RAM upgrade.

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  1. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    My computer is pretty old but at the min while i am saving for my new build it has to do. I was wondering if i was to upgrade the ram would it make it run a bit faster and smoother?.

    Spec Pentium D 3.0ghz
    And its only got 1.5 gig ram in it now. you guys think?

  2. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Well-Known Member

    What Os?

    I think checking the current RAM usage might be a good indicator of whether more would help
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  3. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    Upgrading ram is one of the easiest upgrades there is in a computer that you can notice a change in performance. Now I know I have read what the technical reason for it is but yes upgrading RAM can help you see a little increase in speed.

    Basically it frees up more space for the computer to breath, its not as constricted with more memory. There are some programs you can find that can help you find out which kind of RAM to use, like what size, speed, etc.. and how much your mobo can support.

    Also what os are you running, as that can affect how much you can put in as well
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  4. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Sorry to disagree here. It would appear that is the case but not necessarily the case. Its certainly the quickest fix with probably the most performance increase per currency unit but depending on the system, can be one of the most technical things to get right.

    You need to know the bus the motherboard operates at, the ddr type but also the pairing of the slots if you're mixing and matching.

    IMHO the best way to get it right is to get rid of what's there already and replace every slots RAM. don't mix new with old.

    Some applications can give some info. Websites such as crucial can even give advice based on make / model from its database. Hopefully though, the existing RAM has all the info on a sticker
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  5. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    Alright guys its running vista home premium .. and its ddr1 I think its quite an old machine so.. its not really slow its definatly use able but it would be nice to speed it up a little .. any more info I can give you?
  6. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Make and model? 32 bit or 64? How many RAM slots?
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  7. pbf98

    pbf98 Well-Known Member Contributor

    A nice little software package I use to find out what type of ram there is, if not labeled on the stick or just don't want to go in and look is Everest Home Edition

    EVEREST Home Edition 3.50 - CNET Download.com

    It will tell you much more than just how many slots and what kind of ram you have, but it will give the needed info.

    As for replacing all, keeping in mind budgeting, I don't see reason to worry about mixing the old with the new, as I have done it for years and have never myself seen or heard of any problems arising from doing so.

    We can agree to disagree, I still think that ram is possibly the easiest upgrade to a computer you can do to see an increase performance.

    And if you are looking for 64 / 32 bit, you can find it easily by right clicking my computer and clicking properties
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  8. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    Right guys the ram I have is ddr1 pc2700 and my computer has 4 slots its vista 32 bit .. the computer is an advent t9 fella.
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    New old RAM is really costly. I'd check local computer shops, flea markets and eBay for used obsolete RAM sticks.
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  10. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    This is why you need to know the slot pairs. With some 1 & 3 are a pair and 2 & 4. Others 1 & 2 and 2 & 4. You are supposed to upgrade in pairs (particularly if the motherboard is dual channel as this will only work in pairs).

    Sure you can just shove it in and hope for the best. You may not even notice the fact that you're not getting the full performance by mixing pairs. If it's never done properly, there's no frame of reference. If the old stick cannot be matched exactly, replace it with a matching pair.

    So yes, RAM - easy to plug in. Easy to increase performance. Not easy to get the most out of the upgrade. I'm giving advice today for free but this is my professional field. I've upgraded literally hundreds of machines. Not only is what I am saying best practice but in some cases essential. Without fully understanding the system, we cannot say for sure what is best.
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  11. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Go to crucial.com/uk.

    There's only t9xxx listed but you can scan your pc and buy direct.

    Remember you can't fit more than 4GB with 32 bit windows. You'll only get about 3.5GB usable out of that too

    Speed demon is right about old ram costs but crucial is pretty good. They have a good selection of DDR (1) in the uk
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  12. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Err...if it's not dual channel, then you do not need to install the RAM in pairs.

    The last time that single channel RAM had to be installed in pairs was with 32-bit SIMMs on Pentium (and beyond) CPUs that had 64 bit data busses. Early Rambus RAM was single channel channel, but I'd sooner throw away a Rambus box than buy more RAM for it.

    Furthermore, some motherboards can be set to run in single channel mode. Sure it will be a tad slower, but the whole machine is really slow, so...

    If I could get a single 4GiB stick for a pittance, I'd rather limp by on that than pay a hefty price to give this moribund box the ideal RAM setup.
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  13. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    You do need to match pairs if its dual channel and you want to utilise dual channel (and why wouldn't you if it supports it?).

    Other than that it is best practice to match type, make, speed and size in pairs. It's not a need, its a best practice as you will not get the most out of it otherwise. I did say this in my post and you are actually just confirming it here.

    Yes but buying a 4 GB stick is still removing the original 1.5 GB Stick, which is the essence of my entire point (not mixing and matching).

