Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Should I get more memory?

  1. #1

    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 64bit

    Should I get more memory?

    Okay, so I built my own computer, and I initially put in 8GB of 1866 memory, although I have never had a problem, but as more (better) games come out, I feel like I might need more ram. My memory right now is at 50%, so should I get 8GB more?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 502
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu

    A modern OS such as anything later than Windows 7 will automatically use any unused memory to perform Caching operations so a 50% figure is not surprising and it does not mean that your programs or games are using the memory - if you are a gamer check the minimum requirements for the latest games and only consider increasing memory if you are not meeting the requirements. Running your OS and your games will likely give a better improvement than more memory If you are not already on SSD.

    I know a lot of gamers have a disk for installing games on that is not the OS Drive, having this as an SSD could give you a good improvement, even if it's a small disk and loading just the current games onto it
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    8GB is still generally considered the sweet spot for RAM for most users. That is, less RAM and performance is noticeably degraded, but more RAM and performance gains are marginal, IF "noticeable" at all.

    So I agree with Barman. And I also agree if you aren't already using SSDs, that may be a better option for you upgrade money (assuming you already have a decent graphics solution).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Not everyone, in fact few people, can afford to just double their ram. This is especially true in a laptop.

    So the solution to needing more available ram, rather than throwing more money at the problem, is to run the PC smarter.

    And that involves shutting down all those Redundant Services, and TSR's that just churn away in the background and eat up not only ram but CPU time as well. That's been well documented on many Internet Forums. And clean up the mess on the hard drive. Get rid of all those temp files and old programs that you never use and then Defrag it!

    I've tuned up PC's that are several years old, and have never had professional care. They are running very slow, and even lock up occasionally.
    They suffer greatly from Software Overload, and HD corruption, like way too many temp files and horrible fragmentation.
    Removing over 100,000 garbage files from a hard drive, is nothing new, it's just par for the course. Likewise, cleaning out the bad entries in a Registry, can reduce it's size in memory by 30% or more. The registry is one thing that must load into ram every time you boot up your PC, so it's beneficial to keep it as small as possible.

    After I've cleaned up and tweaked the PC for optimum performance, I often get a comment from the PC's owner, like, "WOW! It never ran that fast when it was brand New!". "I know. It's what I've been doing for 36 years". And, I never add more ram. I'd rather optimize the PC to use what it has.

    Aside from that, I can certainly testify that upgrading from a mechanical hard drive to an SSD, can greatly Boost a PC's performance.
    For several years, I've avoided getting an SSD, waiting for the technology to be perfected and the cost to come down.
    Currently I have SSD's in both my main PC and my backup PC. In both, I have Windows 8.1/Pro/x86, and just 4GB of ram. And both PC's are lightning fast! But, I perform some maintenance daily, and some weekly, but never 'weakly'.

    Good Luck and Happy Computing!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Not everyone, in fact few people, can afford to just double their ram.
    Not sure I would say "few" people can afford to double their RAM. When it comes to hardware upgrades, typically adding RAM gives the most bang for your money. Now of course, this depends on your starting point and the capability and configuration of your motherboard. For example, if your motherboard only has 2 slots, doubling your RAM could mean discarding your current RAM and buying all new. But if, for example, your board has 4 slots and you currently have 8GB (2x4GB), you can add another 8GB (doubling to 16GB) for less than $35. So again, I don't think that is something only a "few" could afford. Certainly you cannot get an SSD of any suitable capacity for anything near that. And yes, upgrading a notebook is more of a challenge - but then that's the nature of the beast upgrading anything on a notebook.

    But I do agree completely with "cleaning out the clutter" to improve performance. While modern day operating systems are exceptional at managing memory (compared to XP, for example), if not careful when installing your favorite apps, you can easily end up with all sorts of resource hogs running on your system as well (auto-updaters are a good example).

    Likewise, cleaning out the bad entries in a Registry, can reduce it's size in memory by 30% or more. The registry is one thing that must load into ram every time you boot up your PC, so it's beneficial to keep it as small as possible.
    There are so many who would wince and totally baulk at such a comment and would immediately trounce upon that suggestion claiming that ALL Registry cleaners are evil and "will" brick your computer. I am not one of them. In fact, I've been a regular proponent of "regular" use of CCleaner's Registry cleaner for years! But that's only CCleaner's because it is NOT very aggressive and always prompts to backup the Registry before making any changes. And I have never - not once - had CCleaner break Windows. But still, any time you dink with the Registry, there is a risk. I do not recommend using it to "fix" Windows - only to maintain it. Which means I hesitate to recommend using even CCleaner's cleaner on an old system that has never been "maintained" by running the cleaner on a regular basis.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Within reasonable limits adding more memory will always improve performance. But there will always be a point of diminishing returns after which there will be little gain. That point is primarily determined by the workload. With typical workloads 8 GB RAM will be close or past that point. Of course there are always exceptions.

    Memory usage in any modern OS is highly dynamic. Memory usage depends on how much memory you have, what applications are doing now, what they were doing previously in the session, and more. This is very complex. As long as memory is plentiful the memory manager will allow applications to use pretty much whatever they want without limit. Memory was meant to be used, not sit idle. But if there is memory pressure then application usage will be trimmed back as necessary to meet the demand.

    Generally if the usage graph is 50% or less most of the time there is no shortage and adding more will do little.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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