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Author Topic: Is 2 gigs of RAM now standard or overkill?  (Read 7458 times)
Abagadro
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on: October 12, 2006, 12:52:39 AM

Finally getting into a position to replace my rig and was wondering if 2 gigs of RAM is simply not needed at this point or if it is standard.  Looks like I am going for either an x2 3800 or If I'm feeling spendy a E6400.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Trippy
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Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 01:33:31 AM

If you like to play 3D games I highly recommend 2 GB of RAM.
Lt.Dan
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Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006, 02:10:33 AM

I suspect 1 gig is still standard since most PC manufacturers want to keep prices low on standard models.  That said, most will offer upgrades to 1x1Gb stick or 2x1 Gb or high-end models with 2Gb standard (but with a lot of fluff to pad the price *up*).
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Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006, 03:43:25 AM

Is 2 gigs of RAM now standard or overkill?

I would definitely advise 2 gigs in any new PC. I'm going to build one next year to replace my current rig, built in 2003 with 1 gig RAM, video card and hard disk upgraded since. Based on my experiences with that I'll be going for at least 2 gigs next year, probably more.
eldaec
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Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006, 05:17:41 AM

Finally getting into a position to replace my rig and was wondering if 2 gigs of RAM is simply not needed at this point or if it is standard.  Looks like I am going for either an x2 3800 or If I'm feeling spendy a E6400.

2gig is the minimum I'd consider when building a new system.

Of course you'd get by with less, but increasing RAM to 2gig or above will always make your PC run better and feel better. Everyone underspecs on RAM, the high street PCs and consoles always skimp on it only because it's not sexy, and harder to get bulk discounts on.

Judging from the processor options you mention, you are at an overall price point where the cost of going from 1gig to 2gig would definitely be better spent on ram than on processor or graphics cards upgrades.

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schild
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Reply #5 on: October 12, 2006, 07:48:53 AM

My next computer will have 3 if not 4 gigs of ram, the $200-300 difference will probably double the lifespan of the machine (I biult my computer 5 years ago, had 1 gig of ram then - still works for things like HL2, FEAR and Prey). Before that, not a single computer lasted me more than 3 years.
Riggswolfe
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Reply #6 on: October 12, 2006, 08:36:11 AM

How much is a 1 gig stick running on average these days? I think my motherboard will go to 4 gigs. (It's an AMD 64 motherboard, but I can't remember the exact specs and I'm at work right now.) I've been considering a ram upgrade myself...

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Reply #7 on: October 12, 2006, 08:47:54 AM

Sky
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Reply #8 on: October 12, 2006, 09:29:46 AM

I read a week or two ago that RAM is hitting peak pricing. My initial guess would be the demand on DDR2 because AMD is using it now, but that's just a guess. I know it's way more expensive than it was last year. 2x1GB DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) of crucial ram is almost $500! So I don't think schild's suggestion is a good idea in this market. Maybe when it cools, but spending $900-$1000 on RAM alone is c-razy.

I plan on slapping 2GB in my next pc and then if I need more I'll buy it when it's cheap. "Standard" is 1GB imo, but most commercial systems default to 512MB still (grandma don't know no better, I guess).

Abagadro
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Reply #9 on: October 12, 2006, 10:03:59 AM

My language was a bit loose.  I am customing this system so I was just wondering if it was "considered standard" to pu that much in at this point rather than whether most systems came with it.  The price difference will be 139 bucks.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Reply #10 on: October 12, 2006, 10:17:01 AM

I would plan any system upgrade around whether I was going to jump on the Vista bandwagon next year.  Personally, I'll be doing that and rebuilding the rig at the same time.  I'm suspicious that I'll consider 4GB as baseline, but I have not really read much about Vista's requirements, especially since RC2 has arrived.

I do know that Ye Olde 4GB C: Partitione has got to go.  I don't want to use an entire disk for the OS image, but maybe I should.  I'm thinking 20GB for a Vista install could be a tight fit.  Bleh.

