Slow Computer: RAM??

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by CPTrader, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. My computer has the following specs:

    a Dual Core computer T9600 @ 2.8gHZ,

    Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit,

    4GB RAM,

    250GB HDD with about 80GB free.

    I consider this an above average computer. IThe computer is increasingly slow. Yes, I do have many windows/programs open,: Excel, MS Word, Firefox, IExplorer, CTS T4 trading platform, Acrobat & Outlook....but still the computer is incredibly slow and getting slower. I checked in Task Manager and I noticed the following results for Physical Memory (MB):

    Total: 4019
    Cached: 827
    Available: 848
    Free: 17 (sometimes as low as 5!!!)

    CPU usage is averaging over 40%

    The biggest user of CPU & memory is Firefox. However, even after closing Firefox while the CPU usage reduces, the Physical Memory stats show o change.

    Can someone provide me some guidance. It seem as if my computer is not properly using memory, otherwise why would the memory stats not change even after closing Firefox? Any guidance on what size/settings I should use for my paging file.

    Any help would be most appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. reformat & re-install ...once/year
  3. When I Google T9600 it says its a mobile processor??

    Outlook uses LOTS of memory and system resources. Are you running MS Office 2003 or 2007? One of the big changes in Excel 2007 over '03 is that '07 has the ability to take pretty much as much RAM as it needs, while 2003 was very limited (to 1GB only IIRC). While this is very good for your excel programs, it also requires more RAM.

    I think you have answered your own question on the RAM issue - if you are maxed out then its time for more. FYI, a 32-bit (or X86) operating system has a 3.2gb kernel which is why the 32-bit OS'es don't really use more than 3.2-4GB of RAM. You could benefit from an extra 2-4GB RAM in that system. What type of video cards are you running? Your video cards might reserve some RAM as well which could be 500mb or so depending on the type and number of video cards.

    As mentioned, a format/reinstall is usually a good thing but since you are running W7 I assume that you have done that recently?

    A suggestion for a longer term solution would be to get a newer execution computer and ONLY put trading software on it. Run both computers side by side (or just remote desktop into your execution computer) and keep all of your email/internet to the older/slower machine.
  4. i don't understand why every trader doesn't have a dedicated trading computer :confused:
  5. Thanks WinstonTJ,

    Yes T9600 is a mobile processor. Thsi is a Dell M4300 Precision laptop.

    One good point you make: MS Office 2007 & Outlook 2007 use lots of memory. I wasn't quite aware of it. I do have large Outlook pst files so this could be part of the problem.

    So yes, it does seem I need more RAM. As for video cards, I am not sure how do I find my video card specs.

    Thanks for all your help.

  6. I have an M4300 too. The video card is likely not the source of ANY of your issues... and it's an average performer for notebooks... Quadro FX360M.

    Also, the maximum RAM the mobo may take is 4GB.

    Suggest "dividing the load"... spreading your apps across 2 computers... fairly common these days for traders.
  7. emg


    Let me help u out

    Most professional traders use 32 bits
    Most professional traders have 2 computers. 1 for trading and 1 for personal use. The personal use job is to read market news in the internet browser, check email, Instant message, etc.
    Most professional traders have a super speed internet or the most expensive internet package. the IP is the biggest factor into slowing down the computer. that is based on the size of the IP bandwith. If your IP is sucks, good luck on that

    Hope this works
  8. You have Win7 Ultimate 64. Good. Do this to take a look:

    Start Task Manager. Go to "Performance" tab. Hit the bottom to invoke "Resource Monitor". Go to the "Memory" tab. What do you see? (Enclosed is my example)

    Pinpoint the processes (image names) that commits the most memory. Note it. You said memory free was 17. But how much on standby? (Can you post a screenshot?) On the graph - Hard Faults per second. Do you see a lot of spikes? Those are faults that causes paging. If you have a lot of spikes, the OS doesn't have enough physical memory to accommodate all your programs and data and thus need to page data out to the disk - thus slow. How is the top graph - Used physical memory?

    You Core2 Duo is okay. Passmark >2000. Not the fastest for mobile for today but decent. Your laptop motherboard may limit your max memory. Probably consider split off some of the tasks like others suggested. But perhaps find out what app(s) ate up most of your resources first.

  9. I tend to think differently.

    I don't think 32-bit versus 64-bit are relevant. I use all 64-bit version of Windows on my trading boxes. They run in 32-bit mode, I believe, but I didn't notice any difference. No faster/slower.

    Agree that 2 computers are best to separate office work from trading.

    But I don't think the superfast internet connection is that super important. I have traded in a hotel room that gave me a 0.5Mbps wifi connection. Consider that my comcast gives 15-20Mbps and my DSL... 5Mbps. I was down to 10% of my regular bandwidth. I worried at first, but I seemed to manage. (I run TradeStation for charts.) It all depends on your technologies/programs/platforms used for trading, of course.
  10. Thanks Bolimomo. Very good comments I'd like to post a picture of my Resource monitor. Pardon my novice question; but how can I post a picture in .png format like you did. I am used to taking screenshots by pasting into MS Word..but that is not as clear as what you did. Please guide me so I can post a picture for you to help me analyze.

    Thanks so much!
    #10     Sep 10, 2010