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Help me understand additional memory and impact on computer speed

 
 
jersie0
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      02-23-2004
I just upgraded the memory in my 4-year-old Windows 98 Dell, going
from the 128 meg it came with to 512 meg.

Part of this was to reduce the small number of times the computer
locks up when playing a game, or when many applications are running,
but I also understood that this would cause a noticeable increase in
computer speed.

How and where do I see the speed increase?

For example, this morning, as part of a regularly-scheduled background
task, my Norton Antivirus ran. According to the log, it took 37
minutes to scan 114,000 files on my 20 gig hard disk. This was done
in the background, no one else on the computer, and no other tasks
running on the computer. And it happened before the upgrade, with 128
meg in the computer.

After adding the memory, and verifying that the system recognized it -
it did - I again launched NAV, starting it manually. I let it run
alone as the only app on the computer, and didn't use the computer at
all myself. This time, it took an hour to run - about 65% more time!
How can that be? In fact, looking back through the NAV log, it's
typically taken 35-40 mihutes each time it's run, up until my upgrade.

I spent almost $200 for the new memory (this Dell model requires
certain memory so I couldn't do a lot of cross-shopping). I'm hoping
for better results than this.

Let me know some areas where I should see an increase in performance.

I guess the one area where I'd ever seen the system be apallingly slow
was when printing several documents from MS-Word. The first document
would queue and spool and print immediately, but by the fifth document
or so, it would be taking 10-30 minutes from when the printer status
would say "printing" for a document to when the printer actually
started printing. Should I expect improvement in this area?
 
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Bob
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      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 17:57:04 +0000, jersie0 wrote:

> The first document
> would queue and spool and print immediately, but by the fifth document
> or so, it would be taking 10-30 minutes from when the printer status
> would say "printing" for a document to when the printer actually started
> printing. Should I expect improvement in this area?


That file scan from NAV is very disk intensive, a 4y/o disk is pretty old,
try upgrading that to a 7200 rpm disk, it may be a 5400 rpm disk. Like
you said, you notice when the box spools a lot, it slows down. That spool
is both disk intensive and ram intensive, you should see more than a
nominal improvement there. You should also be able to switch quickly
between a few open applications on your desktop, like word and excel and
instant messaging. You're kind of at a disadvantage here because of that
4y/o hard drive, that's slowing you down now more than anything I would
imagine. The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of
utilizing 512MB of RAM. Get a system monitor of some sort, there are lots
of free ones, shareware, win98 has a shitty one, and run some apps, really
try to bog it down, you will never see it hit 512MB, Win98 will page
before it uses 512MB of RAM. Herein lies another problem, if Win98 is
paging or swapping, that is disk intensive as the pagefile is kept on your
hard drive with a .swp extension, usually on C:\ if you haven't changed
anything. I would look into a new drive, one that runs at 7200 rpm, you
are more than likely stuck with using a udma 33 or 66 drive, whatever your
box was compatible with at the time it was made. Either way, you can only
benefit from a new drive, they do slow down over time, even if they never
completely crap out.
~Bob
 
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eric_seal
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      02-23-2004
jersie0 wrote:
:: I just upgraded the memory in my 4-year-old Windows 98 Dell, going
:: from the 128 meg it came with to 512 meg.
::
:: Part of this was to reduce the small number of times the computer
:: locks up when playing a game, or when many applications are running,
:: but I also understood that this would cause a noticeable increase in
:: computer speed.
::
:: How and where do I see the speed increase?

The difference between 128 M and 512 M is not going to be as noticeable as
the difference between 32M and 128M, so dont expect miracles!. Simplifying
things, when Win98 runs out of memory, it substitutes hard disk space -
which is much slower. So you will be able to run more programs concurrently
without the hard disk light looking like a christmas tree light. You will be
able to sort larger databases, convert larger graphics images, index larger
Word documents, all without the machine turning into a dead slug.


