Okay gentlemen, lets shut this down.
Above is a link to an article where someone did the work to find out if adding excessive amounts of RAM was worth it. It's simple. In the same way that many games do not benefit from multip CPU's they do not benefit from extra RAM beyond a certain point. On average most program would not utilize more than 2 gigs of RAM itself. This set the benchmark at 3 gigs being a good starting point for RAM. 1 gig for general OS operations and a whole 2 gigs left for any running program to play with. Just because your 64-Bit OS can address Several gigs of RAM does not mean your application/game will. If an application was programmed in 32 bit then odds are good that 2 gigs of RAM are the max it will/can use.
Next up are the comments that with larger RAM more files will be cached. Yes more will be cached, but let get serious for a minute. Things get cached as data reads progress. The computer does not cache files in advance, it will cache them after a request for them occurs leaving you with not much of a performance gain. This coupled with the potential for a cached file to still be dropped causing another Page/Memory Fault to occur hampering your performance.
Face it, having RAM beyond a certain point does not a single thing for your performance. Right now 6 gigs appears to be the sweet spot.
For those of you who have trashed SSD's. You need to go back and look at the new drives before you keep running mouth. Yes, many of the first SSD's were not worth it, but the new SSD from OCZ had turned heads, and it has the performance to back up it's claims and then some. Only SERVER systems benefit from additional RAM because those systems are designed to take advantage of large RAM in ways a desktop OS/Application does not. And even with that being said, even servers greatly benefit from SSD's. The new SSD's resolve the problems old SSD's had. Problems like stuttering and slow write speeds have been resolved with OCZ's Vertex SSD's. There were even issues when people tried to use them as System drive, but OCZ's Vertex make EXCELLENT system drives.
I Personally own an SSD, HDD 7.2k, 320 SCSI 10k, and SAS 15k drives. NOTHING touches that SSD in performance. Additionally, I have personally watched a single SSD absolutely stomp the living dog mess out of even a 4x SAS RAID5 array in SQL Transactions. Literally a program that took normally 4~5 hours to complete with just adding SSD's took only 30 minutes. The database in question was 70gigs, and the server only had 8 gigs of RAM.
Just removing the latency alone is reason enough to get SSD, not to mention that the OCZ Vertex's consistently pipe over 200 Mb/s sustained transfer rates in read and 100 Mb/s in writing. Standard HDD is lucky if it can sustain an average of 70Mb/s across the entire disk from outside to inside tracks. Additionlly that HDD can only see that performance during linear writes and reads and this is rarely the case during normal operations. During general operation the drive will be doing random read and writing across the drive. And I have seen with my own eyes HDD's drop into the 5mb/s of thouroughput when it is reading from a drive in very random patterns. An SSD will not lose performance just because of Random operations. It will easly smoak any convention spinning disk in Random IO.
Any of you who called me a fanboy or overly excited about SSD's obviously do not know what you are talking about, or you have not tried the new generation of SSD's from OCZ. Yes I am excited, but I am a Technology professional. You have to prove your technology before I jump on board.
As I said in an earlier post. HANDS DOWN SSD! Especially if you are considering a RAM upgrade over an SSD purchase. You will simply realize performance gains in your system that you have never seen before.
As a challenge, for those of you with a spinning disk, I want you restart your computer and try to open a program just as soon as you see your desktop appear. Do not waint for the hour glass to go away, I want you to execute that program as fast as you can get your cursor over it and double-click. You have to wait for a decent amount of time before you see it come to life don't you? With my SSD I can run applications just as soon as I can click them when the desktop appears.
HDD's are the last bottlenecks in computers today. The rate of growth for CPU's, GPU's, RAM, and Motherboards have far outstriped the technological growth of HDD's. Now for the first time we are seeing significant advances in drive technology since HDD's were introduced. The differences experienced in the old days when hard drives replaced floppy drives is back again with SSD's replacing HDD's. Now don't get me wrong, the SSD does not fully replace the HDD in the storage department. You can easily get a Terabyte of HDD storage for under $150, but if you are wanting to improve performance, then SSD is your friend. The optimum configuration is, SSD for system and gaming, and HDD for your video, music, pictures, and long term storage.
For those of you who say its not worth the money, I can respect that. Many people will not buy until SSD hits a certain $/GB ratio, But don't say that in context with advocating a RAM upgrade, and especially if you are after performance.
If RAM is your next Upgrade just get yourself an OCZ Vertex instead. You will not be disappointed!