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Thread: 8G ram question

  1. #1

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    8G ram question

    I've had 16G ram in my machines for many years so I have no idea how Win 10 runs on 8 or 12G. My son is thinking about buying a new laptop and there is a big price jump from 8 to 16G machines. He only uses his current laptop for internet stuff and that's not likely to change. Any performance issues with just 8G of ram?

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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: 8G ram question

    My Surface Go has a Pentium processor and 8GB of RAM. It's no speed demon but it's perfectly adequate. If you have a Core processor or something from AMD then your machine will be faster than that.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    My main PC is from 2007. It has an old Core 2 Quad and I maxed out the MB to 4GB RAM. I'm running 32-bit Win 10 on it with little trouble.

    Only in the last two years have the boated beasts we now have for web pages caused the machine's performance to feel inadequate. So I'm on the edge of replacing it, but I'll note that I also have a couple of much newer tiny form-factor 64-bit Windows machines that the old beast still smokes. Those little PCs are most useful for testing finished programs on 64-bit Windows or a little web stumbling.

    You piddle away a lot of RAM and CPU registers by running in x64 mode, but I'd think 8GB RAM still buys you a bit more than I get out of 4GB running x86. If I had to guess I'd think 6GB in x64 is roughly similar to 4GB in x86 mode.


    But you're talking laptops here. That's another story.

    Laptops age very, very quickly. It's in their nature as devices built at the bleeding edge with many compromises. Most can't be upgraded, especially if they aren't very mainstream products. By the time you think about it expanded RAM might be expensive and then suddenly disappear from the market.

    So when buying bleeding edge, buy at the edge. It might be worthwhile to get as much RAM as you can now, and as big a main drive as you can (sadly, often SSD today with all of its woes like price and limited lifetime).

    Laptop buyers are like phone buyers: trained to accept planned obsolescence. I used to think "Surface" buyers were dumb, but they might really be the wise ones.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    I have 32gb on my laptops since long time.
    It helps when runnng VM while developping

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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: 8G ram question

    Quote Originally Posted by Thierry69 View Post
    I have 32gb on my laptops since long time.
    It helps when runnng VM while developping
    Not sure how that is relevant to the discussion of someone using a machine for web browsing.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    My win7 i7 laptop has 8gb RAM and operates well enough in all normal operations. However, when browsing lots of sites simultaneously 8gb is soon utilised and the system will start to baulk at the RAM limitation. I keep a RAM monitor on my desktop that shows me RAM usage at any time. It sits at the top of the screen and I make use of it all the time.



    My last laptop was a core2duo with only 4gb. The work that I did then was a little more constrained compared to now and I found myself closing the browser (Palemoon) regularly to recover memory. When the system usage went above 90% Windows started to slow down probably due to paging/swapping but this was alleviated significantly by installing a fast hybrid HD that stored the pagefile. Still though, 4gb was a limit to operation especially browsing.

    With the i7 8gb laptop I find that Windows allows me to do more without worrying so much about RAM usage, especially browsing. However, I find that regardless of your usage Windows will use all the RAM you provide to it. Even when I run the same processes I sometimes find RAM usage close to 80% and warnings from Windows may ensue shortly after... A quick analysis does not reveal any RAM hogging process so I assume that Windows and its various caches are holding and not releasing memory for performance reasons.

    To fix this I have an icon that performs a clear cache task when this occurs.



    C:\windows\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

    This can reduce RAM usage when your machine is in this state and it is worth trying.

    It seems that Windows is not very good at recovering from a low RAM situation, certain pools or structures for tracking RAM never seem to recover properly when your system starts swapping so you really ought to prevent this situation from even happening - as a reboot seems to be the only cure.

    The outcome was that I was quite surprised to be still receiving "out of memory" messages shortly after doubling my memory to 8gb.

