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short on RAM?

 
 
Rich Greenberg
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      11-20-2011, 02:02 AM
Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
600m. I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:

Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
as to be useless. My first guess is memory. It only has 1/2 gig of
RAM. Would another half gig be a good investment?

--
Rich Greenberg Sarasota, FL, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 941 378 2097
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM'er since CP-67
Canines: Val, Red, Shasta, Zero & Casey (At the bridge) Owner:Chinook-L
Canines: Red & Cinnar (Siberians) Retired at the beach Asst Owner:Sibernet-L
 
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mike
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      11-20-2011, 02:32 AM
Rich Greenberg wrote:
> Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
> 600m. I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:
>
> Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
> as to be useless. My first guess is memory. It only has 1/2 gig of
> RAM. Would another half gig be a good investment?
>

"Except" is the clue pointing to the problem.
What does task manager say about the ram when aol is running?
How about cpu load? Other processes hogging the system?
How does it perform on another email website?
Current flock of virus scanners assume you have all the memory
and cpu power in the world and them some. When I take a laptop
to a swapmeet to sell, I always disable the virus scanner to perk it up.

While more ram may help, I rarely upgrade an old laptop past 512MB.
512MB helps a lot over 256, but you're getting into diminishing
returns over 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff
simultaneously.
Of course, if the ram is free, load it up.
To add ram, I'm guessing you have to throw out all of what's in there. YMMV.
 
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Bob_Villa
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      11-20-2011, 04:09 AM
On Nov 19, 8:32*pm, mike <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Rich Greenberg wrote:
> > Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
> > 600m. *I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:

>
> > Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
> > as to be useless. *My first guess is memory. *It only has 1/2 gig of
> > RAM. *Would another half gig be a good investment?

>
> "Except" is the clue pointing to the problem.
> What does task *manager say about the ram when aol is running?
> How about cpu load? *Other processes hogging the system?
> How does it perform on another email website?
> Current flock of virus scanners assume you have all the memory
> and cpu power in the world and them some. *When I take a laptop
> to a swapmeet to sell, I always disable the virus scanner to perk it up.
>
> While more ram may help, I rarely upgrade an old laptop past 512MB.
> 512MB helps a lot over 256, but you're getting into diminishing
> returns over 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff
> simultaneously.
> Of course, if the ram is free, load it up.
> To add ram, I'm guessing you have to throw out all of what's in there. YMMV.


Very much agree!
 
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BillW50
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      11-20-2011, 08:53 AM
On 11/19/2011 10:09 PM, Bob_Villa wrote:
> On Nov 19, 8:32 pm, mike<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Rich Greenberg wrote:
>>> Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
>>> 600m. I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:

>>
>>> Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
>>> as to be useless. My first guess is memory. It only has 1/2 gig of
>>> RAM. Would another half gig be a good investment?

>>
>> "Except" is the clue pointing to the problem.
>> What does task manager say about the ram when aol is running?
>> How about cpu load? Other processes hogging the system?
>> How does it perform on another email website?
>> Current flock of virus scanners assume you have all the memory
>> and cpu power in the world and them some. When I take a laptop
>> to a swapmeet to sell, I always disable the virus scanner to perk it up.
>>
>> While more ram may help, I rarely upgrade an old laptop past 512MB.
>> 512MB helps a lot over 256, but you're getting into diminishing
>> returns over 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff
>> simultaneously.
>> Of course, if the ram is free, load it up.
>> To add ram, I'm guessing you have to throw out all of what's in there. YMMV.

>
> Very much agree!


Not for me! 512MB isn't enough RAM for XPSP3. As the OS itself uses
800MB+ easy. And with 512MB the OS is going to be swapping in and out of
memory. And it is going to be slow. The diminishing returns part only
happens past 1GB.

And Mike, I don't know what you call an old laptop, but laptops from
2006 are my favorite. I have over a dozen laptops from 2006 alone. I
like these because they almost always have drivers for XP, Vista, and
Windows 7. So you can run anything you want. Often can't be said of
earlier or later made laptops.

And I have been collecting laptops since 1984. And back then and decades
later, once a laptop was 5 years old or older, it was really outdated
and too slow to keep up. Sure there was the limit of CPU speed and mass
storage from the old laptop by then. But the biggest limitation of a
laptop that old was mainly the memory limit.

But that all changed just before 2006. As in this time laptops could
have up to 2GB or 4GB of RAM. And we started to see a flood of multiple
core processors in laptops. So nowadays a 5 year old laptop can often
indeed keep up with advancing OS and applications we use today. Never
before in history was this ever possible.

