What are the benefits of having a more memory: 4GB to 8GB in Win7 x64?

ComputerCamper
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Hello. What are the benefits of of having more memory when I already have 4 GB and I plan to go to 8 GB of memory? I have Windows 7 Professional x64. All my programs and applications are 32-bit if you need to know.

Think of anything that 8 GB of memory can give me in terms of benefits in conjunciton of Windows 7 Professional x64?

Please reply.

Thank you!

 
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Commented:
More and more programs are being written to take advantage of more memory. If stuff is in memory, it is accessed much faster than if on disk.

With 8 GB, you can have many more programs open at once; and the programs open can load more stuff into memory making them faster, such as more tabs in you internet browser, more pictures in a photo editing app, and more video in a video editing app.

The less the OS has to page out to the pagefile on the disk, the more responsive the box, the OS, and the apps will be.

I would go with 8 GB now because memory is not that expensive, and it will help future-proof your machine. More and more apps will be written to take advantage of more memory.

Lee
I can use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere without having to shut down each program.

Also, I can run virtual machines for testing on my laptop without swapping to disk for memory.  Makes a huge difference.  Also, each VM can be allocated more RAM.  So, WinXPP with 768MB-1GB RAM runs faster than 256MB.

Even going from 4GB to 6GB made a huge difference.  Premiere would barely run on 2GB.  With 4GB, would run without crashing, but I couldn't have much else open or running.  With 6GB, everything runs fine.  With 8GB, I can have VM running in the background while still doing normal work in all of the other apps.

RAM is relatively cheap for the performance it will give you.  I have a small 15.6" notebook, and maxed it out with 8GB.
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in very simply , you can read and write data storage device in more buffer that you can give 8 gb ram more performances with low time and you can create, design, open, edit, .  high quality images and videos,  (you check task manager >processes . you can see usage of memory and you calculate total memory usage of that time the answer you give idea for install more memmery
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support
Commented:
Hello ComputerCamper,

Sorry for chiming in a bit late as the above answers are pretty good, but I would like to share my two cents for prosperity  :)

More memory affects all segments of the 'system', but the most benefit is less paging, or forcing a program to stop and pull another 'piece of the program' from disk or the pagefile, which is on the disk.  

Some of the older programs have a upper memory limit, but most of the newer programs, especially the newer data base and graphics intensive one, can use as much memory as you can give it.  This equates to more efficient use of the IO subsystem (i.e. Disk and AGP).

Something to consider.  Having a lot of memory is ALWAYS a good thing, but if your goal is higher performance, then you should consider upgrading your CPU and the rotational speed and buffer size of your disk mech; there is a BIG difference between a 5700 RPM disk and a 15K RPM as well as 8MB Buffer vs a 64MB Buffer.  CPU Speed, Memory Size and Disk Buffer and Rotational speed are considered a 'matched set' when it comes to performance.

Finally, do not forget to manually increase your 'System Page File'.  I would suggest:
   : Minimum 1024
   : Maximum: 4090

Hope this did not confuse the issue,

Rojosho

Author

Commented:
@ rojosho:

Hello. Thank you for your response.

1. Please tell me how the "System Page File" settings would be affected with increased memory on a WIndows 7 64-Bit system?
2. Does Windows 7 x64 automatically adjust these settings when it detects the new memory increase or it *must* be done manually?

Please reply.

Thank you!
Commented:
You do not need to do anything at all if your pagefile is system managed. Your system will increase the pagefile size as needed to accommodate the additional RAM.
1. Even if you have a custom pagefile size, technically, you don't *have* to change this. Only if you want to dump RAM to .dmp file on system failure, you need a pagefile at least as large as RAM. Therefore, if your RAM is 4 GB, your pagefile must be at least 4 GB. If you still want this functionality at 8 GB, you need to increase your pagefile to at least 8 GB.
2. If your pagefile is system managed, it does this automatically.
System managed vs. custom size:
There have been many arguments in forums about this - no pagefile, small pagefile, huge pagefile, custom vs. system, fragmented pagefile, and so on. The only proven *significant* performance improvement regarding the pagefile is to move it to another physical disk, not another partition on the same physical disk as C:\WINDOWS. Personally, I put my pagefile on another disk and let the system manage it automatically. Also, I disable the memory dump function. What am I going to do with that file anyway? I cannot read it or understand it. I just reboot; and if the problem persists, I reinstall.

Lee
1. the page file use used to be proportional to the type of work & amount of physical RAM.  It was generally assumed that someone with 512MB of RAM doing office work would benefit from 1x page file (additional 512MB RAM) as a guideline.  Some recommended 1.5-2x you physical RAM.

This doesn't hold as true from the view of performance.  With 2GB of RAM, it is unlikely that you're trying to run 2GB of applications...you're more likely opening files or creating queries to data that fill up your RAM.  Giving 1x physical RAM is very slow...but a better alternative than crashing.

But when you get to 4GB+, that really falls apart.  If you're opening big apps and large data files, swapping that much data to a slow hard drive has to be frustrating.  IMHO, if you've got data that big, you should be able to afford a decent amount of RAM to handle it.  Your hourly rate should not reflect time spent watching your computer swap to a hard drive.

