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How much RAM does Windows 7 really need?

newtekie1

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#1
I got board and decided to find out, I know I was surprised by the results:

The minimum "requirement" according to Microsoft is 1024MB, so lets start with slightly less than that 768MB:



Ok how about 512MB:



That worked, but we have to be getting close, lets try 384MB:



Wow, can believe it still works, lets try 256MB:



It still boots and runs, lets try 192MB:



Can't believe it is still working, lets try 160MB:



Wow, lets go for 128MB:



BAM...well I guess 128MB was asking a bit much, but I can't believe Win7 will run on only 160MB of RAM. Granted, it was not running well, trust me, but it did boot and run. Surprisingly it actually ran pretty decently on 512MB and above, it wasn't super snappy, but it was usable. Makes me wonder why the picked 1GB as the minimum. Probably to stop all those people with less than 1GB from complaing about it being slow...
 

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#2
Thanks a lot for this! :toast: I'll be putting 7 on my PC at the office now. (1gb s754 system)
 

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#3
bit pointless on the testing so low, but yeah it runs fine on 1GB of ram for non gamers.

512MB is the lowest i'd use 7 on a machine with, but it'd have to be for light use only (old laptop for web use/office work, for example)


my mums machine is a 754 sempron with 1GB DDR 333, and it runs just fine for her needs.
 

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#4
I found it to be choppy with 1gb. I run 2gb and 4gb in my rigs and its smooth as can be. Can't tell a difference between when I was running 8gb and 6gb.
 

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#5
Pointless thread.

Who runs Windows but NO APPLICATIONS???

Windows may not need much but your programmes need some.
Bet you couldn't even load Firefox :laugh:
 
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#6
Pointless thread.
Pointless threads are sometimes the most fun to follow :)

And there is a certain point here, if you can get Windows itself to run on such a low amount of memory, it means you can use it on low memory machines and still be able to run programs.

The man said it didn't run that well, but was ok above 512. That means 512 is what Windows needs to run well and with say 1GB of mem, you can run the whole system nicely.

There are always those who say that more memory is better (and with this I don't mean you vaio). But then again, many say that when you have 4-6gb, it is enough for almost anything except A/V editing.

All in all, thanks newtekie, this was interesting :toast:
 
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#7
Kind of agree with vaiopup, but does allow those that don't have decent spec computers to run W7 on their computers. I recently had a problem with my set up that caused me to test each stick of RAM and i can say going from 4GB to 1GB was painfully slow.

But yes, at least it works.
 
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#8
I was running Win7 on netbook with 1GB of RAM and it was just as fast if not faster than WinXP.
If only wireless wasn't randomly falling down, i'd be still using it...
 
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#9
gratz nice review!!!! :D
 

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#10
I was running Win7 on netbook with 1GB of RAM and it was just as fast if not faster than WinXP.
If only wireless wasn't randomly falling down, i'd be still using it...
i keep hearing a lot about windows 7 dropping wireless connections, but haven't found any solid info on it
 
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#11
Makes me wonder why the picked 1GB as the minimum. Probably to stop all those people with less than 1GB from complaing about it being slow...
Because when Vista dropped, they made the huge mistake of allowing 512mb machines to be labeled "Vista Ready" or whatver. My brother in law made the mistake of buying one of those machines and wondered why the hell it was so slow. I cured that with 2gb of RAM and voila! Vista wasn't such "a pain in the ass" anymore...:laugh:

Well, after that AND disabling UAC :laugh:
 

newtekie1

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#12
Pointless thread.

Who runs Windows but NO APPLICATIONS???

Windows may not need much but your programmes need some.
Bet you couldn't even load Firefox :laugh:
Usually things done out of bordem often are pointless...

The point was the find out how little RAM Win7 would boot with, so it actually did have a point.

