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2G vs. 3/4G RAM for Dell M1330

Posted on 2007-11-19
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I'm planning on purchasing a Dell M1330 laptop with the T7500 processor and the discrete graphics card (128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS).  If, instead of 2G, I go for 3 or 4 G of RAM, do I get any real benefit for statistical/data processing work?  What about for watching a movie?  I don't do any gaming.  Any advice would be appreciated.
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Question by:SARose
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by:tsburt
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a 2G should be good, since it using vista. and u have a pretty good videocard with it.
if u can affort to get more rams i would but 2G would be fine for watching movies and doing data processing work
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by:moby81
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Being a new model notebook I will assume it has vista on it.
For vista on a notebook I advise all my clients that they really should have a minimum 2gb. While vista says it will run on 1GB, it will often get bogged down and run very slowly. Having the 2gb allows you to take advantage of a lot more of vista's features comfortably.

When watching movies, the 2gb will be ample.

However when it comes to statistical data/processing work, you really want to have a lot of ram and a decent processor. I would recommend going for the 3gb, ram is fairly inexpensive these days and you won't regret the extra. However just be aware that unless you're running a 64bit version of Vista it won't recognise anything higher than about 3.5gb.
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by:garycase
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For statistical work it depends on the size of the datasets involved.   If you're processing very large datasets then yes, more memory provides some benefit.   But unless you install Vista x64 (which dell does not offer with the notebook) the system won't "see" all 4GB if you order it so-equipped ... the reserved elements at the upper end of the 32-bit address space will restrict the visible memory to something in the 3.25GB range [exactly how much depends on the exact configuration ... but I'd expect between 3.25 and 3.5GB with the configuration you've described].

For general data processing ... no advantage => 2GB is plenty.   The only potential advantage is if you tend to keep many windows open at once, where more memory would be less likely to require paging as you switch between applications.

For watching movies => absolutely NO advantage at all.

Bottom line:  I think 2GB is plenty.

By the way, I'm surprised Dell even offers this system with 3GB.   The laptop supports dual channel access mode; but this requires matching memory modules.   If a 1GB module and a 2GB module are installed, it will not operate in dual channel mode.   So the one thing I would NOT do is buy it with 3GB.   Decide if you want 2GB or 4GB ... and buy it accordingly.   Even if you buy 4GB but only "see" 3+GB, at least it will be operating in dual channel mode ==> and you can always gain access to the entire 4GB in the future by installing Vista x64.   Be sure you buy the system WITH the media for your OS (Dell charges a bit extra for that) ==> assuming they ship a standard Vista DVD as the media, the x64 version is included on the DVD.

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by:SARose
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garycase,

Perhaps you could clarify one point for me?  You say Dell does not offer Vista x64 with the notebook, but the x64 version is included on the DVD.  If I can get a standard Vista DVD, can I install the x64 version on that notebook?  Or is the notebook not able to run x64?
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garycase earned 100 total points
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The T7500 supports 64-bit processing, so you can install Vista x64 with no problem ==> I just checked Dell's website to confirm they have 64-bit drivers for the M1330, and they have all the drivers you need for Vista x64:  http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?os=WXPX&osl=EN&catid=-1&impid=-1&servicetag=&SystemID=XPS_M1330&hidos=WLH&hidlang=en

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by:garycase
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... I went to the Vista x64 set of drivers & copied the URL; but for some reason it comes up with the XP x64 page (with the link I just posted) ==> but if you just change the OS to Vista x64 you'll get links to all the correct drivers.
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by:SARose
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Thanks very much for all your help.
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by:garycase
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You're most welcome.
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