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Ram- How much is too much?

ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon

When i first built my PC, i believed myself to have bought 2 sticks of 4 gig memory, giving me the general amount of RAM a gaming pc should have nowadays (8 gigs)

But, i didn't. I bought 2 x 2's, ending up with only 4. Which is really unacceptable for a modern day gaming pc.

 

So, having chatted with a friend about it, he found me a good deal on newegg for some 4 x 8's, totalling 32 gigs. Way over what a normal gaming pc would need, but at a great price/amount of ram you get. At home now, so dont have the link handy. I think it was around 100-150 bucks for them. Not important really.

 

So- How much is too much? Would my pc having to hunt through 32 gigs of random memory actually hurt it more than help it?

Is it better to have 4 sticks of smaller ram, or two sticks of bigger ram?( MB has 4 slots)

The stepping(or whatever its called) on my current ones are 8 8 8 24- Is this the standard we want nowadays/for my pc?

 

Specs

MSI p67-g43 motherboard

i5 2500k o/ced to 4.2

2 x 6870's xfired

2 x 2 gig ram (1600 ripjaws something-or-another)

fans everywhere, standard peripherals, big screen tv for monitor.

 

 

Thanks :)

 

The Deep Web is sca-ry.

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Comments

  • RecoreRecore Posts: 5,095Member Uncommon
    I am getting ready to upgrade to 32 GB soon too.
    Raptr Gamercard
  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORPosts: 272Member Uncommon

    Ram is fantastically useful.

    Too much is based on a few simple things.

     

    Is it more than you can afford? Then it's too much.

    Is it more than your motherboard will support? Check the manual for your board, if so, then it's too much.

    Is it more than your OS will support? Again, that would be too much, but if you are on 32 bit windows (only supports 3gb), then upgrading to 64 bit will help tons. If you're still maxed out, then you have too much.

     

    Other than those items, there really isn't too much RAM unless you don't do much on your computer, but as you are posting on MMORPG.COM, we can be pretty sure you can use all the RAM you can get your hands on, so long as you don't exceed those 3 items I listed.

     

    If you're curious, I was at win 7 32 bit and 3gb. (It was actually 4, but 32 bit doesn't support that much) 

    I changed to 64 bit version of win7 and loaded 12gb, and am rather happy with it.

     

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by barasawa

    Ram is fantastically useful.

    Too much is based on a few simple things.

     

    Is it more than you can afford? Then it's too much. -Nope

    Is it more than your motherboard will support? Check the manual for your board, if so, then it's too much. -Nope

    Is it more than your OS will support? Again, that would be too much, but if you are on 32 bit windows (only supports 3gb), then upgrading to 64 bit will help tons. If you're still maxed out, then you have too much.- Win 7 ultimate. 64 bit.

     

    Other than those items, there really isn't too much RAM unless you don't do much on your computer, but as you are posting on MMORPG.COM, we can be pretty sure you can use all the RAM you can get your hands on, so long as you don't exceed those 3 items I listed.

     

    If you're curious, I was at win 7 32 bit and 3gb. (It was actually 4, but 32 bit doesn't support that much) 

    I changed to 64 bit version of win7 and loaded 12gb, and am rather happy with it.

     

    What about stepping/whatever thats called? is 8-8-8-24 good/bad nowadays/for my pc?

     

    And Thanks, of course :)

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon

    Memory is basically a case of, either you have enough or else you don't.  Everything you have running at a given time wants a particular amount of system memory.  If your amount of physical system memory exceeds what everything wants at once, then everything gets what it wants and is fast, and no programs running can gain at all by adding even more.  And if you don't have enough, then bad things happen.

    Windows will try to use spare system memory by prefetching.  That is, it will try to guess what you're going to load in the future, and then load it into memory before you ask for it.  If it needs the memory that is used up by prefetching, then it's pretty trivial to drop the prefeteched data.  This can be nice if you only have a hard drive, but if you have an SSD, it doesn't really matter.  Speaking of which, if you don't have an SSD, that would be a far more worthy upgrade for you than more system memory.

    Realistically, 4 GB is plenty for most people.  In a new computer, I usually recommend 8 GB for futureproofing purposes, though I've been thinking about starting to recommend 16 GB in high end systems just because it's gotten so cheap.  For example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231489

    But I don't see any plausible reason to get more than 16 GB in a desktop unless you have very unusual needs.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    outspeccing your OS is too much.  Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium only supports 16GB, so getting 32GB would be a waste.

    Getting more then your motherboard can support would also be too much.

    Other then that, get as much as your budget can afford as long as its the highest speed your processor can support.

