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Author Topic: Upgrading RAM amount; please help me choose.  (Read 8750 times)
superboyac
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« on: January 02, 2012, 10:24:39 PM »

I'm looking to beef up my RAM to 16GB (I currently have 4GB).  Can you guys help me choose the proper sticks to get?  I have no clue about the technologies involved, what's compatible with what, what to avoid, etc.  All of my computer specs are still here, when you guys helped me last time:

My Computer Specs

Thanks!
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4wd
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 10:33:24 PM »

TBH, I'd think it would be more cost effective for you to upgrade the CPU, MB and RAM.  You'd need to buy 4 x 4GB DDR2 RAM since you only have 4 RAM slots and that will not be cheap.

Here's the only 4GB modules, (single), I could see on Newegg, (apart from Registered Server which are even more expensive), under a $100:
G.SKILL 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
G.SKILL 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Now compare to 16GB of DDR3, (5 kits under US$100):
Newegg

RAM upgrade:
4 x 4GB DDR2 800, (slower than what you currently have) = ~US$280

Replacement CPU, RAM, MB:
CPU:                 Intel i5-2500K @ US$219
16GB DDR3 RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB @$US79
Motherboard:     GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 @ US$122
Total: ~US$421

You'll also get the benefit of SATA6, (debatable), and USB3, (definitely).....I know what I'd choose smiley

You could save a bit by using a slightly lower spec i5, eg. the i5-2300 @ US$185

According to Passmark CPU Lookup, the i5-2300 is about 1800 points higher, (5592), than your current Q9400, (3823), in pseudo-performance.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 11:13:42 PM by 4wd » Logged

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techidave
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 04:42:57 AM »

Remember that if you change the motherboard, you will most likely have to reinstall Windows and everything else.  I have tried before to just update the drivers but haven't had much success in that area.  Since  your machine is 3 years old now, then updating some of the hardware would give you more benefits than just replacing the memory.
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4wd
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 05:00:48 AM »

Remember that if you change the motherboard, you will most likely have to reinstall Windows and everything else.  I have tried before to just update the drivers but haven't had much success in that area.

I've changed motherboards and CPUs a few times without having to reinstall Windows usually doing, (for XP):
1) Boot into Safe Mode and remove any motherboard/gfx drivers with DriverCleaner, (any hardware specific also sometimes, eg. SATA card)
2) Change the hardware.
3) Boot from the XP CD and perform a Repair-in-place.

System normally comes up afterwards and then the new motherboard/gfx/hardware drivers can be installed.

Last time was at the end of November going from an nVidia motherboard + integrated gfx + Athlon II 235e to an AMD 780 based motherboard + Radeon HD4850 + Athlon 7750 - it all worked perfectly afterwards.

With Windows 7 it's even easier since it carries all the basic drivers for most hardware with it, just uninstall any specific motherboard/gfx drivers, change the hardware and boot.

It is always better to do a full install in the long run though.
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superboyac
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 09:06:14 AM »

What if I just double up to 8GB?  I don't really want to do a major upgrade at this time.
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40hz
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 09:30:01 AM »

I can't think of anything anybody* would want to do on a PC that could justify more than 8Gb of RAM with today's current or projected technologies. And that includes running a few virtual machines simultaneously while also working with Photoshop and browsing the web. (You little multi-tasker, you! Grin)

About the only real (normal person) 'workstation' intensive process I can think of is CGI rendering. And if you're doing a lot of that, having more CPUs (as in a small cheap render farm) is far more efficient than having a single beefed-up workstation. And that includes those that support dual chips.

Suggestion: whenever I'm in doubt or looking for solid advice on RAM, I'll web over to Crucial Memory Products and use their Memory Advisor Tool found on the homepage. I have never been steered wrong with this tool. Also check out their forums. Some good discussions about RAM can be found there. (Note: usual caveats regarding forum recommendations apply.)

If you want to shop price before you buy, you can always take the specs from what Crucial recommends and look at comparable products from quality RAM providers like Kensington et al.

