Computers & Electronics

Looking to install more RAM, need advice

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  • Feb 4th, 2018 12:51 pm
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Looking to install more RAM, need advice

I'm a bit out of my element, i have an older computer, with 8GB RAM, but i keep running out because of Firefox (virtual memory turned off because of SSD). Tried Chrome, it uses even more RAM with multiple tabs and i'm not wanting to go with other options.
I'm not sure what types i can use or how to go about it for the lowest cost, i'm looking for 12-16GB in total and if i understand correctly if i use inferior modules to what i already have the system "downclocks" all the ram to the slowest modules?

System Specs
Asus Z87-A
Haswell Core i5 4670
8GB Corsair RAM

TIA
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Just add 2x4 Gb of ddr3 1600 ram from makers like crucial, Kingston, Corsair, or Adata.
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If the RAM you linked to is what you have, just make sure you buy another 1600 stick. either 2x4gb or 1x8gb (depending on how many available slots you have and what's cheaper).
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Jan 11, 2018
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You might want to do a bit more troubleshooting before upgrading your system. Firefox or chrome should not be slowing down a computer with 8GB RAM, sounds like you have some other problems going on. 8GB+ should only really be needed if you are running intensive professional software like Photoshop or ACAD. My laptop has 8GB RAM and it never slows down when browsing the web and is still plenty fast when editing photos or other things.
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audit13 wrote: Just add 2x4 Gb of ddr3 1600 ram from makers like crucial, Kingston, Corsair, or Adata.
Are all brands compatible with each other?
RogueCruze wrote: You might want to do a bit more troubleshooting before upgrading your system. Firefox or chrome should not be slowing down a computer with 8GB RAM, sounds like you have some other problems going on. 8GB+ should only really be needed if you are running intensive professional software like Photoshop or ACAD. My laptop has 8GB RAM and it never slows down when browsing the web and is still plenty fast when editing photos or other things.
It does not slow down, It is the RAM, Firefox creeps up till it gets to 7+GB used then it crashes. I'll post a screen capture next time it happens.
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Quentin5 wrote: It does not slow down, It is the RAM, Firefox creeps up till it gets to 7+GB used then it crashes. I'll post a screen capture next time it happens.
Are you on the latest Firefox? What extensions do you have and how many tabs do you use?
Creeping RAM usage means it will hit your 12-16GB amount anyways.
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It does not slow down, It is the RAM, Firefox creeps up till it gets to 7+GB used then it crashes. I'll post a screen capture next time it happens.
Slow down / crash. My point still stands. This should not be happening and installing more RAM probably won't fix the underlying problem. Here are the system requirements for the latest version of firefox, recommended RAM is 2GB. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/5 ... uirements/

Is your firefox up to date? Did you do a clean install to try and fix? What error message does it give when it crashes? Feel free to install more RAM, but I honestly believe that it won't fix your problem.
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MadCanadian wrote: Are you on the latest Firefox? What extensions do you have and how many tabs do you use?
Creeping RAM usage means it will hit your 12-16GB amount anyways.
Very few extensions, plenty of tabs, it just updated today but i have had this problem for a year or two, i just never got around to thinking about solving it. I'm hoping 16GB will give me more then a few hours of browsing, if i am very lucky (and coincidental) todays version will fix the problem.
RogueCruze wrote: Slow down / crash. My point still stands. This should not be happening and installing more RAM probably won't fix the underlying problem. Here are the system requirements for the latest version of firefox, recommended RAM is 2GB. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/5 ... uirements/

Is your firefox up to date? Did you do a clean install to try and fix? What error message does it give when it crashes? Feel free to install more RAM, but I honestly believe that it won't fix your problem.
It gives no error messages, Windows says close some programs and sometimes closes Firefox for me. I would not be surprised if it does not fix the underlying problem. Firefox sometimes blanks out tabs and says reload when it hits the wall but not always, it seemed to work best with Quantum 57.0, all the updates since make it more likely to crash instead of less.
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Ram from different manufacturers should be compatible with each other as they are suppose to conform to a common standard. I have mixed and matched different ram modules from different makers with no issue in various laptops and desktops.

In my desktop, I have 16 gb with 2x4 from crucial and 2x4 from patriot.

In my htpc, I use 1x4 Kingston and 1x4 Hynix.
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RogueCruze wrote: Slow down / crash. My point still stands. This should not be happening and installing more RAM probably won't fix the underlying problem. Here are the system requirements for the latest version of firefox, recommended RAM is 2GB. https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/5 ... uirements/

Is your firefox up to date? Did you do a clean install to try and fix? What error message does it give when it crashes? Feel free to install more RAM, but I honestly believe that it won't fix your problem.
It probably doesn't help that paging is disabled, generally Win 10 will avoid paging unless absolutely necessary so having it enabled is no issue.

