Vista – How Much RAM Is Really Enough?

During the past several weeks , I have read 3 or 4 articles about how much RAM Vista really needs. And to add to the confusion, Microsoft themselves recommend at least 1G of RAM for Vista Ready machines, and another article says 4G is best.

First things first. We must always remember that Microsoft is always going to put the processor speed and memory requirements on the low end. They are in the business to sell software to us. How well it works is your problem, not theirs. So what is the real amount?

I took apart my test system and played around with varying amounts of RAM. The system normally runs with 1G and performance is OK. As you may recall, this is a dual booter with Vista Ultimate on one side and Windows XP Pro on the other. Oh, XP runs great with 1G of RAM.

I have a CPU/RAM monitor in the sidebar of Vista that I can use for unscientific research. OK. It’s a toy. And the only blood sucking memory wasters are the standard stuff for Vista. The only other software running at startup is AVG anti-virus. The machine is very lean. With 1G of RAM, at boot I have about 484 MB of available memory according to the meter. And like I said, the box runs OK. Popping in 2 G was a noticeable improvement. Memory available nearly doubles to 922MB. And I notice some zing in performance, especially when I open up Office 2007. She purrs very nice.

Now for the BIG test – 4G of RAM. Geeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! I have more available RAM, but performance as far as I can tell is on par with 2G RAM. Though I would imagine if I kicked up some dust using imaging stuff, there would be a increase in horsepower and performance.

I personally believe that 2G of RAM is pretty sweet. Of course if you want the best of the best, 4G is even sweeter.

I left the 2G in the system. There was a noticeable improvement over 1G. 🙂 When I build my next biggest and baddest system I may consider 4G. Seems strange. I still remember updating one of my systems from 4MB to 8MB and thought that was a big deal. LOL. And it was. 4MB of RAM cost me $200. Times do change.

Doing a Google will bring up other articles on Vista and RAM needed. And depending on your system specification your mileage may vary.
[tags]microsoft, vista, ram, google,  [/tags]