Luck! Thmbsup


* Note: I seem to recall a few DCers (Carol or f0dder maybe?) were running with 16Gb. Maybe they and some of 'those that have' could weigh-in on this? I'm curious too since I'll need to seriously start thinking about a new build sometime this year.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 10:02:34 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Renegade
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 11:16:50 AM »

I can't think of anything anybody* would want to do on a PC that could justify more than 8Gb of RAM with today's current or projected technologies. And that includes running a few virtual machines simultaneously while also working with Photoshop and browsing the web. (You little multi-tasker, you! Grin)

About the only real (normal person) 'workstation' intensive process I can think of is CGI rendering. And if you're doing a lot of that, having more CPUs (as in a small cheap render farm) is far more efficient than having a single beefed-up workstation. And that includes those that support dual chips.

Suggestion: whenever I'm in doubt or looking for solid advice on RAM, I'll web over to Crucial Memory Products and use their Memory Advisor Tool found on the homepage. I have never been steered wrong with this tool. Also check out their forums. Some good discussions about RAM can be found there. (Note: usual caveats regarding forum recommendations apply.)

If you want to shop price before you buy, you can always take the specs from what Crucial recommends and look at comparable products from quality RAM providers like Kensington et al.

Luck! Thmbsup


* Note: I seem to recall a few DCers (Carol or f0dder maybe?) were running with 16Gb. Maybe they and some of 'those that have' could weigh-in on this? I'm curious too since I'll need to seriously start thinking about a new build sometime this year.

I upgraded this box with 8 GB of memory to 16 GB total, and am MUCH happier.

Justifiable? Hell yeah~!

Web browsers are absolute computing vampires. The are the most evil, blood sucking fiends in the computing world when it comes to memory. Like just how does a browser manage to suck up a gig for a page? Beats me, but that's not important. That it actually does suck up that much is the point.

My only capacity issue now is storage. I really wish that SSDs were cheaper. I need to manage my storage very carefully.

But for memory, I'm much better off with 16 GB now.

I was having bad problems with 8 GB, and especially with Photoshop as it would puke out RAM memory error messages all the time. Now it only pukes out storage error messages from time to time. smiley


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daddydave
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 11:44:05 AM »

I can't think of anything anybody* would want to do on a PC that could justify more than 8Gb of RAM with today's current or projected technologies.

I've said something like this before, but this sounds so much like the old quote about 640K, I think I'll make myself a reminder to reopen this thread in 5 years.

ADDED
That said, the most memory I have had on a PC is 8GB, I had to downgrade to 4GB and I miss the extra memory although I pretty much downgraded every other component and no scientific method so I can't say that is the cause of all the slowness I have been experiencing.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 12:05:01 PM by daddydave » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 11:57:11 AM »

I can't think of anything anybody* would want to do on a PC that could justify more than 8Gb of RAM with today's current or projected technologies.

I've said something like this before, but this sounds so much like the old quote about 640K, I think I'll make myself a reminder to reopen this thread in 5 years.

I generally forget stuff, so let me post ahead of time:

Quote from: Renegade

WHAT!?!?! You ONLY have 128 GB of RAM? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?!


Grin


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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 12:55:59 PM »

If I go for 8GB, can I mix the RAM, or do I have to replace everything from scratch?
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superboyac
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 01:00:39 PM »

Well, the recommended upgrade according to the Memory Adviser Tool is:
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JavaJones
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 05:14:06 PM »

The memory adviser on Crucial.com consistently provides good recommendations and is generally the 1st place I tell people to go. Once you have the  memory specs you can shop around for better pricing, but their prices are not bad either and Crucial is good memory.

About the only real (normal person) 'workstation' intensive process I can think of is CGI rendering. And if you're doing a lot of that, having more CPUs (as in a small cheap render farm) is far more efficient than having a single beefed-up workstation. And that includes those that support dual chips.

