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Posted: 1/17/2006 8:47:18 PM EDT
You know you're an ARFCOM junkie when you come here for tech support on your computer... lol

Anyway... I've got a Dell Dimesion 8300 with 512M of ram.

I purchased a 1GB upgrade kit and installed it according to instructions.

How do I tell if what I've done is acually working. Where can I see if I did it right? What kind of system diagnosics can I do to make sure it's all in OK. Help please, because at this point, I cant tell the difference at all.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:48:57 PM EDT
Control Panel --> System --> General Tab, should be after the processor clock speed.

Also can be seen at startup during Post.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:48:58 PM EDT
right click "my computer" go to properties, it should tell you on the bottom of the window
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:49:37 PM EDT
start
right click my computer
propeties

will tell you how much memory
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:51:07 PM EDT
go ahead and call cust serv.. some guy in India is ready to help :)


actually the above posts will answer your question,,,, assuming you know how much you had before ..
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:51:19 PM EDT
Right click "my computer", then choose properties, then read. Should already be on "general" tab
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:53:18 PM EDT
Thanks guys...

It says Pentium 4 CPU 2.6GHz, 1.50GB of Ram

Kind of what I expected but how do I know if it's making a difference? So far, it seems like the same 'ol computer to me.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:53:33 PM EDT
one more time
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:54:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
Thanks guys...

It says Pentium 4 CPU 2.6GHz, 1.50GB of Ram

Kind of what I expected but how do I know if it's making a difference? So far, it seems like the same 'ol computer to me.



it still is the same old computer, firefox just wont bog it down as fast
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:54:38 PM EDT
Right click "my computer", then choose properties, then read. Should already be on "general" tab
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:56:56 PM EDT
Just a hint. If you install new ram and your computer boots up afterwards you did it right.

As far as the performance, you will not notice the extra ram until you do something that is memory intensive like play a game or do some photoshop work.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:02:04 PM EDT
you mean a 1GB upgrade wont enable me to teleport into outer space???? WTF/??? Why did I waste all that money?

No seriously though... I installed it. Everything seems to be fine., not any better. Is this normal?>
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:03:07 PM EDT
Man, there was so much dust back there I needed a freaken vacuum cleaner to suck it all away. cough sneeze cough... anyone got some AFRIN?
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:16:53 PM EDT
to test your RAM, open a game or program that normally runs slow or laggy. You will see a difference then.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:23:07 PM EDT
Ram upgrades do not usually improve the "speed" of your computer...especially if you are going from 512 to 1.5 gigs. If you had 128 or so and upgraded, then yes it would improve things if you had multiple applications running. But the new RAM is running at the same speed as the old stuff and it will not do that much.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:23:54 PM EDT
Just last week I purchased a 1gb stick for my Dell Dimension 2400 and it died. Wouldn't even boot up. The company I got the RAM from refuses to take it back without something like a 50% restocking fee! Screw them! On the 2400, it has 2 slots for RAM. You can't put a 1gb stick in one slot. If you want 1gb, you have to put in 2 512's..So, I had to go get 2 more sticks of RAM..

Know anyone who wants a 1gb stick of Samsung ram 3200 DDR 400mhz cheap?
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:33:45 PM EDT
Like what was said earlier. If your on it now, you installed it right.

As for "speed" increases. What do you use the PC for? Youll see differences in alot of APP's and games. But normal everyday PC'ing (websurfing, email and so on) you really wont see a difference.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:44:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 9:46:46 PM EDT by clement]
Yeah, I use 512MB on my XP machine, no real need to go higher unless you are doing real memory intensive stuff (newer games, photoshop, etc. Generally what should be happening is that your hard drive shouldn't be getting accessed as much when just work / switching between apps etc (i.e. swapping). If that wasn't a problem in the first place you really didn't need the extra RAM.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:45:35 PM EDT
did you have to push incrediably hard for it to lock into place? that's how my dell was. i was sure i was going to break something.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:46:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By netwt12:
did you have to push incrediably hard for it to lock into place? that's how my dell was. i was sure i was going to break something.



Quite often that is the case. As long as you apply uniform pressure, nothing will snap.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:48:54 PM EDT
^^Sometimes those clips on the motherboard can be incredibly stiff. On some motherboards i've had to push them down and at the same time close the clips by hand (the downward force should normally close them automatically.)
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:48:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By netwt12:
did you have to push incrediably hard for it to lock into place? that's how my dell was. i was sure i was going to break something.



Yeah, it was pretty hard to push in, but eventually it snapped right into place.

