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View Full Version : 4 gigs vs 8 gigs for windows 7 gaming machine.


animeprime
05-11-2010, 01:59 PM
Iím working on building a new gaming machine and Iíve reached the point where I need to pick out ram. Now you would think that 8 gigs would be much better than 4, but my research online says that while it helps a little, it usually isnít worth the investment. A machine with 8 gigs will just be using the hard drive less when it runs intense applications. Windows 7 was also supposed to not be quite as big a memory hog as vista too. Considering that Iíve been able to play most of my games without problem on a 4 gig 32bit vista machine Iím leaning on just doing four gigs and saving a hundred bucks for something else.

FYI, Iím also looking at getting windows 7 64 bit instead of 32. I donít know how that will impact things.

DDTank
05-11-2010, 02:04 PM
I'm using 3 gigs on windows 7 64 bit. I idle on 950mb to 1050mb depending on what I'm doing. On my most resourceful games I go upto 2300-2600. 4 gigs should be ok, however if you plan to multitask a lot or you do business from your comp I would get 8.

Dragunovhun
05-11-2010, 02:09 PM
So this machine is purely for gaming? Then 8 gigs really won't make much of a difference.

zer0kewl
05-11-2010, 02:12 PM
4 GB is just enough if got 6 gb i never get above 4 gb usage.

SniperGeek8541
05-11-2010, 02:14 PM
certain games require 8 gig like metro

animeprime
05-11-2010, 02:21 PM
I'd say it will be used mostly for gaming. I'll use it to do standard little stuff as well like browsing and watch streaming video. I don't need a super powerful gaming rig since I'm ok with medium to low settings. The only time I would be really multitasking would be when I play wow in windowed mode and surf.

Washell
05-11-2010, 05:07 PM
certain games require 8 gig like metro

Not certain games. One game. And I've yet been unable to find someone to verify it actually uses that much memory. I have been able to find several posts though saying it never gets above 4GB, including background processes.

It's either a marketing gimmick as in 'hey look, 1st game to recommend 8GB, must be good looking. I'll buy it!' or it requires something like a quad GTX480 setup with dual i7's to keep them busy and fill the memory.

@OP: 4GB will do fine, for quite some time to come.

NotYourHero
05-11-2010, 05:16 PM
I have 2gb on 32bit and I do everything great. Yes I could have 64bit but I don't want it.

notavirus.exe
05-11-2010, 05:35 PM
If 8gb is in your budget, it certainly wont hurt...however the money could probably be more effective somewhere else, like cpu or gpu, or even powersupply

SniperGeek8541
05-11-2010, 06:23 PM
Not certain games. One game. And I've yet been unable to find someone to verify it actually uses that much memory. I have been able to find several posts though saying it never gets above 4GB, including background processes.

It's either a marketing gimmick as in 'hey look, 1st game to recommend 8GB, must be good looking. I'll buy it!' or it requires something like a quad GTX480 setup with dual i7's to keep them busy and fill the memory.

@OP: 4GB will do fine, for quite some time to come.

@WASHELL, i disagree that 4 gig will be fine for sometime to come, i think come next year your gonna need 6-8gb to run modern games!

kdawgmaster
05-11-2010, 06:26 PM
certain games require 8 gig like metro

if u look at metro 2033 it's saying minimum, recommended, and optimal. and the 8GB falls under optimal and i bet the game wont even use that much in the first place.

If every game was givin optimal recommendation's im sure alot of games made from 2008 and up would say 8GB even though its not needed.

blue_commet
05-11-2010, 07:00 PM
I have 8gb ddr 3 ram with an amd phenom X4 910 and i can run internet explorer and firefox (playing tv shows), downloading on limewire, itunes and zune playing music, running a full system scan with my virus protector, with a game running in windowed mode, and microsoft word and steam open with minimal lag so yes get the 8gb ram.

Washell
05-11-2010, 07:02 PM
@WASHELL, i disagree that 4 gig will be fine for sometime to come, i think come next year your gonna need 6-8gb to run modern games!

32 bit games can only address up to 4GB of memory. Windows allows them to address this as up to 2GB physical (RAM) and 2GB virtual. Developers can call a function that makes it 3GB physical and 1GB virtual. Either way, it leaves 1GB to 2GB free in a 4GB system for windows and background processes.

I can easily claim 'some time to come' because all current and next generation engines that are likely to see a wide adoption are 32 bit beasts (e.g. gamebryo, ID tech 5, UnrealEngine 4).

Developers need to make money. The market for games that force people to upgrade is very small. It's much easier to make a profit if the system requirements are more relaxed. Metro 2033 is the freak. If you want realistic numbers for modern games, look at Dragon Age, Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell Conviction or MW2. Recommended: 1GB to 3GB, that's not going to double, triple or quintuple across the board in a single year.

