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Does increasing ram make it faster or processor?

by dat1asiandude / July 1, 2006 1:37 PM PDT

I have a Pentium III processor running at 863Mhz, and I have 256mb of ram, if I double it to 512 does it make it any faster, in downloading music or videos or stuff like that? Or do I need a faster processor to make the downloads and performance faster? You're probably laughing at my computer, but I bought the thing about 4 years ago, and that's why it's running so slow, I'm waiting til the end of summer because I heard that Dell is going to be offering AMD processors soon.

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It can...
by steve749 / July 1, 2006 1:49 PM PDT

The thing to understand here is how does your computer's memory look at the moment? Is there a lot of physical memory left or not? In the Task Manager under Performance you can find this out, fwiw. It makes a download faster in that your computer isn't having to swap out pages of memory all the time if it has more room, e.g. if your download is a few hundred megabytes and there is only a few dozen megabytes of physical RAM left then this can lead to many swaps by the operating system. By swap I simply mean that a page, i.e. a chunk of memory, moves into the physical memory and another goes onto the hard drive in the form of virtual memory. This is how you can have a machine think there are a few gigabytes of memory but the physical RAM is only a few hundred megabytes for example.


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If you're buying by end of summer...might want to wait.
by VAPCMD / July 1, 2006 2:14 PM PDT

The RAM would help the machine run more smoothly and a little quicker. Won't be a night and day difference. If you're planning to keep the system and continue using it after getting the new PC or handing it down to a family member, then adding the RAM might still make sense.


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If you're buying by end of summer...might want to wait.
by dat1asiandude / July 1, 2006 3:00 PM PDT

thanks for clearing that up for me. i'm actually going to keep it and have two. one for basic productivity, like word documents, and powerpoint projects and stuff like that, and the other is for music, games, videos, and downloads like that.

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by ddbpack / July 15, 2006 8:05 AM PDT

id wait for intels new processor. which is much faster than amd!

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I would wait until conroe comes out to buy an amd
by CkrisGo / July 15, 2006 11:39 AM PDT
In reply to: conroe

When conroe comes out it will be fast.. and expensive. Why not play it smart and buy amd when it drops in price? You are bound to get a great deal with plenty of raw horse power.

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Very little to be gained
by GeeBee / July 2, 2006 10:28 AM PDT upgrading RAM. It certainly won't speed up "downloading music or videos or stuff like that" as downloaded files go directly to your Hard Disk store.

However as JB says, adding more RAM (don't go above 512meg in Windows versions before XP) allows far less use of the Hard Disk as "Virtual Memory". Hard Disk's are many thousands of times slower than actual RAM, so the only time you might notice a speed improvement was when the Hard disk was active and buzzing away furiously as system RAM ran out. It's a very marginal speed boost at might be able to blink in the time saved! %

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by Scrotes4Life / July 3, 2006 5:46 AM PDT

First off, you didn't tell us which operating system you are using. If you are using W 98, you can install ten million MBs of RAM and never see an improvement. W98 is a fixed resource operating system. If you are running XP, you may notice some improvement.
That little Pentium III can only go so fast. They are methodical processors - not speed demons. As far as replacing the CPU - you will spend five times as much as that unit cost new doing that. Put that one on the back burner.
Download time is all based on your IP. If you are on cable, it's as fast as it is going to get. If you are on dial-up, it's naturally slower.

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by msgale / July 6, 2006 7:14 PM PDT

1 - I have no idea why some think AMD processors are going to save the world, they won't. 2 - Dell's announced plans are only to use AMD processors in servers. 3 - HP currently uses AMD processors.

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Windows XP?
by axekick / July 6, 2006 10:44 PM PDT

If you are using Windows XP then the overall speed of most everything will increase as 256mg is too little based on my experience. That said, your ISP should be your primary focus on increasing download speeds and I do not think adding RAM will increase your download speeds to where a difference could be detected. You may also shop around about and consider other options to the Dell with the AMD. I have a emachine about one year old and I very pleased with it. Like most, I had it in my head they were junk from back when they were junk but this is a AMD, 64Bit processor, 1 gig of RAM, Decent 17" flat panel monitor, 200 Gig HD, one DVD-RW for $675. Not pushing you to Emachine, but encourage you to keep an open mind and regularly check reviews rather than using dated opinions.

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Does increasing eram make it faster.
by rochagomes / July 6, 2006 11:18 PM PDT

Eveyone is is a direct correlation to your ISP connection. Dial-up or broadband. But if burn CDs ....extra RAM will help. Good news is another 256 Mbyte of RAM could be as cheap as $ 20-30.00 with rebate.

If you have XP then 256 is adequate but just that. XP needs 512 Mbyte for no degradation. If you running 98 or W2000.....256 Mbyte will do the job. As for faster processor....why replace? Chances are you can not upgrade, it depends on your motherboard and it could be hard to find a replacement chip.

Dell.....Yes go buy a Dell to keep stock prices up, but there is no longer any direct quality factor or performance factor in a Dell. Everyone is under Tight profit margins due to the tumbling of prices the past 7-8 years. EMachines are good, Comsumers Union and PC Mag gives then average to good reviews depending on models and relability survey by Consumers puts then near the TOP. Gateway which purchase EMachines, always had a relability probability. Hopefully the merger will keep the 2 manufacturing lines seperate.

