Originally Posted by AzN
for just like music, AIM, word, powerpoint, and browsing? My sister is looking into getting a notebook and that is all she pretty much does. So would 256 be enough or should I just go for 512?
Like people have said, RAM is cheap so go for 512.
However, I completely disagree with all of those people who say that Windows will run sluggish on less than 512 MB. Sometime, somewhere, someone came up with that figure and now it gets thrown around as gospel.
On my desktop (Win XP Pro, Athlon 64 2800) I have 1 GB RAM and I pretty much don't care about memory usage (more concerned with processor), but I just inherited my sister's 4-year old Dell Inspiron 8000 with a 900 MHz P3 and 192 MB RAM and it's running more than fine for things like watching DVDs, word processing, image viewing, web surfing, etc. Obviously, I am not going to try and install Photoshop CS2 and do any kind of serious image editing or do Xvid encodings or something of that nature, but the machine is not
sluggish. Not in the least. I was actually surprised by how well it ran when I had loaded everything up.
M "normal" RAM usage is about 120-140 MB while doing simple tasks - browsing the web, for example. However, I have slimmed down my system by disabling unneccesary system services, startup programs, etc. and don't have very many things running in the tray.
Another thing that I've done is to load "toned down" versions of programs. Firefox, for example, uses more RAM on my desktop than Opera. So I've only installed Opera on the laptop. I've also not installed a codec pack, but rather just individual codecs on an "as needed" basis. Another example of "careful usage" is to not install bloated ACDSee 7 as an image viewer/simple editor, but to use the smaller, faster version 2.44 which is more than a capable viewer (Irfan View is another very good free choice). Foxit, is a small,, fast PDF viewer instead of Acrobat. Things of that nature. The list goes on and on.
So sure, more RAM is better and the system will run more smoothly and probably faster with it (and as I agreed, it's cheap to get) but if you absolutely have to make do with 256 MB, for the things you asked about, it will be fine.