     

    The thing to keep in mind about Windows Vista and Windows 7 is that if you have the ram, the OS uses it.  So you should not be too alarmed if you are miraculously using 3.2 GB of ram with nothing open.  The OS will free this ram if its necessary.  For gaming right now, 4GB is enough because most games are designed for a 32-bit operating system.  They cannot support more then 3.2GB with a fix and 2GB without a fix.

  • RecoreRecore Posts: 5,095Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cleffy

    outspeccing your OS is too much.  Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium only supports 16GB, so getting 32GB would be a waste.

    Getting more then your motherboard can support would also be too much.

    Other then that, get as much as your budget can afford as long as its the highest speed your processor can support.

     

     

    I did not know that Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium only supports 16GB. Thx for the info

    Raptr Gamercard
  • Odinthedark1Odinthedark1 Linden, NJPosts: 330Member
    RAM does not affect game fps, and is simply a capacity of the amount of programs you can have running all at once...most games only use about 500MB to 1gig with a couple games hitting 2 gigs....8 gig's is more than enough for any gaming PC, anything more is just overkill unless you're an avid multi boxer, like that dude with 40 WoW accounts.
  • mcrippinsmcrippins Dallas, TXPosts: 1,069Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Odinthedark1
    RAM does not affect game fps, and is simply a capacity of the amount of programs you can have running all at once...most games only use about 500MB to 1gig with a couple games hitting 2 gigs....8 gig's is more than enough for any gaming PC, anything more is just overkill unless you're an avid multi boxer, like that dude with 40 WoW accounts.

    Yes some games only use between 500mb - 2gigs but your computer is constantly running various processes. 8 gigs will most likely be plenty for you. I picked up 16 because it's pretty cheap, and why not max it out? The difference between 8 and 16 gigs is usually $30 or less.

  • StridarStridar Dallas, TXPosts: 134Member Uncommon
    Have 4GB's in mine and never have ran into a issue yet with any games I play needing more.  Could more increase their performance by a small amount? Maybe, but it hasn't been an issue.  Also a computer that is a couple of years old, if I built one now I'd probably go to 8, maybe 16 just because it's so cheap right now
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    It takes about 50 ns to get something from system memory.  If you don't have enough memory and the computer has to grab it off of a hard drive ("virtual memory"), it takes about 10000000 ns.  That chasm explains why a memory shortage isn't usually just a slight performance hit.  If you don't have enough memory, you probably take a huge performance hit.
  • RenoakuRenoaku Posts: 1,005Member Uncommon

    There is no such thing as too much.

    8GB ram on one pc I have used it all before multitasking playing multiple games at once/dual even 8 boxing games maxed graphics depending on the game.

    I would say right now 8GB is the standard if you are like not rich, however if you have money to spend and are like me I would go for at least 16 gigs+.

    I would never operate a 64 bit computer with less than 8 Gigs ram anyways, 4 gigs is the bare minimum for Vista I remember years ago when vista was launched and people were like VISTA sucks my computer is so slow!!! This is one reason why.

    I can make any computer boot fast, my pc generally loads up a lot of software antivirus, firewalls, runs all updates on its own each time so the first startup takes 15-20 mins depending on the downloads and work the computer has to do including defrags etc.

    After that restarts usually take about 5 minutes but generally I dont have to even restart my computer at all unless there is a freeze which is rare so its not a problem for me.

    If I disable all these tasks I can boot the pc in less than one minute but its less secure and wouldn't preform as well, of course I would understand if this was a computer being used at a tournament, or a actual reason to make it load faster then I would care ^_^.

    I also do not use SSD"s yet and no plan to actually make a primary OS for SSD until they become like 1TB plus without the expensive cost.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon

    According to this link: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itproperf/thread/9d8f3288-8254-4310-83c5-5581a9edaf28

    Win 8 Core x64 will utilize 128GB and Win 8 Pro x64 will utilize 512GB.

    It depends on what you do.  I run a lot of memory hogging applications at the same time so I like having as much as my motherboard can hold that I can afford.

  • akiira69akiira69 San Diego, CAPosts: 590Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by barasawa

    Ram is fantastically useful.

    Too much is based on a few simple things.

     

    Is it more than you can afford? Then it's too much.

    Is it more than your motherboard will support? Check the manual for your board, if so, then it's too much.

    Is it more than your OS will support? Again, that would be too much, but if you are on 32 bit windows (only supports 3gb), then upgrading to 64 bit will help tons. If you're still maxed out, then you have too much. Actually a 32bit OS can see up to 4gbs a 64bit can see over 4gbs

     

    Other than those items, there really isn't too much RAM unless you don't do much on your computer, but as you are posting on MMORPG.COM, we can be pretty sure you can use all the RAM you can get your hands on, so long as you don't exceed those 3 items I listed.

     

    If you're curious, I was at win 7 32 bit and 3gb. (It was actually 4, but 32 bit doesn't support that much) 

    I changed to 64 bit version of win7 and loaded 12gb, and am rather happy with it.

