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]

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Bud Hartley

    I agree – 2GB seems to be the “sweet spot” for Vista (Ultimate). Unfortunately, Vista (32 bit) will only use 3GB of RAM no matter how much you have installed (64 bitt uses more). XP has the same limitation.

  • marc klink

    Your comments always make me smile. I remember when, being disgusted at the 286-12MHz Packard Bell I had just bought at Costco, I decided to BUILD my own machine. You see the 286 had 1MB of memory on board, and the manual stated that there was an add-in board which would hold 8MB more. Well, I had my eye on using DesqView, and when someone at P-B tech support told me that that board was no longer offered, because the system was a year old…

    I went to a computer show and proceeded to buy the best stuff I could at the time [I was a student, and college tuition was most of my budget]. I bought a 386sx-16 motherboard, which would allow 8MB on board, and used 70ns RAM interleaved for SPEED! The RAM was $100 per megabyte, so it was the largest single purchase at $800, and then came the 200MB Western Digital IDE drive to the tune of $525[quite a deal at the time!].

    Anyway, all this to say that I was preparing for Vista also, and had been running all my XP machines on 1G of RAM for some time. In the way that I use the machine [heavily configured is how I like to describe it], it made such a difference to go to 2GB that I have decided to do it with all the machines I have that will allow it. I only have one motherboard that will go to 4GB, so I’ll try that when I decide to open up my copy I received from MS [I'm betting it is counted in the 20M!]. It amazes me how much MS is willing to be criticized for the performance of their software just because they unrealistically estimate how much memory the bloatware will require. I still maintain that if we really were concerned with the size in memory of programs and operating systems, the compiler companies would REALLY optimize the code, and suggest using ASM for some of the more critical stuff. C and its derivatives are great, but think back to what one could accomplish with Lotus 1-2-3 2.01 on MS DOS 3.3!

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Bud,
    FWIW – I believe 32 bit supports 4G. 64 bit goes from 8G to 128G for the Enterprise, Business & Ultimate editions.

    Heh Marc,
    When you mentioned the WD at 200MB it brought back memories as well.

    And I agree. It is just so much easy to throw memory at bad software, than to fix the software itself. :-(

    Thanks to you both for your remarks. Ron

  • Linda

    I have a problem and I’m wondering if Ron can help me. I bought a DELL Computer in late February of course it came with Windows Vista, 512 MB of Memory, 36 months of McAfee anti-virus software and of course 3 months free Bell Sympatico high speed internet. Its been HELL dealing with this thing. Problems started with the high speed which was sooo slow, I called Bell 5 times and finally they figured the problem was the computer didn’t have enough memory so called Dell gave them shit, explained everything and they gave a gift certificat of 150 dollars to buy more memory, in which I did. Received the memory this week, had my daughter come over install it for me, again the high speed is so slow, call back Bell to now find out that the problem is my anti-virus software McAfee. Took McAfee off the computer and WOW its soo fast. Ron Do you know anything about this? Is there a driver I need to download or something. I paid 100 dollars for this anti-virus which came with the computer and now I have no anti-virus to protect it. Should I wait to see if McAfee will fix this problem or what?

    Thanks

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Linda,
    This is a tough one. It’s difficult to be objective because I am prejudiced against both Norton and McAfee, since I wouldn’t recommend either, except to my enemies. :-)
    First, I would demand a refund from McAfee or most likely Dell themselves. Seems like you know how to speak up if they gave you a $150 gift certificate. Good for you.
    Do this. Download AVG Free edition. This is one of the best av products available for free.
    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/02/07/avg-anti-virus-program-make-sure-you-upgrade-to-version-75
    And I also would recommend a anti-spyware program as well.
    Lavasoft SE, Spybot search and destroy and a few I recommend.
    ALL are available for free at the link below.
    http://100-downloads.com/
    I hope this helps, Ron

  • Mick Warwick

    Hello Ron and everybody,

    I dropped by to read this thread because I noticed the other day that PCWorld (a UK high-street computer shop chain) were selling laptops with Vista, and – wait for it – 256Mb RAM!

    And their staff were pointing people to these (albeit low-priced) machines with gusto.

    Now, I’m self-taught in everything I know about computers, but one evening’s web research warned me off machines with less than 1Gb – even for XP. I’ve just ditched my old W98SE machine which had struggled along valiantly for 5 years on 384Mb.

    Vista on 256? Is this sort of thing criminal, or what?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Mick,
    That is totally unreal! I feel sorry for the people who buy these machines. But my guess is the store will be happy to add more RAM once these folks see how SLOW…….. Vista runs. At a price of course! Thanks for the information.

    Ron

  • http://brandonlive.com Brandon Paddock

    Bud and Ron -

    Windows Vista 32-bit versions, like any 32-bit OS, can support 4GB worth of memory addresses. However, also like any other 32-bit OS, that does NOT mean you can actually make use of 4GB of RAM.

    The issue is that your BIOS will reserve memory addresses for things besides RAM, including enough to map to the total amount of video memory in your system. So if you have a 256MB video card, that means 256MB of memory addresses are gone as soon as you start the PC.

    When all is said and done, most 32-bit PCs can’t make use of more than 3GB of memory, although the exact amount will vary. Many users who install 4GB on a 32-bit machine will see 3.5 or 3.25 actually usable. I’ve seen others (Chris’ QuadFX machine, actually) with dual 8800GTX cards that end up only able to see 2GB!

    Of course, installing the 64-bit version of Vista fixes this problem. That is, assuming your hardware supports greater than 32-bit addressing, which even some cheaper/older x64 motherboards do not.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Brandon,
    Thanks for the clarification. I was just quoting the MS line of 4MB limit. Regards, Ron

  • Nathan

    Hi!
    I am a rather heavy gamer and was just wondering if my high end games will be allowed to run effectively by Vista. I will have 2Gb of RAM but I just want to know if Vista will inhibbit my high end gaming performance.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Nathan,
    May I suggest the following. Post your concerns over at the LG forum in the Gaming section. We have a resident expert who stays on top of games and should be able to confirm what will and won’t work. As far as performance goes, I don’t believe you will notice much difference. But whether the games will work is another story.

    http://help.lockergnome.com

    I hope this helps. Ron

  • Olav

    If you are a BIG Vista Gamer 4GB should be enough.
    If you are a BIG XP Gamer 512mb should be enough.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Olav,
    Thanks for the comments.
    Ron

  • http://www.sogamed.com Simon

    hi ron,recently i bought dell laptop 512 Ram with duo core processor and of course with windows vista home basic,problem is whenever i tried to connect to internet where i used my 3G handphone as the modem,the internet connection is very slow,when i the same connection over at my desktop which runs on windows xp the internet speed is awesome,i dunt know what the real problem is,my friends are saying because my laptop ram is not enough as a result the internet connection is slow.Beside these opeening of applications works okay,not fast and now that slow either

  • Nathan

    Thanks for the help guys, it was realy helpful.
    Nathan

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Nathan,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Regards, Ron

  • Jeremy Saine

    Hi Ron,

    I was wondering if the speed of the RAM makes any difference for Vista?