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It's your choice
by Brianstech / July 7, 2006 1:01 AM PDT

As others have said, it won't speed up downloads. But programs will generally launch and run faster.

One thing is the cost. That one 256mb stick of PC133 (or PC100) will probably cost more than a 512mb stick of today's RAM, such as PC3200. I usually find the cost prohibitive with older PC's owned by people who can't afford it.

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It won't help downloading, but...
by fondy / July 7, 2006 2:48 AM PDT

As others have already said, the bottleneck is probably in your internet connection, but that's not to say that your system wouldn't benefit from increased RAM.
My parents bought a cheap Compaq from Walmart a couple years ago that had a 2GHz processor paired up with 128MB of RAM, running XP. Right out of the box it was slower than molasses. After adding another 512MB of RAM, the difference was like night and day, particularly during startup and opening applications (which really shouldn't have been a surprise, considering that 128MB is the bare minimum for XP).
I guess the difference was significant for me because, in my admittedly limited experience, I'd never seen a single component upgrade make such a big improvement like it did.
On the flipside though, bumping my notebook's memory from 256 to 384 made a barely negligible difference in performance.
Since you're dealing with a fairly slow processor, it's probably not wise to bother upgrading the RAM unless you can find an exceptionally low price on it.

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It seems like you're contradicting yourself.
by VAPCMD / July 7, 2006 4:14 PM PDT

In one sentence you're acknowledging noticeable performance gains after adding RAM to a system and in the next sentence or para you're telling the poster not add the RAM. 256MB Corsair DDR400 from Newegg is only $23(US). It definitely won't make it a rocket but improve the overall performance ... it will.

I had a PIII 933 with 256MBs RAM running W2K at work and adding 256MBs RAM made a nice differnce in the overall system performance.


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good time to...................
by logger99 / July 7, 2006 3:58 AM PDT

Now into the latter part of the year will be a good time to upgrade your computer needs by buying/building a brand new one.

First: The PIII you have is a great CPU (it's still faster than Celerons up to 1.4G ) for word processing,non-demanding Internet usage and emailing documents.

Second: Unless you're using Win 98/Win98SE, 512MB RAM won't help you. Win ME was the first to utilize 512MB properly. IF you have Win2000, you should have 512MB minimum. IF you have Win XP, you should have 768MB minimum.

The technology and software is changing greatly starting with production in 2007. Now would be a good time to buy an "inexpensive", yet super fast PC before the prices go up (which they already are). Plan to stick with W2k or Win XP Pro for a year or two until the new Windows Vista gets the bugs worked out. ALSO, decide if you want this PC to last for 3 or more years.....if not, then you better build a high-end system that will be able to run the full fledged version of Vista instead of the crippled/disabled version that's going to be released on the factory built computers later this year and next year. The low end versions of the software aren't worth having if you already have XP.

The AMD CPU's are only going to be put in the multi-processor servers from plans for desktops/notebooks. This is for global expansion into the server market.......not a family/home oriented system development.

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Not Really
by kurfess / July 7, 2006 7:54 AM PDT

By doubling your memory to 512 your system will seem faster because it takes less time doing mundane things that take up its resources. Your processor only runs as fast as its clock speed. You can overclock them but you risk overheating the processor. Now if your processor is always waiting for memory to finish its thing, than doubling it will make the processing happen faster. The processor is the fastest thing in your system. So adding a super fast processor is not the only thing you need to upgrade.


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answer 2 ur ques
by fleditch / July 7, 2006 6:10 PM PDT

if u waana make ur proceessor faster first increase ur virtual mem and then if waana attach a new ram so u can if u just waana attch extra ram go for it u will definately find some chsnge in ur processor speed

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answer 2 ur ques
by dat1asiandude / July 8, 2006 12:56 AM PDT
In reply to: answer 2 ur ques

How do you increase your vital mem

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only 256 megs ?
by 4jackie40d / July 7, 2006 9:40 PM PDT

I run 2 gig's of ram ! Anything less than 1 gig is a
joke ! And trying to run a computer and do anything on it with such a small amount of ram takes for ever as its using the hard drive for doing its thinking ( its what a swap file is for ) The less Ram you have the bigger the swap file it has to use and the less space you have to put programs on the hard drive . .

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512 mb ram is plenty.
by johnnyy07 / July 15, 2006 2:36 AM PDT
In reply to: only 256 megs ?

Actually, 512 mb ram is adequate, especially if your running XP. It will speed up your PC but not your download time. But, with todays current spyware programs, it helps to have about 1 gig. I upgraded from 512 to 1 gig and make better run time for my PC. But, I never use more than 54% of it. Anything more than 1 gig is a "joke" for the average home PC user. You can get a really good new system for about 500 dollars now. To upgrade your memory will cost about 80 to 120 dollars, depending on where you buy it, before rebates.

