Tomorrow I will be receiving a new computer. It has an Intel i7 920 processor and 6 gigs of a ram. I plan on using Beta of Windows 7 64 bit, so I can take advantage of the full 6 gigs of memory. A 32 bit operating system can only access 4 gigs.
This new computer will be an improvement that is far better then my current laptop. My laptop has a Pentium 4 that runs at 3 GHz. Running Visual Studio and other app on the laptop brings it to its knees.
So, tonight I was wondering how much memory I should have installed on my new computer to run Visual Studio. Of course it’s a little late for this question, since I have already purchased the PC and it’s arriving tomorrow. But the new computer does have 3 ram slots available and the motherboard maxes out at 12 gigs. So I should have no problems upgrading
But back to the question of how much memory should I have installed for Visual Studio. If you are like me, while programming I usually have many applications running in the background. These application could be resource hogs live SQL Server, Photoshop, or may IE windows or tabs open. So I Googled “Memory needed for Visual Studio .net”.
The first link was “Hacking Visual Studio to Use More Than 2Gigabytes of Memory”. http://stevenharman.net/blog/archive/2008/04/29/hacking-visual-studio-to-use-more-than-2gigabytes-of-memory.aspx This triggered a memory from the last company I worked at. At this company our solution files contained many projects and those projects could be quite large. Many times while compiling I would get the error “Not enough storage is available to complete this operation.” After reading the previous article, I learned that Visual Studio has a 2 GB limit, which was probably the reason for the storage error. The article also mentioned that the Visual Studio is defaulted to 2 GB of maximum memory, but it can be increased. Of course, on a 32 bit OS the maximum memory limit is somewhere less then 4 GB. I’m not going into the details of why its less then 4 GB, but you can read this great article to learn more about it.
“Dude, Where’s My 4 Gigabytes of RAM?”
I never came up with the amount of memory I need, but these articles listed above provided a lot of information and background on the hows and whys of getting the best performance out of my computer.
As usual, I blogged about this so that I have a reference to the information later, but I hope this give you some insight into 32 bit OS’s and Visual Studio.