If this is for an XP OS, then two sticks of 1 gig would be best, for a total of 2 gig.

If this is for a Vista OS, then you will need 4 gig to do the best. The only question I see open here is whether it will turn out to be four 1 gig sticks or two 2 gig sticks. Time and experimentation will answer that question.
 

Bozzvegas

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i'll be running xp home for probably the next year until vista sp1 gets released and i see some solid directx10 game titles???
 

tmac

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4GB if you plan on Vista in the near future.

I'm planning on building my system when Vista comes out. I'm
planning on getting 4gb. But, I think, Vista 32 bit still has a problem
with using 4gb. (same as XP) - Just letting you know. Maybe,
someone can tell me if this problem has gone away.
 

Heyyou27

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4GB if you plan on Vista in the near future.

I'm planning on building my system when Vista comes out. I'm
planning on getting 4gb. But, I think, Vista 32 bit still has a problem
with using 4gb. (same as XP) - Just letting you know. Maybe,
someone can tell me if this problem has gone away.32-bit Vista is a low end budget version; anyone running an Athlon X2 or Core 2 Duo will not be running Vista 32-bit.
 

bydesign

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The 32bit version is not the low end and will likely be the far more popular version for some time at home and business. The 64bit version has virtually no backward compatibility and currently very few native applications, in other words it knocks another 10% of performance from your 32bit apps. That's on top of 5%-10% hit from just using Vista.

Max addressable memory by a 32bit OS is about 3G

As said before get 2G and upgrade as needed.
 

sailer

Splendid
is it true that windows xp only sees 2 gig of ram anyway??

From everything I've read, XP will see and read about 3 gig of ram, but no one makes 1.5 gig ram sticks. At least I haven't seen any. Some people do put in 4 gig of ram, but its not fully utilized. It gets seen, but just isn't used. At least this is my best understanding of the situation.
 

Bozzvegas

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thanks abunch for all of the advice could i toss another 1 gig stick in there to make it 3 gigs with one slot remaining?? or should i just stick with the 2?
 

crualtortus

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thanks abunch for all of the advice could i toss another 1 gig stick in there to make it 3 gigs with one slot remaining?? or should i just stick with the 2?

that depends how much your budget is, more ram is always better.
 

enforcer22

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is it true that windows xp only sees 2 gig of ram anyway??

XP can read and use 4 gigs of ram though it requiers a cpu with 64 bit adressing to get the maximum effect and a 64 bit OS. The barrier of 2 gigs is how much windows xp pro can alocate to a single program at a time. There are ways to increase this to 3 gigs but off the top of my head i dont remember the exact way. Windows XP always saves ram for protected windows files so that the OS (at least that was the idea) will not interact with other programs in memory thus overting a program crash also crashing the operating system.

Windows XP pro 64bit edition utalizes memory more efficiently then XP pro so the 4 gigs would be used better.

Windows XP pro Ram barrier is 4 gigs
Windows xp pro 64 bit ram barrier is 128gigs i believe.

Im whilling to bet you would see the same problems in hte 64 bit os when you reach 128gigs as you do in xp pro at the 4 gig barrier.
 

Heyyou27

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The 32bit version is not the low end and will likely be the far more popular version for some time at home and business. The 64bit version has virtually no backward compatibility and currently very few native applications, in other words it knocks another 10% of performance from your 32bit apps. That's on top of 5%-10% hit from just using Vista.

Max addressable memory by a 32bit OS is about 3G

As said before get 2G and upgrade as needed.
Vista in general has very few native applications. Last I heard, Microsoft was marketing the 32-bit version of the operating system as the low end version as they were cutting out many features, such as H.264 decoding support among other High definition video support. Seeing as x86-64 is backwards compatible with x86-32 backwards compatibility should be the same as with Windows XP x64 Pro.
 

plankmeister

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If you do that, it won't run in dual channel mode, which is basically one of DDR2's strengths. If anything, make sure your board supports asymmetric dual channel mode and use 2x1GB and 2x512MB to get your 3GB in dual channel mode. Otherwise just get 2x1GB (a popular brand, one that's likely to still be producing the same part in a year or so) and wait a year or so and get the same kit again for matched DIMMs.

