Effect of additional RAM

By Cian-episode82
Mar 18, 2004
  1. Hi all,
    I'm a little confused at something going on with my Toshiba Satelite laptop. I recently updated the RAM from 256 to 1Gb, i wothwhile investment i would have thought. After installing the new memory i rebooted and went to system to make sure all was right and the change had been registered. The Gb of ram was there but now the chip was reading as a 1.19Mhz instead of a 1.8. Now i think i've seen this happen before but can't be sure. it doesn'ty make much sense to me and would indicate a drop in performance surely. Can anyone help me with this and explain whats goin on.
    One other thing, to maximise the effect of upgrading memory what settings should be changed in Windows? (Virtual memory etc).

    You folks have been very helpfull so far so just want to say thanks for help on previous posts.

  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Are you sure it was 1.8ghz before upgrading the Ram ? All I can think of was that the FSB got lowered to 100mhz ( 12 * 100 -> 1.2ghz ) when you added the extra Ram & that you need to set it back to 133mhz ( 12 * 133 -> 1.6ghz ).

    What CPU does that laptop have ?
  3. lalaji

    lalaji TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Are you also sure your power scheme didnt have something to do with this? I have a Thinkpad T30 and you can set up your own power schemes to preserve battery power when not plugged in. So when plugged in my CPU clocks in at 1.8 Ghz but when on battery i can set it at one of the following, (1.8, 1.2, 800, or 300).
    I willing to bet your laptop does something along the same lines. Were you plugged in when you checked this stuff or running on battery power?
  4. Rory7

    Rory7 TS Rookie Posts: 119

    About virtual memory, if you dont usually run about 5 intensive programs at once you can have your pagefile i 0 i would of thought. You'll definately be able to have it very low indeed, unless as i said you do a lot of intensive things at once.
  5. Cian-episode82

    Cian-episode82 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers all,
    I have had the pc set to a reduced power setting for when it's left on for a while so that sounds pretty much on the ball. Didou, whats the FSB, bios setting?
    The other thing which left me fairly dissapointed though was the small imporvement in a lot of aspects (games, general desktop activities etc). i had excpected a failry signifigant change based on the sizable upgrade. possibly being able to run games in higher resolutions etc. maybe this is asking too much bit if anyone can enlighten me a bit i'd appreciate it.

  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Check the power scheme setting first ( as Lalaji mentionned ) as it doesn't involve messing around with settings in the BIOS.

    Go to Control Panel -> Power Management & see if it's not set to battery mode. Also, if you're running an Intel based laptop, there's probably an Intel SpeedStep software installed. See if that one isn't set to Long Battery Life or a similar setting.

    & of course, make sure your laptop is hooked on DC current before doing this.;)
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    More RAM means less need for virtual memory, but has no impact on gaming usually. For that you need to increase the memory for the graphics card (or change the card), which is nearly impossible in most laptops.
  8. Eric Legge

    Eric Legge TS Rookie Posts: 132

    There is an optimal level of RAM beyond which performance gains are slight.

    I think that optimal level is 512MB in XP and 256MB in Windows 98.

    But the increase in RAM after that optimal level enables you to run larger programs and run more of them at once without having to use the virtual memory.

  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Often you'll even see a slight decrease in performace for some day to day apps after adding more RAM. I've only experienced this when going beyond a gig though.
  10. jburton

    jburton TS Rookie

    Also,, if u were upgrading on memory isnt it true that your computer only runs as slow as the slowest component ,,, so dont install memory smaller than the memory already installed ! :)

    correct me if im totally wrong lol
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    I think you went overboard with 1GB. 512 should be pretty good, and much cheaper. :)

    I can say that installing memory has no effect on your CPU speed. Sounds like a power management technology like PowerNow or SpeedStep... (which is common with laptops)

    The thing with memory is, it doesn't make your computer faster. It's all an illusion. :) Your computer is still 1.8GHz.

    Memory doesn't make it faster, but makes it feel faster. It basically unlocks the REAL speed of your computer, that most of us never experience because we don't have enough memory to make full use of our other components.

    I moved up from 512MB to 1GB.. There's really no difference. But it is nice to have. When I DO find myself using 1GB, that's where I notice the difference. Most people simply don't do enough to accomplish this though. :)

    In a couple of years, 1GB will probably be the standard for high perofrmance computers and in a few years, probably the standard for all computers.
  12. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    Sometimes if you mix 2 sticks of RAM that are both good quality but from different manufacturers, you will not get good results. In fact, the overall speed of the RAM could decrease. This is because they just dont work well together.
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