Originally Posted by SpeedNuggeT
If you already have 4gb, don't upgrade.
Buying new? 8gb all the way.
The benefit of RAM past what your program can use is so lost on too many people. So many people think more RAM doesn't do anything because it doesn't increase FPS. Performance is not only measured in FPS. RAM does more than just increase FPS. And just because Task Manager doesn't say it's being used doesn't mean it isn't doing anything.
RAM, in general, only increases FPS up to each program's maximum allowable memory space, which as others have noted in this thread is 2GB for a 32-bit program (i.e. most games). So 2GB should be enough, right? No, because on top of that you've got your other programs and services running and of course Windows itself. Ok, so 4GB is what you need
. Gotcha. Still, getting dangerously close to that 4GB mark with everything going. Let's say you cross it.
Once you cross that 4GB of physical memory then you know for certain that your computer must use the page file (area on a hard disk that is used like RAM but obviously exponentially slower than real RAM). Perhaps the FPS won't suffer much, but your load times, textures, and other things will.
But I'll never pass 4GB, right? Task Manager told me so!!
What about the system dedicated video memory? This is something done automatically where a portion of your system ram is dedicated to graphics. Or the memory reserved for other programs just in case they might possibly need it even if they don't really? Bam you're over 4GB.
The difference between 4GB and 8GB is not 50 or 20 or even 10 FPS. It really shouldn't be measured with FPS. You've got to step back and see it from a larger perspective. With less RAM, in large wide-open games like WoW and gtaIV you risk "late details that pop up out of the blue, lower texture resolutions, and even artifacts."
Check out the source, which explains pretty much everything I wrote here