your System Memory
Updated on September 26, 2000 by Thomas
The more RAM you have the better, although with
today's memory prices you might want to optimize your
current memory system instead. Most users should have at least
64MB RAM to get decent performance in Programs, Games, etc.
128MB is just about as much as you need to go for most
PCís, depending on how you use it. Multimedia users would
benefit from having more, as would some power users.
If you have below 64MB RAM or less then you really
should buy more RAM. This would be of far greater benefit to
you than anything else. Check out our EMS
HSDRAM review if youíre looking for some good
quality & performing RAM.
The following guide is intended for Windows 9x &
is Virtual memory?
uses a dynamic virtual memory manager to handle Swapfile
order to provide more memory to applications than is
physically present in the computer in the form of RAM,
Windows uses hard disk space to simulate RAM. The amount of
RAM in the computer plus the size of the Swapfile equals the
total physical memory, or virtual memory, size. Windows uses
a dynamic Swapfile that remains at a size of 0K until it is
needed. The Swapfile can grow to use all the available space
on the hard disk if it is necessary. This is the default
setting for the paging file. You should use this setting if
This is what Microsoft
has to say about Virtual memory.
However, it is more efficient to set this yourself
rather than let Windows dynamically manage it.
While you would think that updating your systems
components is a weird to have mentioned in a memory guide
Ė itís not. This will generally ensure you have
better-optimized components/files & bug fixes; many bug
fixes include fixing memory leaks. I suggest using a
combination of Windowsupdate,
personal favourite). This way you're bound to find
any updateable components.
BE sure to enable DMA/UDMA support on your
hard drives. Right click on My Computer, select Properties.
Select the Device Manager tab. Open Disk Drives,
then you particular Hard Drive(s). Select the Settings
Tick the DMA box to enable DMA support. By
default this will be enabled in Windows 98/Millennium
if available. In the BIOS you should also ensure you have
your hard drive setup correctly to use the fastest transfer
mode thatís supported on the hard drive. Check the BIOS
tweak guide for more information. Click Ok
& reboot your system for the changes to take
PIO mode data transfer rates are slower than DMA/UDMA
transfer rates & the Swapfile benefits from a faster
data transfer rate, assuming the hard drive support it.
Remember the Swapfile is located on your hard drive too; the
faster the data transfer rates are, the faster your Swapfile
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