Thanks guys for all your input. It seems to be working fine. I've noticed a nominal increase in performance when running multiple aps at the same time which is what I was hoping for. I run 2 monitors at the same time and generally have a bunch of stuff going on all at once.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:56:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 5:57:38 AM EDT by cruze5]
you won't notice much difference untill you follow these steps


right click on my computer go to properties. click advanced tab> under performace click settings> click advanced again> click change at bottom right of page>

make sure custom size is selected> the initial size should be 1.5 X the physical amout of ram installed

the maximum should be 3X the physical amount of ram installed.

initial. 2304

maximum should be 4096
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:09:55 AM EDT
it is simple...
if you put it in wrong your computer will not start up.

RAM is not a speed chip... it allows you to do more.
you will notice if you do video editing or graphics.

if you just post on the web you will not notice it.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:11:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:12:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By clement:
Yeah, I use 512MB on my XP machine, no real need to go higher unless you are doing real memory intensive stuff (newer games, photoshop, etc. Generally what should be happening is that your hard drive shouldn't be getting accessed as much when just work / switching between apps etc (i.e. swapping). If that wasn't a problem in the first place you really didn't need the extra RAM.



, XP doesn't even start to shine until you've got 1GB. 512 the absolute least amount you should have in any system these days. Yet they still sell plenty with only 256mb for some reason.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:12:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cruze5:
you won't notice much difference untill you follow these steps


right click on my computer go to properties. click advanced tab> under performace click settings> click advanced again> click change at bottom right of page>

make sure custom size is selected> the initial size should be 1.5 X the physical amout of ram installed

the maximum should be 3X the physical amount of ram installed.

initial. 2304

maximum should be 4096



Wow, cool, and thanks for the info. I need to reboot my PC now for the changes to take effect. Be back shortly.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:13:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 6:14:53 AM EDT by chrism101]
RAM is an issue all its own,

If you add 1 Gig and have 512 then you could possibly not see an improvement if the new RAM is a faster speed , and you leave the old, then the 1G will only run as fast as the old 512. so if you add 533 mhz ram and the old is 400mhz ram then its all running at 400mhz ram. But it gives and added benefit of more available to programs, not necessarily making it faster.

Also if its not run in pairs (dual channel) in banks, it will crap it up. Im assuming your setup is 2x 512 sticks and 2x 256 sticks.

the 2 512 sticks need to be on the same same bank and the 2 256 need to be on the same bank.

I dont know about the dell MB , but some color code the banks. make sure the same sticks of ram go in the correct slots. If thats all correct shell the old ram and run it with just the 1 gig to see how it works

I have the same pc as you, but bought it with 1GB of the PC4000 premium RAM from dell. It is smoking fast, compared to other run of the mill dell machines like the new ones at work with 512 or 1 gig.

Also consider adaware scans and virus scans to ensure that you arent hosting someone elses programs unwillingly.

A better How to here....
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:16:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 6:19:01 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
you mean a 1GB upgrade wont enable me to teleport into outer space???? WTF/??? Why did I waste all that money?

No seriously though... I installed it. Everything seems to be fine., not any better. Is this normal?>



If lack of RAM was the source of your problem before, then it will make a difference.

If, however, it was not, more RAM isn't going to fix the problem. It certainly won't hurt, but it won't fix the problem.

Sort of like a car: If you put new tires on a car it won't hurt, but it will not fix a transmission problem.

Making your pagefile bigger might help with performance, and you can do that now that you have more RAM. That might make things a tad faster.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:16:52 AM EDT
computer sex!!!!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:36:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 6:49:41 AM EDT by chrism101]
The page file thing has currently limited validity, The ram access is always faster than disk access. The page file was necessary on old low ram PCs but with a 1.5 gb ram pc, the page file should not be depended on in that way. The RAM is more than adequate, and increasing the page file is not beneficial. Now if you had 64mb of ram, yes. But 512 and above no.

How big should the page file be?
There is a great deal of myth surrounding this question. Two big fallacies are:

The file should be a fixed size so that it does not get fragmented, with minimum and maximum set the same
The file should be 2.5 times the size of RAM (or some other multiple)
Both are wrong in a modern, single-user system. A machine using Fast User switching is a special case, discussed below.)

Windows will expand a file that starts out too small and may shrink it again if it is larger than necessary, so it pays to set the initial size as large enough to handle the normal needs of your system to avoid constant changes of size. This will give all the benefits claimed for a ‘fixed’ page file. But no restriction should be placed on its further growth. As well as providing for contingencies, like unexpectedly opening a very large file, in XP this potential file space can be used as a place to assign those virtual memory pages that programs have asked for, but never brought into use. Until they get used — probably never — the file need not come into being. There is no downside in having potential space available.

