decent amount of ram on your pc

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14 years 5 months ago #2798 by rob
in this day and age what is a good size of ram to have?
at the moment i have 512 and a 3mhz processor.
the thing seems to be running a bit slow.
any advice please

thanks

Rob

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14 years 5 months ago #77357 by GrantK
It all depends on what O/S you are running and how many programs you typically have open at once.

Please give further details and then I can make some recommendations :)

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14 years 5 months ago #77359 by rob
Replied by rob on topic decent amount of ram on your pc
hi grant,
msoft windows xp, home edition, version 202,service pack 2
pentium(r)4 cpu 3.0ghz.
how can i check how many programs are running at once?, is this at start up?

Rob

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14 years 5 months ago #77366 by wyseyes
What is a good size of ram? As much as you can afford. And these days it is pretty cheap.
Load up as much as you can, remembering that XP can only handle a max of 3Gb. Dunno about Vista. (Note: the 64bit versions of windows can handle more, but I haven't played there).

Currently http://www.pconlineshop.co.nz/ has the cheapest ram in NZ, with 1Gb DDR for $70ish, and 1G DDR2 for $25!!

To check the ram and usage, right click on the clock in the taskbar. A little menu should appear, select Task Manager.
In task manager, there are 4 tabs:
Applications - shows you what visible programs are running
Processes - shows what actual programs, services and background aplications are running
Performance - shows the processor and ram usage.
Networking - communications usage.

On the Performance tab, ignore the Page File Usage graph, Look instead to the bottom right at the Physical Memory.
Total memory should be what ram you have installed.
Available memory is who much unused ram you have at any moment.
So subtract available from total, and get what you are currently using. This is all of the programs, services, applications, and also Windows. The available memory is what gets used when you start more programs.

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

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14 years 5 months ago #77372 by GrantK

quote:Originally posted by rob

in this day and age what is a good size of ram to have?
at the moment i have 512 and a 3mhz processor.

Both of my PCs are running XP with 512MB RAM. Usually, I have just Outlook Express and IE running with about 5 or more tabs open.

The Available RAM in Task Manager (as Wyseyes described) shows 162MB, and I rarely notice any Disk Swapping going on.

For the kind of tasks I am doing, 512MB of RAM is enough. Having said that, if I was building/buying a PC today with RAM being so cheap, I would not install less than 1GB, and probably 2GB. I don't expect it would give me any extra speed though -- just a bit of future proofing.

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14 years 5 months ago #77379 by wyseyes
My work PC now has 3Gb, and that lets me run many programs at once without loss of performance. I usually keep firefox and outlook running, while working between Word, Excel, one or two CAD/graphics programs, sometimes Acrobat. All at the same time. Oh, and most importantly, iTunes.

And seeing how it lets me do all this without waiting, it was worth buying the extra ram.

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

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14 years 5 months ago #77380 by rob
Replied by rob on topic decent amount of ram on your pc
if you are installing more ram is it a straight forward process of putting in a new board and does the computer pick up the new board automatically.
are certain boards purely for certain pc's

Rob

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14 years 5 months ago #77381 by rob
Replied by rob on topic decent amount of ram on your pc
i had a look and total=523564
available=231168
left=192396
is this good/enough

Rob

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14 years 5 months ago #77382 by GrantK

quote:Originally posted by rob

if you are installing more ram is it a straight forward process of putting in a new board and does the computer pick up the new board automatically.

Yes, the motherboard will detect the presence of extra RAM automatically.

quote:Originally posted by rob

are certain boards purely for certain pc's

Unfortunately Yes, (more-or-less).

There are various types of RAM used with P4-based motherboards:

DDR-266 or 333 or 400
DDR2-533 or 667 or 800

and probably more that I haven't remembered. It's absolutely vital to get the right one, so I would recommend that you post the exact model of your motherboard and Wyseyes may be able to tell you the correct type of RAM to use.

The amount of available RAM that you have is more than half the total.

TBH, I wouldn't expect that adding more RAM is going to significantly increase your speed, but it won't cost much, so may be worth a try.

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14 years 5 months ago #77384 by rob
Replied by rob on topic decent amount of ram on your pc
spoke to the wife, she says with the price of laptops now we could upgrade to a laptop.
i will take your advice and just leave the ram at this point, as you say i still have more than half the total.
many thanks to all on this point

Rob

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14 years 5 months ago #77389 by GrantK

quote:Originally posted by rob

spoke to the wife, she says with the price of laptops now we could upgrade to a laptop.

Yes indeed! Laptops are so handy to have. I still prefer my desktop for certain things, but am finding myself using my laptop more and more of the time [8D]

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14 years 5 months ago #77392 by wyseyes

quote:Originally posted by rob

i had a look and total=523564
available=231168
left=192396
is this good/enough

Looking at that, it says total is 523564 = 512Mb. Not 256Mb.

I think you would see a speed difference if you doubled this, the whole thing will feel snappier.

Adding the ram is simply a matter of finding a matching one to the one you have, installing carefully takes 30 secs, then starting up agan.

Otherwise, find the laptop specs you want from a retailer or flyer, and I'll probably find one the same for 20% less.

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

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14 years 5 months ago #77460 by rob
Replied by rob on topic decent amount of ram on your pc
i wiil keep you in mind Wyseyes when we go for one, waiting to sell our lsb first.

thanks

Rob

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