RAM - 16 vs 32 GB

I remember the good ol' days when 16 GB was considered an obscene amount of RAM. Heck, 640 KB was all we would ever need according to Bill Gates! Anyway, I'm considering a possible upgrade to 32 GB on this laptop of mine, if the prices are right come Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

There are two reasons for this. First, I usually turn off the Swap File when I have more than enough RAM, which actually improves performance and reduces SSD wear when it works. However, this resulted in low memory crashes in Space Engineers. It's the only game to have this problem, and reenabling the swap file fixed this, but I'm also looking at games like RDR2 which recommends 32 GB for max settings. I suspect the upcoming MSFS 2020 will also benefit 32 GB.

So how many of you are running 32 GB now, and if you upgraded from 16, did you notice any difference in performance in some of those larger games? Are you able to turn off your swap file and avoid memory issues?

My alternative is to move all my games to a second hard drive (I'll likely do this anyway) and increase my swap file to 16 GB on the primary drive, which I'll keep extra free space on to enhance wear leveling to extend the drive's life. Right now my main (and only) drive is pretty full, which is not ideal for multiple reasons, but I can't currently turn off swap for the aforementioned reasons.
 
Well, Bill was wrong ;)

I run 16 GB considering upgrading to 32 GB, but mostly because I run some memory heavy software, not because of ED. In general more memory is better, but that is mostly in the cases where you actually need it. For ED I think GPU memory is more important.

Also I wouldn't be too concerned about SSD wear. I've been running quite a few of them, for a long time now, and I've never had one that failed. Add to that, that I don't do anything to minimize wear. If you actually run out of memory and start using swap, the main drawback is speed, and the difference between RAM and SSD is huge when it comes to that.

AFAIK you can't disable swap in Win 10, but you could back in the "good" old days (of the BSODs).
 
AFAIK you can't disable swap in Win 10, but you could back in the "good" old days (of the BSODs).
You can, and I did. It worked fine for games like ED, but Space Engineers is a bit of a memory hog it seems. You don't get a BSOD, just a pop-up and a CTD.

As for wear, I'll worry less once I free up some room on this drive, as wear leveling will take advantage of the free space to better distribute writes. If I have to chose between a second drive and more RAM, I'll definitely get the second drive and save the RAM for a later date.

I'll ask the folks on RDR2 thread how much RAM they are running, since this game actually recommends 32 GB.
 
Not a single game uses even 16Gb atm. You can always think far in the future, but if you use your PC for games, not worth it.
 
Well, I’ve seen Star Citizen gobble up 70+ Gb of RAM in the past so all things are possible :)

if at all possible, I’d go with the 32Gb. More isn’t always better, but 64 is about the sweet spot just now for an OS, decent game, and a minimal RAMdrive to run it from - handy for loads :D
 
I usually turn off the Swap File when I have more than enough RAM, which actually improves performance and reduces SSD wear when it works.
Don't bother turning off the swap file to preserve the life of your SSD, let Windows handle it. I bought a SSD as a midlife upgrade for my old rig in 2013, CrystalDiskInfo reports it has 95% life left, so don't worry about it.
 
I am a bit skeptical about the RDR2 requirements, so far it seems rather lenient on my 16GB ram, as well as my 8GB GPU ram. Its mostly the CPU that struggles, sometimes due to the load and sometimes due to some porting issues apparently. I personally wouldn't mind 32GB at all, and if the prices drop I'll go for it, but not for gaming.
 
I usually turn off the Swap File when I have more than enough RAM, which actually improves performance and reduces SSD wear when it works.
Mostly a fallacy, or placebo. Virtually nothing is actually paged out unnecessarily.

My primary system has 16GiB of RAM and a 32GiB page file. Less than 500MiB total has been written to that page file in the last 45 days. It's simply not touched in most use. However, this is not to say it's presence is not beneficial.

However, this resulted in low memory crashes in Space Engineers.
Which isn't due to Space Engineers actually benefiting from more than 16GiB of physical memory.

Having enough backing store to provide sufficient virtual memory addresses for OS memory management to prevent memory fragmentation is the prime use of the page file on most systems with sufficient physical memory. Without sufficient virtual memory address, allocating large blocks of contiguous memory can be difficult or impossible, so even if one has way more than sufficient physical memory to hold the data that needs to fit in RAM, allocations can fail.