::
:: For example, this morning, as part of a regularly-scheduled
:: background task, my Norton Antivirus ran. According to the log, it
:: took 37 minutes to scan 114,000 files on my 20 gig hard disk. This
:: was done in the background, no one else on the computer, and no
:: other tasks running on the computer. And it happened before the
:: upgrade, with 128 meg in the computer.
::
:: After adding the memory, and verifying that the system recognized it
:: - it did - I again launched NAV, starting it manually. I let it run
:: alone as the only app on the computer, and didn't use the computer at
:: all myself. This time, it took an hour to run - about 65% more time!
:: How can that be? In fact, looking back through the NAV log, it's
:: typically taken 35-40 mihutes each time it's run, up until my
:: upgrade.

Well, one thng it could be is that the system has created a larger swap
file, which is what the computer uses when it runs out of real memory, in
response to your bigger memory - and that swap file is fragmented all over
the hard disk, slowing down hard disk access. Have you defragged recently?
Or it could be your ACPI settings which have slowed the processor down when
only background tasks are running.. Or it could be that your computer BIOS
has responded to the extra memory by resetting other parameters to baseline
rather than optimised. Or it could be your new memory is slower..
If I think of any other straws to clutch at, I'll let you know!


::
:: I spent almost $200 for the new memory (this Dell model requires
:: certain memory so I couldn't do a lot of cross-shopping). I'm hoping
:: for better results than this.
::
:: Let me know some areas where I should see an increase in performance.
::
:: I guess the one area where I'd ever seen the system be apallingly
:: slow was when printing several documents from MS-Word. The first
:: document would queue and spool and print immediately, but by the
:: fifth document or so, it would be taking 10-30 minutes from when the
:: printer status would say "printing" for a document to when the
:: printer actually started printing. Should I expect improvement in
:: this area?

If you are saying that it takes 10-30 minutes to print all the stuff in the
queue ahead of the fifth document, that's life..get a faster printer or look
at using a less complex printer definition. If you are saying that with the
fourth document printed, it takes 10-30 mins for the fifth document to start
printing, that is another matter. More straws... but with a dot matrix
printer it would happen because the print head got so damn hot that the
printer slowed down printing to allow the head to cool down. With some
cheapo lasers it happens the same - although the fusing roller is
temperature controlled it dumps so much heat into the printer internals
that, after a sustained heavy print, the laser will over temperature and
stop for a while. But to answer your question (omg, I'll never be a
politician...).No. Probably (maybe I will make politician after all).





---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.586 / Virus Database: 371 - Release Date: 12/02/2004


 
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°Mike°
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
<Followup-To set to 24hoursupport.helpdesk>

A common misconception is that more memory speeds
the *computer* up, in general. This is just not true.
More memory is of use if, and only if, it results in a
reduction of the use of the swap file. In practice,
this is most noticable in processor intensive activities,
such as 3D gaming, multimedia, graphics manipulation,
etc. You should always monitor your swap file *usage*,
NOT size, before considering more memory in a 9x system.


On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 17:57:04 GMT, in
<(E-Mail Removed)>
jersie0 scrawled:

>I just upgraded the memory in my 4-year-old Windows 98 Dell, going
>from the 128 meg it came with to 512 meg.
>
>Part of this was to reduce the small number of times the computer
>locks up when playing a game, or when many applications are running,
>but I also understood that this would cause a noticeable increase in
>computer speed.
>
>How and where do I see the speed increase?
>
>For example, this morning, as part of a regularly-scheduled background
>task, my Norton Antivirus ran. According to the log, it took 37
>minutes to scan 114,000 files on my 20 gig hard disk. This was done
>in the background, no one else on the computer, and no other tasks
>running on the computer. And it happened before the upgrade, with 128
>meg in the computer.
>
>After adding the memory, and verifying that the system recognized it -
>it did - I again launched NAV, starting it manually. I let it run
>alone as the only app on the computer, and didn't use the computer at
>all myself. This time, it took an hour to run - about 65% more time!
>How can that be? In fact, looking back through the NAV log, it's
>typically taken 35-40 mihutes each time it's run, up until my upgrade.
>
>I spent almost $200 for the new memory (this Dell model requires
>certain memory so I couldn't do a lot of cross-shopping). I'm hoping
>for better results than this.
>
>Let me know some areas where I should see an increase in performance.
>
>I guess the one area where I'd ever seen the system be apallingly slow
>was when printing several documents from MS-Word. The first document
>would queue and spool and print immediately, but by the fifth document
>or so, it would be taking 10-30 minutes from when the printer status
>would say "printing" for a document to when the printer actually
>started printing. Should I expect improvement in this area?


