You May Need Less RAM Than You Think

westrock2000

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The question as with everything is what do you use your computer for? My work PC has 24GB and it is far from enough. An upgrade is far overdue, to at least 64GB.It's a $3000 PC from 2011.

For gaming I don't think anyone can justify owning more than 16GB, unless you're one of those crazy ones who'd create a 64GB RAM Disk just to speed up loading times.

But even then, it's non-sense. Sure you can dump an entire game into memory in 1 second, but computers don't just "dump" things into memory, they process and analyze first. An SSD does a fantastic job. I can (and do) see the usefullness if you are using it as a scratch disc though to keep needless IO off the drive. I use them as temp drives (/dev/shm/) to store temporary files that I have no desire to keep long term for scripts and stuff. No reason to touch the hard drive for such things.
 

MartinX

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I feel like we aren't *too* far off RAM in it's current form becoming obsolete, or just being cache on the CPU or on something like an ssd (basically whatever comes after 3D XPoint)

I don't see CPU Cache, and RAM, and GPU RAM and SSDs all continuing to exist discretely basically
 

travbrad

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16GB is the "sweet spot" right now (and for the next few years probably) for normal gaming and multi-tasking IMO. Most games you could probably get by with 8GB but I have run into a few that push it up a bit past 8GB (ARMA 3 for example). Then if you like to have some browser tabs open at the same time, Steam/Origin, teamspeak/skype, etc that extra 8GB is nice to have.

i run at 16gb and it's not enuff....

i have chrome browser with dozens of tabs and websites open
If you haven't already, it can help to disable flash by default. That can suck up a lot of memory on websites and is mostly just used for annoying ads anyway. That being said dozens of tabs is going to use up a lot of memory no matter what, especially in Chrome. I use Chrome myself but Google has really optimized it for pure performance using as much memory and power as possible. Other browsers will often use less memory although they don't feel quite as snappy to me.
 

GaryJohnson

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When I see people overbuying RAM it's usually not the quantity that strikes me as being unnecessary, it's usually the speed. Superfast "gaming" RAM is just a huge waste of money.
 

DrLobotomy

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When I see people overbuying RAM it's usually not the quantity that strikes me as being unnecessary, it's usually the speed. Superfast "gaming" RAM is just a huge waste of money.
Do you watch these people at Best Buy or something??? And they were calling me a stalker!!!!
 

Zarathustra[H]

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So, modern OS (Windows anyway, I can't accurately comment on Linux as I haven't used it enough)? I agree. Still running XP? No
Anyone still running XP should be taken out back and shot.

Running a no longer supported OS that isn't patched for security, harms not only you, but everyone on the goddamned internet, as known exploits are used to add them to bot nets, regardless of whether it is XP or OSX Mountain Lion or earlier.

No, it doesn't matter if you are "careful" or "use a firewall"
 

DrLobotomy

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Anyone still running XP should be taken out back and shot.

Running a no longer supported OS that isn't patched for security, harms not only you, but everyone on the goddamned internet, as known exploits are used to add them to bot nets, regardless of whether it is XP or OSX Mountain Lion or earlier.

No, it doesn't matter if you are "careful" or "use a firewall"
You have a lot of people to shoot then. I still see XP on machines that control medical equipment, car testing equipment, and in business offices. These folks aint buying shit until it breaks. You can scream at them until you are blue in the face. XP will still be around for 5 more years at least.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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You have a lot of people to shoot then. I still see XP on machines that control medical equipment, car testing equipment, and in business offices. These folks aint buying shit until it breaks. You can scream at them until you are blue in the face. XP will still be around for 5 more years at least.
Most of the Medical systems are on XP embedded updated to the 2009 release which is supported until 2019.

Other than that, if these systems are still in use, it is EXTREMELY careless to still be running them, at least if connected to a network. Unplug the network cable/disable wifi and it's fine.

It's like using expired rubbers and hoping you don't become a baby daddy or get aids. Extremely stupid.

But it's worse, because your dick isn't constantly under attack 24/7 like your operating system is.
 

DrLobotomy

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Most of the Medical systems are on XP embedded updated to the 2009 release which is supported until 2019.

Other than that, if these systems are still in use, it is EXTREMELY careless to still be running them, at least if connected to a network. Unplug the network cable/disable wifi and it's fine.

It's like using expired rubbers and hoping you don't become a baby daddy or get aids. Extremely stupid.

But it's worse, because your dick isn't constantly under attack 24/7 like your operating system is.
You can't fix stupid. You should know this.
 

M76

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You have a lot of people to shoot then. I still see XP on machines that control medical equipment, car testing equipment, and in business offices. These folks aint buying shit until it breaks. You can scream at them until you are blue in the face. XP will still be around for 5 more years at least.
Any hardware specific machine basically still uses XP, and until that shit breaks noone will replace it. Imagine someone throwing out a laser engraver because MS decided XP is no longer viable. It was perfect for the job 10 years ago, and the job haven't changed since then. Also there are huge printers/copiers that use embedded XP.
 

