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Noel Carboni 23,455 posts
Dec 23, 2006
Currently Being Moderated

Should I Go For 24 GB or 32 GB RAM?

Jul 29, 2012 1:45 PM

Over the past few weeks I've been having a computer problem.  Several times my system has halted on an unrecoverable RAM error (I have ECC RAM).  Specifically, in my ca. 2008 Dell Precision T5400 system I currently have 8 x 2 GB FBDIMMs, one of which is apparently failing.  In fact, the BIOS has pinpointed the fault to a pair - DIMMs 5 or 6.


I've done the basic maintenance, cleaning dust, making sure temperatures are good, reseating everything.  I suspect it's just a module going bad.  It happens.


The Dell steps its performance up to quad channel RAM access when it senses matched sets of 4 DIMMs, and I always regard failures as significant opportunities for improvement, so I'm considering buying either four or eight 4 GB DIMMs to replace the (smaller) faulting modules and some nearby.   If I buy four (swapping out four 2 GB modules) I'll end up with 24 GB of RAM.  If I buy eight I'll end up with 32 GB of RAM.  Of course, I could just replace the pair of 2 GB DIMMs that has been identified as faulty.


At this point I really don't see problems working on documents of any size with "just" 16 GB of RAM (keep in mind my scratch files are on a fast SSD array), so I could just get a pair of 2 GB DIMMs (super cheap).  However, the extra RAM will only improve Photoshop's performance...




Should I do a minimum cost replacement with no increase in resultant RAM size, get a set of four 4 GB DIMMs and increase to 24 GB, or get a set of 8 DIMMs and move up to 32 GB total?   Basically the cost is 16 GB - $35, 24 GB - $330, or 32 GB -$660.


  • On the one hand, I like the "more RAM is better" school of thinking.


  • On the other, putting more money into my current system just means I haven't saved as much as quickly toward a powerful new one.


What would you suggest? 



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2012 2:34 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    You spent thousands of dollars on SSDs and you have to ask?

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  • JJMack
    5,977 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2012 2:48 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    ECC Ram that cheep back in the days you remember the cost. If you got the cash the 64bit OS can utilize the RAM these days.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2012 3:04 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2012 5:12 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I have not seen CS 4 or 6 use more then 12 Gb max. I believe anything more is overkill?

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