1GB vs 2 GB RAM

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by risk1, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. ssblack


    gnome and Tums,

    I would like to know how to fix the problem of the PC slowing down during heavy use times then? I have a bit over 1GB of ram on XP Home, is XP the problem? I have a P4 2.8Ghz Asus running the whole setup. I do know my video card is very weak which will be upgraded soon to support multiple screens, and my HD is barely full, maybe 10%.

    I don't have any background virus programs running but i do scans daily as well as behind firewalls and have anti spyware/malware programs run daily as well.

    The processor is roughly 4 years old, is this the problem? It was fast back in the day but next to my Toshiba Satellite pro with a bigger processor it seems pathetic...
    #11     Aug 13, 2006
  2. ssblack


    okay, I'm a schmuck - I just rechecked and apparently i have 512MB of ram - i could have sworn i had a gig, but looks like that's the next step.

    I'm also on XP Home 2002 SP2 - could this stand to be updated as well? I think so...
    #12     Aug 13, 2006
  3. I stand corrected. :)

    In any Unix operating system (including MacOS) more RAM will improve system performance significantly due to uncommitted pages being used for buffer cache.

    #13     Aug 13, 2006
  4. DannoXYZ


    Problem isn't CPU, it's some other bottleneck, most likely a rogue process that needs to be examined. First, open up ComputerManagement to Services and disable all the non-essential ones. This will actually create a more secure system as well. No need to have RDP, DHCP, IPSEC, etc. loaded when they don't need to be used. Use static-IP to close up a major security flaw with Windows that MS finally got around to closing even though it's been known since teh WinNT days.

    Then open up the TaskManager to Processes and sort by CPU usage. When your system slows down, see what process is using up 99% of the CPU time. If you see SystemIdleProcess at the top, it could be related to a hardware issue. Due to the '79 design, hardware interrupts are still a major issue. There are still major issues with Windows trying to reallocate interrupts dynamically.

    As for RAM, as Tums pointed out, having 1gb is more than enough if your total shows you're using less than 50% of available RAM. Rather than assuming blanket all-or-nothing, black&white, yes/no statements like "More is always better.", do some quantitative testing. Pull out the stopwatch and benchmark commonly used programs and tasks. You'll find that above a certain level, you get into diminishing returns with increasing RAM. Windows uses a monolithic kernel rather than a microkernel architecture like the Unixes/OSX.

    Here's an interesting test, install a spare 2nd HD and install the exact same configuration you have now: Windows then NAV, MS-Office, Firefox, Photoshop, etc. Then remove unneeded services, etc. Except use Win2000 instead of WinXP. Then benchmark this 2nd installation compared to your previous one, you'll notice something very interesting... :)
    #14     Aug 13, 2006
  5. Tums



    My rule of thumb is only a layman's short cut to memory sizing. It is not an exhausive analysis of the system and its operation.

    The Total Commit Charge is the TOTAL amount of memory currently used by the computer. This includes ALL of the operating system, programs, data spaces, all the handles, threads and processes, stacks, swaps, buffers and all of the what-have-yous.

    i.e. if you max out your programs, and you are not using more than 75% of your RAM, then more RAM in the computer will not help. (it won't hurt either, it is just not cost effective.)
    #15     Aug 13, 2006
  6. Tums


    P4 2.8Ghz is still a decent processor.

    It all depends how much charting you do. Charting program do take up a lot of memory.

    The real time indicators on the charts take up A LOT OF PROCESSING POWER.
    If you have multiple indicators on your charts, and they are slowing down your computer, you can disable the "update every tick" function.
    For most analysis, end of the bar analysis is good enough.

    Most of the charting programs require very little in terms of graphics processing power (in comparison to 3D games), a basic graphics card is sufficient to do charts.
    (unless you have a 30" LCD, then you will need a dual DVI card).
    #16     Aug 13, 2006
  7. DannoXYZ


    Another idea is that the P4 sucks for floating-point operations. It's actually 30-40% slower than the P3 with equivalent MHZ rating when it comes to crunching numbers. The SSE/MMX/HT are great for doing integer and matrix operations, but your software would have to be specifically compiled to take advantage of those instructions. We've seen a revival of the P3 in the Pentium-M.

    So, to find the bottleneck in the system, keep the TaskManager opened up to the Processes tab and see what program is using up all the CPU when things gets slow. :)
    #17     Aug 13, 2006
  8. no offence but you guys make me laugh. you sound like you're running some space station taking over some planet.

    if you spend more time considering your judgement than how what cpu you need, you'd do alot better.

    most PC's today have more than enough the power needed.

    someone mentioned "number crunching", honestly are you silmulating global wheather or something? or maybe you're exectuing millions of trades per second?

    let's be honest. any decent PC today can handle most caculations and trades you require. and this guy is on duo, worried running 3-4 programs. I just can't see how your memory card or cpu power can make u money, unless you work for Jim Simons that is.

    1GB sounds more than you need, as you've described.
    #18     Aug 13, 2006
  9. Like you said, it depends on one's needs. I can easily chew up the 3G's ram in my 3.6ghz main box for certain apps. In this case it's an avoidance of being I/O intensive which is also easier for programming as well... load more data at once and process.
    #19     Aug 13, 2006
  10. notouch


    I found the discussion useful. I was thinking of making my next computer purchase 2GB but was interested to hear that this might actually give a worse performance on Windows XP. By the way, someone mentioned Windows 2000 - are there any benefits to running Windows 2000 over Windows XP? Also what are people's views on Celeron processors? Many of the new entry to mid level PCs have this. Would it be a noticeably worse performance running 3 monitors with MB Trading in one, a Java based web news wire in another and a Java based charting website on another?
    #20     Aug 13, 2006