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Windows XP Home Edition with 256MB..enough RAM?

 
 
Rudy Lopez
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      10-07-2004
I'm helping a friend select a system.

Having never used Windows XP I don't know how much RAM to recommend.

(money is an issue. we are considering the $399 (after rebate) Dell
Dimension 2400.


 
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Patrick Michael
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      10-07-2004

"Rudy Lopez" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I'm helping a friend select a system.
>
> Having never used Windows XP I don't know how much RAM to recommend.
>
> (money is an issue. we are considering the $399 (after rebate) Dell
> Dimension 2400.


Theoretically, 256MB is sufficient to run XP, but I'd recommend at least
512MB. Looking at the specs for that system on Dell's website, it has a
Celeron (low-end CPU), and the memory is shared (meaning some of it is used
by the VGA chipset). Running XP on a Celeron with 256MB shared RAM is
probably not going to be a very pleasant experience. There's just too many
bottlenecks.

If your friend is simply using this system to browse the internet, check
e-mail, runn Office/Works, etc...then he'll probably be OK. If he wants to
do a lot of multi-tasking or anything more, then I'd get another 256MB stick
and go up to 512MB. It looks like Dell is charging $50 to upgrade from 256
to 512, which isn't all that bad. The cheapest 333MHz DDR SDRAM on newegg
is $40. That'd be $50 well spent!


 
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Rudy Lopez
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      10-07-2004
On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 10:53:05 -0500, "Patrick Michael"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

Is Windows XP more of a memory hog than Windows 2000 Pro?

I was concerned it might be. That's why I asked the original question.

I'm running W2K Pro on a 2.6 GHz Celeron with 256MB with shared
memory. It does everything I want it to (but sometimes copied DVDs are
slightly pixelated or jittery here and there) .

I probably don't know what I am missing other than that.


 
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Rudy Lopez
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      10-07-2004

>
>If your friend is simply using this system to browse the internet, check
>e-mail, runn Office/Works, etc...then he'll probably be OK. If he wants to
>do a lot of multi-tasking or anything more, then I'd get another 256MB stick
>and go up to 512MB. It looks like Dell is charging $50 to upgrade from 256
>to 512, which isn't all that bad. The cheapest 333MHz DDR SDRAM on newegg
>is $40. That'd be $50 well spent!
>


All she is going to want to do in addition to this is burn CDs.

She thinks she may want to burn DVDs but the cost of a DVD drive is
going to make the system more expensive.
 
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Patrick Michael
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      10-07-2004

"Rudy Lopez" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 10:53:05 -0500, "Patrick Michael"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> Is Windows XP more of a memory hog than Windows 2000 Pro?
>
> I was concerned it might be. That's why I asked the original question.
>
> I'm running W2K Pro on a 2.6 GHz Celeron with 256MB with shared
> memory. It does everything I want it to (but sometimes copied DVDs are
> slightly pixelated or jittery here and there) .
>
> I probably don't know what I am missing other than that.


Windows XP is more resource-intensive, but mostly because of all the
visual-effects crap, which can easily be disabled under the Performance
section of the System Applet. If you were going to look at a single thing
to upgrade, RAM would probably benefit her the most. She can probably get
by without it though.


 
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Vervynckt's
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      10-07-2004
I just purchased this system, I added the additional 256MB of ram, floppy
drive and speakers. I would add the additional ram, since it is only ~$
40.00.



 
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Tom MacIntyre
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      10-07-2004
On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 15:33:35 GMT, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Rudy Lopez)
wrote:

>I'm helping a friend select a system.
>
>Having never used Windows XP I don't know how much RAM to recommend.
>
>(money is an issue. we are considering the $399 (after rebate) Dell
>Dimension 2400.
>
>


Here in Canada, at least, Dell offers recurring/rotating free
upgrades, and the 256-512 M of RAM is one that sometimes shows up.

Tom
 
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Rudy Lopez
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      10-07-2004
On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 22:06:22 GMT, Tom MacIntyre
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 15:33:35 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (Rudy Lopez)
>wrote:
>
>>I'm helping a friend select a system.
>>
>>Having never used Windows XP I don't know how much RAM to recommend.
>>
>>(money is an issue. we are considering the $399 (after rebate) Dell
>>Dimension 2400.
>>
>>

>
>Here in Canada, at least, Dell offers recurring/rotating free
>upgrades, and the 256-512 M of RAM is one that sometimes shows up.
>
>Tom


They seem to do that here too.

RAM is not one of the free upgrades right now, however a flatpanel
monitor is.


 
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Patrick Michael
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      10-08-2004

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> 256 megs is fine, in most cases, for routine applications. I did tons of
> MP3's, digital photography and video capture/editing on a 1.6 GHz P4 with
> 256 meg of memory. Don't get me wrong, 512 megs IS preferred and will be
> faster, but 256 megs is fully workable, and not just in theory.


The problem comes when the user (especially if they're a novice) installs a
bunch of auto-starting TSRs, especially if a lot of it is
malware/spyware/adware. These programs are never good on any system,
regardless of the operating system and how much RAM they have. However,
I've seen Celerons with 256MB RAM that cannot even get past the login screen
because there is insufficient resources/memory available. This is less
likely to happen on a system with more RAM. The spyware will still slow
their system down, but probably not the point of making it a really
expensive paperweight.

Even if the auto-starting programs are not spyware, having a lot of them
load at startup can drastically decrease loadtimes and performance. If the
user is intelligent enough to manage their resources and optimize their
performance, which I have no doubt describes you, then yes, 256MB is
sufficient. Unfortunately, I do not have nearly as much confidence in the
abilities and saviness of the average XP user. For $50, I really think
adding an extra 256MB is the smart choice.


 
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AG
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      10-08-2004

"Patrick Michael" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:3vq9d.4862$_g6.313@okepread03...
>
> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > 256 megs is fine, in most cases, for routine applications. I did tons

of
> > MP3's, digital photography and video capture/editing on a 1.6 GHz P4

with
> > 256 meg of memory. Don't get me wrong, 512 megs IS preferred and will

be
> > faster, but 256 megs is fully workable, and not just in theory.

>
> The problem comes when the user (especially if they're a novice) installs

a
> bunch of auto-starting TSRs, especially if a lot of it is
> malware/spyware/adware. These programs are never good on any system,
> regardless of the operating system and how much RAM they have. However,
> I've seen Celerons with 256MB RAM that cannot even get past the login

screen
> because there is insufficient resources/memory available. This is less
> likely to happen on a system with more RAM. The spyware will still slow
> their system down, but probably not the point of making it a really
> expensive paperweight.
>
> Even if the auto-starting programs are not spyware, having a lot of them
> load at startup can drastically decrease loadtimes and performance. If

the
> user is intelligent enough to manage their resources and optimize their
> performance, which I have no doubt describes you, then yes, 256MB is
> sufficient. Unfortunately, I do not have nearly as much confidence in the
> abilities and saviness of the average XP user. For $50, I really think
> adding an extra 256MB is the smart choice.


I had a computer brought in today running Win2000 that took over 5 minutes
to boot because of all the TSR junk it was running. I installed MSCONFIG
and ran it and poof it booted in about 2 minutes. Next Adaware and Spybot.

AG


 
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