    I have someone who wants to upgrade a machine from XP to Vista, and the motherboard will support up to PC2100 (266 Mhz), so the choices are to just buy 1 gig more memory, or to buy a new motherboard and buy 2 gigs of faster memory, which is much more expensive, but this person is interested in only the best.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Jeremy,
    The faster memory naturally works with faster cpu’s. So the system would be faster than a system using PC2100. How much faster? It’s a combo effect and also takes into account the video display adapter.

    So you could end up with a new mobo, cpu, memory and video card. And you might also need a bigger PS to handle the new load. Basically a new machine. :-)

    Hope this helps, Ron

  • Raza J

    HI!
    ive just ordered a computer with 2GB of RAM.
    The PC came with VISTA ULTAMATE pre-installed.
    I usually use a fare amount of high-end softwere, so i was wondering if this would make my pc slow as i ordered it to be fast.
    By the way it has a intel core2 duo 2.4GHz processer and a 256mb graphics card which were built into the package.

    Also the test you conducted in which u concluded that 2GB was the best for VISTA, what version of vista was that for, ULTAMATE??

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Raza,
    It was Ultimate that I used. And it was a AMD single core also with a 256MB graphics card. So my guess is that your dual core with 2G should run very well. Worse case scenario is adding more RAM is easy though not cheap. :-)

    Good luck on your new system. Let us know how it works for you after you get it setup. I’m sure everyone would like to hear your thoughts.

    Regards, Ron

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Raza,
    Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Regards, Ron

  • thomas

    How much RAM is best to buy?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Thomas,
    If you read thru the comments it appears that 2G works very well with 4G being the absolute best performance.

    I am personally using 2G with Ultimate and it works very well for me.
    Ron

  • joe

    I’m looking to get a computer for very basic operation, basically just internet browsing. They have real cheap machines with 512mb RAM, will Vista basic run fine for just basic internet browsing with 512mb RAM? I’m thinking its worth a try and if it’s not good enough I can get upgrade later, would you agree its worth a try?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Joe,
    That’s a tough call. For basic browsing and nothing more, it should be OK.

    But once you leave the simple browsing area and venture into other areas, such a digital camera’s, scanners, mp3 files, and such, the system could bog down on you. I have seen so many people buy inexpensive systems only to be disappointed down the road.

    However, if you are 100% certain that is all you will ever do with the system, it should work OK.

    I wish you all the best in your decision making process. Ron

  • Raza J

    Hi,
    I recived my computer and i am pleased to say that it is working extreamly fast. not only on start up but also when it comes to usage.
    So my advice is that the best RAM for vista(ultamate) would be 2GB, that is unless you were a hard-core gamer, then you might decide to use 4GB.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Raza J,
    Thanks for letting us know. I hope you enjoy your new system.
    Ron

  • JJ

    I would run 2GB DDR2 in XP. That seems to be the sweet spot in XP. I run 4GB DDR2 in VISTA this seems to be VISTA’s sweet spot It does display as 3582MB = 3.50GB and believe me VISTA loves RAM. It showed I was using 2.7GB when I was multi-tasking. The WOW starts now they got that right “hog”! I have a nvidia 7600GT card and a dual core AMD. VISTA runs really good on 4GB of RAM. In my honest opinion 4GB is the way to go in VISTA very smooth snappy. In XP 4GB is like rocket fuel.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello JJ,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Ron

  • Mairaj

    Hey i was just wondering if a 64 bit OS is a lot better than 32 bit. What are the differences? Most new computers come with 64 bit processors and even my old 2 year old has an AMD which claims it is ready for new 64 bit processing. If this technology is standard on most new processors why not make it standard on all computers?

    Thanks
    Mairaj

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Mairaj,
    Here is a article that explains the difference. Eventually everything will be 64 bit. When this will finally happen is anyone’s guess.

    http://www.softwaretipsandtricks.com/windowsxp/articles/581/1/The-difference-between-64-and-32-bit-processors

    Hope this helps, Ron

  • Mairaj

    Hey Ron,

    Thanks for your reply. That helped explain it.

    Thanks Again,
    Mairaj

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Maiaj,
    You’re welcome. And thanks for bringing this up as well. I’m going to do a short article on it. :-)

    Regards, Ron

  • Jesse

    Hello all,

    I just bought a HP Pavilion with 1gb of RAM and (apparently sadly) it came with VISTA BASIC. At this point I’ve only had it for about 5 hours and I’ve noticed that it’s pretty slow, even for simple browsing.

    I just really want to know what my options are at this point. Do I HAVE to buy RAM? Is it possible to install XP and/or just use that?

    I spent $850 on this computer and it’s pretty unbelievable that I would have to spend more to get it to work well.

    Also, what exactly makes this computer worth $800?
    BTW, this is the HP Pavilion A6037

    Thanks in advance

  • Jesse

    Sorry, just want to add that I meant AND/OR Uninstall Vista.

    Thanks again.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Jesse,
    I hope you don’t mind, but I posted your question to see what kind of a response we would get on how you should proceed with your new system.

    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/05/02/new-hp-computer-running-slow-reader-wants-to-know-what-to-do/

    Ron

  • Bradley

    Hello,

    I Have a HP compaq laptop with a core 2 duo 1.6ghz processor. I have 512mb of RAM. Sometimes it runs really slow and sometimes somewhat slowly. How much more RAM do i need and how much will it cost? (AUD preferably)

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Bradley,
    If you are running Vista I would get a min. of 1G. 2G is the sweet spot. Ram costs vary speeding on Ram speed and where you buy it. I’d check out Crucials site and put in your make and model and see what they recommend. This will give you a general idea.

