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Old 07 November 2007, 06:52   #1
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Computer Memory Upgrade Question

So I'm going to pull the trigger on a new laptop today, with a Turion 64X2 dual core processor (HP DV2610US). Vista pre-installed, obviously... Comes with 1 GB of RAM in two 512 MB sticks. It can handle 4 GB total, so I'm thinking I want to max out the RAM eventually. Obviously, more is more, but I really don't want to buy 4 GB of new RAM right now, when I'm going to drop the cash on the new laptop.

Can I stick in a single 2 GB stick now, and leave one of the 512 sticks in, or do I need to have matching sticks? Do the dual cores share the total RAM or does each one use one stick? Better to leave it at 2 x 512 or have 1 @ 512 MB and one at 2 GB? Don't particularly want to buy 2 x 1GB that I'll replace...

I do some Photoshopping, office type stuff, lots of web apps, music, occasional light video editing. Often have a bunch of stuff open and running at the same time. No gaming. I probably don't really need 4 GB of RAM, but it can't hurt, right? Video uses system RAM.

Probably ought to replace the old b router with a g too, while I have the wallet out, that's a bit more affordable than the RAM.
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Old 07 November 2007, 07:46   #2
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Thats a lot of questions.

How much is RAM where you are. I just bought a new laptop and paid the minute sum of £28 for 1GB.

The machine should run with just one stick of whatever you want to put in. It will just run a little slower. Not that you will notice.

Personally I would buy your new router now and when you've got the cash get some new RAM. Although I can't see why on earth you need 4 GB. Are you linked to NASA ?
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Old 07 November 2007, 08:39   #3
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You can install one module at a time, but you won't see max performance. For dual-channel support you need to install matching pairs.

If you're running a 32 bit OS 4GB or ram isn't really usefull unless your running multiple memory hungry applications. Running photoshop for example on its own will see no great benifit going from 2GB to 4Gb.

If you're running x64 then 4GB, especially with Vista is well worth the money.
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Old 07 November 2007, 10:18   #4
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With regards sticking loads of memory in some system builders are noticing a decrease in performance when they go to 4 GB.

No doubt its the way forward with 8 core processors, SLI Graphics cards, SLI memory, 64 bit operating systems but for now if I was you I wouldn't go over 2 GB for your RAM. Anymore will probably be a waste of money. Therefore you can add another two sticks of 512 RAM to the ones you've got. And you haven't wasted anything.

Thats my opinion for what its worth.
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Old 07 November 2007, 12:40   #5
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If you're going CS3 for your Adobe apps, be aware that it requires a Gig of RAM just to load and run. More is generally better.

As to the one stick vs. 2, it depends on how the memory addressing is set up, but I doubt that there are many machines around now that still address a pair of sockets as a group (i.e. you should be fine with a single 2Gig device.) Best bet would be to check with mfr's tech support before committing, though.

Not really much reason to upgrade your router if it's still working, unless you do a *lot* of local, large file, machine-to-machine transfers. The speed of most Internet stuff (which is most of consumers router use) is determined by the sending speed of the server you hit rather than your local bandwidth. Sort of like connecting a fire hydrant to your drip irrigation system: you're still only going to get out what comes down the pipe.

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Old 07 November 2007, 13:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
If you're going CS3 for your Adobe apps, be aware that it requires a Gig of RAM just to load and run. More is generally better.

As to the one stick vs. 2, it depends on how the memory addressing is set up, but I doubt that there are many machines around now that still address a pair of sockets as a group (i.e. you should be fine with a single 2Gig device.) Best bet would be to check with mfr's tech support before committing, though.
The above laptop will run with one stick - just not in dual channel mode - hence there will be a loss of performance.

If you install 4GB in a 32bit machine you will most likely only see around 3.5GB in the operating system, this is due to much of the 4GB address space being used to address other hardware. For example if you have a graphics card with 512MB of RAM, thats an instant 512MB gone from your available system RAM - not a problem with the above laptop, as its using system RAM anyway - but there will be other things eating into the address space.

Also on a 32bit Windows operating system a single application (process) will in the real world only be able to use a max of 1.5GB. A 32bit application running on a 64bit Windows OS will be able to use close to 4GB, you don't need 64bit apps to gain performance.

We have reached the limits of the 32bit OS. If you're going for >2GB you should be looking at a 64bit OS these days.
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Old 07 November 2007, 15:23   #7
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Here's a link to the manufacturers site regarding this laptop.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/store/pro...S845UA%2523ABA

I notice the Nvidia GeForce Go 7150M Graphics card (UMA) will take up to 287MB total available graphics memory.
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Old 12 November 2007, 10:43   #8
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Thanks all, I think you saved me some money! Sounds like it's not worth bothering to spring for the 4 GB.

When I went to buy the laptop, they were offering 25% off if you bought 3+ accessories, so I went ahead and got the router, along some blank DVDs and a Bluetooth headset for my Treo. Wish I had read the replies before I went, as I would have bought 2 x 1GB of RAM under the same deal. Oh well, it should only be another $60-$70 USD.

The g router is noticeably faster than the b. I was using the old b for a couple of days with the new laptop, switching to the g was a noticeable increase in browsing speed, plus it has better range, though that could be due to the integrated wireless in the new laptop vs the PC card in the old one.

Thanks again.

P.S. Bluetooth is cool! I can sync my Treo to the laptop with it, as well as use the Star Trek ear piece. I always thought it was a bit of a gimmick, but now I'm hooked!
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Old 12 November 2007, 14:49   #9
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So here's a worrier for you.

On my main PC using Windoze Vista 64 with 4 GB RAM I find it is consistantly using 1.63 GB whilst just surfing etc. When I open Adobe Photoshop CS3 it goes up to 1.71 GB. When I open up a picture with CS3 this goes up to 1.71 GB. Pretty scary if you have 2 GB RAM. Not long before things start to slow down with windoze accessing a pagefile on your HD because its gobbled up all the RAM. Greedy.
As you have Vista download a sidebar gadget that shows your RAM usage then you can instantly gauge how much RAM you are using at anyone time.

Next thing is to get that gadget on my laptop and see how that uses RAM.

For those users that are on XP I believe their is similar software made by third parties you can use.

NR.
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Old 12 November 2007, 15:23   #10
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Just noticed after playing on the PC for half an hour its suddenly gone to 1.79 GB and at the moment all I'm doing is surfing.
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