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Reply #11 on: October 12, 2006, 10:43:30 AM

Yeah, I've been leaning toward holding out until some solid dx10 parts come out. I hate to buy an MS OS before SP1...bah. I've also heard some bad things about sound under vista (it's all in software, no EAX, etc). Bah, I'm waffling back towards building a dx9 XP rig again, heh.

Sky
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Reply #12 on: October 12, 2006, 10:44:19 AM

My language was a bit loose.  I am customing this system so I was just wondering if it was "considered standard" to pu that much in at this point rather than whether most systems came with it.  The price difference will be 139 bucks.
I think it's funny you'd say that. I'm not being defensive, you are. Yes, I'd spend $139 to double my RAM.

Abagadro
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Reply #13 on: October 12, 2006, 11:07:01 AM

Quote
I'm not being defensive, you are.

I didn't think anyone was being defensive. I was just clarifying my question.

/confused

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Reply #14 on: October 12, 2006, 11:21:26 AM

Spend the money. It's either now or later, in any case and "later" might mean "new motherboard because the new RAM standard won't fit into the old motherboard that you've got".

Strazos
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Reply #15 on: October 12, 2006, 11:30:17 AM

Seriously...$140 for to bump up to 2GB is nice.

I'm currently only running 1GB (512MB x 2). My Mobo has 3 DIMM slots, 2 of which are Dual-Channeled, so...would putting the 512 sticks in the dual-channel and a 1GB module mess things up, or would I be better off sticking with a 3rd 512 stick?

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Sky
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Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 11:33:17 AM

Quote
I'm not being defensive, you are.

I didn't think anyone was being defensive. I was just clarifying my question.

/confused

*points to your avatar*

Abagadro
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Reply #17 on: October 12, 2006, 11:37:22 AM

Doh!

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-H.L. Mencken
Nija
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Reply #18 on: October 12, 2006, 12:05:47 PM

I was just thinking about this very topic this morning. I'm either going 2 or 4 gigs. I was looking at some fancy pants Asus core duo motherboard for $200, and I told myself, "Self, if i'm gonna be paying $200 for motherboards again like it's 1998, I might as well spend $500 on RAM to complete the cycle."
Flood
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Reply #19 on: October 12, 2006, 01:12:01 PM

Standard.

In the money verus performance gained equation memory is one of the most cost effective things to spend (more) money on.

I recommend G.Skill BTW.

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Reply #20 on: October 12, 2006, 03:03:32 PM

Seriously...$140 for to bump up to 2GB is nice.

I'm currently only running 1GB (512MB x 2). My Mobo has 3 DIMM slots, 2 of which are Dual-Channeled, so...would putting the 512 sticks in the dual-channel and a 1GB module mess things up, or would I be better off sticking with a 3rd 512 stick?

Depending on the motherboard, you will drop into single channel and it might also slow the speed to like 400 mhz.

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Reply #21 on: October 12, 2006, 07:17:48 PM

I put two gigs of Mushkin in my latest rig (the motherboard refused to accept the cheaper OCX crap.) was deffinately worth it. I Spent $360 on RAM, $400 on the GPU and about $250 on the CPU, and I think that was the correct priority for spending.

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Reply #22 on: October 12, 2006, 07:37:01 PM

Standard.

In the money verus performance gained equation memory is one of the most cost effective things to spend (more) money on.
Adding more memory will only increase performance if it cuts down on page file usage and that's dependent on the kinds of apps you run simultaneously.
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Reply #23 on: October 12, 2006, 07:43:45 PM

Seriously...$140 for to bump up to 2GB is nice.

I'm currently only running 1GB (512MB x 2). My Mobo has 3 DIMM slots, 2 of which are Dual-Channeled, so...would putting the 512 sticks in the dual-channel and a 1GB module mess things up, or would I be better off sticking with a 3rd 512 stick?
What's the motherboard? It shouldn't matter how you do it as long as you keep the pair of 512 MBs in the proper dual channel slots.
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Reply #24 on: October 12, 2006, 07:45:08 PM

Judging by processor I don't think you are planning to play games on your PC, so 1G is fine. Also if you are going ultra-economy you should look into socket 939.

