Vista and RAM: How much do you really need?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by Opinicus, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Opinicus

    Opinicus Guest

    Is there any consensus on this?

    And what about graphics cards?
    Opinicus, Jan 17, 2007
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  2. The minimum is of public record - anything above that is up to you.
    The same goes for graphics cards.
    You should base your system configuration on YOUR requirements in
    terms of applications you intend to run etc.
    So the answer ranges from 500MB to multiple TB on x64 systems.
    There is no point in asking for a typical system etc as again one
    persons system may not be suitable for your requirements.
    (all of the above is relevant for graphics cards to - in entirely
    depends on your requirements)
    Mike Brannigan, Jan 17, 2007
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  3. Opinicus

    David Hearn Guest

    I have 1GB RAM + 128MB on graphics card and it's pretty good (on Athlon
    XP 3000+). I've also got a 2GB ReadyBoost drive set up though (not bad
    for £20 when both memory slots are full and would cost £140+ to buy
    2x1GB sticks, leaving me with 2x512MB sticks which I can't use)

    Building or buying a new PC? Go with 2GB minimum, and ensure you've got
    spare slots free (ie. don't go with 4x512MB, rather 2x1GB if you've got
    4 slots).

    If you've already got a machine which is full of 1GB RAM - then you'll
    probably be okay, but more the merrier.

    I guess more graphics RAM is better too, but 128MB hasn't been a problem
    for me.


    David Hearn, Jan 17, 2007
  4. As I said however this is a purely subjective area and the "1.5GB
    sweet spot" as you and Charlie call it is totally unsuitable (too
    small) for some of the work I do and this may be the case for other
    users. We should all be extremely careful when making sweeping
    generalisations - users should buy the system specification
    appropriate for THEIR workloads and not really too heavily on generic
    It is all about workload.
    Mike Brannigan, Jan 17, 2007
  5. Opinicus

    Dennis Pack Guest

    I won't tell Charlie, but you mis-spelled his last name. Have a
    great day.
    Dennis Pack, Jan 17, 2007
  6. If you power on your computer and the lights don't dim, add more ram. The
    Vista Get Ready site has links to the video card manufacturer's website
    where Aero compatible cards are listed. Without knowing how you use your
    computer no one can advise you. Different usage profiles suggest different
    Colin Barnhorst, Jan 17, 2007
  7. Sweet Spot = the point at which the addition of additional RAM makes little
    to no difference in system performance.

    If you are getting better performance with 2 gig of RAM, as opposed to 1.5
    gig of RAM, then 1.5 gig is not the sweet spot for your computer.



    Richard Urban
    Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
    (For email, remove the obvious from my address)

    Quote from George Ankner:
    If you knew as much as you think you know,
    You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!
    Richard Urban, Jan 17, 2007
  8. Sorry for the repetition - but your sweet spot entirely depends on the
    This is pretty much a redundant conversation unless someone wants to
    talk about a specific workload. If you turn on Vista and want to watch
    the screen saver then the system min spec is your sweet spot - if you
    want to manipulate massive memory mapped files etc then your sweetspot
    will be different.
    Anyone making any statement about memory sweetspots without specifics
    on the workload is making effectively pointless statements
    Mike Brannigan, Jan 17, 2007
  9. Opinicus

    Roscoe Guest

    Have you taken classes in being a moron, or is it just something that comes
    Roscoe, Jan 18, 2007
  10. Opinicus

    Garth H Guest

    even if 1.5GB is the "sweet spot" 2GB is what a typical consumer should
    be looking for.

    Why? because 1.5 requires 3 x 512 MB or one 1GB and one 512MB module,
    which actually reduces system performance because neither configuration
    supports dual memory channels.

    If you're doing data modeling, high end graphics, autocad, solid works,
    maya, 3dstudio max or other high end workstation type tasks then more
    ram is better. Up to the 4GB max for 32 bit, or "how big is your wallet"
    GB for 64 bit.

    Video cards? check the vista read list.

    Garth H

    Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Macromedia Certified Developer
    Garth H, Jan 18, 2007
  11. Uhh.. what about 2x512 and 2x256?
    Erik Funkenbusch, Jan 18, 2007
  12. It depends on the apps you plan to run. 512MB is fine if you're going to
    run Vista Home Basic with simple apps like Office or simple games.

    If you're a hard core gamer, you'd probably want 4GB because games are
    becoming more and more memory hungry, and Vista Ultimate idles at about
    800MB (though it will reduce the resources it uses if you have less
    memory). DirectX 10 games will likely use a lot more memory than DX9

    If you do a lot of work with media, like editing videos or using photoshop,
    you'll also likely want at at least 2GB, as these applications can be
    memory hungry.

    Vista itself uses more memory than XP did, but regardless, you still have
    to take into account the kinds of applications you plan to use and their
    memory requirements.
    Again, depends on your needs. A hard core gamer probably wants the latest
    nVidia 8800 GTX (though no vista drivers will be available until the end of
    hte month). If you're an occasional gamer, and don't care about the best
    performance, you'll do fine with any middle of the road video card for sale

    If you already have a video card, make sure it has at least 128MB of either
    shared or dedicated video memory to use Vista's Aero Glass user interface.
    These are not that expensive, with cheap models as little as $50.

    You have to ask yourself, what your price for performance level is. If you
    want cheap, you can get by pretty well cheap. But if you want absolute
    best performance, it will cost you.
    Erik Funkenbusch, Jan 18, 2007
  13. Opinicus

    Stan Kay Guest

    Thanks for the feedback about RAM size. My machine has 4 Gb of memory. The
    bios recognises 4 Mb but Vista states that I have 3 Mb. So, I guess that I
    have satisfied the "sweet spot" requirement and the problem lies elsewhere.
    The error messages I get (about every 2 second or so) ALL releate to the
    Intel 82801 HR/HH/HO SATA raid controller and specifically state that
    iaStorV.sys (an Intel driver) "did not respond within the timeout period".
    I assume this means that I do NOT have a memory issue and that the problem
    is a conflict between iaStorV.sys and the bios version 0903 supplied with
    the Asus P5B deluxe motherboard. However, I hasten to add that I cannot
    confirm this as I cannot find any references to this issue on the web sites
    of either Asus or Intel and am not aware that anyone else has experienced
    the same problem.

    I presume I shall have to wait for the problem to be resolved.
    Stan Kay, Jan 20, 2007
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