    Hope this helps, Ron

  • elliott

    dear who ever can help me,
    tomorow i am going out to buy a compaq laptop with vista basic installed on it. It comes with 512mb of ram and is only expandable to 1gb so im goin to buy another 512. Is the computer going to run good?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello elliott,
    Since you will be using Basic, 1G of Ram should be plenty. As to whether it will run any good, Vista does appear to most who are using it to run equal to XP. But one thing all of us agree upon is to uninstall ALL of the crapware that comes with the system.

    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/05/02/new-hp-computer-running-slow-reader-wants-to-know-what-to-do

    There is some great info in the comments section and a few programs like Decrapifier you should try.

    Let us know how you like your new system. Ron

  • M Attar

    Hello Ron…
    I’d like to ask you about some problems I have…
    I have laptop which has intel dual core 2(2GHz) with 1GB ram with windows vista and 256 Invidia graphic card and 160GB hardisk,,
    The problem I face is when I use my laptop for 4 hours and more
    it starts to heat and when I open programs it dont respond at all it take time to open it and the sound of fan become noisy,,,
    and what I do I start to press alt+ctrl+delete and move to task manager to end some process, but it dont take me to task manager and seems to stuck so I give it chance for 6 minutes or more to start responding again..
    I put my laptop over table

  • M Attar

    I am using windows vista home premium….32-bit..

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello M Attar,
    From your description it seems that you have determined it is a heat issue. You can try using a program called Speed Fan to confirm that is actually the problem.
    http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
    My first recommendation would be to call your OEM if this is a new system to see what they recommend.
    Second, on my laptop systems I use a laptop cooler. I chose the model from Antec because it is quiet, works off of a usb port BUT the connector itself is a usb plug so you don’t lose a port. Just a thought.
    Hope this helps, Ron

  • M Attar

    Ron, Thank you alot for your useful advice :)

    But what do you think, do you recommend me to upgrade my RAM to 2GB?
    and one more things, when u put laptop on floor like studying table, does this have disadvantaged??

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi M Attar,
    2G of RAM seems to be the sweet spot for Vista. If you have the laptop on a table and the wairflow is not retricted, then it should be fine.
    Ron

  • M Attar

    Thanxz alot Ron ^__^

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    M Attar,
    You are welcome.
    Ron

  • Paul Austin

    Hi Ron,

    Last week I purchased a DELL Inspiron 6400 the spec is:-

    Core 2 Duo T5600 (1.83GHz, 667MHz FSB 2MB L2)
    1024Mb (2×512) 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    120Gb Hard Drive (only 15Gb free now)
    256Mb NVIDIA Ge Force Go 7300 Turbo Cache
    Vista Home Premium.

    I am very disappointed with the performance of this machine, it often freezes or runs very slowly when switching between applications, the 3D switching option in Vista usually takes ages to come up. I am running Office 2007 – Word, Excel, Outlook, and also use Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Photoshop regularly, not all at the same time but two or three togther.

    Also Vista is sometimes incredibly slow to bring up things like the control panel, the icons appear one by one, also sometimes when im looking through a document folder the icons again appear slowly as this annoying task bar ticks slowly across! Is there anyway to get rid of that thing. Same thing when I open my computer icon, very slow indeed.

    My Vista Performance index is given as 3.1, due to the graphics card, and the other things are between 3.5-4.1. I have taken off a lot of the crap that came with the computer, like McAfee, and installed aVast anti-virus instead (works well), I stopped lots of the programs that were running on start-up with autoruns.

    I was wondering what you would recommend to get this machine running better, as Im sure it should be able to, it cost £600 = $1188, which is quite a lot more than the cheapest out there so i thought I would get pretty good performance. I could by 2x1Gb 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM from crucial for £58 which I am prepared to do if you think it would help significantly, and from this post it seems 2Gb is optimal. Do you think the RAM is probably the biggest issue, or the graphics card which has 128Mb shared and 128Mb designated memory? Will increasing the RAM, help the graphics card in the 128Mb that are shared with RAM? Also will getting 667MHz RAM, make a big difference compared to 533Mhz. Finally do you think having only 15Gb free on the hard drive is a problem.

    Sorry for the long post but im really lost on this and would really appreciate your help.

    Regards,

    Paul

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Paul,
    I’m going to post your comments in a article and see what kind of a response we get.
    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/05/31/new-dell-system-reader-needs-help-system-running-slow
    Regards, Ron

  • JJ

    I would like to clear something up about vista 32 bit!
    Had some time to do testing.
    4GB = waste. You cant use the 4thGB.
    3GB Is fine run it like this 2x512MB and 2x1GB =3GB No waste.
    I was useing 4GB but thats online hype! NO GOOD
    It will run with 2GB or 3GB just fine. All this F.U.D. about 4GB.
    Its really no more of a beast then XP. Slight bloat lets not make mountains out of moe hills. P.S. Still running XP.
    Thanks.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi JJ,
    Thanks for your comments and for sharing what you found.
    Ron

  • Sean

    Hello,

    I just purchased a Dell Vostro laptop (no bloatware), with the folowing specs:

    Intel Core 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
    3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
    128MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
    120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

    I’m running Vista Basic, because I’m waiting until my university offers Business or Ultimate for free.

    There is a lot of talk about RAM in this thread, but I haven’t noticed anyone go into depth about the relationship between processor speed/type and RAM, and how these two factors interact with one another.

    My question: With my processor (bottom of the line Core 2 Duo), am I really going to be able to use my RAM fully?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi JJ,
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    Ron

  • Ann

    Hi!

    I’m pretty much a computer novice when it comes to specs. Hope you can help?!…

    I just bought a notebook with the following:
    -AMD Turion 64 mobile technology MK-38 (2.2 GHz, 512KB L@ cashe)

    -Up to 256MB ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 hyperMemory
    -160GB HDD
    -1GB DDR2

    The above are the specs given on the sticker. It also have Windows Vista Premium

    I’m confused, when I check the computer stats ie: RAM, Processor etc… The RAM displays as 768MB. I specifically bought this notebook based on the 1GB. Why is it showing a different amount of RAM than what I paid for?

