You May Need Less RAM Than You Think

Ive been using my Abit ip35 pro running a E6750 @3.2 with 6g ddr2 + ati 2gb 7870ghz i built in '07...It plays most games pretty well as fare as I can tell.

Some games im obviously waiting to play like GTAV when i finally get 1 of my x58w 6g ddr3 (really want a 567x chip to see if it will recognize 8 gig sticks for 3x8g config) or my x79 w 32g ddr3 systems put together but almost 600 games in steam and i haven't found 1 that wont run on "Old Bessy" Obviously "run" is a subjective term of course.

Must resist sticking my evga 970 sc sitting here in the lga775 for fear i will procrastinate even further putting together these other 2 rigs ;)

Another Abit IP35 user and their machine still works. I only have 4 gigs in that machine but it works well for old games which is all the CPU can handle. It's now semi-retired even though I have 10-64 on it.
That said both of my current builds have 8 gigs and unless I have 20+ tabs in FF and chrome open I only use 3.5G.
When I play a game I simple shut down any browsers and never ran into issues.
Some of the latest top titles that state they recommend 16G, that is a different story.

8G is enough now for general use, power users, gamers with new titles I'd say 16G should suffice.
Our new workstations came with 64GB, seemed like complete overkill at first, but we anticipate the use of VM's to become more and more common, and the projected 5-6 year life-span of these machines will probably take us to the era where 64GB is close to mainstream.
The remaster of Myst, realMyst, requires a lot more RAM now - 256MB!

Yea, seen that but don't think I want to play it again even if I do have more than enough ram now. Not a big fan of point and click adventure games, although I do own a few of them, especially hate those hidden object adventure games.
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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.

What do you call "quite a difference"? We are talking a few fps dif probably.
For a basic computer for basic tasks (word, chrome, misc non intensive software) I feel 4GB is perfect.
16 gb sounds like it's about right.
I have 8 gb currently, and internet browsing can drag it down.

Even my idiot brother in law opens so many tabs when browsing that 8GB isn't adequate. The whole family seems to love youtube and it's 'open in new tab' feature that doesn't start the tab playing until you go to it, so they add tabs that they think they MIGHT want to watch later. Same with the girls and shopping sites. I think 16GB is the minimum that we should recommend right now for the average user.
At work, our main Hypervisor machine has 64GB ram and It's running 9 client 2012r2 OSs. Apart from one machine running a hungry version of SQL Server, none of the guest OSs use over 2.5GB ram.
I have a cheap Dell Inspiron 1557 w/ i3 3227U , 250GB 850 EVO and 16GB of ram. In my case I went with 16GB because it was only 17 dollars more, but had much slower ram prior 8GB worth too. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference because of the CPU. Sure I can open a huge amount of tabs and programs but by that point the CPU is screaming in pain.
I used to run 12GB for my office system. However, it is now 24GB. Why? Custom Java programs, Chrome, and a few VMs running in the background eat the RAM very quickly. I'd get pegged at 11-12GB used all the time. Now, i usually have about 3-4GB "spare" free. System is a lot more responsive.

I know how much I need. And, I know how much i WANT. Big difference. ;-)