Computer question: RAM, harddrive memory and GHZ

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12 years 7 months ago #20798 by reggit
HI all, some advice please.

I am wanting to get a laptop that can run the same number of programmes as my desktop at the same time without having a hissy fit.

From what I can tell my desktop is 3.00GHZ, 1GB Ram, with C drive 110GB and D drive 1.43GB.

I see laptops advertised with 4GB ram (is that an indication of how many balls it can juggle at ones, ie numbers of functions it can handle at a time without panicking?), 500GB hard drive (is that the C and D drive space?) and 2.2-3 GHZ (what is this indicating?)

They are also noting 'discrete graphics' memory of 512MB to 1GB, what is this?

Help please so I am not comparing apples to oranges?

PS my desktop usually runs Photoshop, Creative Suite, Word (1-3 docs open) Excel (1-3 docs open), outlook and IE (maybe 2-3 websites open at a time) without blinking...oh, and maybe Adobe Reader also [}:)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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12 years 7 months ago #304601 by kiwi_jon
Tigger,

Generally when comparing laptop with desktop performance you are comparing apples with apples. The exception being the netbooks or mini laptops which use a low power processor (CPU).

Going by the spec's of your desktop I would suspect it is 3-4 years old. Any laptop you buy today will beat that on performance hands down.

This is very basic without getting to geeky.

RAM - Random access memory. Programs run in memory rather than access the hard drive. More RAM the quicker a program may run.

Hard Drive size - Speaks for itself. The larger the hard drive the more data storage space. Modern hardrives are usually SATA drives which have faster read/write access times than older PATA drives.

Processor (CPU) - This gets a bit tricky. Generally the faster the processor in GHz the better the performance, however that will also depend on the number of processors in the CPU core. For example you can get a 2.2GHz dual core processor (two processors in one) which has a combined speed of 4.4GHz but allows programs to run in each processor.
Laptops due to the need to conserve power when on battery and decrease the amount of heat buildup usually drop the speed of the CPU and only increase it when it is required by a program. This can ususally be overidden in the power settings.

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12 years 7 months ago #304602 by wyseyes
If you want to run all that without slowing to a crawl, then you need to pile in the ram.

Most laptops have integrated graphics, which means they steal a portion (usually around 15%) of the total ram to do the displaying of the screen. Other laptops have a seperate graphics card, with it's wown graphics memory, so it doesn't steal. This would leave the rest of the ram to run windows, and all your programs.

Even if it did steal, then the more ram you have in there, the more it can give to all the programs open at once.
Now, you have WinXP, which means you can't use more than 3.5Gb of ram.
The laptop you have has 2 RAM slots, and they are both used at the moment with 1/2 Gb Dimms (ram chips on circuit boards).
To increase your ram you'll need to remove one (or both), and replace with larger Dimms. Although you don't have to have them both the same, it doesn't hurt. Dimms come in 1/2Gb, 1, 2, 4Gb. Putting 2 x 2Gb in will give you total of 4Gb, and then WinXP will only be able to address 3.5, your maximum.

I happen to have 2 x 2G in my drawer at work, if you're keen to try.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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12 years 7 months ago #304606 by reggit
Okay, so from another angle...my desktop runs all that fine at the moment on 1GB ram but 3GHZ of (whatever this is)

My laptop hasn't really been tested out but will be the week after next when I get some time to load on CS4. Laptop is running at 1.9GHZ and 1.87GB of ram.

So...GB of ram shouldn't be an issue on the laptop as it is nearly twice what I have on the desktop at the mo (and the desktop is fine) BUT the CS4 box does say that you really need 2GHZ to run it...

Hmmm....

As I say, my laptop and me are going to Auckland for a week from Friday so I am not about to try anything rash before then in case I jinx it, but when I get back I will load it all up and see how it goes [;)]

PS looking at another one on the Dell site that is 2.8GHZ, 4GB ram, 250GB hard drive - and WinXP, cos frankly, I am more than happy with that programme, and have no desire nor patience to learn how to use a new one at this point in time until I (hopefully) hear some good stuff about Win7 from the 'early adopters' [}:)]

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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