As someone who does us rendering software (mostly Terragen) I can say in fact that a single system is *more* efficient, if you're talking about power use and quick turnaround time. For absolute rendering power yes getting a bunch of cheaper machines focused on CPU and RAM to make a mini render farm will crank out renders the fastest, but it will take up a lot of room, generate a lot of heat, and cost a lot in electricity. My overclocked i7 2600k at 4.6Ghz is twice as fast as my old i7 920 (no slouch itself), and doesn't really use much more power (same TDP for the CPU and I don't think it's been overvolted for the OC).

* Note: I seem to recall a few DCers (Carol or f0dder maybe?) were running with 16Gb. Maybe they and some of 'those that have' could weigh-in on this? I'm curious too since I'll need to seriously start thinking about a new build sometime this year.

I'm one of those people. Grin I have 16GB of RAM in new primary workstation, 15GB in my secondary workstation/render box, and 10GB in my laptop. And while I did say I do rendering and that's certainly one of the things that uses a good deal of RAM, I actually find image editing to be at least as demanding. The combination of Photoshop and Lightroom, or a panorama stitcher like Kolor Autopano working on full resolution RAW source images, or an HDR app doing image stacking like Photomatix. Now run any one of those simultaneously  (which is often advantageous), along with a web browser or two (I usually have Firefox and Chrome open at the same time), and RAM quickly gets eaten up. I am indeed a power user but then so are most people here.

- Oshyan
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 05:49:47 PM »

@SB - ok, looks like I'm outvoted on the 8Gb vs 16Gb argument by DC folk who are currently using 16, so please disregard my earlier questioning of how advantageous it would be.  smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 07:08:58 PM »

@SB - ok, looks like I'm outvoted on the 8Gb vs 16Gb argument by DC folk who are currently using 16, so please disregard my earlier questioning of how advantageous it would be.  smiley

Not a problem.  Knowing myself, I tend to go overboard initially anyway, so in the end, the advice was good.
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superboyac
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 07:12:54 PM »

I have more serious issues to deal with...BSOD all over the place.  I have some kind of weird memory, hardware, or something problem.  This all happened lately when I started experimenting around with live streaming a radio station that I want to do.  Something has gone wrong.  But hell if I know what it is.  I've installed and uninstalled dozens of programs, I've changed some hardware settings.  I have no idea.  It's always a big BSOD with a couple of seconds of dumping memory off, which I've never seen before.  Usually, a BSOD is static.  I've never had this one where it shows a couple of seconds of memory percentage dumping.  I hope it's not hardware.

I also just noticed that when I rebooted and the part which shows all the hard drives coming up...that is usually very quick, this time it had to wait several seconds to detect the each drive.  Made me think I have a motherboard problem.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 07:19:15 PM »

@SB - ok, looks like I'm outvoted on the 8Gb vs 16Gb argument by DC folk who are currently using 16, so please disregard my earlier questioning of how advantageous it would be.  smiley

Not a problem.  Knowing myself, I tend to go overboard initially anyway, so in the end, the advice was good.

Fair enough. I'll leave you to the "power users" - most of which those here are (as per JJ  Wink) - and which I definitely am not (as per 40hz  tongue).  Grin

Onward! Thmbsup

« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 07:29:03 PM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 07:23:54 PM »

I also just noticed that when I rebooted and the part which shows all the hard drives coming up...that is usually very quick, this time it had to wait several seconds to detect the each drive.  Made me think I have a motherboard problem.

Check your CMOS battery. Oddball start ups and especially disk and other hardware detection issues are often caused by a dying battery. It's cheap and easy to replace so hopefully that's the source of the problem.

Luck! Thmbsup
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superboyac
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 08:14:13 PM »

Thanks!  I sure hope it's that easy.  I'll do that.

I'm having other odd problems.  System restore was turned off.  I tried turning it on and got an error.  A program that was working yesterday (a portable exe program) can't run today and gives me some .net errors.  I looked at my event log, saw some problems with wing ftp server (a really neat server solution I was trying out, but I just removed that), there were problems with Comodo's gaurd64.dll file.  And of course the unexpected shutdown error.  I have issues.