Imagine 8GB of swapped memory.  For a single hard drive, you're looking at 20-30MB/sec.  That's 5.5 minutes to fill up that much space, if you're only looking at drive I/O, not the computing that must take place to assign that data and track it.  Getting fast SSD drives and possible RAID-0 for swap/paging will definitely be faster than a normal hard drive...but never faster than RAM.

From Win95 and up, you can leave the system settings to automatic, and the OS will expand its paging file according to needs.  This isn't necessarily better...it's just less tweaking for the average user to worry about.  If you set your paging file manually (size and drive location) then you will have a contiguous space for paging.  Automatically or manual resizing later, after the first paging file is set, will cause fragmentation of the swap file.  It might only be two chunks....probably not a big deal.  But, if left at automatic, you may have many pieces of swap file scattered about a fragmented drive partition.  This affects I/O speed.

That's why its a good general recommendation to buy as much RAM as you can fit into the hardware (budget allowing).  RAM is always faster than hard drives.

Even to the point that very fast access can be attained by emulated storage that actually uses RAM.  System treats it similar to hard drives, but the access is blazingly fast.  Not something that's in a "normal" budget...but the benefits to I/O are (so far) without peer.
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support
Commented:
Hello ComputerCamper,

I will assume that you know and understand what the system pagefiles are and what they do.

Question:
1. Please tell me how the "System Page File" settings would be affected with increased memory on a WIndows 7 64-Bit system?

Answer: More memory will allow for a higher amount of program space and data space to be use, which should reduce the amount of 'disk trashing' caused by paging.  Having a larger Pagefile will allow for a greater 'work area' and more complied program code and data segements which will equate to a higher efficent use of the Disk IO Subsystem - So you are 'matching' the other system components to the newly installed RAM.

Question:
2. Does Windows 7 x64 automatically adjust these settings when it detects the new memory increase or it *must* be done manually?

Answer: Yes, it does, but it does so in small increments and does not 'jump' to the perferred settings - to coin a phase, 'it works up to the ideal settings', which takes time.  My setting the pagefile parameters manually, you 'jump' to a large enough starting point to where you can get the benifits of a larger pagefile without having to wait.

Have a look at the following:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paging 

Hope this helps,

Rojosho

Author

Commented:
@ rojosho:

Hi! Thanks for your response... I knew a little about the System PageFile, but I am getting sorta-really educated now.

Your last response follows with one more question...

Where is the location or interactive screen for System PageFile where the adjustments are made?
Please provide file/folder path location starting from the start icon in WIndows 7
.
You say to use:

   : Minimum 1024
   : Maximum: 4090

Once I set it to these settings, I set it and just leave it without any further modifications?

Please reply.

Thank you!  
Commented:
Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings > Performance Settings... > Advanced > Virtual Memory Change...

I recommend letting the system automatically manage paging file size for all drives *unless* you wish to move the pagefile to another physical disk. Windows will not do this for you.

Remember, memory is many times faster than disk. The more data you keep in memory, the faster and more responsive your system will be. Manually controlling or creating a monster pagefile in and of itself does *not* help. Unless you are running several VMs at once, running a browser with hundreds of tabs open, editing huge video files, and/or running 10s of apps simultaneously, you are not going to stress your 8 GB RAM.

Lee
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support
Commented:
Hello Again ComputerCamper,

I see that Mr Lee (Hey, that is a name of an old 60's song) answered your last question to me, great to have good back up.  

As you can read, there are difference of options of how to set the 'pagefile' parameters.  

....Some perfer to leave such things to the system.
....Some pefer to tinker.

Not hard to guess which one I align with.  The important thing is over time, both suggestions are correct and it boils down to your own perference - really.  My suggestion was based on years of 'trail and error' testing and working and supporting large production systems.  For a SOHO or home user, this may be a TMI.

One thing to condiser: To have a large enoung pagefile is to ensure that you capture a FULL MEMORY DUMP.  For that, I suggest: Equal to your RAM + 10%.  Again, most SOHO and Home systems do not have the setting set to Full Memory Dump, but if you do, then the size of your page file is going to be important.  Having your pagefile set to 'dymanic' (Self adjusting) could prove to be fatal if you need a FMD and your page file is set to low  :(

Again, this may all be a TMI....

Rojosho.

Author

Commented:
Hello. I feel this question*s* is answered and I am now going to close. I say question*s* because I see two distinct questions (topics) I asked with this one thread. Yes, it happens. It is normal. I was treated very well here by the experts! THANK YOU!!! So I have to divide the points and answers the best way I can. It will be challenging for me to figure, but I will come up with the best and fairest means I can.

Author

Commented:
Hello. Very happy and pleased will all your answers!!! You ALL have answered my questions as you all seem to know what you're talking about (and I don't). :-) I have learned alot!!! THANK YOU, again! You all win!
RojoshoRTCC-III Level-2 Support

Commented:
Hello ComputerCamper,

Thank you for your comments.  Please remember that we all walk the same path, some are ahead of us, some are behind us, but we all walk the same path.  The 'do' of trouble shooting  :)

Good luck,

Rojosho

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