Memory and Performance

Posted on 2012-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-09-04

 I am looking for some direction. How does Memory affect performance compared to the CPU?

For my question, I would be using a Windows 7 (64bit) computer, and 32bit applications.

Thank you,
Question by:jhieb
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    Memory or RAM in this case generally stores data being or needing to be processed by the CPU. Where as the CPU actually does the processing. So, things you'll want to look for are RAM type, speeds, and amount. Don't forget to make sure your motherboard can support the speed, type, and amount of RAM you purchase.
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    Typically new motherboards will come with the appropriate RAM meaning that it's the best in terms of raw speed. If you're looking to upgrade RAM, sometimes newer RAM comes out that is faster than what came with the PC originally.

    Probably more useful is the amount of RAM you have.  If you run a lot of programs or big programs more RAM is better in that it will give you a faster feeling PC since more things can be done in RAM which means less paging to the HD which is typically slower. Having said that, it also depends on the OS.  Windows 7 32-bit can only make use of 3-4 MB of RAM where as the 64-bit version can handle a lot more. So see what the specs are on the OS that you are using then buy the appropriate amount or if you need more, upgrade the OS and then buy more RAM.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks. So, if the OS is 64bit but all of the applications are 32bit, will the applications still make use of ram greather than 3-4GB or will the 32bit application still be limited since it is 32bit?
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    His post states that he'll be using a 64 bit OS. Typically, if you buy a motherboard it does NOT come with RAM. If you buy a combo or an already assembled PC then yes it typically will have RAM included.

    Just because faster RAM of the same type is available doesn't mean the motherboard will support it. The same goes for the amount of RAM. Always find the limitations of the motherboard before attempting to upgrade RAM. It'll save you from wasting money!
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Generally speaking, no the individual (32bit) application cannot use more than 3.5 GB of ram.

    However, if you only have 4 GB or ram and your application takes up 3.5 that'll leave you with 0.5 GB left or the OS and other applications.

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