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8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:08 pm
by TPFanatic
Someone on eBay listed a screen cracked T420 with 16GB of RAM for $70 so of course I bought it. Throwing in my T430's old HD+ and flipping it should net me a few coffees.

What I'm wondering is if beyond the increased capacity for multitasking, heavy editing, poor browsing habits, and virtual machines, is there any noticeable speed boost like there is going from HDD to SSD? Will my OS (Windows) properly take advantage of the extra RAM? I've been very comfortable running 8GB on my T500, X230, T430, and T430s so it's not like I need the extra RAM... just curious to see, and read anyone else's experiences / thoughts / opinions, is all.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:25 pm
by Neil
TPFanatic wrote:What I'm wondering is if beyond the increased capacity for multitasking, heavy editing, poor browsing habits, and virtual machines, is there any noticeable speed boost like there is going from HDD to SSD?
No...there will be no actual, measurable speed improvement. However, you may experience the illusion of a speed boost.
TPFanatic wrote:Will my OS (Windows) properly take advantage of the extra RAM?
If you are using a 64-bit OS, then yes.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:39 am
by axur-delmeria
In an analogy I made up, RAM size is equivalent to the size of your working table.

Having a big table doesn't mean you'll work faster, but having one that's too small will definitely slow you down.

Unless you're constantly running out of free RAM, upgrading from 8GB to 16GB won't make much of a difference.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:24 am
by madicetea
TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:08 pm
Someone on eBay listed a screen cracked T420 with 16GB of RAM for $70 so of course I bought it. Throwing in my T430's old HD+ and flipping it should net me a few coffees.

What I'm wondering is if beyond the increased capacity for multitasking, heavy editing, poor browsing habits, and virtual machines, is there any noticeable speed boost like there is going from HDD to SSD? Will my OS (Windows) properly take advantage of the extra RAM? I've been very comfortable running 8GB on my T500, X230, T430, and T430s so it's not like I need the extra RAM... just curious to see, and read anyone else's experiences / thoughts / opinions, is all.
Others have given good examples and reasons, I stick with the guy who said that it's like a working table -- it's there when you need it and it's just extra space when it's not.

That said, I seem to remember that you do some intensive tasks, so you might enjoy having the upgrade. I put my X250 on 16gb and there are times I prefer that to my X61 with 8gb, no matter how much easier it is to read things on 4:3 screens.

Give it a try, you should know the answer for yourself within a few days.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:03 pm
by dr_st
madicetea wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:24 am
I put my X250 on 16gb and there are times I prefer that to my X61 with 8gb, no matter how much easier it is to read things on 4:3 screens.
It's hard to know whether it's because of the extra RAM or because of the much faster processor, though.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:15 pm
by MrBurgerKing
I'd bet it's the processor, it'd be roughly four times as powerful. The speed of the storage might also play a role.
Windows 10 has lots of background tasks like updates, telemetry, superfetch/prefetch, auto-downloading games, etc. and will use more ram if you have it. so if you're on 10 you might actually notice a speed improvement.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:47 pm
by axur-delmeria
MrBurgerKing wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:15 pm
I'd bet it's the processor, it'd be roughly four times as powerful. The speed of the storage might also play a role.
Not just the processor cores themselves, but the other parts inside the CPU like the integrated memory controller and GPU.

Re: 8GB to 16GB upgrade, noticeable speed boost?

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:15 pm
by CrazyTPFan
There isn't much of a difference. I upgraded from 8GB to 16GB because I use virtual machines a lot and need the extra ram.