For any given workload, the total need for virtual addresses will not depend on the size of RAM alone. It will be met by the sum of RAM and the page file. Therefore in a machine with small RAM, the extra amount represented by page file will need to be larger — not smaller — than that needed in a machine with big RAM. Unfortunately the default settings for system management of the file have not caught up with this: it will assign an initial amount that may be quite excessive for a large machine, while at the same leaving too little for contingencies on a small one.

How big a file will turn out to be needed depends very much on your work-load. Simple word processing and e-mail may need very little — large graphics and movie making may need a great deal. For a general workload, with only small dumps provided for (see note to ‘Should the file be left on Drive C:?’ above), it is suggested that a sensible start point for the initial size would be the greater of (a) 100 MB or (b) enough to bring RAM plus file to about 500 MB. EXAMPLE: Set the Initial page file size to 400 MB on a computer with 128 MB RAM; 250 on a 256 MB computer; or 100 MB for larger sizes.

But have a high Maximum size — 700 or 800 MB or even more if there is plenty of disk space. Having this high will do no harm. Then if you find the actual pagefile.sys gets larger (as seen in Explorer), adjust the initial size up accordingly. Such a need for more than a minimal initial page file is the best indicator of benefit from adding RAM: if an initial size set, for a trial, at 50MB never grows, then more RAM will do nothing for the machine's performance.

Bill James MS MVP has a convenient tool, ‘WinXP-2K_Pagefile’, for monitoring the actual usage of the Page file, which can be downloaded here. A compiled Visual Basic version is available from Doug Knox's site which may be more convenient for some users. The value seen for ‘Peak Usage’ over several days makes a good guide for setting the Initial size economically.

Note that these aspects of Windows XP have changed significantly from earlier Windows NT versions, and practices that have been common there may no longer be appropriate. Also, the ‘PF Usage’ (Page File in Use) measurement in Task Manager | Performance for ‘Page File in Use’ include those potential uses by pages that have not been taken up. It makes a good indicator of the adequacy of the ‘Maximum’ size setting, but not for the ‘Initial’ one, let alone for any need for more RAM.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:56:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 7:00:14 AM EDT by niceguymr]

Originally Posted By chrism101:
The page file thing has currently limited validity, The ram access is always faster than disk access. The page file was necessary on old low ram PCs but with a 1.5 gb ram pc, the page file should not be depended on in that way. The RAM is more than adequate, and increasing the page file is not beneficial. Now if you had 64mb of ram, yes. But 512 and above no.

How big should the page file be?
There is a great deal of myth surrounding this question. Two big fallacies are:

The file should be a fixed size so that it does not get fragmented, with minimum and maximum set the same
The file should be 2.5 times the size of RAM (or some other multiple)
Both are wrong in a modern, single-user system. A machine using Fast User switching is a special case, discussed below.)

Windows will expand a file that starts out too small and may shrink it again if it is larger than necessary, so it pays to set the initial size as large enough to handle the normal needs of your system to avoid constant changes of size. This will give all the benefits claimed for a ‘fixed’ page file. But no restriction should be placed on its further growth. As well as providing for contingencies, like unexpectedly opening a very large file, in XP this potential file space can be used as a place to assign those virtual memory pages that programs have asked for, but never brought into use. Until they get used — probably never — the file need not come into being. There is no downside in having potential space available.

For any given workload, the total need for virtual addresses will not depend on the size of RAM alone. It will be met by the sum of RAM and the page file. Therefore in a machine with small RAM, the extra amount represented by page file will need to be larger — not smaller — than that needed in a machine with big RAM. Unfortunately the default settings for system management of the file have not caught up with this: it will assign an initial amount that may be quite excessive for a large machine, while at the same leaving too little for contingencies on a small one.

How big a file will turn out to be needed depends very much on your work-load. Simple word processing and e-mail may need very little — large graphics and movie making may need a great deal. For a general workload, with only small dumps provided for (see note to ‘Should the file be left on Drive C:?’ above), it is suggested that a sensible start point for the initial size would be the greater of (a) 100 MB or (b) enough to bring RAM plus file to about 500 MB. EXAMPLE: Set the Initial page file size to 400 MB on a computer with 128 MB RAM; 250 on a 256 MB computer; or 100 MB for larger sizes.

But have a high Maximum size — 700 or 800 MB or even more if there is plenty of disk space. Having this high will do no harm. Then if you find the actual pagefile.sys gets larger (as seen in Explorer), adjust the initial size up accordingly. Such a need for more than a minimal initial page file is the best indicator of benefit from adding RAM: if an initial size set, for a trial, at 50MB never grows, then more RAM will do nothing for the machine's performance.

Bill James MS MVP has a convenient tool, ‘WinXP-2K_Pagefile’, for monitoring the actual usage of the Page file, which can be downloaded here. A compiled Visual Basic version is available from Doug Knox's site which may be more convenient for some users. The value seen for ‘Peak Usage’ over several days makes a good guide for setting the Initial size economically.

