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 PostPost subject: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:22 pm 
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I have an Inspiron 6400 running Windows Vista Ultimate. Currently, I have 2GB RAM installed, and have the opportunity to add 1 more GB RAM. Looking at the task manager I have:

Physical Memory (MB)
Total : 2037
Cached: 1181
Free : 10

Kernel Memory (MB)
Total: 149
Paged: 91
Nonpages: 57

Page File Usage: 1127/4310M

I don't actually have many programs running at the moment: CCleaner, IE7 with 4 tabs open, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Home Server Client/Console. Keep in mind, that this install is near fresh, just installed Vista from Windows 7, and I haven't installed all of my applications yet. Oh yes... I do use VMWare Server (Virtualisation) frequently!

Internet Explorer is the worst RAM eater using 203M of Memory. So, what should I do?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Vista uses RAM more intelligently (SuperFetch) and loads whatever you use most commonly into memory for fast access. When I had 2GB of RAM in my laptop at one point, Vista was utilizing about the 1.2GB. Whenever I added an extra 2GB, Vista began using around 2GB. The conclusion? The more memory you have, the more Vista will take advantage of (to a certain point). This is not a bad thing at all, and is what memory is for. To make your system faster while taking additional stress off of your hard drive due to constant virtual memory access.

I would go for the upgrade for sure....especially if you're going to be running virtual machines.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Sure thing, I've bought the item for £20 :) I'm sure Dell uses Kingston, so I bought one of them to keep the same parity brand.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:00 pm 
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2 days ago I had 2GB RAM, all of it was being used, bar about 10MB, and most of it was cache. Now I put another 2GB in (when the replacement server RAM came) and I'm now using all but 30MB of it, 3GB of it is cache. Windows runs a lot quicker now I have more cache available. Vista will always utilise as much as it can (superfetch, as said below), so don't worry about it. Worry when the cached is very low and the free is very low. Then you're running out of memory for running your applications.

If you're running 32bit, stick with 2-3GB. There isn't much point getting 3GB if you're running dual channel though (if you're running single, go for 3GB no problem) or 4GB if you're on 32bit as it can't utilise it. If you're running 64bit, go for 4GB or more if the motherboard supports it. The more RAM you have these days the better.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Vista uses RAM more intelligently (SuperFetch) and loads whatever you use most commonly into memory for fast access.

This of course is what leads to the "Vista is a resource hog" refrain from the Linuxist types who hang around on places like digg. Always enjoy a laugh at them for not understanding or knowing that it's actually a beneficial behaviour to the user. ;)

After all, what's the point of RAM if you're just going to leave it sitting unused, right? 8-)
Agree with what has already been said, 2.5-3GB on a 32bit version is plenty. If you really find you're struggling and can accept the slight difference to frequently used apps you can always disable Superfetch for a little more.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:40 pm 
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It is dual-channel, and I can say that my virtual machines aren't happy, so it more RAM it is. Vista loves RAM, it's like an insatiable friend lol. Ok, I wonder why it's being snappy and fast now?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:47 pm 
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ct2k7 wrote:
It is dual-channel, and I can say that my virtual machines aren't happy, so it more RAM it is. Vista loves RAM, it's like an insatiable friend lol. Ok, I wonder why it's being snappy and fast now?


In that case only upgrade if you're running 64bit, as using 3GB would make the chips run in single channel, defeating the point of running dual channel. Running dual channel you have to go up in multiples or it will go back to single channel mode.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:51 pm 
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For Dual-Channel make sure you use the SAME memory for 1 dual-channel.

It can have different timing of memmory (the 5-5-5 and 5-5-3) but do it per dual-channel the same.
Otherwise it also reverts to single-channel, even it looks the same and the same speed but the timing is an very important part.

Also for Dual-channel consider getting RAM that is sold in 2 pieces in 1 box.
Then you know you have the same memory for a dual-channel.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:56 pm 
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I 2nd djrobs post. The memory I bought was specifically sold as a dual-channel pack, so try to get hold of those if you can then you know for sure its dual channel.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:20 am 
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Are you sure you can add more RAM? The owner's manual said the maximum memory is 2GB. http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/om/specs.htm

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:38 am 
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Day2Die wrote:
Are you sure you can add more RAM? The owner's manual said the maximum memory is 2GB. http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/om/specs.htm


The chipset in the 6400 supports up to 4GB of RAM (2GBx2). I think the 2GB max is a misprint on Dell's part.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:48 am 
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My HP is the same way, it says max 2GB but I have four in it. Andy is right, if the chipset supports dual-channel spring for 4GB, otherwise stick with 3GB.

Quote:
I bought one of them to keep the same parity brand.