Also I noticed from the screenshot, there is no RAM Compression enabled, was this disabled too? Basically in general Windows will use RAM --> RAM Compression --> Paging as last resort

But to answer your questions as others have mentioned, mixing RAM should be ok!
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tkyoshi wrote: It probably doesn't help that paging is disabled, generally Win 10 will avoid paging unless absolutely necessary so having it enabled is no issue.

Also I noticed from the screenshot, there is no RAM Compression enabled, was this disabled too? Basically in general Windows will use RAM --> RAM Compression --> Paging as last resort

But to answer your questions as others have mentioned, mixing RAM should be ok!
Windows 8.1, how does that change things?
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Quentin5 wrote: Windows 8.1, how does that change things?
Ahhh ok my bad, 8.1 doesn't have compression. Generally speaking 8.1/10 are SSD aware so it will adjust itself. But regardless, if you really are using that much RAM then adding more is probably on your list of things to do, or turn on paging and see how much that helps (it should start to page out inactive things). In the big picture the hit to SSD life is relatively minimal.

In older versions of windows when you had a large amount of RAM it would create a gi-normous page file, so manually turning it down/off was to reclaim the space. Win 8/10 no longer do that.

This is an older article (Win 7) but also illustrates some of the work of what happens behind the scenes even back then.
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/e7/200 ... te-drives/

At the end of the day if you're keeping the tabs open Firefox will retain the tab in memory so yes adding more RAM will help increase that tab limit. Alternately I don't know if Firefox has a memory management mode like Chrome where it will start to close out older tabs automatically (it will force a reload when you pull that tab up again). Whether you would like that behavior it is personal preference.
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tkyoshi wrote: Ahhh ok my bad, 8.1 doesn't have compression. Generally speaking 8.1/10 are SSD aware so it will adjust itself. But regardless, if you really are using that much RAM then adding more is probably on your list of things to do, or turn on paging and see how much that helps (it should start to page out inactive things). In the big picture the hit to SSD life is relatively minimal.

In older versions of windows when you had a large amount of RAM it would create a gi-normous page file, so manually turning it down/off was to reclaim the space. Win 8/10 no longer do that.

This is an older article (Win 7) but also illustrates some of the work of what happens behind the scenes even back then.
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/e7/200 ... te-drives/

At the end of the day if you're keeping the tabs open Firefox will retain the tab in memory so yes adding more RAM will help increase that tab limit. Alternately I don't know if Firefox has a memory management mode like Chrome where it will start to close out older tabs automatically (it will force a reload when you pull that tab up again). Whether you would like that behavior it is personal preference.
Yesterday's new Firefox version did not solve anything :facepalm:
I did some quick research on it and it seems my knowledge is outdated so i will enable the virtual memory and see what happens. Currently my SSD is at 90% life at 3.5 years so it should last many more and by then i will have likely long replaced it. I will report back with results.
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700-800mb each?
what are on those pages? I've never seen such
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konsensei wrote: 700-800mb each?
what are on those pages? I've never seen such
I think there was only 3 windows at the time, maybe a half dozen tabs each. Over hours of browsing Firefox balloons into huge amounts of memory, all in use tabs were webpages like RFD, ThinkProgress, CleanTechnica and maybe some other pages at the time. I may have had some Hot Deals tabs open with items waiting to be purchased Smiling Face With Sunglasses
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First off, you should leave your pagefile on; the additional wear it puts on your SSD is negligible. Having said that, turning on the pagefile WILL probably stop the crashing, but it will cause your PC to slowdown considerably once you get past the 8GB point ("needing" swap is not a good position to be in, generally speaking).

Your "computer will slowdown to the slowest stick" might not even be an issue: startup CPU-Z/HWInfo/whatever and see what your RAM is currently running at; you might have 1600 RAM running at 1066, and never bothered "overclocking" it, because it doesn't really make a difference.

Once you know what you currently have, pop onto the manufacturer site and see what happens when you try to use 4 sticks; you'll probably have to downclock your RAM regardless (unless it was already not running @ maximum speed), which (again) largely makes zero difference in real-world computer performance anyways.

Once you know what you're currently running at, and what your best-case scenario for clocks is with 4 sticks, just start shopping around. I personally don't like mixing RAM, because I have weird OCD issues, but it makes no difference until you're at the bleeding edge of overclocking. However, if it were me, I'd try and get a 2x8 kit somewhere, replace my kit with that, and sell the old stuff on Kijiji.
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Updating this thread since i reenabled virtual memory i have not had Firefox crashes. The virtual memory usage has not typically gone over 3GB so its likely 12GB (or better yet 16GB) RAM would be good but this solution is very wallet friendly and the extra wear on the SSD will probably not wear it out by the time i replace the computer anyways.
Thanks to all replies
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