Sound Cards/more RAM?

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QUESTION: Hello

You did give me some excellent advises in the past so I hope you do not mind one more, please.

I have a 4 years computer 1333 Mhz CPU with 8 ( 2 of 4 ) GB of RAM DDR3.

The Motherboard can take up to 16 MB - 2 x 8 MB.  I am usually between 50% to 60% of the total RAM use.  Mostly database, internet, some videos.  No video editing.  

Would it make sense to upgrade to 2 sticks of 8 MB each ( max 16 MB RAM) in order to have a faster/better compute?

Thank you very much,   Gabriel  



W

ANSWER: I think there may be some confusion on units of measure here:

- 1MB is equal to 1024KB, or roughly 1 million bytes.
- 1GB is equal to 1024MB, or roughly 1 billion bytes.

With your system, unless it only accepts two DIMMs max, it is potentially likely that it does not support 2x8GB ranks and a maximum of 16GB of memory, but instead would support 16GB as 4x4GB. If it supports 8GB per DIMM and has four ranks, it will almost certainly support up to 32GB. This is important to clarify for three reasons:

- If it has four ranks and will support 16GB as 4x4, you only need to buy another 2x4GB kit than an expensive 2x8GB kit to bring the system to 16GB memory.

- If it has four ranks and will support up to 32GB, you could install a 16GB (2x8) kit and have a total of 24GB of RAM, also using your existing memory.

- If it only supports two ranks then you will only be able to upgrade via the 16GB (2x8) kit.

As far as upgrading - it will not improve computational speed in the least, and would only be of a benefit if you need the additional memory. If you're using Windows Vista or later, do note that the memory usage you're seeing also includes SuperFetch and other Windows functionality that allocates unused memory to pre-empt performance requirements (with the goal of improving user experience). This will increase if you add more memory, even if your actual application load does not increase.

Generally I do not suggest memory upgrades unless they are required by the workload, and based on what you've said this does not seem to be the case. Broadly speaking, 8GB is more than sufficient for a modern machine, so unless you have a specific usage scenario whereby you're running up against 100% memory usage, I can't see a good reason to upgrade. Of course keep an eye on what your applications demand as times goes on, but (again, broadly speaking) it is likely that by the time 16+GB of memory is a general requirement, you would want to be upgrading the rest of your machine (e.g. CPU, hard-disk) as well.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much for a detailed answer!   This is my motherboard

http://www.avadirect.com/GA-MA790XT-UD4P-rev-1-0-AM3-AMD-790X-DDR3-1666-O-C-16GB

Looks like there is not really need according to your answer, to upgrade to 16 GB - however, please have a look and let me know.

Thanks again,   Gabriel

Answer
For future reference Gigabyte does still have this product listed on their website: http://hu.gigabyte.com/products/page/mb/ga-ma790xt-ud4p_10/ The manual is available here: http://download1.gigabyte.us/Files/Manual/motherboard_manual_ga-ma790xt-ud4p_e.p

It appears it supports 16GB at most, which is almost certainly in a 4x4GB configuration; 2x8GB would not likely work (the system would likely refuse to boot). As far as adding another 8GB, it seems unnecessary, however if you're interested in such an upgrade, it certainly would not harm anything, and would be cheaper than a 2x8GB kit. If you decide to add memory, make sure it is equal or better to what is presently installed (generally the board should automatically pick the "lowest comment denominator" in terms of speed/timings, so if you purchase something that's better than what currently exists, you will retain current settings, however purchasing something slower would reduce performance).

-bob

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