So Rich may have something else going on which slows his laptop down
which indeed needs to be checked out. But dropping 1GB of RAM will help
greatly in either case.

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3.0
Centrino Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
 
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Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6
 
      11-20-2011, 12:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillW50 View Post
On 11/19/2011 10:09 PM, Bob_Villa wrote:
> On Nov 19, 8:32 pm, mike<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Rich Greenberg wrote:
>>> Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
>>> 600m. I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:

>>
>>> Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
>>> as to be useless. My first guess is memory. It only has 1/2 gig of
>>> RAM. Would another half gig be a good investment?

>>
>> "Except" is the clue pointing to the problem.
>> What does task manager say about the ram when aol is running?
>> How about cpu load? Other processes hogging the system?
>> How does it perform on another email website?
>> Current flock of virus scanners assume you have all the memory
>> and cpu power in the world and them some. When I take a laptop
>> to a swapmeet to sell, I always disable the virus scanner to perk it up.
>>
>> While more ram may help, I rarely upgrade an old laptop past 512MB.
>> 512MB helps a lot over 256, but you're getting into diminishing
>> returns over 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff
>> simultaneously.
>> Of course, if the ram is free, load it up.
>> To add ram, I'm guessing you have to throw out all of what's in there. YMMV.

>
> Very much agree!


Not for me! 512MB isn't enough RAM for XPSP3. As the OS itself uses
800MB+ easy. And with 512MB the OS is going to be swapping in and out of
memory. And it is going to be slow. The diminishing returns part only
happens past 1GB.

And Mike, I don't know what you call an old laptop, but laptops from
2006 are my favorite. I have over a dozen laptops from 2006 alone. I
like these because they almost always have drivers for XP, Vista, and
Windows 7. So you can run anything you want. Often can't be said of
earlier or later made laptops.

And I have been collecting laptops since 1984. And back then and decades
later, once a laptop was 5 years old or older, it was really outdated
and too slow to keep up. Sure there was the limit of CPU speed and mass
storage from the old laptop by then. But the biggest limitation of a
laptop that old was mainly the memory limit.

But that all changed just before 2006. As in this time laptops could
have up to 2GB or 4GB of RAM. And we started to see a flood of multiple
core processors in laptops. So nowadays a 5 year old laptop can often
indeed keep up with advancing OS and applications we use today. Never
before in history was this ever possible.

So Rich may have something else going on which slows his laptop down
which indeed needs to be checked out. But dropping 1GB of RAM will help
greatly in either case.

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3.0
Centrino Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP3

Personally, I would recommend trying to max it out. The Inspiron 600m can handle up to 2GB of memory, so go with that (it's DDR, so it's going to cost a little bit, roughly $80 total). What you'll be looking for is PC2700. I've worked with the 600m's before, so I know from personal experience that they aren't that bad of a laptop.

The other thing I would do is, if you don't know how, take it to your local computer store and run a quick diagnostic on the hard drive. They're aren't bad laptops, but they aren't new, either. You could be hitting some bad sectors on the hard drive. It's hard to say not knowing, though. The average lifespan for most hard drives is generally 5 years.

I hope this helps!
 
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Bob_Villa
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      11-20-2011, 01:40 PM
On Nov 20, 2:53*am, BillW50 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

It all boils down to, "you're getting into diminishing returns over
512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff." It's too bad you
always find it necessary to interject a biased opinion when you don't
fully comprehend an intelligent response.

 
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Bob_Villa
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      11-20-2011, 02:21 PM
On Nov 20, 7:40*am, Bob_Villa <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Nov 20, 2:53*am, BillW50 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> It all boils down to, "you're getting into diminishing returns over
> 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff." *It's too bad you
> always find it necessary to interject a biased opinion when you don't
> fully comprehend an intelligent response.


His experience shows a basic sensible premise that has merit...YMMV!
 
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BillW50
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      11-20-2011, 03:24 PM
In
news:(E-Mail Removed),
Bob_Villa wrote:
> On Nov 20, 2:53 am, BillW50 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> It all boils down to, "you're getting into diminishing returns over
> 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff."


I've done these studies a million times. Windows 2000 needs 450MB just
for itself and Windows XP SP2/3 needs 800MB for itself. And two of my XP
machines (with SSDs) I run XP without a swapfile. And everything has to
go into RAM or it won't work. And the results are the same.

