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Importance of Large System Memory: Some Thoughts

It is no secret that it is nice to have 2GB of system RAM, although it is not a must. However, the situation will change dramatically when Windows Vista comes to market in the end of this month. If you look at the minimal system requirements for a computer running Windows Vista, you will see that it needs a minimum of 512MB. Not that much at all, isn’t it? And Microsoft Corporation doesn’t trick us here, they just don’t tell us the entire truth. Vista will boot on a system like that, although you will not be able to work comfortably.

Windows Vista OS only – that is without the installation and loading of any additional applications – requires 300-400MB of RAM. So, if you are planning to sit in front of the computer and enjoy the view of the new interface then 512MB will certainly be enough. But every application you launch – an antivirus tool, a browser, a text processor – will require tend or even hundreds of megabytes of memory for its own needs. As a result, you will spend most of your time waiting for the programs you run to get saved into a swap-file on your hard disk drive and then loaded back into the system memory. Windows ReadyBoost technology that implies the use of USB-flash to speed up everything doesn’t provide any tangible effect. So, you need at least 1GB of memory if you want to work comfortably in Windows Vista.

However, “work” in this context really implied nothing else but the common computer usage model. If you are going to play games or if the programs you are using eat a lot of system memory, then you might need even more than that. Even last year’s games often require more than 1GB of free RAM, and we don’t know yet what tomorrow brings us, although we are sure that applications will become even more resource-hungry. Contemporary chipsets support up to 16GB of system memory, in most cases it is excessive but Windows Vista will require at least 2GB for comfortable work.

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