--
Basic computer maintenance
http://uk.geocities.com/personel44/maintenance.html
 
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°Mike°
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
<pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
Bob scrawled:

<snip>

>The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of
>utilizing 512MB of RAM.


Rubbish!

--
Basic computer maintenance
http://uk.geocities.com/personel44/maintenance.html
 
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Bob
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:07:28 +0000, °Mike° wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
> <pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
> Bob scrawled:
>
> <snip>
>
>>The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of utilizing
>>512MB of RAM.

>
> Rubbish!


, you think so? Ever see a Win9X use 512MB RAM? I doubt it. This has
been well known for years, here's an excerpt from:

http://www.memorystock.com/windows-memory.html

"Note that if you are upgrading your RAM memory, a computer using
Windows 95 or Windows 98 (first edition) will not recognise more than
256MB. Moreover RAM that Windows cannot cache (recognise) will be accessed
as slowly as the virtual memory swap file (win386.swp) that Windows
creates on the boot hard disk drive to use when the amount of RAM runs
out. Therefore, adding too much RAM can slow down a system considerably.
Unless you are using a non_Windows operating system such as Linux, and
unless you employ the fix a link to which is provided below, your must
have Windows 98SE or run a later version to use more than 256MB of RAM.

This limitation does not apply to Windows 2000 and Windows XP."


You have to mess with the vcache settings in system.ini for some benefit
probably. I would still replace the hard drive, 4 years old, everyday
use, that thing's getting tired.
~Bob



 
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°Mike°
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 15:09:40 -0500, in
<pan.2004.02.23.20.09.39.494825@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
Bob scrawled:

>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:07:28 +0000, °Mike° wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
>> <pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
>> Bob scrawled:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>>The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of utilizing
>>>512MB of RAM.

>>
>> Rubbish!

>
>, you think so? Ever see a Win9X use 512MB RAM? I doubt it.


I've got one running 768MB, and I know numerous people who
have 1GB in Win98 systems. Doubt it all you want.

>This has been well known for years,


Known to whom?

>here's an excerpt from:
>
>http://www.memorystock.com/windows-memory.html
>
>"Note that if you are upgrading your RAM memory, a computer using
>Windows 95 or Windows 98 (first edition) will not recognise more than
>256MB.


<snip drivel>

Windows 9x/ME can use up to 2GB of memory, by design.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=181594

With more than 512MB Windows tends to map excessive amounts
for use as a disk cache.....

>You have to mess with the vcache settings in system.ini for some benefit
>probably.


..... that (above) is the purpose of limiting the disk 'MaxFileCache'
cache.

>I would still replace the hard drive, 4 years old, everyday
>use, that thing's getting tired.


The drive is irrelevent.

--
Basic computer maintenance
http://uk.geocities.com/personel44/maintenance.html
 
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Bob
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:27:02 +0000, °Mike° wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 15:09:40 -0500, in
> <pan.2004.02.23.20.09.39.494825@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
> Bob scrawled:
>
>>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:07:28 +0000, °Mike° wrote:
>>
>>> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
>>> <pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
>>> Bob scrawled:
>>>
>>> <snip>
>>>
>>>>The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of utilizing
>>>>512MB of RAM.
>>>
>>> Rubbish!

>>
>>, you think so? Ever see a Win9X use 512MB RAM? I doubt it.

>
> I've got one running 768MB, and I know numerous people who have 1GB in
> Win98 systems. Doubt it all you want.


I don't care how much RAM you have inside the box, Win9X is not using it
all, not anything near 512, let alone 256. Show me your mem stats from
this box that shows more than 256 actually IN USE. Your 9X, ME boxes,
don't/won't use 512MB ram.


>>This has been well known for years,

>
> Known to whom?
>
>

Most of us who are not idiots.

>>here's an excerpt from:
>>
>>http://www.memorystock.com/windows-memory.html
>>
>>"Note that if you are upgrading your RAM memory, a computer using
>>Windows 95 or Windows 98 (first edition) will not recognise more than
>>256MB.

