How much ram is enough?

I am running a 1.3Ghz Tbird, GF3 on WinXP. I presently have 640MB RAM. I play mostly flightsims and some other games on my PC. Some of the newer games/sims are brutal and memory pigs though. Would I see any benifit in speed by going to 768GB or 1GB RAM? Seriously?

Upgrade your video card, including those with additional RAM.

You only need as much RAM as your system tries to call. I see people all of the time upgrading memry to ridiculous standards just because they believe that more RAM = a faster system. This is only true up to a point. If your system never calls that RAM then it is wasted; it goes unused. I can’t see any current program calling up to or more than 640 mb of RAM.

Your answer is no. If you are unhappy with the performance of your sytem, look elsewhere. A hopped up video card might be a good place to start.

How much RAM? Enough to fill ewe. :smiley:

I’m sorry, I’ll be quiet now!

So there’s your answer. :smiley:

When the shepherd says stop, you’ve had enuff ram.

Try diabling virtual memory, close all non-essential processes, and run the game. If it craps out telling you that you don’t have enough free memory to run the program then it’s relying on virtual memory and what you have isn’t enough to run the thing completely in physical memory. In that case more RAM would make a difference. Otherwise, if it runs just as well then it must be something else. Use the scientific process, it’s your friend, and always remember to include a control in your experiments.

That’s the fun of building a computer, it’s sort of like building a car; you just sort of fuck around until you figure out how to make it run the best.

Old joke which I feel I must share:

A father buys a used car and brings it home, along with an extensive repair manual for it. The father says to his child;
“Son, you see this book, this is our Bible!”
“No,” says the son, ”This is our Karma Sutra, because we’re gonna be fucking with it from now on!”

my machine has similar specs (T-Bird C 1.4, GF3, Win98, 512MB) and i haven’t run anything yet that was too taxing for my system. Of course i mainly play FPS, im not that familiar with flight sims. Is 1.4ghz and a Geforce 3 really outdated already?

I have 256MB, and I’m definately hurting. However, I rarely go over around 300-400MB, even during heavy gaming and/or DivX encoding, so I’d say 640MB, or even 512MB, was sufficient.

Also win 98 has a limit of some sort that caps out at 256mb ram. Yes you can use more but it really doesn’t use it effectivly

This isn’t strictly true. It’s more a case of a conflict between a motherboard chipset, BIOS, and drivers.

On some systems, DOS-based Windows (95, 98, ME) won’t boot with more than 512M RAM. On others, it works fine. On still others - and this is the ‘not effectivly’ situation - it craps out if it tries to use RAM over 512M as a disk cache. Since that’s usually not an issue it’s not that big a deal. It’s possible to limit or disable caching.

Still, for safety’s sake don’t go over 512M on a Windows 98 machine unless you can test it out and return the RAM if it doesn’t work.

I was running 640M in my Windows 98 machine without problems (Asus A7V motherboard, Duron 600)

As for game performance - Flight sims are hogs and will eat up all of your computer’s resources no matter what. Got a mainframe? A flight sim can floor it. :slight_smile: If you’ve already got 640M RAM though, I’d look into faster video and CPU before more memory.

Flight sims are more processor dependant. The higher the speed the better of you are. As for RAM it all depends. Do you only play games? If so stick with the amount of RAM that you have right now. If you do a crap load of photoshop editing and things of that nature then more ram=good. I’ve only got 384MB of RAM and the only time I feel I need more is when I’m encoding DivX movies and such.

I know its not cutting edge, but it is a bit depressing when you hear 1.3Ghz and a GF3 is “outdated” or “lacking”.


For the record, almost everything runs just great and super fast. Sims like FS2K2 is gorgeous and I would like to run it maxxed out (visibility 140+ miles) but I would also would like to get 30+ fps at 1600x1200. Now I get about 10 or so in really complex areas. I guess I could use a new, faster CPU but this one will last me a while longer yet. The terrain is a real memory hog on the sim in particular, hence my asking about RAM. I should have been more specific in my OP.

You are just not getting it. Your RAM should be just fine. To get the resolution and frame rates that you desire, you need to look at some moderately high-end video cards. That is what they do. The other issue which is very slight is CPU speed. 1.3Ghz is not cutting edge anymore but it should still be fine. You are falling into the classic trap of focusing on RAM when there are other, more important issues at work.

Let me make this very simple: Upgrade your video card just like I and other Dopers suggested the first time.

No, I do get it. I was telling about my particular worry was FS2K2 which is a memory hog. That is why I asked if it would be any better with more ram, the answer is no.
Thats why I said:

And no, a new video card would hardly make any difference in the sims I play. A GF4ti on a similar setup to mine gets virtually identical framerates on max settings. It is CPU bound.

IMHO - if you’re never accessing your swapfile, then you have plenty of RAM.

640 kilobytes ought to be enough for anybody.
–Bill Gates (either 1981 or 1985; I’ve seen it attributed to both years)

[hijack] I’ve seen in a few places, e.g. here that this quote is apocryphal. Couldn’t find it on Snopes though. [/hijack]