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Discussion on Article:
2GB of RAM: Do We Really Need That Much?

Started by: Tom_Hirst | Date 02/02/06 12:00:50 PM
Comments: 120 | Last Comment:  12/21/15 10:46:33 AM

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Interesting article, I think it would have made more sense to test each configuration with the tightest timings possible, so running the 2x512MB setup at 2-2-2-10, because not being able to run with these timings is a limitation of the 2x1024MB setup that you have essentially cut out of the picture. I don't know how significantly it would effect the results but it may make a difference.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/02/06 12:00:51 PM]

I concur that ONE Gb is sufficient for most applications including Performance applications.

Those who have excess cash can spring for 2 Gb. for gaming should they be inclined, though it's pretty tough to justify the expenditures fro Vid cards and DRAM.

Workstation folks always use large quantities of DRAM because it's useful for graphics intense applications, especially where time is money.

Most PC enthusiasts however really don't need 2 Gb.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/02/06 01:22:13 PM]

I build systems & I can bring a 1GB RAM system to its knees easily with the top games & graphics software

1GB for standard PCs
2GB for high-end PCs
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/02/06 08:41:05 PM]
- collapse thread

By the way, why was Quake4 ONLY run @ High Quality?
Run Quake4 @ Ultra settings & you'll see a 1GB system practically freeze
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/02/06 08:48:09 PM]

This was a completely worthless article, something I am not accustom to on Xbitlabs.

First of you, you did not define what you meant by "contemporary computer system". It seems all the tests revolve around standard computer operation and games, which does not seem very "comtemporary".

Secondly, RAM is storage, albeit temporary. Increasing the amount will never improve performance much unless you are using MORE RAM. What's next? An article proving a bigger hard drive doesn't increase performance?

I really wish you guys had looked over the data and wondered "Is this worth publishing?", because from the looks if it, there was no other reason to post this article besides to try to coax ignorant people to not buy more RAM.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 06:01:53 AM]
- collapse thread

Mallissin makes a very good point. More RAM will only noticably improve the speed of a computer if there previously was not enough RAM available and data that should've been stored in RAM was paging.

If you really wanted to explore performance increases, you should've been working with applications that require more than 1 gig of memory and show the performance increase.

You don't increase your RAM to speed up useable apps, you increase your RAM to use apps that NEEDED more RAM than you had.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 07:57:25 AM]
I'm sorry to seem hostile, but the article is testing something out of context and without proper variations of use to prove the point.

Most games all run the same way. Content (textures,geometry files, etc.) is loaded to RAM so they can be passed to the video card quickly for rendering. This does NOT STRESS THE RAM and actually makes a point for adding MORE RAM, since more content is always preffered and having as much of it in quickly accessible storage a big plus. Most games hard code their engines with set static limits to the amount of RAM used, and this is not always variable. Once more game companies begin using multi-resolution compression on content, RAM will become extremely important and in large quantities. The multi-resolution will require more variable caching for the video card and data to be available for parsing by the processor.

Video editting applications are the complete opposite. There is too much content to be loaded to RAM, so while you're working most of the data is cached to hard drive, making the case for a fast hard drive array and not more RAM. More of the cache can be moved to RAM though letting the user move through the data faster if more is available. I'm not sure how Adobe Premire was tested, since I don't see a description, but I'm willing to bet the test was using a small set of data which is also not very helpful. The spot on Photoshop also annoyed me, since it *IS* typically professionals who use this program, and the reviewer clearly ignores this fact.

Compression benchmarks don't help at all either, since most use streams that depends more on how fast the processor can do it's job than anything else.

The only benchmark that I thought would show the benifits of more RAM was the 3-D content creation, using 3DS Max 7. Anyone who has used MAX knows RAM is extremely important, and that is because most CAD programs use vector data. If more of this vector data is thrown into RAM, screen refreshing is much smoother because the processor can run it's calculations without paging to disk. Microstation, AutoCAD, and nearly any other CAD program all run the exact same way. The fact this benchmark showed no gains, made me the most annoyed because I work with Architects and 3D artists, making my living from making sure they can work quickly.

I really believe the reviewer should have threated the RAM more like a hard drive. They should have thrown different sets of data at each program and showed the results. I believe from experience that the data produced from this sort of benchmarking would clearly make the case for MORE RAM.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 11:57:11 AM]

Anyone who thinks 1gig is enough for the current day computer systems is an uneducated moron. Most games nowadays recommend at LEAST 1G to even be runable. THere are some software programs that have similar requirements.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 06:30:07 AM]
- collapse thread

First off if you want to play games get a $500 Xbox 360 and save a LOT of money. Second computers were not invented to play games so take games out of the test and 2 gigs of ram is a total waste. Any current day "cumputer" runs fine on 1 gig. I.M.H.O
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/04/06 09:09:24 PM]

2 gigs of ram is basically usless once vista comes out
because you can just buy a jump drive and a add on to the ram
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 08:34:04 AM]

AnandTech showed that best timings are much faster than bigger mem...
U guys could add some tests with 2x512 modules off faster mem modules...
But this article it's very nice...

0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 10:45:06 AM]

I would have been nice to see some games run at higher resolutions where the 2GB's of ram will really make a difference. Although this may have required a better video card.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/03/06 11:35:42 AM]

why on earth did you play FEAR on medium settings? you had a FX60 processor and 7800GT.

Go back and run the tests again on high and maybe you will see a large increase in FPS at 2gb ram. I certainly did...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/05/06 10:06:57 AM]

Can I just say that whilst I can see the merits of running both kits of memory at the same timings - for variable elimination purposes, I feel it is unrealistic. A majority of those in the enthusiast group would undoubtedly two sticks of low latency DDR400 - that XMS-3200XL is a prime example. That ram is intended to run at 2-2-2-5.
The real question for enthusiasts should be whether running 2 gig of ram, whilst sacrificing timings is overall better than running 1 gig of ram at tighter timings.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/06/06 06:39:14 PM]

You completely forgotten to mention the virtualization applications like VMware or MS Virtual PC. I'm using a virtual network set which consists of 4 virtual PCs (2 2003 Servers and 2 XP clients) on my PC which has 2 GBs of ram and when I use this set of PCs extremely for my clients network deployments I quickly spend those 2 GBs and fall off to disk swapping. I think that we, the system builders and system admins need more memory for such environments and such virtualization tasks will be more popular with technological improvements in multicore CPU designs. But we are bound to memory limitations on such future systems. I would like to build a virtual network which could consist of 5 to 10 PCs and I need more than 4 GBs of memory for such setups. And please don't offer me an expensive server motherboard to which I could throw more than 4 GBs. I can build up a desktop system with an Athlon X2 4800 which could handle the workload of 5 to 10 virtual PCs simultaneously but I can't have the necessary memory for this setup.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 02/12/06 04:40:28 PM]

My computer calls for 512mb of RAM. I need more memory on my computer its to low. How much memory should I add to make it run properly.
0 0 [Posted by: toniscales  | Date: 06/11/11 03:48:41 PM]


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