>
> <snip drivel>
>
> Windows 9x/ME can use up to 2GB of memory, by design.
> http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=181594
>
>
>

When windows 95 was released, an X86 motherboard was not capable of
holding more than 1GB or RAM, especially a workstation board, maybe an
Intel server board and I have my doubts about that. I think that didn't
happen until '96 I have a gx440 Intel board in my closet that maxes at
1Gb, if I remember correctly. Microsoft is referring to theory in the KB
article you refrenced. M$ has a way of stretching the truth that way, I
don't believe what they say until I see it myself, a lot of times. I've
worked on M$ crap long enough to know better.

I'd like anyone to show me stats on their 9X machine using more than 256,
let alone 512, then I'll believe it.

> With more than 512MB Windows tends to map excessive amounts for use as a
> disk cache.....
>
>>You have to mess with the vcache settings in system.ini for some benefit
>>probably.

>
> .... that (above) is the purpose of limiting the disk 'MaxFileCache'
> cache.
>
>>I would still replace the hard drive, 4 years old, everyday use, that
>>thing's getting tired.

>
> The drive is irrelevent.


No, it's not. Increase the disk cache cause it's paging, it won't use all
512MB.
 
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°Mike°
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      02-23-2004
On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 16:07:28 -0500, in
<pan.2004.02.23.21.07.27.346868@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
Bob scrawled:

>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 20:27:02 +0000, °Mike° wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 15:09:40 -0500, in
>> <pan.2004.02.23.20.09.39.494825@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
>> Bob scrawled:
>>
>>>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:07:28 +0000, °Mike° wrote:
>>>
>>>> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
>>>> <pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
>>>> Bob scrawled:
>>>>
>>>> <snip>
>>>>
>>>>>The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of utilizing
>>>>>512MB of RAM.
>>>>
>>>> Rubbish!
>>>
>>>, you think so? Ever see a Win9X use 512MB RAM? I doubt it.

>>
>> I've got one running 768MB, and I know numerous people who have 1GB in
>> Win98 systems. Doubt it all you want.

>
>I don't care how much RAM you have inside the box, Win9X is not using it
>all, not anything near 512, let alone 256.


I see. You know more about my box than I do, then. That figures....

>Show me your mem stats from this box that shows more than 256 actually
>IN USE. Your 9X, ME boxes, don't/won't use 512MB ram.


Why? You said it yourself; "Win9X is not using it all". Since
you are a "Mr. Know-it-all", there's not a lot of point conversing
with you, is there?

<snip>

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ICee
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2004
Bob wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 19:07:28 +0000, °Mike° wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:36:35 -0500, in
>> <pan.2004.02.23.18.36.34.334307@ifyoureallywanttok now.com>
>> Bob scrawled:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>> The other thing is that Windows 98 isn't really capable of utilizing
>>> 512MB of RAM.

>>
>> Rubbish!

>
> , you think so? Ever see a Win9X use 512MB RAM? I doubt it.
> This has been well known for years, here's an excerpt from:
>
> http://www.memorystock.com/windows-memory.html
>
> "Note that if you are upgrading your RAM memory, a computer using
> Windows 95 or Windows 98 (first edition) will not recognise more than
> 256MB. Moreover RAM that Windows cannot cache (recognise) will be
> accessed as slowly as the virtual memory swap file (win386.swp) that
> Windows creates on the boot hard disk drive to use when the amount of
> RAM runs out. Therefore, adding too much RAM can slow down a system
> considerably. Unless you are using a non_Windows operating system
> such as Linux, and unless you employ the fix a link to which is
> provided below, your must have Windows 98SE or run a later version to
> use more than 256MB of RAM.
>
> This limitation does not apply to Windows 2000 and Windows XP."


Haven't you wondered why the title of the article you quote is "I have
more than 512MB of RAM. Why does Windows say I'm out of memory?"? And,
that it mentions 512 MB in most of the article, and 256 MB in just one
paragraph? It's obviously a typo, or the person writing it has no idea
what he/she is talking about.
When I was running Win98SE with 512 MB of RAM, the system would
typically use most of it (much more than 256 MB) when running a game, or
a number of programs at once. A nice utility for checking memory use,
as well as setting Vcache and a number of other parameters, is Cacheman:
http://www.outertech.com/


 
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