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Now that I have 1gb ram, anything need changing?

By vilex ยท 13 replies
Mar 9, 2005
  1. I now have 512MBx2 dual channeled DDR PC3200 RAM (used to have 512) and I wondered if there's anything I need to change in Windows to optimize the performance better?

    I play a lot of games, write a lot of music, do video editting...definetly a power user.

    Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2
    120 GB 7200 SATA HD
    300W Power Supply
    Pentium 4 3.0Ghz HT Enabled
    Geforce FX 5600 Ultra o/ced
    Award BIOS
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Nope, no interference required.
  3. vilex

    vilex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thanks for the quick reply. Hmm...what about page file settings? I currently have it set to 1500 for both min and max.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Do you really need that disk space?
    If yes, then make the pagefile smaller, otherwise it doesn't really matter.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Don't take this the wrong way, but yes... there IS something that always needs changing...

    Your BRAIN!

    Try to use your new upgrades to enhance your computing knowledge in some new way. Computing is a lifelong learning experience.
  6. vilex

    vilex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thank you Phantasm, is that how you usually answer people's questions here on the boards? I apologize if I don't know quite as much about computers as you do, and that I have better things to do than dabble with them constantly. I usually am so busy doing things on the computer that I can't be bothered to sit and tinker with every single little thing. Once in awhile I ask for help here and you guys are usually very helpful and I'm very appreciative, but apparently you're telling me I have to be a computer genius to ask for help, which is quite ironic in itself.

    The reason I asked if anything needed changing is because I plopped down a lot of money on this RAM and the only thing I noticed was Half Life 2 didn't stutter as much. I thought maybe I haven't enabled something in Windows or the BIOS or who knows...maybe you--that's why I asked. :blackeye:

    Anyway, I read somewhere in these boards that the pagefile should be 1.5x your total physical memory, so that's where I got 1500. If there's a better setting, please let me know.
  7. cmy6800

    cmy6800 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    I'll offer my $.02. The reason you don't notice a change is because there is no way windows was using your 512 of ram you had before. Taking that a step further... Since it wasn't using all your ram before, it won't even come close to using all of it now. So, unless you are doing a memory intensive task, aka Half Life 2, you won't notice any change. This is not a theory, it is a fact. Also, I think you took Phantasm66's comment the wrong way. I really don't think it was mean't the way you took it. At any rate, I hope I've provided some info that'll help you.
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Going from 512MB to 1024MB only improves speed by max. 5%.
    I don't have any memory-intensive programs, nor games for that matter, so I can't talk from my own experience. I am more than happy with my 512MB.
  9. vilex

    vilex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thanks for the reply, though I'm confused...why would Windows (as in, everything I do within windows) not use my ram to its full potential? My motherboard is upgradeable to 4GB of ram, and you're saying an upgrade isn't going to make much of a difference. So I wonder...what is the point of having more ram?
  10. cmy6800

    cmy6800 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    That isn't exactly what I was trying to say. Windows uses your ram to it's fullest potential. HOWEVER, it will not load random crap up into memory just to fill up your memory. It only loads what needs loaded. The point behind upgrading ram is that, at some point, you reach a time where you do run out of available ram and then windows has to use the swap file... which, is slow. So, you add ram so windows doesn't have to do this. If you are not using up all of your available ram to begin with, adding more won't give you any performace boost. For example... I added ram to my PC a while back because I do dev. work and IDE's take up a lot of RAM. Especially when you have test environments running with them. So, adding RAM made sence for me. Now, lets say I was more of a lay user who uses their pc for internet browsing and email with the ocasional game thrown in the mix... going from 512 (which is a decent amount of RAM to start with) to 1024 isn't going to give you a performace increase that you'll notice. Re-reading your original post, I see you do video editing... depending on the type of editing, you should see an improvement there.
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I think you took this the wrong way. I believe that everyone here wants to learn more, and that's one of the main reasons for being here. I welcome someone who knows next to nothing, or someone who is a complete expert, asking questions here. They are more than welcome. Everyone is welcome.

    The advice I gave you is the same I would give to myself. In computing, your machine is only as good to you as your understanding of it, and its abilities. You need to learn more, as do I. In fact, I am ashamed I don't know more.

    Sorry if you got the wrong end of the stick. I am here to help everyone, nothing more. My comment was meant to indicate that no one (no one at all) should stop learning, and that that learning has great rewards. That was all I meant to say.
  12. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Some XP memory tweaks here: Memory management parameters

    Personally, I'd set at least DisablePagingExecutive to 1 (explained in the page).

    Another thing that could improve some tasks is a ramdisk. For example, you could set your browser to use ramdisk as cache instead of slower hard disk drive.
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Personally, my next move would be to try to get some alternative operating system like Linux, FreeBSD or Windows 2003 server on there, and start playing with that.
  14. vilex

    vilex TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thanks for the replies. Turns out that registry key was already set to "1" so I couldn't change anything there. Well I believe I'm just going to live with my 5% increase...but hey, at least I got rid of the Half Life 2 stutter. It was terrible before with 512. puke:

    I remember the exact same situation happened when Deus Ex 1 came out years ago. It stuttered like crazy until I upgraded another 64 megs of ram (100 dollars then) and BOOM--instant fix. Though it also improved the actual frame rate as well...so I guess I'm still used to plopping down money on RAM and having my FPS increase significantly. Yes, those were the good ol' days :haha:
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