     

     

    "Possibly we humans can exist without actually having to fight. But many of us have chosen to fight. For what reason? To protect something? Protect what? Ourselves? The future? If we kill people to protect ourselves and this future, then what sort of future is it, and what will we have become? There is no future for those who have died. And what of those who did the killing? Is happiness to be found in a future that is grasped with blood stained hands? Is that the truth?"

  • gigatgigat Minneapolis, MNPosts: 604Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Toxia

    ...snip...

    The stepping(or whatever its called) on my current ones are 8 8 8 24- Is this the standard we want nowadays/for my pc?

    ...snip

     

    Those are the timings, and you probably don't need to worry about it.  You will probably only see a difference in timings with benchmarks and overclocking.  There are more important numbers that you need to pay attention to:  speed and capacity

    The supported speed and capacity are determined by your motherboard, as well OS.

     

    A quick google search of your motherboard model shows this on MSI's website:

    • Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/1866*/2133*(OC) DRAM, 32GB Max

     

    When you buy RAM for that motherboard, make sure you get DDR3 1066 or 1333. If you get faster than 1333, you will probably need to tweak something in BIOS (overclock) to run at the higher speed, otherwise the motherboard will run it at 1333.

    Also, it looks like your motherboard supports 32GB max, so you're good there.

     

    Last thing to watch for is the quality of the RAM.  Some manufacturers release "budget" memory, which is usually only good for mild web browsing and office use.  If you try to game with that memory, you'll probably run into problems.  You get what you pay for.

    "Lose the helmet sis, we can't prove that you're retarded." - Dennis Reynolds

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    I currently run 16gb. I bought 4x4gb modules because RAM is so cheap. But as for actually needing more than 8gb, I personally dont.

    I would throw 16gb in your system and leave it at that, unless you just want to spend the money. IMO use the extra money to go towards and SSD. You will get alot more bang for the buck so to speak with an SSD than a ton of RAM which you will not need.

    my 2cp..

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Greencastle, INPosts: 2,594Member Uncommon

    There is never two much or your to old.

    image

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member
    For average user 4 GB is just the right amount. 8GB for some heavy multitasking.
  • saurus123saurus123 nonePosts: 570Member Uncommon

    8gb is just enough to run everything

     

    8gb+ if you want to make ramdisk and run your programs/games or put cache there its way faster than hdds or sdds :)

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Go with 2 * 4gb ddr3.

    You don't actually need 8gb, but RAM is so cheap you might as well get 8 as sometimes you want a bit more than 4.

    That leaves you 2 slots free for expansion.

    You should get 2 * 4 rather than 1 * 8 as it works slightly faster.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    You should get 2 * 4 rather than 1 * 8 as it works slightly faster.

    That's true on the basis that using both memory channels gets you more bandwidth than only using one.  But it's not quite the right formulation.  You want two memory modules, and the question is what size the modules should be.

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,583Member Uncommon

    There are already games out there that can benefit from more than 4 GB RAM (eg. Skyrim with latest patch), but they are rare. Still, upgrading from 4 GB to 8 GB would probably be a good idea. 16 GB might not be a total overkill either if you can find cheaply - at least you'd be prepared for future. But 32BG is 8 times as much as today's games need. By the time you'd find something that can benefit from 32GB of RAM, your system would be outdated and too slow, including the 32GB of RAM you could buy now.

    Unless you multibox 32GB is waste of money.

  • ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by gigat
    Originally posted by Toxia

    ...snip...

    The stepping(or whatever its called) on my current ones are 8 8 8 24- Is this the standard we want nowadays/for my pc?

    ...snip

     

    Those are the timings, and you probably don't need to worry about it.  You will probably only see a difference in timings with benchmarks and overclocking.  There are more important numbers that you need to pay attention to:  speed and capacity

    The supported speed and capacity are determined by your motherboard, as well OS.

     

    A quick google search of your motherboard model shows this on MSI's website:

    • Supports four unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 1066/1333/1600*/1866*/2133*(OC) DRAM, 32GB Max

     

    When you buy RAM for that motherboard, make sure you get DDR3 1066 or 1333. If you get faster than 1333, you will probably need to tweak something in BIOS (overclock) to run at the higher speed, otherwise the motherboard will run it at 1333.

    Also, it looks like your motherboard supports 32GB max, so you're good there.

     

    Last thing to watch for is the quality of the RAM.  Some manufacturers release "budget" memory, which is usually only good for mild web browsing and office use.  If you try to game with that memory, you'll probably run into problems.  You get what you pay for.

    First i've heard of this! When i built my pc the first time around, Quiz said the 'sweet spot' for an i5 was ddr3 1600, so thats the speed i bought....

