24GB DDR3 and Windows 7 - VMWare and Memory Usage

Article Index
24GB DDR3 and Windows 7
Installation and Setup
VMWare and Memory Usage
Benchmarks and Final Thoughts
 

Loading Up The RAM:

As previously mentioned, most people cannot begin to use 24GB of memory in normal day-to-day activities.  Those using 3D modeling programs, working with large images in Photoshop or editing HD Video in Premiere can use large portions of memory, but the best way to really take up memory is to set up some virtual machines in VMWare and assign specific chunks of RAM to each OS.  In the VMWare screenshots below, we have assigned 1GB for Ubuntu, 3GB for Windows XP, and 8GB for each Windows Vista x64 and Windows 7 x64.  All were running background applications in order to load up their respective memory allotments and we took screenshots and ran benchmarks on the host Windows 7 Ultimate x64 OS.

 VMWare is a Killer
VMWare is a Killer
 One OS
One OS
 Three OS
Three OS

 

As you can see below, as each of the Operating Systems get installed and loaded up, the RAM usage increases.  The beautiful thing about having so much memory available on the Core i7 920 system is that each OS can be allotted a separate core and ample memory.  Once the VMWare is up and running, each OS is very responsive and works very quickly.  All this while still maintaining a very snappy and responsive host Operating System.  Once we have everything loaded up we are using a total of 21.1GB of memory - 20GB for VMWare systems and 1.1GB for the host OS - Windows 7 x64.

Four OS
Four OS

 

The incredible thing is that even when the system is loaded up with over 20GB of memory being used, and all of the VMWare clients being used to do some small tasks, the host system performance is still unwavering.  I ran some Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 without any load on the system and without VMWare loaded and I averaged 66 FPS during the "Loose Ends" mission where there is a lot of foliage, smoke and a lot of system intensive action.  When running VMWare and hogging over 21GB of memory, the game performance dropped down to 65 FPS as measured through FRAPS.  Of course this could easily be within margin of error, so the impact on system performance is really non-existent.  When running with 6GB or 12GB of memory, game loading times are super slow and the system slows to a crawl as the pagefile has to be written to and from the disk.