Parity brand? Not sure what sort of misconception you have here. Just a bit of clarification here, because I'm not sure what you are confusing. You can have parity RAM, which is a type of error detection, usually only servers or machines that need to be up 100% of the time use it. The downfalls of parity RAM are cost and an added latency. It would be very very unusual if your laptop supported or had parity RAM. What I think you meant was "brand parity" which is a conception of consumers that all brands have equal products, which is exactly the opposite of what you mean. Either way, you could have bought RAM from just about anyone, it very rarely goes bad regardless of whose manufactured the chips or the DIMMs.

the Dual-Channel packs are just for marketing purposes. You can buy any RAM sticks matching, or a RAM stick to match an individual stick you already have in your machine. Just get the same size, latency, and speed. I don't believe that speed and latency actually factor in but I might be wrong. It wouldn't be a bad idea to buy one of those packs if you are buying two unless for some reason it ends up costing you a bundle more.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:18 am 
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ct2k7 wrote:
Should I get more RAM?

Always.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:37 pm 
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4GB RAM It is then :) Glad, I managed to get that pair sorted. The next problem is going to Vista x64. I don't think many drivers are out there for that are there?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:44 pm 
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ct2k7 wrote:
4GB RAM It is then :) Glad, I managed to get that pair sorted. The next problem is going to Vista x64. I don't think many drivers are out there for that are there?


As long as your hardware is no more than 2 years old you should have no problems. Go to the manufacturer website for each piece of hardware and find out.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:47 pm 
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It's a Dell, that says it all. I bought it 2 years ago this comming June.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:23 pm 
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ct2k7 wrote:
It's a Dell, that says it all. I bought it 2 years ago this comming June.



You'd be suprised. Vista out of the box supports alot of the devices/components, even in mobile PC's. Do a search on the Dell website for the particular device rather than the laptop model and you more than likely will find the drivers for other models listed for Vista x64. Dell likes to keep the same devices in later generations of their PC's I guess for simplicity (or meagerness). Windows update can usually find drivers for your devices as a last resort.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:00 am 
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I can tell you that Dell rarely provide x64 driver for some reason. Fortunately, most of the x64 drivers are available for download, just google. Dell provide few x64 drivers for my Dell Vostro 1500 but I found most drivers on google.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Excellent. Well, I've ordered a pair of 2GB Sticks, so all should be fine. Now, to get Vista x64....

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:10 pm 
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Those sticks for Mac sit nicely into the drive. I've noticed a small boost, but nothing very good, as expected. Time to clear out some junk files! - (Now, I could always migrate to Windows 7 Beta, nah, I'll wait until RTM/Stable)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:10 pm 
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I didn't feel like reading back through all the posts so someone may have already suggested all of this, but here it is anyway.

1. Run 'msconfig' and just disable everything in the 'startup' section. Even if you think you use the stuff, try it anyway and you can decide later whether or not the difference is worth having to click a few extra times to open an application.

2. Uninstall applications you don't use, they add tons of crap to your context menus, shortcuts to your desktop and start menu, and fill up your registry with garbage. This slows down your desktop icons loading, context menus opening, the start menu opening, and basically anything else that depends on the registry that they change.

3. Download and run the slim version of CCleaner. This version doesn't come with a toolbar or any other nonsense. Make sure you don't forget to clean out your registry.

4. Run and schedule defrag to run, then don't cancel it when it does. Alternatively, download pagedefrag and have that run every time your computer starts.

5. Temporarily shut off any real-time protection (anti-virus) when performing tasks that are resource intensive (ex. Photoshop, playing games). Just make sure that you're only running software you trust when you do this.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Should I get more RAM?        Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:47 pm 
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QuiescentWonder wrote:
I didn't feel like reading back through all the posts so someone may have already suggested all of this, but here it is anyway.

1. Run 'msconfig' and just disable everything in the 'startup' section. Even if you think you use the stuff, try it anyway and you can decide later whether or not the difference is worth having to click a few extra times to open an application.

2. Uninstall applications you don't use, they add tons of crap to your context menus, shortcuts to your desktop and start menu, and fill up your registry with garbage. This slows down your desktop icons loading, context menus opening, the start menu opening, and basically anything else that depends on the registry that they change.

3. Download and run the slim version of CCleaner. This version doesn't come with a toolbar or any other nonsense. Make sure you don't forget to clean out your registry.

4. Run and schedule defrag to run, then don't cancel it when it does. Alternatively, download pagedefrag and have that run every time your computer starts.

5. Temporarily shut off any real-time protection (anti-virus) when performing tasks that are resource intensive (ex. Photoshop, playing games). Just make sure that you're only running software you trust when you do this.



Already done :)

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