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Question about RAM quantity

 
 
John Smith
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      01-06-2011
Hi, My computer specs are laid out below, and as you can see I currently
have 2 GB of RAM installed.

Operating System
MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz 48 C
Conroe 65nm Technology

RAM
2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (5-5-5-1

Motherboard
Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. EP31-DS3L (Socket 775)

Graphics
SyncMaster @ 1680x1050
512MB GeForce 8500 GT (Undefined)

I am frequently use Autodesk Inventor 2011 which gets quite busy with the
RAM at times. I think it would definitely speed up the program if I had more
memory.

From what I've read on the internet XP Home 32-bit SP3 can take 4GB of RAM
but some motherboards only see 3.5GB and considering I already have 512MB
attached to my Graphics card I think a safe bet would be to add just one
more GB.

Thoughts?

Cheers
Buck


 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-06-2011
John Smith wrote:
> Hi, My computer specs are laid out below, and as you can see I currently
> have 2 GB of RAM installed.
>
> Operating System
> MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3
>
> CPU
> Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66GHz 48 C
> Conroe 65nm Technology
>
> RAM
> 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 399MHz (5-5-5-1
>
> Motherboard
> Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. EP31-DS3L (Socket 775)
>
> Graphics
> SyncMaster @ 1680x1050
> 512MB GeForce 8500 GT (Undefined)
>
> I am frequently use Autodesk Inventor 2011 which gets quite busy with the
> RAM at times. I think it would definitely speed up the program if I had more
> memory.
>
> From what I've read on the internet XP Home 32-bit SP3 can take 4GB of RAM
> but some motherboards only see 3.5GB and considering I already have 512MB
> attached to my Graphics card I think a safe bet would be to add just one
> more GB.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Cheers
> Buck


On the one hand, it's a relatively cheap upgrade. So it's not the
end of the world, if the upgrade is a flop.

I recommend going from 2x1GB to 2x2GB, then keep the 2x1GB as
"spares", in case you have a memory failure. I'm not a big
fan of running four sticks. On some motherboards, two
of the modules get no cooling (they're shoulder to shoulder
and touching each other), and that may not be good for the
modules. I prefer a two stick configuration, as it gets better
cooling. I've had a module failure, in a short time (30 days),
after running a four stick config. The RAM used in that case,
had been running as a two stick configuration in a couple of
computers, and the memory failed, soon after all the memory
was moved to just the one machine.

I've tested both 2x1GB and 2x2GB on WinXP, and am currently using
the 2x2GB configuration. I run multiple virtual machines in VPC2007,
and that seems to work OK. I've noticed some other programs, like
an old copy of Photoshop, won't go over 2GB in their usage. There
is a "flag" on the .exe files, which determines whether they can use
up to 3GB or not. So if the OS says "3.2GB free", a single program
could use up to 3GB, but only if the flag is set. (And as far as
I know, the compiling of the program, and the flag setting, may be
associated with one another. While I read an article that stated
good things would happen, by hacking the flag, I wasn't impressed
with the results.)

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...78(VS.85).aspx

Memory type Limit in on X86 [i.e. 32 bit]

User-mode virtual 2GB
address space for
each 32-bit process Up to 3 GB with
IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE
and 4GT

My copy of Photoshop, doesn't seem to have IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE.
I fooled around with boot.ini a bit, when I first installed the RAM,
and couldn't get *any* application at the time, to use more RAM. But
I have noticed, that my copy of VPC 2007, seems to do pretty well
in the RAM department (I haven't a clue how it manages the virtual
address space). On the one hand, VPC 2007 seems to involve only one
"process", as seen in Task Manager. And bears evidence of sharing
only one core across all virtual machines. But in terms of RAM usage,
it seems to escape the 2GB limit, and it may be doing that by (somehow)
having more than one virtual address mapping at play (one per virtual
machine maybe ?).

In any case, in 25 words or less, I can't say for the vast
majority of stuff, you're much better off.

It's a "special case" kind of world, where it's up to your "tuning skills"
to actually make good usage of the purchase. I was a failure at it.
And wasn't in a mood to go buying more commercial software, to test it.

I notice the OS slows down a bit, roughly when I'm using 2.6GB or
more, of 3.1+ GB free. So actually driving it to the wall, doesn't
work as expected. And yes, I checked for swapping, and there is
no drive light activity when I see a slowdown. Perhaps it's
"paged pool" or "pool pointers" ? I'm not really sure. In any case,
I've modified my usage pattern a bit, to try to avoid the pesky
situation.

So my opinion would be, yeah, do the upgrade, but don't expect
miracles. Don't even expect "justification" of the money spent.
The only reason I'm running the 4GB config, is it was sitting
unused in my junk room (left-overs from another project)
so I installed it.

Paul
 
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