And actually I tested openning IE and surfing a little all the way down to 256MB. IE definitely wasn't instant on openning, took about 15 seconds with 256MB of RAM, it was almost instant with 512MB, but it did open and once it was open surfing wasn't too bad. I wouldn't use firefox though, as it eats memory like candy. I almost think 256MB would be usable for basic office tasks with readyboost enabled. Of course, my setup was still being backed by a Quad-Core Xeon, well at least two of the cores of a Quad-Core Xeon virtualized...

Below 256MB, even getting the system properties box to come up took way to long, so I didn't even bother waiting for IE to load.:laugh:
 
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#13
i keep hearing a lot about windows 7 dropping wireless connections, but haven't found any solid info on it
I am actually finding quite the opposite with the Lenovo notebooks I sell, I have issues with the wireless under XP.

I'll blame it on broadcom. ;)

As for the ram, lol cool test.

My opinion.. 1GB is minimum for Windows 7, and somewhere around a P4 3.0 cpu power.
That seems to make it quicker than Windows Xp, get much below that and you start really dragging your feet.
 

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#14
I have run Vista for 2 years with one gigoram.....most of that taken up by DC projects.
A little sluggish at times but usable.
 
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#15
Wow, all right, maybe I will install it on teh girlfriends 1GB lappy after all. Thanks!
 
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#16
i keep hearing a lot about windows 7 dropping wireless connections, but haven't found any solid info on it
Well, i thought that heat is the reason. Because once i've disabled Aero Glass and enhanced the CPU cooler (added BGA heatsinks inside Aspire One CPU cooler), it worked much better and connection dropped only once. Not ideal, but still much much better.

If anyone else manages to get any other solid solution for this, i'd be happy to hear it (if it's not heat).
 

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#17
Pointless thread.

Who runs Windows but NO APPLICATIONS???

Windows may not need much but your programmes need some.
Bet you couldn't even load Firefox :laugh:

Why is the above an infraction????
Having an opinion is against forum policy???

Here's an infraction for you......some of the rules are so petty and the administration so anal!!!

If freedom of speech is illegal in this forum you may as well save my keyboard and ban me now :laugh:
 
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#18
You have no right to freedom of speech in a privately held entity such as TPU.
 

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#19
back on topic please.
 
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#20
windows 7 uses about the same amount of ram as vista.

for any pc my general rule is 1gb ram per core or hyper threaded virtual core for xp/vista/7. it might sound a lot but when i was running my bionc client with 4 tasks on my atom 330 dual core with hyper threading for 4 virtual core it used up the 2gb ram all the time because of the 4 threads using just over 500mb ram each then ground to a halt.


as for cpu's 7 is a little sluggish on an intel atom 1.6ghz single core and runs fine on any dual core cpu (inc atom) and any athlon 64 up or pentium 4/M up.
 
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#21
160MB of ram:eek: that is impressive! Lets see Vista do that....:laugh:
 
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#22
Vista is gonna crash soo bad on 160mb, let alone 256.
 
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#23
You could have 16gigs of RAM and Vista would crash (eventually) simply because its Vista. :laugh:
 

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#24
Why is the above an infraction????
Having an opinion is against forum policy???

Here's an infraction for you......some of the rules are so petty and the administration so anal!!!

If freedom of speech is illegal in this forum you may as well save my keyboard and ban me now :laugh:
"inciting argument: Flaming" is the reason you were given.


You seem to like posting in threads with non-constructive criticism, with off topic posts that can lead to nowhere but infractions.

as wrigley said: this is a private forum. you follow the rules, or you get banned from the premises.
 
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#25
I installed 7 on my friends lappy with 2 GB of ram and boy is it MUCH faster than Vista lol. But I havent had a problem with it dropping my wireless network at anytime. Its even a Broadcom adapter too. But my Vista has NEVER crashed on me (Knocks on wood) and its never really been slow either. I may think about putting 7 on my system but am iffy lol.

But it does crash on my moms puter when tryin to watch a video, I think it may be the graphics driver tho