So how many of you are running 32 GB now, and if you upgraded from 16, did you notice any difference in performance in some of those larger games? Are you able to turn off your swap file and avoid memory issues?
I have never even heard of a credible report of more than 16GiB of physical memory providing a performance advantage in any extant game at any settings, as of mid 2019.

I have seen benchmarks claiming to show a difference, but most of them have a critical flaw...they've disable the page file or set it to be too small, without any understanding of why the page file it exists.

I do have systems with more than 16GiB of physical memory, but not for gaming (mostly for my virtual machines or my wife's bioinformatics work) and gaming doesn't benefit from it.

The only way 16GiB of RAM will be insufficient for a current or near future game will be if you are doing heavy multitasking while playing (including multi-boxing some titles), or your game has a memory leak and just gobbles up ram until it crashes.

My alternative is to move all my games to a second hard drive (I'll likely do this anyway) and increase my swap file to 16 GB on the primary drive, which I'll keep extra free space on to enhance wear leveling to extend the drive's life. Right now my main (and only) drive is pretty full, which is not ideal for multiple reasons, but I can't currently turn off swap for the aforementioned reasons.
Since the page file is probably never actually going to be used, you can put it on almost anything.
 
I remember the good ol' days when 16 GB was considered an obscene amount of RAM. Heck, 640 KB was all we would ever need according to Bill Gates! Anyway, I'm considering a possible upgrade to 32 GB on this laptop of mine, if the prices are right come Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

There are two reasons for this. First, I usually turn off the Swap File when I have more than enough RAM, which actually improves performance and reduces SSD wear when it works. However, this resulted in low memory crashes in Space Engineers. It's the only game to have this problem, and reenabling the swap file fixed this, but I'm also looking at games like RDR2 which recommends 32 GB for max settings. I suspect the upcoming MSFS 2020 will also benefit 32 GB.

So how many of you are running 32 GB now, and if you upgraded from 16, did you notice any difference in performance in some of those larger games? Are you able to turn off your swap file and avoid memory issues?

My alternative is to move all my games to a second hard drive (I'll likely do this anyway) and increase my swap file to 16 GB on the primary drive, which I'll keep extra free space on to enhance wear leveling to extend the drive's life. Right now my main (and only) drive is pretty full, which is not ideal for multiple reasons, but I can't currently turn off swap for the aforementioned reasons.
I have run into several games that hog as much RAM as they can. The last one of these has been Division 2. After a few hours of playing I need to reboot the game because of this.
I currently have 16 Gb, which is enough for most games, but I run some pretty hungry apps in the background and to be future proof my next machine will get 32 Gb, no matter the cost..
 
How are you measuring this? I'd like to perform some of my own tests.
You can use Windows's performance monitor to show current and peak page file usage (add the performance counters for page file), or any of a number of 3rd party monitoring utilities (like HWInfo) to track total I/O.

Edit: the most useful information is probably provided by Process Monitor. Just set a filter to show only accesses to the file path of any and all of your page files and enable advanced output.

Here is an example from the system I'm on right now:
 
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Following up on Morbad's post, along with my own tests and research, it seems that indeed SE wants the swap file for reasons other than running out of physical memory.


This is good to know! I'll save my $$ for a second hard drive (as my 256 GB is filling up fast) and go with my "Plan B" using the swap file. Oh, and the folks in RDR2 thread are saying they can run the game fine with 16 and even 8 GB, so who knows why Rockstar is suggesting 32GB.
 
I upgraded to 32GB in 2015, my primary reason was not gaming but because of virtual machines I run on my PC.
 
I've been running 16GB for maybe 10 years now and still haven't found that killer application that'd seriously make me upgrade, especially not a game. If I was regularly dealing with huge media files, doing C++ development, Big Dataaaargh™, or herding VMs, then maybe I'd consider getting some more. But currently, I can still comfortably run a game, OBS, a small Linux VM, Photoshop, and a browser at the same time without running into issues.
 
I don't remember. I think my 32 was a bitter pill to take when I but my current rig. Would've preferred 64. Once you experience memory swapping to disk there is never enough RAM.
 
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