I just did a little research on the 3GB limit in XP Pro. A 32-bit processor can physically address a maximum of 2^32 memory locations = 4294967296 = 4096MB = 4GB. XP 32bit can also address this entire 4GB (Interesting reading...) however, 1GB of this is reserved by the system exclusively for its own use, leaving the remaining 3GB available for user apps. However, this 3GB limit is not a default setting... 2GB is. (Go here, and click the "/3gb" link)

So while XP only reports that 3GB is available, that's because it's already using the other 1GB internally... so 4GB is as equally a valid choice in XP as in Vista. However, unless you are using Avid to edit videos, or are editing ENORMOUS files in Photshop, 4GB in XP is a waste...
 

tmac

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The 32bit version is not the low end and will likely be the far more popular version for some time at home and business. The 64bit version has virtually no backward compatibility and currently very few native applications, in other words it knocks another 10% of performance from your 32bit apps. That's on top of 5%-10% hit from just using Vista.

Max addressable memory by a 32bit OS is about 3G

As said before get 2G and upgrade as needed.

Explain the no backward compatibility. will it still play obilvion?

I'm building from scratch. Don't mind getting a new printer.

I'll probably, upgrade to the new microsoft office suite.

2gb is enough now - next year it will be 4 gigs - hate to buy
vista 32 - and then later pay for vista 64.


That's why I'm waiting for vista to be released, so I can make an
informed decision. + I'm waiting on r600 benches.
 

abw

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the best would be 2 sticks of 2 giga each, so there s ground to later uprade to 8 giga with 2 other sticks......
 

Rhinofart

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I would go with the 4 Gigs of RAM. 64 Bit Edition of Vista and XP Pro will see and fully utilize it. Personally I would avoid the new Office Suite. I HATE IT!!!! Looks like crap!! As for backwards compatability, I haven't noticed any degredation of 32 Bit apps running under a 64 Bit OS. I use a lot of different applications at work and I don't notice any slowdown with my apps. Games, Office, Photoshop. It all works fine and dandy.
 

Bozzvegas

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will my motherboard still operate in dual channel if i use 2 1 gig dimms and have 2 empty spaces?? I'm using the 680i

Thanks a bunch ofr the microsoft link it was a good read and informative
 

bydesign

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It will run 32bit apps with a performance hit the 64bit version that is. It has to emulate the 32bit code. Some titles will release 64bit patches. DX10 is said to run significantly better on the 64bit version with a 64bit apps.

I would load oblivion but have no drivers for 8800 in Vista.

Aside from the 32bit Vista OS overhead just about any windows 32bit app is native (Virus software, drivers and Utilities excluded). When you buy it a copy it will come with both versions, 32bit and 64bit for what every flavor the key is. I don't think this will mean you can install both version concurrently on the same system. The feature set is the same in both versions. Home basic may only have a 32bit option so maybe that where the notion came from.

The 64bit version will not emulate older code that the 32bit version will for the most part. This will be more of an issue for business with 16bit code and maybe some with older games.
 

kamel5547

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The 32bit version is not the low end and will likely be the far more popular version for some time at home and business. The 64bit version has virtually no backward compatibility and currently very few native applications, in other words it knocks another 10% of performance from your 32bit apps. That's on top of 5%-10% hit from just using Vista.

Max addressable memory by a 32bit OS is about 3G

As said before get 2G and upgrade as needed.

The addressable space is 4GB, 2^32, however address space is used by things besides memory.

Uh.... Vista 64 bit will run 32 bit apps just fine, I don't exactly know what you mean by backwards compatible, to me the ability to run programs is all that matters in this sense. While individual apps may perform worse (haven't seen anything on this, is there an article somewhere? Didn't experience any problems either...), Vista itself should perform better as a 64 bit rather than 32 bit version. In addition you can have much more RAM usuable which probably will outweight the negatives.

As far as business, as long as applications run who cares. I sincerely doubt Word is going to run any slower than before, nor do I think any vendor worth their salt is going to leave apps as 32 bit rather than recompiling them and selling the 64 bit version. Its not like designing a multi-threaded program, its far easier....
 

bydesign

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XP will see it but it cant address it all, its a 32bit limitation just Google it.

All real apps run slower under the current version of Vista I tested this myself and be confirmed in reviews. Oddly some of benchmarking software show an improvement but you don't actually use those in the real world. The difference on average is 5%. The 64bit version is on average 10-15% slower when running 32bit apps. Without stopwatch on modern machine it would be hard to notice.