Lastly, even if I'm horribly wrong, adding 2GB to 4GB next year is easy and likely to be cheaper.

If you're on a budget and can shift the money from doing 4GB instead of 8GB into a better GPU or CPU, it really is a no-brainer.

In closing, I don't think we're going to see any major system requirement bumps until we're past 2012 and the next generation of consoles hit the market. Except for the odd game aimed at the high-end of the PC market.

internet explorer and firefox (playing tv shows), downloading on limewire, itunes and zune playing music, running a full system scan with my virus protector, with a game running in windowed mode, and microsoft word and steam open with minimal lag

Did you ever check how much Physical RAM you were using at that point? Because adding up the estimates for each program plus Windows baseline I'd make it 3GB to 3.5GB.

Amun
05-11-2010, 07:07 PM
6 or 12GB in three channels is probably the way to go for future-proofing. =p


You probably won't see the benefits from having more than 6 or 8GB for a while though.

SniperGeek8541
05-11-2010, 08:46 PM
6 or 12GB in three channels is probably the way to go for future-proofing. =p


You probably won't see the benefits from having more than 6 or 8GB for a while though.

for the sake of argument, go with 24gig of ram and youll be set for decades to come! lash out to washel. lol but yes, i do agree with you washel and you do make a good point. 1-0 you! :-D

wuliheron
05-12-2010, 01:43 AM
Metro 2033 recommends 8 or more gb of ram and a core i7 because it uses Nvidia physx which run off both your gpu and cpu. It's also optimized for an arbitrary number of cores, so it can take advantage of 6 or 8 core processors to run physx. Havoc has just come out with some new physics programs that also run off the cpu, so it looks like more cores and more ram are going to be advantageous for future games. However, it remains to be seen exactly how much ram and how many cores...

That said, six or eight gb of ram should be plenty for the forseeable future and you can probably expect to get by on 4.

McShady
05-12-2010, 02:46 AM
for the sake of argument, go with 24gig of ram and youll be set for decades to come! lash out to washel. lol but yes, i do agree with you washel and you do make a good point. 1-0 you! :-D

Well by the time 24gb is standard we will be using ddr4 or maybe even ddr5 and have 8 or 16gb sticks. 1-0-0 you two.

NotYourHero
05-12-2010, 03:08 AM
Ok so the 3 reasons you could need 8gb ram.

1. Hosting a game server (TF2, CSS, etc)
2. Rendering and image editing
3. To make your e-***** huge

Anyway you slice it, if you can, I would.

Rogersdead
05-12-2010, 03:13 AM
Metro 2033 recommends 8 or more gb of ram and a core i7 because it uses Nvidia physx which run off both your gpu and cpu. It's also optimized for an arbitrary number of cores, so it can take advantage of 6 or 8 core processors to run physx.

The game is totally GPU limited on current hardware, making those 'optimal' requirements pointless at this moment in time.

DOE_JOHN88
05-12-2010, 05:42 AM
4gb is really all you need for gaming, if you're concerned you could have 6gb but anything above that is a blatant waste of money and in my mind is overkill.

notavirus.exe
05-12-2010, 06:06 AM
get 4 gb, if your system has trouble multitasking or doing something throw another 4 gb in their.

I had 8 gb, I split it up and put 4 into another build for my best friends birthday present.

I did notice it decrease times on 7zip (really large files) but thats really it b/c i dont use photoshop or sony vegas much.

wuliheron
05-12-2010, 09:43 AM
The game is totally GPU limited on current hardware, making those 'optimal' requirements pointless at this moment in time.

That's one the reviewers missed, it is gpu bound unless you enable advanced physics and throw a granade. It's only when the game throws all those little bits and pieces from the explosion that it luggs your cpu and demands extra ram.

I've got 2 radeon 5850s and the difference is night and day. Without enabling advanced physics I get great frame rates, but with it they drop into the teens. Since it is optimized for nvidia physx it can't be running the physics on my gpu.

pizzahut
05-12-2010, 10:38 AM
PhysX is about the only thing which would convince me to buy a GeForce 470 over a Radeon 5850.

Warseth
05-12-2010, 10:47 AM
So maybe we should boil this down. 8gb of ram is unnecessary for gaming.
BUT it will speed up loading times on apps and allow multitasking at a smoother rate.

=) that is what it boils down to. Unless you use CAD and architect buildings I dont think you NEED 8 gigs...but if you have the money to blow ..WHY NOT!

Otherwise if the sole purpose is to improve your gaming ...4gb dual channeled is perfect...you can add ram later when modern games require it to load faster than 5 seconds =p or zone faster than 3 seconds mwhaaha.

ok ill shut up now.

wuliheron
05-12-2010, 01:24 PM
Exactly, unless you have some enterprise use for more than 4gb ram or are willing to spend a lot more for the very best gaming system (including not only more ram, but also a core i7 or greater cpu) it just isn't worth it.