     

    Thanks to everyone's suggestions, very informative and helpful !

    So im going to look into 4 sticks of 4 gig ram, totaling 16. Plenty.

    As is, my OS seems to run two of my 4 itself, games sometimes get real choppy, but alt tabbing out to use anything else on my pc? Slow as molasses.

    Thats what got me inspecting my parts, something clearly wasnt right lol

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  • ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    You should get 2 * 4 rather than 1 * 8 as it works slightly faster.

    That's true on the basis that using both memory channels gets you more bandwidth than only using one.  But it's not quite the right formulation.  You want two memory modules, and the question is what size the modules should be.

    So if my MB has 4 slots, i should only use two quiz?

    So looking for 2 x 8's?

    Got any suggestions? :)

     

    EDIT: As for the SSD, it's already in the pipe. Couldn't justify the cost to wife, but birthday is two weeks away. Noticed the rounded amount taken out of ATM. (she's trying to be slick i think xD)

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Toxia
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    You should get 2 * 4 rather than 1 * 8 as it works slightly faster.

    That's true on the basis that using both memory channels gets you more bandwidth than only using one.  But it's not quite the right formulation.  You want two memory modules, and the question is what size the modules should be.

    So if my MB has 4 slots, i should only use two quiz?

    So looking for 2 x 8's?

    Got any suggestions? :)

     

    EDIT: As for the SSD, it's already in the pipe. Couldn't justify the cost to wife, but birthday is two weeks away. Noticed the rounded amount taken out of ATM. (she's trying to be slick i think xD)

    If you use four modules, you can also use both memory channels.  Your motherboard probably has two slots for each memory channel.  If you only use one of the slots, it has a 64-bit connection to that slot, and if you use both slots, it has a 32-bit connection to each.  It gets you the same bandwidth either way.

    Right now, 1600 MHz memory is basically the same price as 1333 MHz or 1066 MHz, so you might as well get 1600 MHz.  Lower latency timings are always good, but they're never all that good.  Latency timings are in number of clock cycles, so 1066 MHz CAS 6 is the same latency (as measured in nanoseconds) as 2133 MHz with CAS 12.  More bandwidth really only helps if you need more than your system has to offer, which you won't unless you need to feed integrated graphics from system memory or do something very unusual.

    All else equal, you'd rather have two 8 GB modules than four 4 GB modules, on the basis that two modules will tend to use less power and put less stress on the memory controller, and two modules will definitely leave space for easy future upgrades.  But all else is not equal--and in particular prices are not equal.  Now that two 8 GB modules tend to cost less than four 4 GB modules, that's what I'd grab.  The downside is that 8 GB modules tend to have slightly looser latency timings than 4 GB modules.

  • ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by Toxia
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    You should get 2 * 4 rather than 1 * 8 as it works slightly faster.

    That's true on the basis that using both memory channels gets you more bandwidth than only using one.  But it's not quite the right formulation.  You want two memory modules, and the question is what size the modules should be.

    So if my MB has 4 slots, i should only use two quiz?

    So looking for 2 x 8's?

    Got any suggestions? :)

     

    EDIT: As for the SSD, it's already in the pipe. Couldn't justify the cost to wife, but birthday is two weeks away. Noticed the rounded amount taken out of ATM. (she's trying to be slick i think xD)

    If you use four modules, you can also use both memory channels.  Your motherboard probably has two slots for each memory channel.  If you only use one of the slots, it has a 64-bit connection to that slot, and if you use both slots, it has a 32-bit connection to each.  It gets you the same bandwidth either way.

    Right now, 1600 MHz memory is basically the same price as 1333 MHz or 1066 MHz, so you might as well get 1600 MHz.  Lower latency timings are always good, but they're never all that good.  Latency timings are in number of clock cycles, so 1066 MHz CAS 6 is the same latency (as measured in nanoseconds) as 2133 MHz with CAS 12.  More bandwidth really only helps if you need more than your system has to offer, which you won't unless you need to feed integrated graphics from system memory or do something very unusual.

    All else equal, you'd rather have two 8 GB modules than four 4 GB modules, on the basis that two modules will tend to use less power and put less stress on the memory controller, and two modules will definitely leave space for easy future upgrades.  But all else is not equal--and in particular prices are not equal.  Now that two 8 GB modules tend to cost less than four 4 GB modules, that's what I'd grab.  The downside is that 8 GB modules tend to have slightly looser latency timings than 4 GB modules.

    Very informative and helpful! Didn't know the timings played in with the MHz speed.

     

    SO....knowing all we do now about both my failure at building a PC and how RAM works...

    What would you reccomend? I know you have a link for me in that magic head of yours :)

    Price is unimportant, so long as i get what i need :)

    and thanks, of course :)

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

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