Running either with less RAM, they will still work thanks to virtual
memory (aka swapfile). But the OS has to swap parts of itself back and
forth between RAM and a mass storage device. And this trick will only
slow your system down. No reason to do this if you don't have too.

> It's too bad you always find it necessary to interject a biased
> opinion when you don't fully comprehend an intelligent response.


Just the opposite lazy Bob. Everybody can check this out for yourself,
even with the Task Manager. And all of have to do is to boot XP run the
Task Manager, click on the Performance tab and see for yourself. As it
tells you what amount is being used and what amount is sitting in the
swapfile.

You don't even have to trust me. But many others say the very same
thing.

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/89001

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2743697737#4

http://www.ehow.com/way_5296282_much...fectively.html

"We've seen Windows XP run with 64 MB RAM and it is not pretty. With 128
MB, an XP machine can survive basic tasks as long as there is not a lot
loaded into memory. We consider 256 MB to be the absolute tolerable
minimum. The jump to 512 MB will help speed up the PC considerably,
especially if there is antivirus or anti-spyware software running in the
background. Currently 1024 MB (or 1 gigabyte) seems to be the sweet
spot, where adding more RAM doesn't seem to be cost effective for most
users. However, gamers can usually benefit from the jump to 2 GB. RAM is
cheap. Check your local retail ads for sales. Seriously consider
upgrading if your PC has less than 512 MB."
http://www.computervaleting.co.uk/hh04.html

"If you are using Windows XP it is recommended that you have at least
512Mb RAM, although at this point, 1Gb seems to be the sweet spot, more
again if you are using Vista."
http://www.downloadatoz.com/pc-boost...-a-slow-pc.php

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
Centrino Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP3


 
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BillW50
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      11-20-2011, 03:44 PM
In
news:(E-Mail Removed),
Bob_Villa wrote:
> On Nov 20, 7:40 am, Bob_Villa <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> On Nov 20, 2:53 am, BillW50 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>> It all boils down to, "you're getting into diminishing returns over
>> 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff." It's too bad you
>> always find it necessary to interject a biased opinion when you don't
>> fully comprehend an intelligent response.

>
> His experience shows a basic sensible premise that has merit...YMMV!


Nope, I've done this test zillions of times. Even if you just use XP to
run Notepad, 1GB of RAM will run it much faster than 512MB (it will boot
faster too). That is because XP doesn't even fit in 512MB of RAM without
using the swapfile. And anybody who turns off the swapfile knows this to
be a fact! 1GB is the tipping point for XP. Adding more may or may not
help for a given user. But having at least 1GB will speed up every XP
system.

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
Centrino Core Duo T2400 1.83GHz - 2GB - Windows XP SP3


 
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Rich Greenberg
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      11-20-2011, 04:55 PM
In article <ja9org$qs3$(E-Mail Removed)>, mike <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Rich Greenberg wrote:
>> Wife gave daughter a new laptop, got back old one, a Dell Inspiration
>> 600m. I wiped it and loaded XP sp3++ and it runs fine EXCEPT:
>>
>> Some of the time she is doing email on AOL's web site it runs so slow
>> as to be useless. My first guess is memory. It only has 1/2 gig of
>> RAM. Would another half gig be a good investment?
>>

>"Except" is the clue pointing to the problem.
>What does task manager say about the ram when aol is running?
>How about cpu load? Other processes hogging the system?
>How does it perform on another email website?
>Current flock of virus scanners assume you have all the memory
>and cpu power in the world and them some. When I take a laptop
>to a swapmeet to sell, I always disable the virus scanner to perk it up.
>
>While more ram may help, I rarely upgrade an old laptop past 512MB.
>512MB helps a lot over 256, but you're getting into diminishing
>returns over 512, unless you insist on running a lot of stuff
>simultaneously.
>Of course, if the ram is free, load it up.
>To add ram, I'm guessing you have to throw out all of what's in there. YMMV.


Checking RAM use while the problem is occuring has a problem. My wife
gets so frantic she won't let me touch it. I will probably install
process explorer which puts a RAM use graph in the status bar while
minimised.
I'll try.
And your right about swapping out the ram. And its not free.

--
Rich Greenberg Sarasota, FL, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 941 378 2097
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM'er since CP-67
Canines: Val, Red, Shasta, Zero & Casey (At the bridge) Owner:Chinook-L
Canines: Red & Cinnar (Siberians) Retired at the beach Asst Owner:Sibernet-L
 
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