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Watch Out For Poor Information


Posted by Non-Hamster on March 19th, 2009

I just finished reading an article in which the writer gave some (in my opinion) poor information and even poorer recommendations about memory for laptops.  I am not a hamster or a technician but I do know enough to spot poor advice when I see it.  They started out with what I have to say is probably an explanation that caused more confusion than it answered.  i.e. those knowledgeable enough to pick out the accurate parts of the explanation don't need it and those who do need it will probably never figure out the parts they need to know if that article is their only resource.

The truth of the matter is that laptop memory isn't really much different from desktop memory except that it's in a smaller package because laptops generally don't have a whole lot of room inside.

One of the things I think that the writer got wrong was recommendations for how much memory to get.  They suggested that 512mb would be plenty for playing games, making videos or creating DVDs.  I guess if your game of choice is one of those that comes with windows or is four or five years old then that recommendation will do.  If you want to play anything written in the last couple of yeas, odds are good that you'll be better off with a LOT more than a measly 512mb.

Having spent a good deal of time playing around at making videos in the last year (and even publishing a few) I can tell you that when it comes to processing video, you're going to need more than 512mb.  Especially if you're doing a lot of effects or making high definition video.

Another thing they said was that if you're going to be using vista, you'd need 1gb.  yeah. right.  I've read enough about vista and had some experience with it myself to say that if you're going to run vista you should consider 2gb to be a minimum and get more if your computer will support it.

The long and short of it is that, in my experience, there is no such thing as "enough memory".  The only acceptable solution for memory is to always get the maximum capacity that your CPU & Motherboard can address.  If you get less than that, sooner or later you'll end up shopping for upgrades.  That goes equally for desktops and laptops.

My desktop machine has 2gb of ram which is the max it can handle.  If it could take more, I'd want to double the ram, or triple it.

Technorati Tags: Playing Games, Poor Advice, High Definition, Laptops, Laptop Memory, Enough Memory, Desktop Memory, making video, creating dvd

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2 Comments

  1. ytosb on 21.04.2009 at 10:04 (Reply)


    Your point about there being no such thing as “enough memory” is true, but only up to a point. Yes the amount you can install is limited by your other hardware (such as the motherboard) but also by your Operating System (OS).
    As most upgrades done on computers to enable gaming are on Windows machines, it is worth knowing which version of the OS you are using (32 or 64 bit) because the maximum amount of memory each can address is vastly different. Regardless of whether you have Windows XP or Vista, the maximum limit of Ram on the 32 bit versions is 4 GB, whereas the 64 bit versions can use much, much more (up to 128 GB of Ram in XP 64 and any of the “Enterprise” versions of Vista, but only 8 GB and 16 GB in the “Home Basic” and “Home Premium” 64 bit versions respectively). Before upgrading any memory in your computer it is worth noting your OS version before any purchases.
    It is also worth noting that these limits are for the TOTAL amount of memory in your computer, including any on a dedicated graphics card(s). So for example, you have a computer running Windows XP 32 bit with a 1 GB Ram graphics card, the maximum amount of physical ram that can be installed (that would be any use) would be 3 GB.

    One of the best tools for checking the memory upgrade potential of your computer can be found at:

    http://www.crucial.com/

    Just use the scan my system option, or if you know the make and model of your Motherboard, you can also use the Memory Advisor Tool.

    Full tables of the maximum amount of memory Windows OSs can use was found at:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx

    1. Non-Hamster on 21.04.2009 at 19:42 (Reply)


      Thanks for the tips and links, they should be useful to anyone looking to upgrade memory

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