    Do I need to be concerned? Who should I contact? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance..

  • Ann

    Oops! I meant to say in my post ****512KB L2 cashe ***

    Thanks

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Ann,
    Your video card is using 256MB of your physically installed RAM. You therefore have 1 GB [1,024] minus the 256 = 768MB available for the operating system and other programs.
    Personally I believe that the sweet spot for Vista Home Premium and above is around 2GB. However, not knowing what you are doing on your system beside the casual email and web surfing, 1GB may meet your specific needs.
    I would do two things. First I would use the system and see how the performance is for you. If it meets your needs OK, stay with 1 G. Second I would wait until Vista SP1 becomes available, which should be fairly soon since it is currently being tested. Microsoft is making performance enhancement which may just help in the way your system performs.
    If your performance still does not meet your needs, then consider kicking the system up to 2GB or more.
    I hope this helps you. I’m also going to post a article since this seems to be a issue for many who have just bought new machines.
    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/2007/08/19/windows-vista-wheres-my-ram
    Regards, Ron

  • Ann

    Good Morning Ron!

    Thanks for your quick response…your forums are very helpful.

    So If I’m understanding you correctly the computer company is not misleading me by just installing 768mb, they have actually installed the 1GB.

    The reason I asked is that when I turn on the notebook, sign in there is a Windows page that loads up automatically telling me the type of system that I have, processor etc.. and the RAM displays as 768mb.

    I wish vista would have just shown the 1GB less installed info so that it would not add to the confusion.

    Ron, you mentioned the video card is taking up the rest of the missing memory. Is this feature essential?(Please keep in mind that I am a novice and trying my best to understand computer talk:)
    BTW, I will be mostly using the computer to write papers, print, internet etc..

    What can I do with the video card, to allow more space if needed?

    I’ve had my notebook for almost a week.. I guess I shouldn’t call th computer company and complain about not installing 1GB of ram eh?!

    Thanks for your help. I’m glad I stumbled across your site…extremely helpful and informative. Take Care..

    -Ann

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Ann,
    It wouldn’t hurt any calling the computer company just to confirm what I said.

    There may also be a way in the BIOS to limit the amount of RAM the video card takes at boot up. But this is something you may wish to have done by a computer savvy friend or relative. Notice the word MAY. Each computer system is different. But since you said the sticker states ‘up to 256MB’ it makes me think it can be lowered.

    Anytime you post a question, it is also a good idea to post the brand and model # of the unit as well. :-)

    Hope you have a great Sunday.

    Regards, Ron

  • Dauterive

    dual channel dual channel dual channel dual channel!!!!!!!
    Future proof yourself and take the hit. Frankly for an extra £20 buy the extra 2gb and loose 1gb. It’s still dual channel and it’s still faster. I encode alot of films, play games and trust me it makes a difference with my e6400 core duo.

  • http://staysecure.tripod.com/ jimmy the geek

    Just to get this out there, I built a computer out of parts that I scavanged here and there. Pretty much I did not pay a dime for anything other than the case (which came with a 650 watt PS and all the fancy led fans and a nice see through cut out side). Most of the stuff in my system is outdated and not even made anymore. I am running Home premium, with a Nvidia FX5700 256mb video card, AMD Atholon XP 2000+ thoroughbred cpu, gigs of ram on a Syntax SV266m motherboard. I play some heavy games on this system with no problems. I am very happy with this setup. I would give advice to people that are considering buying a store bought system- DO NOT DO IT! You will get a whole bunch of preloaded spyware and crap that bloats your system and will slow it down. Also Vista has something like 160 processes that are all turned on by default. I advise that you turn off whatever you do not need and limit startup programs. Vista just needs a little tweak here and there but as far as I am concerned is a really great system. I also want to comment on the guy that said he knew of computers with 256 of ram with Vista? Vista won’t even allow you to install it unless it detects 512 mb of ram, so that would lead me to believe that they remove it after they do an install and try to resell it to you. Bad buisness!!!

  • Ivan

    hey ron..1 question :
    i recently bought an hp pavilion 9series. i increased the ram from 2 to 4g. the laptop is vista ultimate with 320gb hdd. oh, and it runs on 64 bit processing. how come it can only read 3.25gb of ram??
    thanx

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Ivan,
    Check in your BIOS to see how much RAM is being dedicated to your video card, if the card is integrated.

    Then test the new RAM by itself and see what it is reading compared to your old RAM. You may have a bad stick.

    If you are still having a problem, I’d give HP a call to see what they advise.

  • J. Sheffer

    Hi Ron,

    Wow, let me just say, you and all of these other folks have been through a lot of heartache with vista. The more i read the more I don’t want any part of it, oh that’s right, i’m using a computer with vista on it right now. Let me just tell you, it’s not easy. I’ve only got a Gig of RAM, and I like to game. It is tough and not enjoyable at all, and to think I gave up my old XP computer that had a Gig of RAM too. This computer sucks! But it is not the reason I’m posting because I know what to do about this computer, just don’t have the funds right now.

    I’m a senior in high school and it’s almost that time of the year when the parents are thinking about buying me a laptop for college. Well, I fell in love with the Hp and Gateway Tablet laptops, but after doing some research on them, I decided that hurting my parents credit card was not worth being able to right on the stupid screen; besides I type faster than I can write. So now I’m looking at Dells. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Dells and I want to get their Inspiron 1521, but my problem is that I can only get up to 2 gigs of RAM on it. I would like to get the 1520 and just buy the more RAM, but that unfortunately overextends the limits of my budget.

    My question is, knowing that 2Gb is the now defined “sweet spot” for Vista, and knowing that all Laptops just inherently run slow, will I be able to run 5 or 6 programs at a time on the Vista Premium Laptop with 2Gb of RAM and a Dual Core 2.0GHz processor comfortable?????…something tells me no, but I want a professional opinion, or just a more educated one.

    Here are the exact stats:
    Dell Inspiron 1521
    AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60 (1MB/2.0GHz)
    Vista Home Premium
    ATI Radeon Xpress1270 Hypermemory
    2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
    160GB SATA HD(5400RPM)

    If you would tell me if I would be able to run 5-6 programs comfortably at the same time on this system. With only 1GB on this computer running Vista Premium I’m able to run 5-6, but it gets slow and a little hairy. If I’m gonna spend good money on a laptop, I want one that can get me through college and it doesn’t take me 20 minutes to open MS Word or my games for that matter.

