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

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Rudy Lopez, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Rudy Lopez

    Rudy Lopez Guest

    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.
    Rudy Lopez, Oct 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Rudy Lopez" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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!
    Patrick Michael, Oct 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. Rudy Lopez

    Rudy Lopez Guest

    On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 10:53:05 -0500, "Patrick Michael"
    <> 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.
    Rudy Lopez, Oct 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Rudy Lopez

    Rudy Lopez Guest


    >
    >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.
    Rudy Lopez, Oct 7, 2004
    #4
  5. "Rudy Lopez" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 10:53:05 -0500, "Patrick Michael"
    > <> 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.
    Patrick Michael, Oct 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Rudy Lopez

    Vervynckt's Guest

    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.
    Vervynckt's, Oct 7, 2004
    #6
  7. On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 15:33:35 GMT, (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
    Tom MacIntyre, Oct 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Rudy Lopez

    Rudy Lopez Guest

    On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 22:06:22 GMT, Tom MacIntyre
    <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 15:33:35 GMT, (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.
    Rudy Lopez, Oct 7, 2004
    #8
  9. "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    Patrick Michael, Oct 8, 2004
    #9
  10. Rudy Lopez

    AG Guest

    "Patrick Michael" <> wrote in message
    news:3vq9d.4862$_g6.313@okepread03...
    >
    > "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > 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
    AG, Oct 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Rudy Lopez

    RLC Guest

    Barry Watzman <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > 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.
    >
    >
    > 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.
    > >
    > >


    I have to agree with you there. In fact, I have two systems at home, a
    128MB Dell Latitude CPX with a Pentium 3 and an old 128 MB E-machine
    with a Celeron 333Mhz chip. I run XP Home on both of them, and I have
    them connected to my wireless network. I have turned off the visual
    special effects on both systems as well, and they both run nicely (no
    jittering, no freeze-ups, etc). The Dell has the larger hard drive, so
    I work with my MP3's there. I use both systems for editing and
    uploading digital pictures.

    Just in case you were wondering, typically I run these (in pairs):

    Internet Explorer 6.x
    Netscape Navigator 7.1
    MS-Office 2000 (usually just Word and Access)
    Outlook Express
    GIMP (G.n.u. Image Manipulation Program) -
    http://www.gimp.org/windows/
    - a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop
    Kodak Camera Connection software
    Quicktime 6.5
    RLC, Oct 8, 2004
    #11
  12. Rudy Lopez

    Rudy Lopez Guest

    On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 01:31:42 -0500, "Patrick Michael"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    >news:...


    >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


    This person is almost certainly going to install AOL's AIM and
    probably some peer-to-peer software.

    Keeping her machine free of adware is probably going to be a full time
    job for someone.
    Rudy Lopez, Oct 8, 2004
    #12
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