Note that these aspects of Windows XP have changed significantly from earlier Windows NT versions, and practices that have been common there may no longer be appropriate. Also, the ‘PF Usage’ (Page File in Use) measurement in Task Manager | Performance for ‘Page File in Use’ include those potential uses by pages that have not been taken up. It makes a good indicator of the adequacy of the ‘Maximum’ size setting, but not for the ‘Initial’ one, let alone for any need for more RAM.



I know I'm going to come across as a dummy here, but that kinda just went a little over my head. I've even read it a couple of times and still nothing. Where exactly did you cut and paste that from?

ETA: nevermind, I just found it aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.php

I will read into it a little more...
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:03:10 AM EDT

, it is suggested that a sensible start point for the initial size would be the greater of (a) 100 MB or (b) enough to bring RAM plus file to about 500 MB. EXAMPLE: Set the Initial page file size to 400 MB on a computer with 128 MB RAM; 250 on a 256 MB computer; or 100 MB for larger sizes.
...




Huh? Windoze recommends, and I'm running, 1536 MB, with a max of over 3000.


WAY WAY beyond what that says
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:13:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

, it is suggested that a sensible start point for the initial size would be the greater of (a) 100 MB or (b) enough to bring RAM plus file to about 500 MB. EXAMPLE: Set the Initial page file size to 400 MB on a computer with 128 MB RAM; 250 on a 256 MB computer; or 100 MB for larger sizes.
...




Huh? Windoze recommends, and I'm running, 1536 MB, with a max of over 3000.


WAY WAY beyond what that says



i build computer's for a living. follow my post you will be fine
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:08:41 AM EDT
I went from 1 stick of 128mb to 2 512mb sticks and I don't notice any difference except my hard drive isn't going nuts anymore. I also went from 24.4bps dial-up to wireless broadband at the same time so I'm cookin with gas now!

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:23:36 AM EDT
Having been surfing around the last few hours, I can definitely say that my computer seems to be 'performing' better with the increased RAM and settings adjustments. I realize that adding ram doesn't make your computer process information faster, just more efficiently. My web pages are transitioning much quicker than before... it has a crisper (that's the best word I can use to describe it) feel when going from one page to the next. I generally have multiple windows running at the same time since I use 2 monitors. I almost always have Outlook, Bittorrent, Windows Media Player all running at the same time, plust Windows Explore, various notepad and IE windows. It was definitely a worthwile upgrade. Combine that with the fact that I just recently reformatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP (and only the programs that I actually use), I probably just added another 2 years of life to this computer even though it was running satisfactory prior to my recent changes. It actually runs better now than when I got it a couple of years ago.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:24:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Az_Redneck:
I went from 1 stick of 128mb to 2 512mb sticks and I don't notice any difference except my hard drive isn't going nuts anymore. I also went from 24.4bps dial-up to wireless broadband at the same time so I'm cookin with gas now!




its running the same because you havnen't followed the steps i posted earlier
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:42:02 PM EDT
xp will need less page file usage for the larger amount of RAM added.
What that is saying is that there is no need to use a large swap file on your hard drive because the average usage is never over 500mb.
so if you have 128 mb of RAM you could probably set the page file around 380mb or so in order to have that available. with 1.5 gb available it would be possible to eliminate the page file all together not to make it larger and dependent on disk access although its not reccommended.

It could remain small around 200mb or so in case of a memory dump.

The pc should be using the ram which is faster than the Hard disk. Use less hard disk, more of the RAM. Thus a faster PC.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:47:17 PM EDT
Play some games which would tax your machine. If you have had programs that ran slowly, try running those.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:50:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 5:52:49 PM EDT by WildBoar]
oops
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:51:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 5:53:00 PM EDT by WildBoar]
oops
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:52:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
Thanks guys...

It says Pentium 4 CPU 2.6GHz, 1.50GB of Ram

Kind of what I expected but how do I know if it's making a difference? So far, it seems like the same 'ol computer to me.



For 99% of folks out there, going from 512 to eleventy billion gigabytes wont make a noticable difference.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:28:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Az_Redneck:
Just last week I purchased a 1gb stick for my Dell Dimension 2400 and it died. Wouldn't even boot up. The company I got the RAM from refuses to take it back without something like a 50% restocking fee! Screw them! On the 2400, it has 2 slots for RAM. You can't put a 1gb stick in one slot. If you want 1gb, you have to put in 2 512's..So, I had to go get 2 more sticks of RAM..

Know anyone who wants a 1gb stick of Samsung ram 3200 DDR 400mhz cheap?



If youre serious, i'm interested in the RAM. PM me
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