Need advice on how much ram needed to run apps efficiently.



I wasn't sure whether this belonged in hardware or applications so I thought I would put it here since it has a direct impact on the applications I run.

I seem to be having a severe ram memory problem that I feel could be cured by adding another chip or two. Finances are not that great now so I need to know exactly what I could get by with and still have everything run fairly smooth. I also remember reading once that too much ram could actually slow your system down even more but this was under Win98 or ME, I think.

Here is the specs for the computer in question:

Gigabyte MoBo (GA-6VXC7-4X-P)
900 mhz Intel Celeron Processor (Want to upgrade to 1ghz but will ask that on the hardware board - have processor, just can't figure out how to get the 900mhz proc off this particular board.
384 meg ram (256 meg chip and 128 meg chip both PC133)
32 meg Video Card (ATI All in Wonder Pro AGP)
CDBurner (Iomega Zip 650)
10 gig hard drive
80 gig hard drive
Linksys NIC Card networked to Linksys 4-port router which is connecting three more computers to cable internet.

Ninety-five percent of the time I am running Edonkey 2000 in the background as well as Zone Alarm Pro, Hewlett Packard Print Center, Norton's NAV antivirus program, and at least 1 or 2 browser windows. When I am not running a browser window, I am watching a movie using Power DVD or listening to music using FreeAmp. FreeAmp seems to use much less resources than Windows Media Player. I have The Playa from Divx but it seems to eat up resources as well and it doesn't play as well as Power DVD.

If memory serves me correctly, the motherboard in this machine will hold 1.5 gig in memory, (ie 3 (or 4 - again can't remember off the top of my head) slots of 512 meg ram each slot.

I could probably get another 256 meg ram chip, bring the total ram to 640 meg. Do you know if this would make a huge impact?

I have tried running MemMonster 2002 and found it to constantly be slowing the system down even further until I manually recover ram. A few times this has actually froze the machine and required a reboot.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.



What sort of problem? Running out of Ram? or Low resources? And when does this happen?
Have you tried to increase the page file size?
Have you disabled unneeded services?
Tweak XP has some good tweaks for memory.
I would have thought 384 meg Ram would be enough.
But then again....


how big is your page file? And how much is being used when all this is going on? I just find it hard to believe that 300+ mb of ram isnt enough. Do you have to run all that at once? Could anyof them be conflicting with the other?


2 Dec 2001
I suggest losing the memory managers... XP rocks when it comes to taking care of itself in this respect. Get yourself a copy of Executive Software's Diskeeper 7 and defrag religiously. The longer you run XP on your machine, the more it optimizes itself to perform better and better. Avoid using defrag engines that don't compliment XP's [3 day] optimization cycle - specifically Norton's speed disk. Use the built in defrag utility, or get diskeeper and set it to run every day. I have Diskeeper and have it set to run every 8 hours... it starts and finishs within a couple minutes now. The first few passes took some time, but after that it's real fast now. I don't think you need more memory. I have 1.5gig and XP never uses more than 270 or so meg and my background running utilities is comparable to yours. Get yourself a copy of coolinfo (now Coolmon) and monitor your memory usage with it. I think you'll find you never get past certain points until you launch something that likes to use a lot of memory... you'll be looking for ways to make XP use what you have. ;)


You need atleast 256 to run Xp smooth. and they 'say' 64 for every extra user.


Thank you guys so much for the info. I have Diskkeeper but shut off the automatic defrag because it seemed to be running constantly and always seem to run when I was at the computer (which is a lot of the time). I'll give it a try again and see how it goes.



I agree w/Lonman regarding memory - while more is always better, you should be fine. Just make sure to set your page file to approx 600 meg minimum AND maximum (static - don't let Windows manage it dynamically).


Is the primary hard drive 5400 or 7200 rpm.....?


I don't have a clue to be honest. I know it is a 10 gig drive and it is a Maxtor drive.

Would that make much difference?


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