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2GB vs 4GB RAM (windows Xp 32) and new processor

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by Gamax, May 12, 2008.

  1. Gamax New Member

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    Hi. I currently am thinking of upgrading my CPU and RAM. I have atm 2GB and an Opteron 170 overclocked to 2.8.

    I read on some websites that Quad cores and 4GB are the way to go if I had vista 64 bit or something. However I don't plan on getting it and will continue to use XP for a while until I finally buy a new system.

    I want to play Crysis though (have a 8800GTS 512), so I am curious, which processor would you guys recommend for this? A core2quad or core2duo? My main thing is gaming, I don't really do anything else on this comp. Also, for WinXP32, would 2GB be fine? Or must I get 4GB to play crysis fine? (I take it crysis is the most demanding game for a long shot)

    I am estimating a budget of $400 by the end of June probably. (Including memory CPU and motherboard)

    Thanks.
     
  2. HTC

    HTC

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    In order for Windows to recognize the 4 GB, it will have to be a 64 bit version of Windows: doesn't matter if it's XP or Vista.

    Both Windows XP 32 and Windows Vista 32 will not recognize the whole 4 GB.
     
  3. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    No, it won't recognize all 4GB, but 3-3.75GB is still better than just 2.
     
  4. Darknova

    Darknova

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    With the price of DDR2 so low now I see no reason not to get 4Gb even if you only use 32-bit, because when you go 64-bit in the future you'll be able to use all the memory.

    Also, for gaming, I would recommend either the Q6600, or E8400 depending on your other uses. If you do other things like video encoding, or don't intend to upgrade in a few years, than the Q6600. Otherwise get the E8400, which is a dual core, not a quad.

    Currently, there are very few, if any, games that actually take advantage of more than 2 cores.
     
  5. HTC

    HTC

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    Correct: it depends greatly on the video card used.

    As i understand it, the more memory the video card has, the less memory XP will recognize. Not sure how exactly, though :confused:

    EDIT

    This would imply a change in the motherboard as well. I'm not all that familiar with the AMD line up, atm but, if your current motherboard supports it, i would recommend a Phenom processor. Dunno if it would fit your budget, though!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  6. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Because XP considers all the memory on the system to be part of the total. The OS itself is limited to address 4GB total, including all memory in the system.
     
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  7. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Well, in a 32-bit OS, you have a 32-bit register, and all expansion cards are allocated a certain part of that register at the top end, this was fine when we were using less memory than we used to, now however it's causing problems.

    The amount of memory allocated to each expansion card depends greatly on how much onboard memory it has.
     
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  8. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    I'm not 100% sure on the accuracy of the chipset claims, but otherwise, most of the other info stacks up.

    Basically, on older chipsets, e.g. i865, if you had 4GB memory, you only saw about 3GB +/- depending on settings like: AGP aperture size, number of PCI cards installed, etc. The reason for this is that the range 3GB-4GB is called the "system arena" in Windows 32 and is used for memory mapping peripherals and GPU.

    If the above quote is correct, then on newer chipsets, the BIOS "swaps out" the system arena to some extent, so that more memory is available under Win32. Anyone care to comment on that claim?
     
  9. happita

    happita

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    So by that logic, if I were to switch up my video card to lets say a 1GB HD 2900XT, then XP would only recognize 3GB system memory +/- a few hundred megabytes for other things.
    Right now I have a 512MB HD 3870 and my system recognizes 3.25GB
     
  10. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    More or less, yes, that's how it would work.
     
  11. tkpenalty New Member

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    Crysis only uses around 1GB of memory, which means 2GB of RAM will be enough, expect to have half a gig of memory free. In a 32bit environment, more than 2GB of RAM is honestly a bit on the redundant side.

    A 8800GTS 512MB and your current setup is more than capable of handling crysis fairly well, even at high settings, and resolutions around 1280x1024 ish, it will still be very playable. Don't bother upgrading to 4GB of RAM.
     
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  12. Gamax New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes I am thinking of getting a new motherboard, CPU and RAM. Can prolly go up to $450 by the end of next month.

    I plan on this to be my last upgrade before I purchase a new system which would be Summer 2009. Which means I'll keep my ancient optical drives and HDD for now, as well as WinXp.

    Which would be better though, a Q6600 or an E8400? And is it really worth 4GB over 2GB? Let's say for 1 - 2 years from now.
     
  13. Darknova

    Darknova

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    1-2 years from now 4Gb will be the standard. 2Gb right now is the standard, and DDR2 is so cheap you'd be unwise not to grab 4Gb IMO.

    And in your case, definitely the Q6600. In a few years quad core optimised programs will be a lot more in use than they are at the current time.
     
  14. Gamax New Member

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    I remember a couple of years ago some games performed worse on dual cores than single cores because they were not optimized for them. Does this happen now with dual and quad cores?

    Also I think my budget will let me grab 4 GB actually if they remain cheap for a month and a half or so.
     
  15. Darknova

    Darknova

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    That was a few years ago :p

    No longer matters, it'll perform the same on a dual or quad as on a single, if it's only optimised for one core, but if it's optimised for more cores, then it'll perform even better :)
     
  16. happita

    happita

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    I say go for it. When I upgraded, I got a 7-10fps jump in STALKER at all high settings 1280x1024 res. Although this isnt the best game to make a comparison for, its still significant.
     
  17. Gamax New Member

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    Thanks again. I may end up getting the QuadCore and OC it to the E8400 speed and expect the same or better performance right?

    Also which is better, 4x 1GB or 2X 2GB? (can get any for about $85)

    Could anyone recommend a good motherboard too?
     
  18. francis511

    francis511

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    Re: 4 gigs. I bought 2 gigs to add to my original 2 gigs to make gears of war play faster on vista. DAMN that game lagged beforehand. So yeah , you do notice the difference sometimes. BTW Vista 32 with sp1 recognizes 4 gigs.
     
  19. Darknova

    Darknova

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    If no price difference, 2 x 2Gb for future proofing. To be honest, despite what people say, I've never had an issue with 4x1Gb for overclocking...but eh.

    If you can OC the Q6600 to E8400 you'll be set for a year or 2 I would think :)

    A good motherboard? Foxconn MARS, except I know availability is now seriously reduced. Abit IP35-Pro, there are a number of Asus ones...but I'm not an Asus fan so I wouldn't know about them.
     
  20. ntdouglas

    ntdouglas New Member

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    Thats not true. The more ram you have the more the game will use. I'm running 8 gig and crysis uses over 3 gig. So go for 4 gig and be done with it.;)
     
  21. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Heheh, and he only uses 2Gb...can't really listen to a guy who's never used 4Gb in his main system :p
     
  22. ntdouglas

    ntdouglas New Member

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    +1 I never knew it either until I started adding more ram. lol
     
  23. Darknova

    Darknova

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    I know what you mean...I could never upgrade to DDR3 until 4Gb becomes affordable lol.
     
  24. Gamax New Member

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    What is the difference between DDR3 and DDR2? Is there any performance gain or something?
     
  25. ntdouglas

    ntdouglas New Member

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    Don't worry about ddr3. $450 might not even get you a 2 gig kit. lol
     

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