    So with the above 2 comments, you are actually supporting my point quite well. Was that intentional because the "tone" of your post was to the contrary? :confused:

    Further more, 1 stick of 4GB RAM, where cheaper, is a single point of failure. Of course the old RAM could be put back though. If the machine has an AMD CPU, 1 stick is fine because AMD CPU's are pretty basic and can't process much more than the bandwidth of a single stick of RAM. If it's intel however, 1 stick of RAM will bottleneck the CPU, so it would be my opinion that to almost double the bandwidth with multiple sticks would be a better option.
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  14. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Like I already said, if you find a deal that gives you ample RAM at a great price on one stick.

    But not if you don't have (or really need) pairs. Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it all.

    If you have a 4 GiB stick, what's the point of adding back the original RAM? (Needless to say, they don't make 1.5GiB sticks.) I thought the plan was to extend the life of an old computer, not to turn it into the "ultimate gaming machine". :rolleyes:

    The whole aged PC is a point of failure! If it's a mission-critical, "five nines" system, then the OP should find the funds to replace it. But that's not what I read from the OP. There it says it's an old PC. I see nothing in the OP to justify taking heroic measures (and expense!) on this old thing.

    Actually ever since AMD switched to HyperTransport as a replacement for a front end bus, the CPU has far more capacity than any RAM types can keep up with. OTOH the Pentium D that the OP mentioned in the OP is not going to see a discernible difference in performance no matter what you do with it. Yes, you can spend a fortune to pimp it out to the max, but it's still going to be a Pentium D box.

    I say that it's better to waste as little money as possible on the old box, not try to squeeze every last milligram of performance out of it at all cost.
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  15. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    My plans really are to get my new machine up and running in the next couple of months ya see. But just for now I just wanted a little quick fix to maybe get a bit more speed/perfermance out of my old box that's all.
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  16. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    My point seems to be getting lost here so I will make it again but this time I will be more succinct.

    It would not be a good idea to include the existing 1.5 GB RAM in any future upgrade plans, because to do this you would need to know exactly what and how to match, which could be hard work.

    Further to this point, if you can find a 4GB stick for really cheap, then get it. Just be aware if that stick fails, you'd be back to square one.

    If you're buying new or can find 1 GB Sticks cheap (even if 4x1GB is a little bit more money that a 4GB stick) its worth it as you have redundancy (if 1 stick fails, you still have 3 GB). Buying new, 4x 1GB DDR in the UK would be cheaper than 1x 4GB DDR, however this is still expensive at pretty much
    Spec-Kie likes this.
  17. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    yeah like i said its only going to be for a few more months just so i can get my basics together for my new build thats all? .. Only reason i ask is there is some 1gig sticks on ebay for
  18. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

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  19. Spec-Kie

    Spec-Kie Well-Known Member Contributor

    yeah its got 2x512s and 2x256s fella, i havnt accually had a look, and tbh i didnt even think about doing it, But i will have a look this evening when I get home from work, like i keep saying its just a stop gap thats all, To try and put a few extra months in my old machine just give me chance to get my new one all built up.
  20. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    If it's runningOK I would save the cash. Have you done the obvious housekeeping stuff?

    Like defrag (Auslogics defrag is way better than microsoft's.
    clearing out browser caches, deleting cookies, clearing out tempfiles, running msconfig to slim down your startup.
    Still on housekeeping, do you have regular backups? any backups recently? Do they work?

    If not, back up everything you don't want to lose before doing anything else.
  21. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Just keep on telling yourself that.

    And old computer is like an old nag horse. You can spend a lot of money on horseshoes and tack, but the old nag isn't going to gallop again. And you don't want to be in the position where you say "I can't take this nag to the knackers! I've too much money in it!" ;)

    Hey, don't forget to check your memory usage! Right-click in the taskbar and "Start Task Manager".
  22. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    ...and if you've got a spare usb stick, there's always readyboost ha ha
  23. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    A good point well made. If it's only a stopgap solution for a month or two, forget it, bank the cash and plan how best to configure the new build.

    p.s my old nags are all carefully stored in the attic. One day I will rebuild my beloved 486DX/2 with her screaming-fast SLI'd Voodoo2 graphics..... ;)
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  24. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    I skipped 4 Nags just before moving home. Now I have another to go...
  25. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    With that trick VESA local bus? :D

    I repurpose old computers until the bitter end. My oldest still in use (occasionally) has the very first hyperthreading CPU in it. 3.08GHz Pentium 4HT, 1.5GiB RDRAM (one stick bad) and a pair of 200GB HDs, the largest PATA drives I have. I used that to download TiVo videos, so it sorta made sense when I found a top-end ATI GPU on a AGP card for it. :rofl: At least the card was cheap!

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