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Trippy
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Reply #25 on: October 12, 2006, 07:48:54 PM

Judging by processor I don't think you are planning to play games on your PC, so 1G is fine. Also if you are going ultra-economy you should look into socket 939.
Why not? Games run fine on my X2 3800.
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Reply #26 on: October 12, 2006, 08:12:32 PM

Games run fine on my old AMD 3000 rig but it wasn't bought yesterday. Thing is if he is *planning* to upgrade PC and aiming at AMD X2 3800 he is by far more concerned with cost than performance, since for about 10-15% more you can get AMD X2 4200. As to my 939 comment – if you are on a budget you likely not going to be willing to invest into more expensive high-end DDR2 memory to benefit from AM2 socket over 939.

Alternative explanation is that he is buying pre-build rig, in that case just buy a laptop.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 08:17:47 PM by sinij »

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Big Gulp
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Reply #27 on: October 12, 2006, 09:49:09 PM

Games run fine on my old AMD 3000 rig but it wasn't bought yesterday. Thing is if he is *planning* to upgrade PC and aiming at AMD X2 3800 he is by far more concerned with cost than performance, since for about 10-15% more you can get AMD X2 4200. As to my 939 comment – if you are on a budget you likely not going to be willing to invest into more expensive high-end DDR2 memory to benefit from AM2 socket over 939.

Yeah, the 2 gigs of RAM are what's keeping my computer current.  I can run FEAR, Oblivion, and Dark Messiah at 1280X1024 with all the bells and whistles without any slowdown.  I know the only thing letting me do this is the RAM and having a good video card.

Eventually I'll upgrade to a whole new setup, but I'm waiting on AMD's next big release to see if the quad core lives up to the hype.  Then I need to buy new DDR2 RAM, and a PCI Express card.  So basically, no cannibalizing for me this time around.  Whatever I do get, though, it'll get at least 2 gigs of RAM.
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Reply #28 on: October 12, 2006, 10:04:58 PM

2 Gigs is overkill still in my opinion. This however will most likely change within the next year or two.

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Reply #29 on: October 13, 2006, 12:31:25 AM

@ Trippy: Asus A7N8X Deluxe, an AMD board.

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Reply #30 on: October 13, 2006, 02:49:19 AM

@ Trippy: Asus A7N8X Deluxe, an AMD board.
The manual is too vague. Your safest bet to preserve dual channel functionality is to go with all 512 MB sticks. You may want to Google around and see what other people have written about using all three memory slots.
Sky
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Reply #31 on: October 13, 2006, 08:58:50 AM

It's been too long since I built my system on that mobo, I forget. But I thought putting a stick in the third slot disabled the dual-channel thing. I could definitely be wrong on that, but that's the thought tickling my cranium.

Post 5000, btw  tongue

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Reply #32 on: October 13, 2006, 09:00:44 AM

Grats.

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Reply #33 on: October 13, 2006, 09:45:24 AM

I added a gig of RAM last month and it barely affected EQ2 (zone times decreased by about 1-3 seconds) but made a big difference in Planetside (I turned on the flora and don't get the graphics glitches at all now as opposed to occasionally with 1 gig.) 

Go figure.

I would say go with 1G now since it is easy to add mre later if you need it and prices fall constantly (unless you wait too long and your mobo becomes ancient so you have to find RAM that no one makes anymore.)

I have never played WoW.
Abagadro
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Reply #34 on: October 13, 2006, 12:20:23 PM

I ended up going with the E6400 and 2 Gigs of RAM. I'm thinking I might see a tad of an increase in speed over my current Althon 1700+.  :-D

It is being custom built, just not by me. 

Thanks for the advice chaps/chapettes.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-H.L. Mencken
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