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Old 19-11-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
ben hobden
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Default Extra RAM

Hi all. I was wondering if someone could give me some advice.
I have been trying to get to grips with zbrush lately, but am coming up against some brick walls when it comes to ram. There have been many times when I am told that I cant do something because of a lack of RAM. Im not really technically savvy, but I know there are quite a few on this forum who are...

I mean, i dont really know where to start. I presume you can buy different amounts of ram. Are there different types? Does it have to be brand/make specific? How do you install new/extra RAM? Im willing to spend the money if there is a genuine case for it. Would an extra dose of RAM be very noticeable?

Hoping someone can enlighten me...
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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first you need to know how much ram you have, go to my computer then view system imformation. that should bring up a window and at the bottom should be cpu and ram
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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Do you know your machine's specs? This is the kind of situation where it's better that you have someone there in person because they can let you know what type of RAM you need and how much and also if you'd be wasting money buying old and expensive RAM because of an old mobo etc.
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
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ok. There is a guy lives locally to me who would be able to help for a small fee. I have a Philips freevents Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.4ghz.

4 Gig of Ram...32 bit OS
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Well first of all, with a 32-bit OS, you're only going to be able to use maybe 3 of the 4GB of RAM, and if you add more, won't change a thing. You'll need to install a 64-bit OS in order to use more RAM.

The next thing you can try is open up your computer, if it's a desktop, and just check how your RAM is arranged. There should be a couple of sticks in there somewhere. See if you have just 2 slots or more slots. If only 2 and both are filled with your existing RAM, you'll likely have to replace both with 4GB modules giving you a total of 8GB. DDR2 I'm expecting, but again, hopefully it'll say in your system specs, or on the side of the actual RAM.
If you have 4 slots for example, and 2 are full, then just buy exactly the same chips as are already in there, and you should be good to go.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize it was a laptop... that makes things a bit more complicated ...one reason I prefer a desktop, much easier to upgrade.

Last edited by stwert : 19-11-2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #6
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What are you running at the same time as zbrush?
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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from what i've been told by various people....

the ram you get also depends on the motherboard you have (thats the thing that all the bits get mounted on)

there are different speeds of the ram too. you have to make sure that all the ram sticks have the same speed (like all 800mhz, no mix and matching a 800 with a 1333)
higher speed doesn't always mean it goes faster, it depends whether or not the mother board's native ram speed matches the ram or not
so if your motherboard was built for 800mhz and you stick in a 1333mhz then it will probably go slower than if you stuck in a 800 or the performance wouldn't really be any difference, because some time has to be spent converting numbers

The latest type of ram is DDR3 (i dunno what that stands for), so yeah... modern motherboards will be able to handle it.
i got my motherboard about 2 months ago last year and it only handles ddr2, so yeah, i think ddr3 is new (well... old now... it's been a few months i think)



the moral of the story is... check out the specs of your motherboard
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Old 19-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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this is all good info folks, thankyou. Stwert:- uh-oh, changing to a 64 bit OS, that sounds costly/complicated? It is a desktop though, not a laptop. I dont know that I would trust myself to start opening up the thing though. I cant remember where, I think it was on here, that I heard some bad things about 64 bit OS's. And wouldn't anything I have installed for a 32 bit OS then be defunct?

Chirone :- Again, I think going into the computer itself would be something Id prefer to leave to someone who knew better what they were doing and what they were looking for.

daverave.:- I often have PS and sometimes Maya open at the same time. But I also get the errors when Z is open on it's own
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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Ok, I just googled the phillips freevents and it popped up with a pic of a laptop, but good to know it's a desktop. Using my incredible powers of deduction, I deduce that you are using windows XP or Vista. That leaves you with a couple options... either stick with the RAM you have... or get a 64-bit OS (Linux or Win 7).

Linux is free. I haven't used it with Maya, but it will give you at least a few headaches if you're not familiar with it.

Win 7 is not free. I have used it (x64 Premium) with Maya, and I'm very happy with it. No, your 32-bit apps will not necessarily be incompatible with Win 7 x64, most will likely work just fine. In addition, I'm fairly sure your Maya disc comes with a x64 version, and some of your other software may too (to take advantage of more system resources). I'm not recommending XP x64 or Vista x64, but only because I've heard negative things, haven't tried 'em.

As for going into the computer, you don't need to do anything you're not comfortable with, but it might be helpful to get familiar with the inside of the computer. Power down, turn off the switch in the back and unplug. Then unscrew the side and poke your nose in. You don't need to touch anything, just get a feel for what's all in there, and what RAM looks like for example. You could even give the floor and fans a quick gentle vacuum if it looks anything like mine usually does
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #10
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Just don't get carried away and start dismantling stuff to the point where you're like 2 seconds away from touching the capacitors in the PSU :x or you may be in for "shocking" results.
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:28 PM   #11
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you don't need to get into the computer to do as i said, you just need to get the specs of the motherboard and look for the ram it supports

from what i hear xp64bit doesn't have any support

nothing is wrong with vista 64 bit
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:30 PM   #12
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GecT. Ha !

stwert. Yeah I think youre right. I should take a look. Id be interested in Win 7. Linux still has connotations for me as some fancy bit of kit that programmers use alot. Id just be anxious of the 32/64 bit crossover.
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:37 PM   #13
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Originally posted by Chirone
you don't need to get into the computer to do as i said, you just need to get the specs of the motherboard and look for the ram it supports

from what i hear xp64bit doesn't have any support

nothing is wrong with vista 64 bit
True, but the specs wouldn't tell him (as far as I know) whether he's got one or more slots free or not, which is relevant info.

I don't know how good vista 64 is... but would you recommend it over win 7? I dunno.... a lot of people are saying 7 is was vista wasn't and the support for 64-bit can only have improved.

And yes... don't remove things if you don't know what they are or what they do :S
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Old 20-11-2009, 12:16 PM   #14
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Sorry to throw a spanner in the works but aint Z brush only 32 bit anyway so 4 gig is the max?

True you can go higher but Z wiull only use the 4 gig available.

I've got 16 gig of in my laptop and 8 in my desktop, best way to find out is to go to http://www.crucial.com/ and use their memory scan.

TBH if its a laptop it's probably going to be maxed out at 4 gig unless its already got a 64 bit OS.
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Old 20-11-2009, 12:26 PM   #15
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That is definitely a spanner.


I dont know that about zbrush. I hope not. But even if, what difference then is there between the machines of people who can produce models up to 40 million polys and my computer throws a tantrum at 8 million. oh, the headcahe. And, the choices :shakehead
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