    Sorry for the really long post. I just really wanted to get it all out there, and feel free to start a new post with this, just please let me know b/c I really want to find out something pretty soon b/c I want to buy the laptop while its on sell for Christmas.

    Thxs again, J. Sheffer

    PS: Reading this article and some of the ones that stemmed from it (especially Paul’s question) have helped me find free ways to increase the performance of my current program, such as turning off the appearance settings.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello J. Sheffer,
    I would buy a business Vostro system w/2G using Windows XP. Than you are sure all of your programs will work without any problems.

    If you gotta have Vista, 2G MAY be enough depending on what programs you are running.

    Take a look at the Vostro system here:

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/vostronb_1500?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&~tab=bundlestab

  • J. Sheffer

    Hey Ron,

    Oh my god, I’m so glad you pointed me to that specific Vostro. I had looked at them before and couldn’t find one that i could get with the hardware I wanted in a good price range. Well the Vostro 1500 was perfect. Don’t know how I missed it. I did get it with Vista, but I was able to put 3Gb’s of RAM on it and I personnally think that will be plenty. The main reason I want Vista is because I know that sooner or later it will become the dominant OS for PC’s. I don’t like it, but from my viewpoint, I might as well just go ahead and live with it. Maybe one day MS will smarten up and make something that we like and can enjoy without having to cut off an arm and a leg for it!

    THANKS A WHOLE LOT MAN!—Sheffer

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi J. Sheffer,
    Sounds like you bought yourself a nice system and 3G should be plenty. As for Vista, you are correct. It will be the dominate OS down the road.

    All the very best to you in your college endeavors.

  • Peter

    Hi Ron, great forum you have, just thought I would canvass opinion from experts (I am a novice)
    just bought a computer running windows home premium(32bit) but will not be able to set up for a while (1 month). here is the spec

    3 gb ddr2sdram
    320gb sata hard drive
    ati radeon hd2400 pro with avivo 256mb dedicated memory
    main processor is an Intel core 2 duo processor E4500

    thats it in the main I use this mainly for internet browsing, hoping to use it for some very basic family movie making and digital photography processing, I mat at some point play games on it but not likely.
    Do you guys think it is a reasonable spec for those types of applications and will it run fast and efficient on that type of ram ?. I got the feeling that the sales guy flim flammed me rather than totally matching my needs ? I could be wrong what do you think ?? . thanx for your valued opinions

    Pete

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Peter,
    Sounds like the system you bought should meet your needs. :-)

    Regards, Ron

  • Adam K

    Hey Ron. I have a question for you man. I have a dell dimension. I need an upgrade and thinking of Intel core 2 duo 2.2GHZ. I am kind of confused on whether I should get 2GB or 4GB. I want to get 4GB because its cheaper these days. But someone told me adding memory will not help unless the processor can keep up with it. Therefore please give me an opinion on whether I should just get 2GB now and if needed upgrade later or straight up go for 4GB?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Adam,
    Check this link:

    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2008/01/10/readers-want-to-know-need-your-help/

    I posted your question to our readers to get their opinion as well.

    Regards, Ron

  • J. Sheffer

    hey Ron,

    thought i’d let you know just how GREAT MY NEW LAPTOP IS!!!! I got the Dell Vostro 1500 like you suggested; Intel Dual Core 2.0 GHz processor, 3 Gb of Ram, w/ Vista Home Premium, and 160 Gb Hard drive. I’ve had it since the day after Christmas and i haven’t lost my enthusiasm.

    It is really funny when a my “laptop” runs faster than my “desktop,” and the desktop has a 3.6Ghz processor!!! Ram truely makes all the difference with Vista; I know you believe 2 Gbs is the sweet spot for Vista, but I wouldn’t give up my 3 gigs for the world!

    I have had a couple of problems with this computer though, and all of them are Dell’s fault really. The video driver is not working properly when I play games, and it will freeze up from time to time. I went through several troubleshooting steps for it and looked for a new driver on the Nvidia site, and they said that my driver was specially made by dell b/c it is a laptop and because of the special features it has. I will be contacting Dell very soon about this problem to see when it can be resolved.

    Thanks for all your help, don’t know if you realized it, but you helped me pick out the computer that will most likely carry me through college.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello J. Sheffer,
    That’s great news.I’m glad you are enjoying your new lappy. Once again, all the very best in your college endeavors.

    Best Regards, Ron

  • John

    Hi,

    Can I go for the following configuration -

    Core 2 Duo – 2 GHz, 2MB L2 cache 800 MHz FSB.
    3GB RAM
    for Vista

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi John,
    Should work just fine.
    Regards, Ron

  • matthew

    hey Ron i have windows vista and my birthday is coming up, i want more RAM because i have about 500MB i had world of warcraft and looking into it agin…. but i had a prob that my screen would block out, and they said i need more ram, how much ram should i get and whats the average cost, to run vista and world of warcraft?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Mathew,
    What are the spec’s of your system?
    Do you have an idea how much RAM your mobo will support?
    How much RAM does your video card have?
    Let us know. Ron

  • Jim

    Hi everybody,
    I’m looking to get a new computer (Dell Inspiron 1525) with 2gb RAM, 160gb Hard Drive, Intel Core 2 duo T5450 processor, Vista Premium
    and I have a couple questions.
    1) will my computer have any problems running Vista for word documents, power point, music, mabey some random movie stuff (doubtful but you never know)
    2) Is there any sort of list out on the internet of processes/miscillaneous software that dell puts on their computers that i can get rid of when i get said new computer?
    Any help appreciated
    -Jim

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Jim,
    Check this MS site to see if your specific software will work with Vista:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933305

    If you order directly from Dell you can get a system crapware free. If not you can use a crap remover such as this:http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/download

  • Jim

    Sweet. Thanks a lot for your help. I love your site Its amazing!
    -Jim

  • Gerardo

    Hey Ron,

    I recently got a Compaq c500 from a friend because it was cheap. It has 512 of ram, and I ordered 1gb so it will be 1512 ram, I have installed windows vista ultimate on it, it has 2 operative systems now, vista basic(it came with it) and ultimate, will 1512 of ram be good enough for it.