DrLobotomy

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Any hardware specific machine basically still uses XP, and until that shit breaks noone will replace it. Imagine someone throwing out a laser engraver because MS decided XP is no longer viable. It was perfect for the job 10 years ago, and the job haven't changed since then. Also there are huge printers/copiers that use embedded XP.
But. But. But MS needs their cash. We don't care if it all still works. You need to buy some more Windows. Be a good little capitalist and buy this new software that wont work with that old hardware. You may need some new hard ware. We can hook you up with some HP or Dell stuff that we get a cut of.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Any hardware specific machine basically still uses XP, and until that shit breaks noone will replace it. Imagine someone throwing out a laser engraver because MS decided XP is no longer viable. It was perfect for the job 10 years ago, and the job haven't changed since then. Also there are huge printers/copiers that use embedded XP.
Just keep it off the network and this is fine.
 

M76

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Just keep it off the network and this is fine.
If the network itself is secure the world won't end because an XP machine is connected to it. Unless the malware is already on the network I don't see how it can become infected.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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If the network itself is secure the world won't end because an XP machine is connected to it. Unless the malware is already on the network I don't see how it can become infected.
Often because people do stupid things they shouldn't, like - for instance an operator trying to browse the web on a laser engraver, or a careless manufacturing engineer going online on it to try to update/fix some feature of the equipment, etc.

Besides, relying on "network security" is foolish, as there is no such thing as a "secure network". All networks can and will eventually be compromised. You need multiple layers of security, including up to date patched machines, a well thought out network AND education of users, because each and every one of them will eventually fail and - hopefully - be saved by the others.
 

maverick212

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32 ain't enough for me at times. Some dense 3d scenes in Maya or heavy video or compositing works eats it up. 64 or even 128 is legitimately usable for these situations, especially with even more ambitious work (ie heavy foliage work in Maya)
 

M76

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Often because people do stupid things they shouldn't, like - for instance an operator trying to browse the web on a laser engraver, or a careless manufacturing engineer going online on it to try to update/fix some feature of the equipment, etc.

Besides, relying on "network security" is foolish, as there is no such thing as a "secure network". All networks can and will eventually be compromised. You need multiple layers of security, including up to date patched machines, a well thought out network AND education of users, because each and every one of them will eventually fail and - hopefully - be saved by the others.
True, but if the network is breached, not just the XP machines are at risk. Anyway it's hard to justify any redundancy to corporate. At least this way there are things for the IT guy to worry about. If everything worked all the time they might just try to fire him. Fun fact, our mid sized company that relies heavily on IT and computers since the nineties, had no dedicated IT department or systems administrator until few years ago..
 

Zarathustra[H]

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32 ain't enough for me at times. Some dense 3d scenes in Maya or heavy video or compositing works eats it up. 64 or even 128 is legitimately usable for these situations, especially with even more ambitious work (ie heavy foliage work in Maya)
Yep,

No one is arguing there aren't workloads that can use LOTS of RAM.

The argument is that these workloads are relatively rare, and even most enthusiasts really won't use more than 8GB today.
 

AceGoober

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I currently have 32GB RAM and a Titan X 12GB. At peak times, without the ImDisk loaded, I hover around the 19GB range. Normal usage (gaming, internet browsing and such) is anywhere between as little as 1.8GB to roughly 7GB to include the multitude of Chrome tabs I have open.
 

Elf_Boy

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This is ridiculous. RAM is not like a monitor. A larger monitor has an immediate tangible benefit so it makes sense to buy as big and nice as you can so you dont have buyers remorse. However too much RAM is just invisible. You wouldnt even see the difference between 32/16/8GB in gaming for example. Buying more ram now is just a waste of money since ram prices continue to decline and you can easily upgrade at a later date. You cant easily upgrade a monitor as that would require a whole new purchase and discarding the other one.
It depends on your games and other software.

I dont know if a typical shooter/racer/mobo benefits from large disk caching, I do know the MMO/RPG games I play, with lots of zones, benefit significantly.

The first time I go to Zone X, I have the typical wait. The rest of the times all the data is in the disk cache that windows creates with unallocated Ram.

This is where I disagree with the author of the article we are discussing. Windows will use your ram to cache your hard drives and even SSD's will see some speed benefit.
 

Lamont

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Day to day, I don't see more than 8GB used, this is with Doom and every other game cranked up on a 980ti (not in 4k though). But for work (3DS Max, ZBrush, Substance, Unreal) I feel I need more. Unreal engine alone can eat a ton of memory on a lighting bake. Makes me want to upgrade my machine to 128GB.
 

gsilver

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I've got 16GB at home and on my work computer
On my home computer, it's fine

On my work computer, it's painful.
I'm running a VM which alone takes up 8GB (and would be more stable if I allocated more; I run out of ram there semi frequently) and with my dev environment running and a few web browsers, it can be downright painful. I go on "ram witch hunts" trying to close out any processes that are eating up ram, and the system grinds to nearly a halt when it gets too high.