Good Luck

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Jbking2 had the right answer and first
by CkrisGo / July 10, 2006 8:46 AM PDT

It wont make your processor faster but it will make your system faster by eliminating memory bottlenecks. When computers run out of real memory they use the hard drive to store data that would have been stored in memory. The end result is a slow computer since a hard drive performs reads and writes about a 1000 times slower than real memory would. Todays applications require lots of memory and at one time 256 megs would have been a great system but those days are gone.

Good luck

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by TinaICBV / July 11, 2006 5:44 AM PDT

wats ur age?

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I hope this helps
by E221b / July 11, 2006 6:41 PM PDT

Increase in processor speed makes the programs run faster but the increase in RAM increses the no. of programs u can open at a time. If u want to increase ur download speed then contact ur network provider for a faster internet connection. If u want to make the performance better u can probably buy a new processor.

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I hope this helps
by dat1asiandude / July 12, 2006 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: I hope this helps

You can replace a processor? How do you do that?

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Yes, link...
by steve749 / July 12, 2006 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: I hope this helps
Link on how to do it, just be careful of which processors you try to upgrade.

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1st you need to pull up your specs on your motherboard
by joebob2221 / May 18, 2013 5:35 AM PDT
In reply to: I hope this helps

1st you need to pull up your specs on your motherboard to see if you can upgrade your processor if so go to youtube and watch videos on how to do this it's fairly simple just use disposable gloves thermal paste and a phillip screwdriver and pay attention to all details when removing processor so that the new one goes in the exact same way and also get thermal paste remover from the cpu fan apply paste to the processor only then seat the fan atop a tighten down until it locks in place make sure everything is disconnected and turned off before going into the computer,after completing task reconnect everything make sure monitor is OFF not in standby mode turn comp. on 1st then monitor. with a better processor you will need more ram check everything online before tackling this project. On a scale 1-5 as 1 easy 5 hard this is 2.5

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More Memory Does help
by bayerjv / July 15, 2006 11:56 PM PDT

It does not take many apps running in 256Meg to cause page swapping which will cause slowdowns as has been mentioned in many of the previous responses to your query. So increaseing to 512M will show some benefits. Unless you are doing a lot of graphics/video work, you probably do not need more than that. Now if you going to start doing a lot of graphic intensive work such as video processing, etc. then you computive is probably under-powered for this, cpu et al.

Another things which can cause slowdowns is fragmentation -- especially on machines which have been running for along time without this being done. The defrag included with XP is basic and works but only cleans up the fragged files. A good defrag program -- I don't make recommendations as there are a couple of better ones -- will not only defrag you files but more things around so that the programs that are accessed more frequently will be moved to the fastest accessible part of the disk. You will see you computer boot a little quicker and you hard drive will be just a hair quieter as the heads won't be moving as much to access your files.

Anyway. This was just my 2 cents worth.

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RAM is by far the most impotant upgrade
by aMUSICsite-22314524647241 / November 24, 2008 6:51 AM PST

RAM is, by far, one of the most important upgrades you can do. I repair computers and I have been doing this for quite a while now and I can general speed up a Customer's computer or laptop by 2 or 3 times more speed by simply tripling the RAM (If possible). Now, I find out how much MAXIMUM RAM their Computer or laptop can handle and if I know that they want to keep it for a while then I'll general increase the RAM to the MAXIMUM value that their "system" can handle. And the results most of the time, are quite spectacular! Increased speed and stability is what is usually gained. Don't make the mistake of added only "a bit more" RAM. Going from 128Megs to 256Megs is not going to be that advantageous but going from 128Megs to 512Megs or especially to 1Gig will will be very advantageous.

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is it possible to add memory beyond the limit on motherboard
by nycentral1 / February 16, 2009 11:40 AM PST

The maximum possible expansion of memory on my computer is 2GB.
Is there anyway to expand beyond that limit by adding a board or
something ?

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Short answer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2009 11:30 PM PST

If you use a Virtual Memory Operating System like UNIX, Linux, most versions of Windows, BSD and others let you make what is called by many names a paging file to get a vitual 4GB memory space.

Luckily for now, for today, 2GB RAM is sufficient.

Make a new post if you ran into a situation your application needed more.

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Am I wasting time and money buying more RAM?
by LtHollywood / May 11, 2011 6:46 AM PDT

I am writing about a Dell Dimension 2400. Celeron Processor 2002 Version. 2.59 Ghz .Currently I am running with 512 mb which I understand should be adequate for XP. The
trouble is it takes forever to turn the computer on or off and to really do anything.
Additionally, after clicking on the browser I really believe I could go
take a shower and maybe just maybe it will be up waiting for me when I
am done.Everything bogs this machine down which is a problem because it
actually belongs to my 86 yr old mother and I fear she will die in
between waiting for this machine to do something/anything. I am using
the paid version of AVG and a free registry cleaner along with
Adaware,Malabytes, and Spybot. I have run every scan possible and the
corresponding "fix these problems".
I hold a constant vigil in regard to keeping things cleaned out like cookies, temp. Internet files, favorites, etc. Lastly, I have ran all the system tools like check disk, defrag, etc.
Still runs slower than maple syrup on a February morning. Please advise

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