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Adding RAM, is it worth it.

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#1
Well, yeah another question, sorry.

I'm really looking for your opinion, at the minute, I'm running Vista Home Premium with 1 GB of ram. Its not a particularly fast system, but I mainly use it for internet access and documents, along with watching TV and Movies.

The thing is though that start-up can be a bit slow and every now and again I just wish that it would run a bit faster, it occasionally freezes and such. MY RAM usage sits between 80 and 90% even if all I'm doing is surfacing the internet. Although I have to say if it was a bit more reliable ( even with SP1) Readyboost is brilliant, with so little RAM it really does make a big improvement on the system. I'm using a 2GB SD card and it noticeably speeds everything up but it seems to be a bit hit or miss whether it starts working when you turn the laptop on.

I'm sort of unsure if I should be spending any money at all on the laptop, thinking about getting a decent desktop PC for going to Uni for something more reliable ( and I sure won't have any money to spend once I get there). I've found a site which will sell me the RAM for my exact laptop model with a guarantee it will work, I'm not confident enough yet to try and work out what I need.

All I need is a stick of 1GB ram despite what everywhere says the laptop is not fitted with the two 512mb sticks it is supposed to be. And it will cost me £15.

So in your opinion is it worth spending the money or should I just keep going with what I've got. In know its not a lot but I could find other thing to spend it on.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#3
Thanks for that.

I'm pretty sure my start-up programs are as minimal as possible, the thing that takes the longest is my anti virus, it has two processes which both take close to 30 seconds on start-up.

And apparently windows is defragmenting my hard drive on a weekly basis (I didn't know this until I checked). Is this enough or would you reccommend a different tool.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#4
Hi shrimply;
I'm going to break my rule and disagree with AdvancedSetup on this one. If you're running Vista Home Premium I recommend 2GB of mememory. Microsoft recommends 1GB if I remember right and they always go low.

As he said make sure your system is clean and startup items are at a minimum. Those are big issues.

I don't know what your AV is but the settings might be a factor. Perhaps a quick scan on startup.

Keep in mind that Vista is a resource hog so everything can be a factor including your processor. Startup times might be slower then you're used to with Vista.

RandyL
 

Tony D

Free PC Help Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
704
Location
Malvern, PA (USA)
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
OSX
#5
I have a Vista Home Premium machine that came with 1 GB RAM. When I bumped it up to 2 GB, I didn't notice any difference while on the Internet, which about all I do with the machine.

I suggest that you bring up the Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. Check out the Memory Usage. If it's using more memory than the physical RAM you have installed, then you need to install more memory. Otherwise, more RAM is not needed.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#6
True if all your doing is surfing the web and such it should run ok on 1GB. If you are running things that use a lot of memory then add more.

Microsoft recommends 1GB for Home Premium.
For XP they recommend 128MB.
For Windows ME they recommended 64MB.

The pattern here suggests that Microsoft recommends on the low side.

For instance on ME I had twice the 64mb (128) and noticed a huge improvement when I added more. And when working with programs like Photoshop it was a must have.

XP with 128mb? Sure it will run ok for basic use but 256mb should really be the minimum with 512mb being better.

So in my opinion I would opt for 2GB for Vista Home Premium for most people. Granted I haven't tried it with less nor do I intend to.

RandyL
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#7
For most home users running basic apps and the internet, Vista will run fine with 1 GB. Although other startup programs are a factor (especially internet security).

Shrimply said that that with just surfing the net, his ram usage was very high. Check Task Manager Shrimply, and see what process is consuming so much ram.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#8
Well thanks, still a bit confused,

My antivirus is Sophos and it doesn't do a quick scan on set-up ( i think i might look in to changing it though)

When I am working, although that's not very often i do need several applications open at once, word, excel, onenote and firefox usually and this can slow the laptop down a bit although it usually struggles on.

Here's a usualy view of the proccesses in the task manager Seth, i imagine you'll understand it better than me, although it appears firefox is using the most memory.



Thanks again, glad that I've got plenty of advice to take into account before i make the decision.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#9
Hi shrimply;
Have a look at the Performance tab. Maybe that will show something.

While you're there click on Resource Monitor.

Then expand the Memory section and check processes there too.

Perhaps there is more you can provide for the techs.

From what I see your processes are within range.

RandyL
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#11
The cpu usage in the pic is way too high.

I don't use Vista, but it looks like you're using 80% of your memory which is too high as well.

Can you post the other part of the image? As, it will show what is using so much of the cpu and memory.
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#13
The pic you posted shows cpu at 27% (way too high), but the processes in that pic don't add up to 27%. In other words, you didn't scroll down in Task Manager for the rest of its data.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#14
HI Seth, that is all the processes, I actually made the Task manager bigger so that I could fit them all in one screen,

Edit its OK, If I click on show process for all users there's more. DOH, give me a few minutes
 
Last edited:
W

Wolfeymole

#16
I'll let Seth handle this Shrimply but as an aside can I just ask if your using Snagit for the screen captures?
If you are then you could have saved the image as a scrolling window.
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#17
When the lagging occurs, have a look in Task Manager for any process that is taking up more than 10 % of the CPU, or 150,000K of Ram.

It may be the lag is occurring when something is updating, like Vista, or Sophos.

In general, when your computer is idle (even with numerous programs opened), the cpu usage will be about 2% to 10%.