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Windows Thread, Memory upgrade ? in Technical; We are running XP on some Acer's [ Veritons ] - most have half a gig of Ram. Some, [ ...
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    mattx's Avatar
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    Memory upgrade ?

    We are running XP on some Acer's [ Veritons ] - most have half a gig of Ram. Some, [ just a few ] have a gig.
    Now to be honest - I personally don't see the difference in performance between a PC with half a gig and a gig.
    Is it worth updating the others do you think ? What are your thoughts....?

    Whilst I'm at it, can someone suggest a good benchmark test or bit of software to use regarding this ?

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    XP should run without problems on half a gig. The main reason for slow down is hard disk performance. We found with better drives (faster with bigger buffer) made more difference.

    Mark

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    If you are running multiple applications you may notice a difference. Some of our XP machines only have 256K but they will be upgraded soon.

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    I usually check the memory usage in Task Manager...Performance

    If the peak commit charge is larger than the total physical memory then adding more ram will help.

    As already stated this is more noticeable once several applications have been started.

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    we use 768mb minimum on our machines, 512 is ok for idling, but if you get a bunch of youngsters in there all running several programs at once and a teacher demanding it reacts we find 768 is the minimum you can get away with.

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Like many things, there is no correct answer to this question, as minimum spec and requirements vary depending on usage and expectation. For example, our Sixth Formers recently complained about performance speed, so I chucked some more RAM in the PCs, taking them from 256 to 768. Another (younger) user who we asked said that she couldn't spot a performance difference between two PCs, one of which is markedly better specced than the other.

    User expectation is the key here, i.e. what does the user think the reaction time will be like, and how different is that from the truth? Is there expectation actually realistic? Is there expection / frame of reference based on anything tangible and technical? e.g. I've had someone tell me that a particular computer was much faster than hers, and could she have one like it - the PC in question was actually slower, but had a flat screen so looked newer and better........

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Yeh we've had a lot of PCs suddenly perform a lot faster by replacing the CRTs with TFTs. Numptys.

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    lol @ mrforgetful, in my experience some of my users think TFTs make PCs go faster too. Weird one I agree.

    @mattx - It really depends on the type of applications, but more importantly the number of applications a user has open at any time. I think the easiest way to understand if a computer needs a memory uprade is to take a look at Task Manager. How many services are running and are there any services you could kill/disable? And look at memory and CPU use.

    I do agree also that hard drive speeds vary a lot, but thankfully most are 7200rpm in modern PCs, but older laptops could be as slow as 4200rpm! Crazy I know!

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    We still have a lot of machines with only 256MB in, as we've had to put back into service a lot of computers which we wanted to dispose of, SLT orders. Hence we have under speced kit in places now.

    The teachers are suffering though, as we warned them they wouldn't perform very well, and within the first two weeks, 2 of the departments who got the old kit have complained that the PCs are no good, too slow and rubbish.'

    We said 'yes we know, go speak to SLT' We're hoping that if the teachers badger and annoy SLT enough, they might 'find' some money to let us put new machines in as we origenally requested.

    as for the origenal question, I think there is a noticeable difference in performance, programs like word do launch quicker with 1GB of ram than 512MB. I've actually been sad enough to time it, and the difference was about 11% lol. (well we had to justify upgrading the memory on mchines somehow, and this was a good benchmark!)

    Mike.

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Quote Originally Posted by maniac
    We still have a lot of machines with only 256MB in, as we've had to put back into service a lot of computers which we wanted to dispose of, SLT orders. Hence we have under speced kit in places now.

    The teachers are suffering though, as we warned them they wouldn't perform very well, and within the first two weeks, 2 of the departments who got the old kit have complained that the PCs are no good, too slow and rubbish.'

    We said 'yes we know, go speak to SLT' We're hoping that if the teachers badger and annoy SLT enough, they might 'find' some money to let us put new machines in as we origenally requested.

    as for the origenal question, I think there is a noticeable difference in performance, programs like word do launch quicker with 1GB of ram than 512MB. I've actually been sad enough to time it, and the difference was about 11% lol. (well we had to justify upgrading the memory on mchines somehow, and this was a good benchmark!)

    Mike.
    We found that doubling the RAM shut people up in a similar situation to this. You could try putting some 'go faster' stripes down the sides of the cases as well and hang some furry dice from the monitors.....?

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Just a thought (although I may be showng my age)....

    When I was young, we could get a little 'add-on' to our bikes - it sensed the speed of the wheel turning and emitted an engine sound with a pitch depending on the speed - we could then image we were on a high-powered motorbike...

    How about a modern equivalent - tied to the processor utilisation?

    Maybe its time for another beer...

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Beer? No thanks, I'm drinking JD!

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    Re: Memory upgrade ?

    Been thinking about this question a lot in the past 6 months and after inheriting a lot of a "new" computers at one school (256Mb minimum spec kit for stupid money!) I've gone on a bit of a rampage upgrading stuff.

    XP gets 512Mb because in primary they rarely have more than one thing open.. 256Mb just crawls!

    A couple of designated teacher PC's in the labs get 1Gb but that's all really.

    With Vista somewhat inevitable I'm trying to spread the budget out somewhat and upgrade RAM with an extra 1Gb on the machines we're going to be keeping (socket 939 x2 CPU based PC's) so that when we retire the older machines that also use PC3200 we can use the RAM from those to get 2Gb which should take care of all but the graphics side of things.

    What with PC3200 RAM going up in price compared to DDR2 it seems prudent to do it sooner rather than later.

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