I swear, all this started a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to get the icecast streaming thing working.  I changed the audio settings, but I can't see why that would be the problem.  I had two sound cards, the motherboard one and my pro-audio one.  I unplugged the speaker from the motherboard one and put it on the pro-audio one.  i also changed the default sound to the pro-audio.  It seems like that's when everything started, but I've tweaked so many other things since then.

Well...this may call for a fresh Windows install.  But off to radioshack first...
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 10:12:41 PM »

I ordered a new machine last week from Puget Systems and it will have 16GB RAM. Which I am concerned may not be enough!!

My new RAM Acronym: AMAYCPSIT  (As Much As You Can Possibly Stuff In There)

 Cool

Jim
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superboyac
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2012, 11:51:38 PM »

J-mac!  I like the way you think...but my wallet don't!

I'm really having some windows problems.  I think it's Comodo.  They did a pretty major upgrade a few weeks ago and that's possibly when my problems started.  Comodo's latest update changed it's look pretty significantly, that's why I remember it.  Anyway, the event log is showing these things:
Quote
The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
cmdGuard
discache
MpFilter
spldr
Wanarpv6

also:
Quote
The Computer Browser service depends on the Server service which failed to start because of the following error:
The dependency service or group failed to start.

DCOM got error "1084" attempting to start the service ShellHWDetection with arguments "" in order to run the server:
{DD522ACC-F821-461A-A407-50B198B896DC}

DCOM got error "1084" attempting to start the service WSearch with arguments "" in order to run the server:
{7D096C5F-AC08-4F1F-BEB7-5C22C517CE39}

Custom dynamic link libraries are being loaded for every application. The system administrator should review the list of libraries to ensure they are related to trusted applications. (this is regarding the file  C:\Windows\system32\guard64.dll

So I think either the problem is Comodo, or it's part of the problem.  I'll try removing/reinstalling it later this week.  The other one was the Wing FTP service possibly.  I also tried messing with some IIS or WEbdav stuff to try to get my ipad comic reader app (great app) working.   Ugh.  I always do this...I always play a little too much with things.  My curiosity is going to be the death of me, I'm sure of it.
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Renegade
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2012, 12:46:23 AM »

Ugh.  I always do this...I always play a little too much with things.  My curiosity is going to be the death of me, I'm sure of it.

I've learned to do this:

  • Figure out how many minutes the job will take.
  • Budget that many hours.

Seems to work pretty well. cheesy

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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2012, 06:58:45 AM »

I've learned to do this:

  • Figure out how many minutes the job will take.
  • Budget that many hours.

Seems to work pretty well.

I too use this method. It has served my well.
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »

I also just noticed that when I rebooted and the part which shows all the hard drives coming up...that is usually very quick, this time it had to wait several seconds to detect the each drive.  Made me think I have a motherboard problem.

Have you tried disconnecting your SATA cables (both ends!) and reconnecting them? Thermal creep is a real issue with any kind of connection and as SATA connectors are flimsy by default...

Lets just say that I fixed a lot of PC's here (in Paraguay where in summertime it hits 40 degrees Celsius at 10:00 in the morning) just by re-attaching connectors. The only disk where I never gave done this fix is one that is mounted vertically with the power and SATA connectors on top. Whatever thermal creep is able to do...it is fixed by plain old gravity.

And yes, even the deluxe SATA connectors that click onto their connector are not safe from thermal creep. Maybe in the cold north this is different, but over here these are not as stable as you would expect.
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2012, 08:58:41 AM »

The only disk where I never gave done this fix is one that is mounted vertically with the power and SATA connectors on top.
OT:
That's the only position that's not allowed/recommended by most manufacturers undecided
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superboyac
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2012, 09:01:42 AM »

I'll give that a shot, Shades.

The other program I'm suspecting is itunes.  that program has a very intrusive installation and uninstallation, and I've had to reinstall it a couple of times lately.  This is exactly why I can quickly hate apple products, if only they didn't make tablets and phones the "feel" the best.  Itunes really sticks its nose in all sorts of places on your computer.
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