Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Effect of RAM Upgrade?

  1. #1

    Posts : 55
    Windows 8.1

    Effect of RAM Upgrade?

    How do I calculate the effect on Performance of my PC if I upgrade RAM?

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  2. #2

    There is no way to calculate how much a RAM upgrade will improve performance. Within reasonable limits adding RAM will always improve performance. But there will always be a point of diminishing returns after which more RAM will do very little. That point is heavily dependent on your workload. There are many aspects to performance, some of which are very difficult to measure. Some may be much improved by a RAM upgrade, others will not.

    It depends a great deal on how much RAM you have now and what the computer is used for.
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  3. #3

    Posts : 103
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit

    RAM Upgrade Effects Estimated From Task Manager

    What follows is an overly simplified version of how RAM is used. When a system first boots, all the RAM is available. Hardware reserves some RAM, the operating system uses some RAM, As programs are loaded the more RAM is used. Once all the RAM is used, then virtual memory is used. Virtual memory is the page file on the disk. So if you only have 1 disk, additional programs must be read from the disk, and other programs will have not recently used portions of programs written to the page file on the disk. So more RAM instead of using a page file increases the disk load speed by a factor of 2, and reduces wear and tear on the hard drive. If running programs need to actively use more RAM than is installed the system may run slower by more than a factor of 2.

    The effects of a RAM upgrade can be estimated from examining task manager and resource monitor as programs are ran. The system below has 1.1GB available and 567MB paged to disk. So 533MB of memory is available without any paging. So additional memory will not speed up the system for what is running. However, if the system had only 2GB of RAM then 2566MB would be paged to disk, and this additional 2GB would take a while to write to disk.

    Click image for larger version

    Continuously high Hard Faults/sec is another indicator that more RAM will speed the system up. The Resource Monitor picture below shows some initial hard faults as a new program is loaded. This is OK. The last part of the Hard Faults graph is near zero, so more RAM will not significantly speed this system up.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by JHough; 22 Feb 2015 at 17:58. Reason: Screen captures pasted in showed up incorrectly.
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  4. #4

    Some simple rules of thumb for windows.
    Minimum: 1GB per processor core.
    ""Normal" maximum use: 2 GB per core for best results.
    Using memory intensive programs like video processing: double of whatever you have.
    8 GB enough to lower or kill PF altogether and any game out there.
    Even with small amount of RAM, an SSD can help a lot.
    Check memory usage while doing what you do most and if it hit's 90 - 95% usage, ad some more.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by towget
    How do I calculate the effect on Performance of my PC if I upgrade RAM?
    I agree, you cannot "calculate" what you will achieve "IF" you upgrade. You can only measure before and after. And for sure, any gains depend greatly on your starting point.

    Quote Originally Posted by ContMike
    Some simple rules of thumb for windows.
    Minimum: 1GB per processor core.
    ""Normal" maximum use: 2 GB per core for best results.
    I like that. But still, if only a dual-core processor, performance gains would be significant if you installed 8Gb.

    I generally say the "sweetspot" for triple-channel memory motherboards is 6Gb and 8Gb for dual-channel boards. By sweetspot, I mean less than that and performance noticeably degrades, and more than that and performance gains are minimal, if "noticeable" at all. That is, benchmarking programs may show better performance with more than the sweetspot, but your human brain likely won't.

    I would say 9Gb for triple-channel boards but sadly, RAM makers don't make 3Gb sticks so the next step would be 12Gb (3 x 4Gb) and that is WAY more than most people need.

    That said, need and want two entirely different things. I have 16Gb (2 x 8Gb) in this machine simply because it is what I wanted.

    Of course, with anything over 4Gb, you MUST have a 64-bit operating system.

    Also note the smaller amount of RAM you have the more critical it is to have a lots of free disk space and a properly configured Page File for it to operate in. And I recommend all users (novices and pros alike) just let Windows manage the Page File. Even with gobs of RAM installed.
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  6. #6

    Triple channel is not actual any more but even dual channel does not help much, mostly in benchmarks. Not even RAM frequency matters too much, that's more important for OC.
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  7. #7

    Triple channel is not actual any more
    I don't understand what you mean. While not as popular as dual-channel, there are still triple-channel boards available and still MANY in use.

    And while I agree dual-channel (or triple) performance advantages did not pan out near as much as the marketing hype would have had us believe (with claims of double the performance), I would still take advantage of it if building or upgrading a computer to ensure there were no RAM compatibility issues.

    So for sure, you are not likely to see any real advantage with 2 x 4G over 1 x 8Gb with a dual-channel board, but buying matched RAM is still advised if using more than one stick.

    Not even RAM frequency matters too much, that's more important for OC.
    Agreed. RAM quantity is MUCH MORE important than RAM speed.
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  8. #8

    Triple channel used to be Intel's selling point but not any more. There is one instance when Faster RAM can be of some help. APU processors and it's GPU can benefit from faster RAM because thy use system RAM or that. Other processors and MBs with IGP too. OCing over FSB needs faster RAM because it's frequency rises too and wouldn't be able to follow,
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  9. #9

    Posts : 123
    Windows 8.1

    Quote Originally Posted by towget View Post
    How do I calculate the effect on Performance of my PC if I upgrade RAM?
    You can't calculate that as it is very dependent on the Applications you run and how many Applications you run at the same time.Applications when they don't have enough RAM will use a page file on the HDD which is slower.

    So if you have enough RAM to run a given Application or Applications, then any more may just not be used, hence no performance increase.
    Whilst going from say 2 GB to 4 GB will improve performance a lot, going from say 8 GB to 16 GB will do nothing at all.

    That is a very simplified view and would apply to a typical Laptop with Windows 8.1 64 bit and the usual range of applications a consumer may use.

    In detail memory management is lot more complex than that, but I think that simple view is enough for most people.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Every case is for itself, best thing to turn PF off, load computer with as many programs running as you usually do and check memory use, if you habitually use maximum you have than it's time to get more. Otherwise unused RAM is just wasted and doesn't help any.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Effect of RAM Upgrade?
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