Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Windows 7 64-bit Adventures

In keeping with the times, I decided to Go 64 (bit) with my new Windows 7 install (aka “upgrade”). 64-bit computing is officially here for us Average Folk, and it has many advantages. One of the nicest is the ability to “access” more RAM memory.
(I wrote previously about 64-bit and Windows 7. See, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 64-bit)

64-bit operating systems can have lots of RAM, and since the machine I installed Windows 7 on only had a mere 3 Gigabytes of RAM.. and since my motherb180px-Memory_module_DDRAM_20-03-2006oard could accept up to 8… and.. Windows 7 64-bit can “see” 8.. well.. I decided to go and buy 8 GB’s of RAM modules and stick them in. (I am a capital “G” geek, after all..)

First, I visited the SystemScanner memory upgrade advisor tool at Crucial.com (a memory chip manufacturer) and downloaded it, and ran it. It told me exactly what type of RAM to buy.

In my case, the “best” my machine can accept turned out to be PC2 6400 (800 MHz DDR2), non-ECC, non-buffered. It isn’t important that you know what those things are, but it is important that the chips (aka “modules”) match the specifications. Also, good to know is, DDR2 is “dual channel”, so you want to install your modules in pairs. (The newer DDR3 is “tri-channel”, and should be installed in multiples of three.)

So that is what I asked for at the store.

It turned out that the best deal at that particular store, on that particular day, of 2 GB DIMMs of PC2 6400, was Crucial “Ballistix” memory.. a more “high end” type of performance memory favored by gamers. Installation went smoothly, and Windows 7 handled the hardware change with alacrity and ease.

(And.. I picked up an Intel® Core™2 Quad processor, which I will tell you about tomorrow.)

So for a relatively minor investment, I brought my older HP Pavilion a1763c into the new era of 64-bit high performance computing with Windows 7. I like the improvement. Yes I do!
But I have to confess, so far, I have not been able to come even close to having enough going on that that much RAM is being utilized… maybe I need to encode some videos, or something, to see all 8 being used. But I think I would have been fine with 6 GB’s…

A note if you are considering this yourself: DDR2 memory prices are actually on the way up now, and DDR3 prices are dropping, so if your machine uses DDR2, you may not want to put off an upgrade too much longer.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 29, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    Very cool System Scanner that I’m adding to my Tech Toolbox… I too have an HP with 3 GB’s of RAM. May be doing this upgrade, as well.

    Rick

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    Comment by Ramblinrick | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. Rick,
    As you know I’m sure, 3 Gigs is fairly standard as 32-bit versions of Windows “max out” at 3 GB’s. (And it’s plenty for day-to-day “average” computing, IMHO.)

    If I was setting this up as a computer for playing video games, I would have gone with less RAM, and invested in a quality graphics card (which have their own processors and RAM on them).

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Like

    Comment by techpaul | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Paul, another improvement coming down the pike is it will soon be possible to buy and install a cable card TV tuner in your Windows 7 box and have it work without hacking. Currently you have to purchase a Media Center ready PC that includes the tuner to be able to use a cable card tuner, that will soon change!

    Like

    Comment by Dave Brooks | October 30, 2009 | Reply

    • Dave Brooks,
      I had read that there were some improvements made to Windows abilities with TV/Media Center (haven’t had a chance to explore) but this is news to me. I will look into it, and I thank you for the tip.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] Tech-for Everyone Windows 7 64-bit Adventures […]

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    Pingback by Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#35) « What's On My PC | November 4, 2009 | Reply


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