    Thanks,
    Gerardo

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Gerado,
    That should be enough. However, if you use high end programs you may notice a slow down.

  • Chase

    Hey the thing i keep hearing on this thread is that 2-3GB of RAM is about what need to get to upgrade to vista but my question is, do you have everything running, on other forus i read you can turn offthe graphics and some of hte eye candy and it will reduce some of the overhed that slows vista own so much. Has anyone tried this. How much do you really need without all the unessesary stuff?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi chase,
    You can get away with 512MB if you use Basic which has no eye candy and limited overhead.

  • Gary

    Found this site due to performance issues.
    I have Dell Deminsion 8300 which runs P4 @2.8Ghz with 512meg memory. Running XPPro. Just installed Office 2007 and noticed immediate performance issues.

    So the posts above say 2G memory is the way to go.
    My question: new machines from Dell ($1K price point) provide Core 2 Q6600 QuadCore as processor. Should I buy a new box or can I extend life of current box by a year or so with a memory upgrade?

    All other performance attributes of the existing box meet my needs.

    Thanks!

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Gary,
    Adding more RAM should help.

  • Jason L

    Hi Ron,

    Great forum. I recently purchased a high-end gaming laptop with the following: (my question concerns mostly the video card RAM)

    Core2Duo T9300 2.5Ghz 6MB/800Mhz
    4Gb DDR2 RAM
    512mb dedicated nvidia 8600gt
    64-bit VISTA premium

    This is an iBuyPower machine from COSTCO (i am trying it out because it was cheap and despite the bad reviews of ibuypower, costco warranty backs it and so will I)

    I am a gamer and would really like to know your opinion. Do you think the 512mb of video card RAM is too excessive (or perhaps more on par with the 4gb system RAM)?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
    Jason

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Jason L.
    It sounds like you have a sweet machine. 512MB video to much? Nope. Not at all. IMHO.

  • Jason L

    Thanks for your quick reply, Ron. I have one more question and I hope it’s not too tough (unlikely, right? :)

    The laptop I ordered has an Nvidia 8600GT. So does the Dell XPS1530. Check out the difference in video cards and maybe you could tell me which one you would choose. Thanks again, in advance.

    Dell XPS 1530: 256mb GDDR3 Nvidia 8600GT
    IBuyPower CRZ: 512mb GDDR2 Nvidia 8600GT

    If I’m going to utilize the graphics card, I’d like to know I’m going with the best choice. Both are dedicated.

    That leaves the question: Do current games utilize 512mb of GDDR2 RAM, or are they more likely to prefer the faster 256mb GDDR3 RAM?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Jason L.
    I posted both of your questions to everyone who stops by here. Let’s see what kind of a response we get.

    http://wp3.lockergnome.com/blade/2008/04/22/which-laptop-system-should-this-reader-buy/

    I’m not sure about the gaming requirements for the specific card that these systems are using. But I can share one thought. I personally would buy a Dell before a unit from IBuyPower. Not because an IBuyPower is bad, I am just not personally familiar with their warranty policies nor their track record. Hopefully someone stopping by here can add to the comments and offer their opinions as well.

    Buy just giving my WAS [wild ass guess], I think a 256 MB card with faster RAM would be more appealing.

  • http://hotmail marah

    the wep site your so nice and prety and than you

  • joe

    the Windows Vista Premuim detecs 4gb or ram now! not too sure about Ultimate! think it’s only 3gb RAM Max! kinda dissapointing!

  • courtney cartier

    iI wanted to buy a new computer for web shopping/browsing and some downloading and emailing..and to create basic documents like resumes and spreadsheets and stuff I might want to play some video from my hone on it but thats basically- the computers I have been looking at come with either vista premium or basic and vary from 2gb ram -4gbram- and dual core 2- what work s best for my needs??? I am not sure what to purchase

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Gert a Dual=Core with 3 G of RAM and you should be just fine using Home Premium. Less if the system comes with Basic.

  • Max Clayton

    I am stuck between two laptops, and i was wondering if a 1.73 Ghz processor will be enough, or shoolud i go for one with 2Ghz. They have 4 ad 3gb of RAM respectivly, and i will be runnin it on windows vista premium, so will i see a noticable difference in speed between the two?

  • Max Clayton

    Also, i am terribly sorry for the poor quality of that last post.

  • Max C

    Hi
    i am currently choosing a laptop, and would like to know if one with an Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor T3200
    (1.73 GHz, 667 MHz, 1 MB Cache)
    will be significantly slower than one with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5800, 2GHz 800MHz FSB, and a 2MB Cache, when running windows vista premium, or would there be any noticeable difference in performance? I will be mainly using it for multitasking with itunes, instant messaging, internet surfing etc.
    Thanks

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Max C,
    I don’t think you will see much of a performance difference between the two cpu’s.

    3 gb of RAM should be plenty.

  • Krystal

    Hi,

    Do you think that a Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad Processor Q9650 (3GHz, 1333FSB, 12MB) and a 4GB RAM go well together? If so, would Vista(R) Home Premium or Vista(R) Ultimate 32 bit would be a match?

    Also, how different (if any) is (2X2GB) and a (4X1GB) RAM?

    Many thanks!

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Krystal,
    I believe a quad and 4 g’s go fine together.
    But 32 bit Vista won’t be able to use all of the RAM. Vista can only read 3G plus a little more. 64bit reads it all.

    Here is what I have done. I have 3G physical RAM on my laptop, I stick in a SD flash drive 1G in size into the card ready on my laptop and enabled Ram Boost.

    Seems to work just fine.

  • June

    Hello Ron,
    First of all I have to say this forum is really awesome! :D
    I bought my laptop in September 29, 2007 in Malaysia with the following specifications:

    Laptop Model : HP Compaq V3614AU Presario Notebook
    Processor : AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-58 (1.9GHz)
    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7150M / nForce 630M (256MB); Integrated RAMDAC
    Original RAM : 512MB DDR2 RAM
    Added RAM : Kingston ValueRAM (KVR667D2S5/1G) PC2-5300 CL5 200
    Total RAM : 1.5GB
    Current OS : Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 (5.1, Build 2600)

    I have several questions:
    1. I adjusted the settings in BIOS from 32 to 128. When I run “dxdiag”, and look under the ‘Display’ tab it shows that the ‘Approx. Total Memory’ is 512.0 MB (with the 128 setting in BIOS). What does it actually mean? Is it taking 256MB from my RAM or 512MB?

