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2GB of RAM

the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
Thanks: 2
Registered: 12-08-2007

2GB of RAM

My friends are giving me conflicting advice on the benfits of filling up my memory slots. Some say another GB will be fantastic, others say there will be hardly any difference to adding more RAM.
XP SP2 currently on 1GB of RAM, If I bought a bundle of 2x1GB that would fill 3 slots and give me around 3 GB of RAM.
I remember being stunned by the improved performance of moving from 512 MB to 1GB but now things seem to take a while to load at start up. and things like I Tunes take forever to get going as well (as for SIMS2 you have to leave it for ages - or so my daughter tells me).
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

Going from 512MB to 1GB does make a difference to both start-up speed and running apps. 1GB -> 2GB may not be noticed if you don't run lots of things at the same time.
It really depends on whether you are running out of ram with all your normal apps running.
If you look on the performance tab of ask manager what does it say for Physical memory (k) and Commit charge (k).
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

Before you spend any money, try running <a href="http://www.ccleaner.com/">CCleaner</a> to tidy up your registry, temp files etc. It could make a difference on its own.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,305
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

2GB may well give an improvement but 3GB probably won't make any real difference over 2GB.
I assume from your post that when you went from 512MB to 1GB you replaced the 512MB stick and didn't add a second 512MB stick.
However you need to check your motherboard/processor - does it support dual channel memory.
If it does then filling the two dual channel slots with matching sticks will make a big difference and 3GB would be a total waste.
If it doesn't support dual channel then I wouldn't bother as any improvement will be marginal and certainly wouldn't make much difference to boot times.
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

Sorry Oldjim I'm a bit confused now!
I have 4 slots and the machine came with 512 in 1 of them. I added another 512 to make the 1GB and a big difference.
Can you help me out and spell out whats what and how I might check.
Done the old CClean BTW
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: 2GB of RAM

Launch Task Manager and look on the Performance tab for Commit Charge - Total Limit and Peak.
Report back on this during normal use.
If you don't know how, ask again.  Cool
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,305
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

In your original post you said
Quote
XP SP2 currently on 1GB of RAM, If I bought a bundle of 2x1GB that would fill 3 slots and give me around 3 GB of RAM

If you already have two slots filled then adding 2 x 1GB of ram would fill all four slots.
If you advise which motherboard and processor you have that would enable us to determine whether you are running dual channel or not.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

first check how much the board supports.  my gigabyte board only supported 3gb in four slots dual channel.  i added two sticks of 1gb each and arranged them as 1gb in first slot, 512mb in second, and repeat for other slots so that dual channel was maintained.
there is a difference, especially when gaming and using processor intensive tasks such as ripping video and playing with gimp.
i don't know what difference you will see on windows, but it sure perked up my linux os.  boot tends to be faster and there is less use of swap (pagefile, or virtual memory).
just making less use of virtual memory helps as you are not thrashing the hard drive so much.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

Quote from: Oldjim
2GB may well give an improvement but 3GB probably won't

I read that to mean that 2GB will be noticeably quicker than 1GB (or 512K) but that 3GB will not be noticeably quicker than 2GB -- have I understood correctly?
(This thread is interesting to me because I have a 1GB XP laptop which would cost £60 to upgrade to 4GB but only £30 to go to 2GB)
the_groundsman
Grafter
Posts: 381
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

I've got my machines in  a muddle - sorry for wasting your time earlier!
I have 1 machine that seems to have 4 slots (in pairs blue and black) each pair has a stick of 512MB in it on that machine the Commit data is
Total    593000
Limit  2518000
Peak    946000
The older machine is the one I upgraded before but it only has 2 slots (not 4 like I thought) each with 512MB in now
That reads
Total  887000
limit 1875000
peak 1130
This is much more complicated than I imagined
Thanks for your patience (must be age)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

Quote from: paulh
I read that to mean that 2GB will be noticeably quicker than 1GB (or 512K) but that 3GB will not be noticeably quicker than 2GB -- have I understood correctly?
Yes you have understood my unclear post correctly
Community Veteran
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Re: 2GB of RAM

Quote from: the
I have 1 machine that seems to have 4 slots (in pairs blue and black) each pair has a stick of 512MB in it on that machine the Commit data is
Total    593000
Limit   2518000
Peak    946000

That doesn't need any more memory. It has 1GB, is using 60% of it and has never used it all.
Bit like my "mainstream system" actually - very similar figures.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,305
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: 2GB of RAM

@The Groundsman
It is very likely that your machine with two coloured slots is designed to run dual channel.
If I am correct your best bet is to add two more 512MB sticks giving 2GB in total. You could add 2 x 1GB giving 3GB in total but I doubt that you would see much improvement over 2GB total.
Before going too far I would go to this site and get it to recommend the upgrade for your computer. http://www.crucial.com/uk/index.aspx?cpe=CHAWKuk It will even scan your system if you wish.
Just to add - the only reason I would consider an upgrade is if you are using something like Photoshop for manipulating digital photographs.
Community Veteran
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Re: 2GB of RAM

Quote from: the
The older machine is the one I upgraded before but it only has 2 slots (not 4 like I thought) each with 512MB in now
That reads
Total  887000
limit 1875000
peak 1130

Presumably you meant peak 1130000?
That's a bit tighter at nearly 90%, but probably OK for now. If replacing all the memory, to give 2*1GB, is cheap enough I'd think about doing it.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: 2GB of RAM

And if you do put new memory in that, could the replaced memory go in the spare slots in the other system? Is it the same type/speed?