And the work computer is a (company provided) Macbook, with no upgradeability.
I might eventually be able to offload the VM, which would be fantastic, but until they get that set up, I just have to deal with it.
 

Nenu

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Do them an analysis of how much time and productivity is lost.
Equate that to the actual cost to the company in wasted man hours for you and others affected. Show it over the period of time you project you will be using that same computer.
You might get a new one a bit quicker :p
 

lutjens

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When it comes to memory, I subscribe to the theory of extreme overkill...and then I add a little more...;)
 

Compwiz

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lol, this is horse shit. i have 32gb and the difference in price between 16 and 32 was literally the least expensive component in my pc. I guess my quad core i7, my 1tb ssd, and my gtx 1070 are excessive also?
 

funks

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Any more than 16 gigs is pretty much a waste of $$$ at this point I think for general use-cases.
 

cyclone3d

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When I see people overbuying RAM it's usually not the quantity that strikes me as being unnecessary, it's usually the speed. Superfast "gaming" RAM is just a huge waste of money.
Actually it is not. Look at recent reviews on RAM speed and you can see that the faster RAM does actually make a difference IF you are running a dual channel setup.

Quad channel with faster RAM doesn't make as much of a difference in tests, but I personally will not be going back to dual channel any time soon as the whole system is more responsive with faster RAM.

RAM intensive programs also get a good boost with faster RAM.

Even back when the x58 platform was new, faster RAM made quite a difference in certain games.
 

rive22

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Pagefiles need to be disabled to accurately gauge day to day ram requirements.
 

krotch

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lol, this is horse shit. i have 32gb and the difference in price between 16 and 32 was literally the least expensive component in my pc. I guess my quad core i7, my 1tb ssd, and my gtx 1070 are excessive also?
I would have gone 32 GB, but when I built the system it was like a $100 increase from 16 gb to 32 gb. Well, all is well since I rarely go above 8 gb of ram usage. My ram usually doubles in size whenever I do a proc/mobo upgrade.
 

cptnjarhead

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Well, now that i think about it. 32g would be overkill for what i do, but when i build my new rig, you can bet your ass i will put 32g in their ;)
Mainly, i want to be able to play games without worry about it, even if i only use half or less. I could always make a ram disk or something.
Hmmmm, got my mind working.
 

Shadohh

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I can easily eat 16gb with having alot of browser tabs open. I have moved to 24gb and that seems to be my sweet spot.

I will probably move to 32gb this winter when I build a new rig.
 

M76

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Actually it is not. Look at recent reviews on RAM speed and you can see that the faster RAM does actually make a difference IF you are running a dual channel setup.

Quad channel with faster RAM doesn't make as much of a difference in tests, but I personally will not be going back to dual channel any time soon as the whole system is more responsive with faster RAM.

RAM intensive programs also get a good boost with faster RAM.

Even back when the x58 platform was new, faster RAM made quite a difference in certain games.
Anecdotal evidence doesn't count. Post some numbers to back it up. I never saw any benchmark results where ram speed mattered more than 0-0.5%. Except for compressing larger files with 7zip or winrar, but to be able to feel the faster ram in games I think can be chalked up to the placebo effect.
 

travbrad

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Any more than 16 gigs is pretty much a waste of $$$ at this point I think for general use-cases.
I agree but it has to be said RAM is so cheap that 32GB vs 16GB isn't actually a huge difference in cost. It's maybe $60-70 extra which in the grand scheme of things isn't much especially on a high-end PC. That's less than the Founders Edition/Early Adopter tax on the new Nvidia cards, and in that case you actually get a cooler that is worse.

DDR4 will probably be around for awhile too, so there is the potential that more than 16GB could eventually be useful if you keep using that same memory for the next 5 years in future builds/upgrades. Of course by the time that much memory is actually used it will probably be much cheaper anyway though.
 

Raxiel

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Back when I built my old i7 920 / EX-58 system back in 2010, I had 6 slots, and went for 6GB of DDR3 (3x2) figuring I could easily add another 6GB later.

When 6gb started to feel limited I went to upgrade and had a hard time finding DIMMS with the exact same spec that wasn't at silly prices. Eventually found some that was close, then spent ages having to re-tweak all the timings before it would work above stock speeds. I know populating all slots usually lowers OC headroom but I had to come down a long way.

So when I built my current system, after weighing up the price difference I jumped straight to 32GB DDR4 spread over two of the board's four slots.

It feels like overkill now, but 6GB felt extravagant in 2010.
 

Powerage

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8GB is a good place to start. While you many users will be fine with less, the low price of memory means there’s minimal benefit to starting with less. An upgrade to 16GB is recommended for enthusiasts, hardcore gamers, and the average workstation user. Serious workstation users may go further to 32GB. Anything beyond that is the realm of extreme, specialty rigs equipped to handle huge data sets, staggeringly large video files, or niche programs designed for researchers, corporations, or government.
Oh, so sitting at 16GB, 16GB, and 24GB, I have almost exactly as much RAM as I need. Cool.
 

Staples

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I have 8GB in my main system. If I thought more would help, I'd have added more.
 
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