Using Windows 7 to upgrade ram


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Good evening and hopefully this isn't a waste of time -- I have a dell inspiron 1720 running 32-bit Vista that tops out at 4 gb of ram. What I want to do is install Windows 7 64-bit Professional and up the ram to 8 gb. Is this possible??
 
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Veedaz

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Hi GPOman

The max RAM the Dell Inspiron 1720 can hold is 4GB, but it will run Windows 7 64-bit >

 
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Thank you both. As you have already guessed I was hoping that I would still be able to upgrade the bios, and run an OS that supported higher ram. Am I correct that I can use DDR2 (only) PC5300 or PC6400 sticks? Also a subjective question: If I am upgrading the OS and the ram, how many years could I conceivably add to the computer?
 

Veedaz

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A Laptop you are restricted to what is compatible and to what will fit (eg) Hard Drives only one or two will fit in a Laptop but a Desktop depending on its Case many can be installed and many types - for volume as an example 4x 1TB HDDs for speed maybe 2x Veloci Raptors in a RAID setup, its a question of space :)
 
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draceena

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How long you can run your computer for is really subjective. It would depend on many factors, like what you use your computer for, if windows releases another OS in 3 years, how long will they aupport Windows 7 if you can't upgrade again, to just using the computer so long that something integrale fails (like the motherboard)
 

catilley1092

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GPOman, welcome to the forum. All of the other posters covered the subject well. I would like to add that parts can sometimes be more expensive for laptops than desktops. There are some parts that are integrated into one because of space requirements. Personally, I would not spend a ton of money upgrading a laptop, because the bucks add up fast. With all of the great deals going on now, a fast 64 bit laptop is within reach. I or no one else can tell you how long your laptop will last, but I had two of them to go down on me that was in warranty through Square Trade. They decided in both cases to refund my purchase price rather than repair. One was for $600, the other was $375. They said they weren't worth fixing, one was the motherboard, the other was the hard drive. I felt lucky they refunded me on the bad hard drive, they only cost $45 for that model to replace. They must be a lot of trouble to work on. When my two go, I'll buy a new one.
 

Nibiru2012

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To be honest, 4GB of RAM is plenty for the majority of users. If you're running really intensive video editing applications and Photoshop at the same time, then maybe, you'll need more RAM.

I believe it was either Tom's Hardware or Anandtech that did an excellent article how much RAM is really needed. I'll see if I can find it and post it. It was done back in April I believe.

Here it is from Tom's Hardware, I'll just post the Conclusion section and then give a link to the full article.

Introduction Page:

The notion that bigger is better has taken a beating lately in all aspects of society.

Once the pride of the so-called upper middle class in the United States, McMansions and SUVs have now become symbols of excess and waste--at least the reminders of an era past. Green movement proponents should certainly be happy that so many “earth abusers” are beginning to see the light, but what about performance-computing fanatics? With memory prices near record lows, is there any good reason not to fill every slot with low-cost 2 GB DIMMs?

Environmentalists could point out that IC and PCB production turns a large quantity of natural resources into post-production waste, while most of the end-product is not recyclable and the additional components add to the system’s energy consumption. Power users could easily counter energy concerns by pointing out that a better-performing computer allows them to get their work done in less time.

But neither argument is sufficient to answer the question we’ve asked so many times before: How much RAM do you really need?

Zoom

Our 2004 article pointed out weaknesses in the once-popular single-gigabyte configurations. But 512 MB and smaller modules are now a distant memory. It wasnt long after that 2 GB became the performance standard, and by 2007, 4 GB kits could be found in all but the lowest-cost systems. Is it time to take the next step, to 8 GB or more? More importantly, were 4 GB modules ever really needed for games and everyday applications? And with the 32-bit addressing limit of 4 GB making only 3 GB available to many users, should everyone switch to a 64-bit operating system simply to support higher capacities?

Conclusion Page:
Not much has changed since 4 GB of RAM became the “sweet spot” for performance and price in the enthusiast market. While 32-bit operating systems previously limited those 4 GB configurations to around 3 GB of useful memory space, today's test shows that 3 GB is still usually enough.

We remember days when having multiple Internet Explorer windows open could cause a system to become sluggish. But even that scenario has become unrealistic, as all the configurations we tested in this review supported over 100 open windows simultaneously.

If 3 GB worked so well, why do we continue to recommend 4 GB to 6 GB triple-channel kits for performance systems? Perhaps we’re just a little too forward-looking, but we can certainly imagine scenarios a typical “power user” could encounter where 3 GB might not be enough, even if today’s tests didn’t reveal any of them. For those folks, stepping up to a 64-bit operating system at the same time is undoubtedly the best course of action.

We can only recommend larger capacities of 8 GB to 12 GB for professional applications where its usefulness has already been documented and for servers. None of our tests required high-memory capacities and wasted RAM is a burden both financially and ecologically.

The read the full article go HERE
 
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catilley1092

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I most certainly agree with this post and article. My 64 bit PC is running fine on 2GB, but I intend to replace it with 4GB (2 x 2048). That's all that I'll need for the lifetime of the PC. Unless you have a lot of RAM hungry apps on your system, 4GB will do for most. I see some others just as me running 2GB fine. Reminds me of the days when those of us (me, too) were installing 1200 watt car audio systems. Cool and fun at the time, but a total waste of cash and battery replacements as well. Not counting the high output alternator too and capacitors to handle the power requirements, in order to keep the headlights from dimming and pulsating.
 
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