What RAM is the best?
Although in recent years the question of the optimal amount of memory (RAM) is not as prevalent as before, today, it is still of concern to many users. In recent times, even the cheapest computers have at least 4GB of memory – a number that once seemed unthinkable, and is currently the de facto standard. In spite of this, many are asking: is it enough? Speed up the computer, additional memory, or a special effect?
The difference between 4, 8, 16 or more gigabytes of RAM certainly is, but for the masses the relationship between the amount of memory installed and the PC performance remains slightly blurred. In this article I will try to shed some light on this question and briefly answer, what is the optimal amount of memory and whether it makes sense to install additional RAM modules.
What is Random Access Memory (RAM)?
Although computers have become commonplace, many people still confuse the terms «online» and «local» memory. The misconception often comes from the fact that both types are measured in the same units – the last time is usually in gigabytes (GB). Contrary to what is immediate and local memory are used to store information, they differ in terms of data retention. RAM is usually several times faster than the local and is used to store data temporarily. When the computer is off, all data stored therein disappear. In local memory (hard disks and SSD devices) information persists regardless of whether the computer is on or off. That is why RAM is generally volatile and local – as-volatile.
How much memory do you need PC?
For a long time, bill gates was credited with the phrase «640K of memory is enough for all.» Ultimately, the gates made an official statement saying that is not the author of this statement, which he called pure stupidity.
However, in the early 80-ies of the last century, it didn’t sound so ridiculous, because the volume of the order of 100-200 MB was considered huge. Today, even the cheapest computer systems have 2-4 GB of RAM, and local storage of information is measured in terabytes.
The basic configuration having from 4 to 8 GB RAM and high-end models (multimedia and gaming) are offered from 12 to 16, sometimes 32 (or more) GB of RAM. So how can you call it «optimal»? Unfortunately, to give a precise answer expressed in a specific figure is very difficult, since the optimal number depends on the tasks for which you use the computer. For example, on a Windows PC only the operating system itself may require more than one GB for its system libraries. If you have antivirus software, it does 30-200 megs in the background, depending on the specific product. Most web browsers, office applications and media players require 100-800 MB and more memory. If you run them simultaneously (i.e. use Windows for mission – tasking), these volumes become cumulative – the more running programs, the higher the RAM consumption.
Champions in the consumption of memory remains video games. Popular titles such as Call of Duty can without any problems to «swallow» 4-5 GB of memory.
Most modern laptops use integrated graphics, which is also a consumer of RAM. Integrated in the video processor cores do not have their own memory (in contrast to discrete decisions) and the «eat» part of the available RAM. So if your laptop’s specifications with 4 GB RAM and integrated graphics, Windows will report that you are only available 3.9 GB (or less) of memory.
The optimum amount of RAM you have and the software (perhaps it would be better to say systemic) aspect. Older versions of the operating systems use 32-bit addressing method of the memory. Currently it is outdated and dates back to the times when volumes of more than 4 GB of RAM was unthinkable. That’s why the 32-bit version of Windows just can’t use more than 4 GB of RAM. Even if you have more memory 32-bit operating system will insist that you only have 4 GB in size (though usually even less – 3-3.5 GB) of RAM. To make full use of volumes more than 4 gigs you will need 64-bit Windows.
Another interesting issue of memory relates to the rate of filling the RAM, and what happens if you exhaust all available memory.
If the system tool «task Manager» shows that all the memory is almost fully exhausted, i.e. all running processes is 70-80% or even more of RAM, that’s not a reason for concern. Microsoft has long been seriously changed their philosophy in relation to memory management (memory management), but because, starting with Windows Vista, not used RAM company considers «bad RAM».
Since the memory is many times faster than any rigid or even solid state drive, Microsoft decided that it would be better if the Windows will keep as many custom modules and applications are constantly loaded in the system RAM. Due to this, when re-accessed, the system responds much faster than when she again and again to read them from local disk.
That’s the essence of the technology SuperFetch, which is developing since Vista. The introduction of this concept points to one important conclusion – the more RAM is available to modern versions of Windows, the better (faster) they work. Of course, we are not talking about exponential growth – the biggest difference will be when jumping from 2 to 4GB RAM. With each successive doubling to 4 to 8 GB, 8 to 16 and so on, the impact on overall system performance will decline. However, if you regularly work with heavy programs keep tens of tabs open in your browser and actively playing, the selection of the optimum amount of memory is reduced to one simple thing: the more the better.
If at some point the available memory is exhausted, Windows will stop working. In such cases, the operating system relies on the so-called virtual memory. For this purpose is allocated on the local drive pane and on it, Windows writes all data from RAM, which is not used currently, and at the request of the user re-reads them, using resources from local disk. Because the local memory is slower than RAM chips, the process of reading data from disk takes much more time, during which the computer can significantly «slow down». If the system regularly accesses virtual memory, it is a sure sign that it is time to consider more RAM.