    My system is a Dell E6410 laptop and I already have (in a box ready to install), a NOS motherboard with the later i7 that can address and support 16gb RAM, 16gb has already been installed, I just haven't yet attempted the upgrade as it is my working machine. However, I do see that there will be a need to upgrade to that mobo soon in order to gain 16gb RAM just for browsing without worry.

    Overall my experience is that 16gb is a really nice thing to have on a bloated Windows 64 bit system with a 'modern', ie. RAM hungry browser and that 8gb is really not enough these days.
    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Mar 27th, 2021 at 05:04 AM.

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    Software Carpenter dee-u's Avatar
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    Re: 8G ram question

    I have i5 8GB ram at home, and it is sufficient for my development purpose, and certainly my browsing needs. The one thing that I upgraded was to use SSD instead of HDD.
    Regards,


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    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: 8G ram question

    Quote Originally Posted by dee-u View Post
    The one thing that I upgraded was to use SSD instead of HDD.
    I wonder whether that might be more expensive than the RAM upgrade.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    SSDs are cheap as chips these days and transform any older laptop into a machine that flies in comparison. The improvements they provide are the best pound for pound compared to any other.

    Note that if your system is low on RAM then placing a pagefile on an SSD will supposedly shorten its life especially if the system is doing a lot of paging/swapping as SSDs seem to prefer reads and have only a finite number of writes built into them. As SSDs are so cheap (20-30 for a 256gb) it is a good idea to clone them and periodically replace them in any case. I do this regularly (once every 12-18 months) and store the old SSDs as offline backups in a friend's house, he has a box of mine.

    The decision here should probably be to obtain both an SSD and more RAM.
    Last edited by yereverluvinuncleber; Mar 27th, 2021 at 06:39 AM.

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    Software Carpenter dee-u's Avatar
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    Re: 8G ram question

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    I wonder whether that might be more expensive than the RAM upgrade.
    It may have been more expensive but I am glad of that decision, my machine was lagging a lot due to 100% disk usage before I upgraded, it became noticeably faster after the upgrade. It is now at par, or perhaps performs faster, compared to my machine at work that has i7 and 8GB RAM but is using HDD.
    Regards,


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    Re: 8G ram question

    8GB RAM + SSD is the minimal setup for normal computer usage these days. Even 2010 laptop with first gen Core i3 works fine for general web browsing, several chat apps, watching 1080p videos.

    Recently I bought for teacher new laptop with AMD Ryzen 7 4700U, 8GB RAM and NVMe SSD. Due to the supply shortages the configurations prices vary too much - almost double the price for 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. But now at least laptops prices are getting normal and with good discounts the difference between 8GB - 16GB and 256GB/512GB (or 1TB for higher end laptops) is not so big.

    I've noticed some strange configuration differences in some reviews - lower priced laptop (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) has better display or newer WiFi (AX) compared to higher priced configuration of same model (16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and WiFi AC). At least the Ryzen 7 laptop I bought had better sRGB coverage and WiFi to what I read about same model but in other countries.

    And as I've upgraded to AX router last year but didn't have any AX device, the first touch with AX was amazing. Positioned on places where even 2.4GHz WiFi laptop has almost no connection, the AX laptop kept copying large file with 30-35MB/sec. In better conditions (less walls, furniture and bodies to stop the signal) 95-100MB/s (1gbit/s) is like being wired to the router.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    Read here:
    Also if your son is only using the computer indoors then BY THE LOVE OF GOD, please get a desktop!!!!!!!!
    Memory. Memory lovely memory. My suggestion is get at least 16GB and if the prices go down upgrade to 32.
    If you can afford a 1000$ Desktop (aka 2000$ laptop) then this configuration is a TOP one, with the GPU shortage and all.

    AMD Ryzen 5 3400G ,
    Nvidia 1060 Ti (GPU shortage, else a 3070),
    500 GB SSD M2 card for basic disk,
    AM4 Motherboard,
    32 GB RAM,
    4 TB HDD secondary,
    550W Power unit.
    .