    2. Can my system support up to 4GB of RAM? If yes, then will install windows Vista Home Premium with a total 3GB RAM (1GB + 2GB both Kingston with the same model as above). Otherwise I will use 2GB (1GB + 1GB).
    I’m not really a gamer (I just play PES 06 and CS), and I occasionally (for assignments, etc) run software such as Autodesk Inventor, Photoshop, etc but not simultaneously (one at a time). Which is the most suitable memory configuration?
    Related to question 1, is it a good practice to use the BIOS default 32 setting or apply the maximum of 128? Or does the best choice depend on the total size of my RAM?

    3. The current partition in my system is 37.2GB for Windows in C, and 74.5GB for my personal files in D.
    It is stated in various websites that the minimum HDD capacity is 40GB and HDD free space of 15GB. I’m planning to format my C drive and install Vista there, but it is not even 40GB.
    Does it really matter? Will it have any implications on the performance later on? I assume that vista will consume 15GB of space after fresh installation, which means that I will still have 22.2GB of free space in C for other software.

    Actually I would like to install Ultimate, but since currently there are no available drivers that support Ultimate for the V3614AU model (especially for the chipset and sound; only available for Home Premium) in HP website, I’m intending to go for Home Premium. Do you have any suggestions?
    Sorry for asking too many questions :) Thank you very much for your kind attention :D

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello June,
    Your system can use up to 4 GB of RAM
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01192291&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=vn&lang=en&product=3554095#top

    Another option is to use a USB and ReadyBoost.

    Also only Vista 64 bit can use the entire 4GB. Vista 32 bit can use about 3.2 GB.

    Vista drivers are available for your system as well:
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=2093&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=vn&lang=en&product=3554095

    Ultimate doesn’t use different drivers. Vista is Vista and hardware is hardware.

    If you decide to install Vista you can change the partition size.
    You could use 37.5 will a problem by moving your virtual memory/swap file over to D:

    I can’t answer the BIOS question. I am not sure where you made the 32 to 128 changes. It appears that your video card has it’s own memory if your spec’s you provided are correct.

    I hope this helps some. For additional information please use our Lockergnome help forum located here:

    http://help.lockergnome.com/

    Regards, Ron

  • June

    Hey it has really helped my a lot, and Thanks for pointing out that webpage with the complete specification details for my laptop. I also tried to find it before but failed.

    Well in that case I will upgrade my RAM to 3Gb :D

    I have been to that vista drivers webpage for my V3614AU. But under the compatibility for the CHIPSET, it is not shown that it can support vista ultimate, its written:

    “Compatibility:
    Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows Vista (64-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic (64-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit)

    It is also the same for graphics and audio drivers, neither explicitly shows that it can support vista ultimate. But if you say the drivers in HP website can support all versions of vista, then I will go ahead and install vista ultimate.
    I’m just rather curious though, why didn’t they simply write under compatibility: “Microsoft Windows Vista all editions (32-bit)”.

    “If you decide to install Vista you can change the partition size.” Are you suggesting that I should increase the partition in C: before installing vista? Until how many Gb (the total size is 120Gb), until 50Gb, 60Gb for C: drive is sufficient? Or exactly 40Gb is good enough? Is there any software that you recommend?

    Before this I though I had to reformat the whole hard disk just to increase my C partition hehe~… (-_-)!

    “You could use 37.5 will a problem by moving your virtual memory/swap file over to D:” if I move it to D:, will it affect the performance? Right now I’m allocating 1.5x RAM size for both initial and maximum sizes, which is about just more than ~2Gb.

    I think I understand now, my video card has its own memory (256Mb), but it also supports memory sharing from the RAM..correct?. The initial setting in BIOS was 32 and when I ran “dxdiag” with the 32 setting it showed the original video card memory which is 256Mb. When I changed the BIOS setting to 128, in “dxdiag” it showed 512Mb. And in control panel-system my RAM had decreased to 1.37Gb due to the 128 setting.

    If I’m going to use vista ultimate, do you think that I should keep the 128 setting which gives 512Mb video memory, or revert to the 32 setting which gives the original 256Mb video memory? Keeping in mind that I will install 3Gb or 2Gb of total RAM.

    I will probably, buy an additional 1Gb or 2Gb RAM and install Vista Ultimate by the end of this week :D

    Thank you very very much for your support, I really appreciate it.

    Regards,
    June

  • June

    oh ya I forgot to ask.. with the specification above, will I be able to use Windows Aero theme? In wikipedia it is stated that Aero needs

    - a 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    - 1 GB of system memory
    - a DirectX 9 compatible graphics processor with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver, Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware, and a minimum of 128 MB of Video RAM
    - 32 bits per pixel
    - 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free space
    - DVD-ROM Drive
    - audio output and Internet access

    From NVIDIA’s website,its stated that my graphics card has Pixel Shader 3.0 so it should be no prob. However, I’m not sure if my graphics card has a WDDM driver…

    thanks

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello June,
    Here is what I would do in reference to Aero. I would contact Compaq directly to confirm that Aero is supported with the new Vista drivers. My guess is that it is. But the spec. sheet from Compaq on their site is unclear. I would also inquire if in fact Ultimate will work correctly on your system. There may be something that Compaq knows, that we don’t.

    I would also contact NVIDIA to confirm that your video card will support Aero as well. The drivers that Compaq has on their site is from 2007. NVIDIA may have newer drivers ready for downloading on their site.

    Partitioning. Most Hard drive OEM’s have available on their sites free software that can be used to re size partitions. In regards to formatting, I would reformat both partitions after doing a complete backup of your stuff. I do not recommend doing an upgrade over Windows XP.

    I would also check your software to make sure ALL of your programs are compatible with Vista.

    If your video card will support the 512MB setting, go for it once you add more RAM. But this is something I would also confirm with Compaq.

    The reason I am so vague with some of these suggestions is because there were some issues on systems that were supposed to be Vista Capable, which actually were not.

    This is interesting. I just did a Google for the following:

    NVIDIA GeForce Go 7150M vista aero support

    You may wish to do the same. There are some issues with this card concerning performance under Vista which included jerky playback of DVD’s and other issues.

