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Old 01-10-08, 11:53 AM   #1
nilrim1980
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Dumb Laptop + Vista question

By chance, does anyone know on a laptop if 4 gigs of RAM will run Vista decently? I hate to ask, but these are one of those questions that you get a different answer from different people. I assume foo is 100% trustworthy so asking here.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:56 AM   #2
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I assume foo is 100% trustworthy so asking here.
It is.

Don't install Vista. Stick with XP.

Nuff said.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:56 AM   #3
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Sure it will. General rule is to have 2 GB RAM or more with Vista.

If you can't get Vista to run well with 4GB RAM, then there are other things going on.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:58 AM   #4
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4 gigs is enough to run anything, however, Vista being so panned by Windows users publicly, you may wish to reconsider your choice of OS's
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Old 01-10-08, 11:58 AM   #5
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Sure it should run. Can't guarantee it, after all it is Vista.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:03 PM   #6
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I've got Vista on 2 machines and the each have 2 gigs of RAM.
4 is plenty.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilrim1980 View Post
By chance, does anyone know on a laptop if 4 gigs of RAM will run Vista decently? I hate to ask, but these are one of those questions that you get a different answer from different people. I assume foo is 100% trustworthy so asking here.
Two gigs is probably enough, but if you're ordering your computer, and have the option of four, go ahead and get it. What version of Vista? Home Basic or Home Premium? I heard that one has more problems than the other, though I don't remember which....
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Old 01-10-08, 12:11 PM   #8
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Wait for Vista to be a year old and "improved" by MS
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Old 01-10-08, 12:18 PM   #9
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Answer: Nothing will run Vista decently. Vista is a vulgar, nasty OS.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the answers. A number of people I know say that 8 gigs are minimum, 16 is best, and to run the 64 bit version so the machine can access the whole RAM range.

I am not sure what version of Vista will come with the laptop, likely Home Premium.

As for XP, the main reason I am not installing that is that I don't want to spend $300-$400 for a copy (the upgrade copy doesn't think Vista is an OS to upgrade from.) Of course, there are "other" ways to get XP, but I don't feel like having my laptop be a spam zombie and logging my keystrokes from the moment I reinstall it.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:26 PM   #11
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It sounds like you are buying new. Just tell the folks you are buying this laptop from NOT to install Vista and to install XP.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:27 PM   #12
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Honest answer: Vista does not run well with any amount of ram.

so, I made up an answer...sue me.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:28 PM   #13
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8gb minimum?? I don't know many motherboards on laptops that can even support that much! 2gb is sufficient for a little while, but after you begin installing/uninstalling programs and loading it with info, it will start to lag a little. But 4gb would keep you happy for a good while.
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Old 01-10-08, 12:37 PM   #14
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Adding a lot of memory to a system will help Vista run better as will the best non-integrated video card that is offered. However the core problem is Vista is so much slower than the same hardware running Windows XP. Even if you turn off all the fancy Aero graphical enhancements and have it looking like Windows 2000 but with more colorful icons, the operating system bogs. I don't care if it boots and shuts down faster than XP, I want it snappy while actually using the machine. I have the advantage at work of having co-workers with MSDN subscriptions so I can test all the versions of software from MS and at this point Vista really is like Windows ME part II. Two gigs of RAM is quite a bit for any laptop not running CAD CAM type apps.

I'm not looking forward to supporting this years refresh of laptops for the sales staff. Dell latitudes with Vista and not XP.
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Old 01-10-08, 01:33 PM   #15
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Getting 4 gigs only makes sense if you are getting the x64 version. the x86(32 bit) version cannot address all 4 gigs. Good luck with drivers.

The people that say you need a minimum of 8 or 16 gigs are idiots and just sayng that for the 733tn3$$ factor. If it's a multi-CPU server, maybe. No workstation or gaming computer needs that much.

However, it's already been mentioned, but should be mentioned again, do NOT go Vista. The only reason is if you want to use DirectX 10. And there is no reason to go DirectX 10.

Stick with XP.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:16 PM   #16
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Getting 4 gigs only makes sense if you are getting the x64 version. the x86(32 bit) version cannot address all 4 gigs. Good luck with drivers.
Sneefy is correct. 32 bit windows cannot address all 4 GB, so the extra RAM is a waste of money -- unless you go with a 64 bit operating system which has some issues you might not want to deal with as a home user.

If you want everything to work as well as possible, XP is the way to go. My wife has vista with a dual core processor and 2GB on her machine. Performance is fine, but there are some compatibility issues. I really like some of the things about vista, but it has been oversold and you have to pay extra to get full functionality.

To answer the original question, 4GB of memory will run fine on vista. However, it won't run noticeably better than 2GB so there's no point in paying for the extra memory. However, top tier laptops will come this year with 4GB standard even though it can't be used -- this is for marketing purposes and will only have the effect of driving up RAM and computer prices.

If you're worried about speed, don't run so much crap on your system. Any machine can be slowed to a crawl if enough is running on it. Even weak machines can run surprisingly fast if you only run what you actually use and need.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:26 PM   #17
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I think Windows XP will only support up to 3 GB. The 64 bit version of XP supports 8 GB.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:57 PM   #18
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We (wife & I) just ordered a Dell XPS M1530. Microsoft prohibits XP installation on the XPS systems. We'll see how it goes. 3GB RAM. 250GB drive. Vista Home Premium.
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Old 01-10-08, 02:57 PM   #19
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Sneefy is correct. 32 bit windows cannot address all 4 GB, so the extra RAM is a waste of money -- unless you go with a 64 bit operating system which has some issues you might not want to deal with as a home user.
The problem with 4gb is that you run in the same problem as the 640kb limit with DOS. The powers-that-be put the address ranges for PCI and other hardware devices at 4gb downward. Those addresses can't be used for RAM and programme usage. You've got hard-drive controllers, USB devices, and graphics-cards with their memory from 4gb downwards. The memory on the devices themselves are mapped into those address ranges and the RAM is not accessible. If you've got a 512mb graphics cards, the memory-ranges from 3.5gb-4gb will be looking at the memory on the graphics card itself and the RAM on the MB is wasted. Even larger memory on graphics-cards will displace even more RAM from the motherboard.

Another problem is the Windows memory-allocation scheme itself. No programme can use more than 1.5gb, making Windows a poor DB-server.

Stick with 2gb, you won't be able to measure ANY performance differences with more. Also:

Wired Blog - Windows XP Service Pack 3 Trounces Vista In Speed Tests
ComputerWorld - Windows XP SP3 boasts speed boost
PC world - Early Tests Say SP3 Speeds Windows XP
Yahoo News - Windows XP Speed Boost Coming with SP3
Paul Thurrott's Supersite -
Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC1 Overview and Screenshots
- "Certainly, XP is faster than Vista on the same hardware, regardless of which service packs are installed. "

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