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    Re: 8G ram question

    Thanks for the replies. Though with all the various attitudes I'm not sure I'm any closer to making a decision. lol

    He's been using a 9yr old Win 7 machine with i5 and SSD, it's been upgraded to Win 10. Funny thing is his girlfriend has a new Chromebook and he say his machine out preforms hers during Zoom meetings. It's pretty small, maybe 11 or 12", I bought it when I was still going out to my clients place.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    sapator, desktops are another story and the question is just for laptop for browsing. 8 gigs are enough and will be next few years. If Chrome guys don't get crazy and start require 32 gigs for few tabs opened.

    If it is for my personal use laptop - 16 GB RAM is the minimum (CPU in 2021 will be 8 cores - preferably 16 threads, but even 8c/8t low powered Ryzens kill my 3 years old 4c/8t i7 8550u). If it is desktop, I will max out the memory from the beginning. Currently running two machines each with 8c/16t and 64 gigs of ram and all SATA ports populated with SSDs and HDDs.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    How difficult is it to upgrade the RAM? Some laptops make this easy, others make it darn near impossible. If it is easy to upgrade, then you have your decision. If it is impossible to upgrade....then it's not so easy.
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    Re: 8G ram question

    My son is strictly a browser user. No games, no development, no software that I can think of. Well he has been using Zoom because of the shut downs. But nothing significant like VS or MS Office. Definitely doesn't want a desktop.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    wes4dbt, current (2020-21) laptops are having powerful CPUs and 16GB RAM will be enough for next years to avoid slow performance due to (mainly bad javascript Electron but not also) apps that are eating more and more memory every new version.

    Choose proper CPU, choose SSD size if 500 or more GB are required, and wait for the price to drop.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    How difficult is it to upgrade the RAM? Some laptops make this easy, others make it darn near impossible. If it is easy to upgrade, then you have your decision. If it is impossible to upgrade....then it's not so easy.
    Most low-profile and lightweight laptops are having RAM soldered to reduce internal space used and weight. I prefer 13.3-14", about 1.2kg, 10-12+ hours battery life so I can use it everywhere for full working day without thinking of power supply. That makes my choice harder.

    Bigger and heavier laptops are having slots for memory so it can be upgraded (still have to be checked as some models are cheaper and still memory is soldered) and if the weight is not a problem, they are good choice too. Also cooling is better due to the larger internal space.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    Quote Originally Posted by peterst View Post
    wes4dbt, current (2020-21) laptops are having powerful CPUs and 16GB RAM will be enough for next years to avoid slow performance due to (mainly bad javascript Electron but not also) apps that are eating more and more memory every new version.

    Choose proper CPU, choose SSD size if 500 or more GB are required, and wait for the price to drop.
    Yeah, prices due seem high right now. I've noticed Samsung is making a Galaxy Book, had never seen this before. I'm a desktop guy, haven't been looking a laptops for years. Got a Surface Pro 3 or 4 yrs ago but hardly ever use it.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    Chips supplies shortage is a big problem. But at least there is not so high demand for laptops and main computer parts (except GPUs) as it was from September until end of January. Online education and work from home stressed the markets but laptops market is normalizing and we can get good machines now.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    I think the tablet market is considered saturated right now. That plus canoe-paddle sized phones have taken the profit out of that market. As a result there isn't much left but high-ticket devices and a plethora of throwaway bottom of the barrel stuff.

    So it might be expected to see momentum flow back into laptops right now since they can repurpose tablet tech to make them and pull in a batch of suckers for a while. Sort of like adding pole dancing to revitalize the dying freak show trade.

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    Re: 8G ram question

    What is the projected lifespan of this laptop? 8GB of RAM is the minimum recommended amount for Windows 10 under the average user's projected workload these days. If the laptop is expected to last more than 5 years, you may want to look into one that has user-upgradable RAM, or that ships with 16GB. 5 years from now, Windows xx and the associated programs will likely have bloated up to where 8GB will be usable but slow.

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