    Before you run out and buy Vista make sure all of your bases are covered. There have been many folks who have tried upgrading to Vista only to be disappointed in the performance. Though SP2 for Vista corrected some issues, but not all.

    Lastly, why do you need Ultimate and not Home premium? Just curious.

  • June

    Hmm..you got a good point there…after reading those articles regarding the performance of NVIDIA Geforce 7150 running vista aero, I am reconsidering my migration from XP to Vista. Currently this is the only computer I have, so I wouldnt want it to go bad when I need it most for assignments.

    The only reason for me to go for vista is merely for experience using vista OS, which I dont currently have. As for why I prefer Ultimate over Home Premium is the features. I’m the type of person who dont want to miss any features hehe~. Anyway its a good thing I came across this website, and I think I got all my questions answered, thanks :D.

    I think I will just use virtualbox to emulate vista if needed. Perhaps its also better for me to wait for Windows 7, since many sources state that it is far more efficient compared to vista.

    regards,

    June

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello June,

    ‘I think I will just use virtualbox to emulate vista if needed. Perhaps its also better for me to wait for Windows 7, since many sources state that it is far more efficient compared to vista.’

    That is your best option. I was going to recommend waiting for Windows 7. But I am not sure that any of the OEM’s will be interested in providing drivers for Windows 7. They want you to buy a new PC and so does Microsoft.

    I wish you all the very best in whatever you decide.

    Best regards, Ron

  • Roy Bean

    Hi Ron

    I’m currently running Vista Ultimate (32bit) and i’ve just ordered 4Gb of RAM as I have read here, as well as other places, that 4Gb of RAM is the most a 32bit operating system can take. However, I’ve also ordered a new graphics card with 1Gb of memory and after reading a post here by Brandon way back in April ’07, i’m lead to believe that my new card will use 1Gb of memory adresses as soon as I start the PC leaving me with only 3Gb for my new RAM? It’s too late to change the order and i’m a little gutted that I could have saved a few quid by getting 3Gb of RAM, but what i’d like to know is; will having 4Gb of RAM and 1Gb graphics card memory have a negative affect on my system or is it just the case that my system will show as having only 3Gb of RAM and still run ok?

    Cheers mate!

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Roy,
    Your system will only read 3G of RAM. That is the limit on 32 bit. But no worries. Your system will run fine. If down the road you happen to upgrade to Windows 7, 8, 9, ………. LOL go with the 64 bit and the full 4G’s will be seen.

    All the best, Ron

  • Roy Bean

    Phew… Thats ok then! I’ll probs look to get a 64 bit operating system next time I upgrade but I don’t think that will be until at least windows 10! lol.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply Ron, much appreciated.

    Your mate,

    Roy

  • Roy Bean

    Hello again Ron!

    I installed the 1Gb graphics card and 4gb of RAM I talked about last month and i’m a little confused, my system does infact show as having 4Gb of RAM?! Really strange as I was expecting to only see 3Gb due to my 32bit version of Vista Ultimate. Does that mean my system can make use of all the RAM, or is it just able to display it and not use it?

    Thanks mate,

    Roy

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hi Roy,
    Go into Control Panel – System icon. Is this where you are seeing 4GB being read and confirming you have the 32bit OS ??? Let me know.

    Also, if you have Vista SP1 installed, it does allow the 32 bit OS to read all 4GB. Sorry, I should of mentioned this before.

    Thanks, Ron

  • Roy Bean

    Hi Ron!

    Thanks for getting back to me. Yeah I have gone into Control Panel – System icon and it is 32bit and also SP1 which probs explains it! Thats good news then and probs means I don’t have to look at getting 64bit?

    Cheers mate!

    Roy

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Roy,
    You are correct. No need for 64 bit. All the best.
    Ron

  • sliver

    Nice article.

    I have a P4 3Ghz pc with 2mb l2 cache, 2gb ddr2 800 mems, 256mb ddr3 video card and got a copy of Vista Business 32.

    Will Vista Business 32 run smoothly on this given machine? I’m a mediocore gamer…

    Thanks in advance.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello Silver,
    This is what Microsoft says is the minimum requirements for Vista using the Business version:

    1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

    1 GB of system memory

    40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space

    Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:

    WDDM Driver

    128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)

    Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware

    32 bits per pixel

    DVD-ROM drive

    Audio Output

    Internet access (fees may apply)

    Also it all depends on how you personally consider what ‘smoothly’ means? Also have you checked to confirm your hardware has the the driver support for Vista?

    All the best, Ron

  • sliver

    thanks for the reply Ron.

    I have all the necessary drivers for vista. I ran win xp on this machine flyin’ (it’s what “smoothly” means to me), but I don’t know if Vista will perform the same.

    Again, thanks for the reply.

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/blade/ Ron Schenone

    Hello sliver,
    From what I have been hearing it seems that dual cores with at least 3 GB of RAM run Vista the best, or as you put it ‘smoothly’.

    Vista takes a heck of a lot of resources compared to XP.

    I have a friend of mine that runs Vista Ultimate on a 2.2 GHZ single cores with 1.5GB of RAM and for him it is OK.

    For me it would be way to slow.

    So for being so vague with my answer, but each of us expects our computers to work a certain way. I’m writing this on a dual core with 4GB and Vista runs smoothly.

  • http://none john

    i gust got a toshiba satellite l300 it has a an intel pentium doul core (2.16ghz) with 4 gb of ram and i also have a acer aspire 3680 with 2 gb ram and i find with 4 gb you can do a lot more things at once with out the computer frezzing up and i would hiley recomend 4gb of ram.

  • Greg

    My dad got a virus on his 2007-ish XP machine with 512 MB RAM, so he took it in to Staples, where they decided it would benefit from an upgrade to Vista and a copy of Norton.

    Apparently they did not determine that additional RAM was needed. Can anyone guess how that worked out? I was summoned to take a look at it once it became clear that the machine was nearly unusable. It would take about 20 seconds just for IE or Word to come up. Go, Staples.

    I invested 15 minutes in removing Norton, then added 1GB additional RAM, and order is now restored in the universe. It’s pretty amazing how much faster it is. How often can you improve someone’s life for $13?

  • Raza J

    Thanks for your help.
    I havn’t recived the system yet but when i do i will be sure to tell u all how it works.