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Topic # 110658 13-Oct-2012 12:44 Send private message

I heard an item on the radio this morning that slow broadband was no 1 on the list of things that annoy kiwis. Sometimes its not the speed of the broadband. Over the years I have sorted a lot of computer related problems for people and found that sometimes the broadband speed is fine. Its old computers that are the problem, not enough horsepower or enough ram. There is still quite a few old P4's and early amd systems out there trying to run windows xp with 256 mb ram. Installing 2 gig ram where a computer will take it makes a huge difference. 

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  Reply # 700611 13-Oct-2012 12:50 Send private message

Yip, it's an on going education process to get people to understand that they simply have to invest in upgrades if they don't want to be imposed with frustration.

As we transition from copper to fibre this whole issue is just going to grow.

Web sites and applications have become unusable on dialup. They will become unusable on DSL eventually as well.





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  Reply # 700662 13-Oct-2012 14:38 Send private message

dukester: There is still quite a few old P4's and early amd systems out there trying to run windows xp with 256 mb ram. Installing 2 gig ram where a computer will take it makes a huge difference. 


I see what you are saying about the older XP computers.

Similar is true of many new machines as well. Better video processing and web rendering helps out more on new machines but still..

Manufacturers are still releasing new machines with only 2GB RAM to hit the low price points. This is not even enough to get good performance with the stock bloatware. In many cases the consumer at this price point would be better off with slightly less spec on the processor and 2x (or 3x) the RAM instead.

This kind of thing was true even in 33/56k days. Less excuse for it now because RAM is so much cheaper.



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  Reply # 700679 13-Oct-2012 15:45 Send private message

gzt:
dukester: There is still quite a few old P4's and early amd systems out there trying to run windows xp with 256 mb ram. Installing 2 gig ram where a computer will take it makes a huge difference. 


I see what you are saying about the older XP computers.

Similar is true of many new machines as well. Better video processing and web rendering helps out more on new machines but still..

Manufacturers are still releasing new machines with only 2GB RAM to hit the low price points. This is not even enough to get good performance with the stock bloatware. In many cases the consumer at this price point would be better off with slightly less spec on the processor and 2x (or 3x) the RAM instead.

This kind of thing was true even in 33/56k days. Less excuse for it now because RAM is so much cheaper.




Interestingly I find my cpu and fxd can't keep up.

On this netbook I've got 2Gb of ram with windows 7 start.  I find that once it hits 1.5gb used and 450mb for firefox the machine becomes unusable.

4Gb of ram wouldn't help me.  The CPU just wouldn't keep up.






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  Reply # 700691 13-Oct-2012 16:58 Send private message

DonGould: Interestingly I find my cpu and fxd can't keep up.

On this netbook I've got 2Gb of ram with windows 7 start.  I find that once it hits 1.5gb used and 450mb for firefox the machine becomes unusable.

4Gb of ram wouldn't help me.  The CPU just wouldn't keep up.



How do you know it's the CPU? From what you are saying I'd put my money on more memory - 4GB is minimum these days. This will reduce the amount of swap file being used. HDD in netbooks are notoriously slow so any memory swap will negatively impact the system performance.

Once more memory is in place, the next best thing is a SSD replacement for the HDD.

Modern CPUs are more than enough for day to day email, browsing, word processing and similar tasks.





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  Reply # 700693 13-Oct-2012 17:02 Send private message

dukester: I heard an item on the radio this morning that slow broadband was no 1 on the list of things that annoy kiwis. Sometimes its not the speed of the broadband.


These are the people who completely ignore the fact that most speed problems happen inside their property - no proper filter/split, corroded wiring, multiple devices on same line, etc...




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  Reply # 700699 13-Oct-2012 17:11 Send private message

freitasm: How do you know it's the CPU? From what you are saying I'd put my money on more memory - 4GB is minimum these days. This will reduce the amount of swap file being used. HDD in netbooks are notoriously slow so any memory swap will negatively impact the system performance.


Memory shouldn't start swapping in and out when there's 500mb of free ram.






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  Reply # 700710 13-Oct-2012 17:47 Send private message

freitasm:
dukester: I heard an item on the radio this morning that slow broadband was no 1 on the list of things that annoy kiwis. Sometimes its not the speed of the broadband.


These are the people who completely ignore the fact that most speed problems happen inside their property - no proper filter/split, corroded wiring, multiple devices on same line, etc...


Yup totally agree. People annoy me so so much when they don't spend money on there comms! They will spend 10k plus on home theatre/ home audio but not spend more than $100 on a router and some wifi access points. One house we just worked on had a proper movie theatre and yet he turned up his nose at 2 Unifi's to make the coverage through the house decent. Really really annoyed me. i told him that we won't be giving him anymore advice re his home network as he obviously isn't interested in it.

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  Reply # 700714 13-Oct-2012 17:55 Send private message

chevrolux: he turned up his nose at 2 Unifi's to make the coverage through the house decent. Really really annoyed me. i told him that we won't be giving him anymore advice re his home network as he obviously isn't interested in it.


WiFi software on your phone and just take them for a walk around the house. :)






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  Reply # 700722 13-Oct-2012 18:29 Send private message

DonGould:
freitasm: How do you know it's the CPU? From what you are saying I'd put my money on more memory - 4GB is minimum these days. This will reduce the amount of swap file being used. HDD in netbooks are notoriously slow so any memory swap will negatively impact the system performance.


Memory shouldn't start swapping in and out when there's 500mb of free ram.



It does.





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  Reply # 700727 13-Oct-2012 18:35 Send private message

DonGould:
freitasm: How do you know it's the CPU? From what you are saying I'd put my money on more memory - 4GB is minimum these days. This will reduce the amount of swap file being used. HDD in netbooks are notoriously slow so any memory swap will negatively impact the system performance.


Memory shouldn't start swapping in and out when there's 500mb of free ram.



Here. READ THIS POST. Then read all the other posts in the series.

You will learn why you have 500 MB available in your 2 GB PC and swap file is being used.

Then buy more memory. And a SSD. And then say thanks.





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  Reply # 700741 13-Oct-2012 19:20 Send private message

freitasm:
DonGould:
freitasm: How do you know it's the CPU? From what you are saying I'd put my money on more memory - 4GB is minimum these days. This will reduce the amount of swap file being used. HDD in netbooks are notoriously slow so any memory swap will negatively impact the system performance.


Memory shouldn't start swapping in and out when there's 500mb of free ram.



Here. READ THIS POST. Then read all the other posts in the series.

You will learn why you have 500 MB available in your 2 GB PC and swap file is being used.

Then buy more memory. And a SSD. And then say thanks.



Totally agree,

For what I do I have found that I don't need a powerful PC - sure I do Photoshop work quite often but I couldn't justify to get a powerful laptop when what I am looking for is something with very good battery life and enough performance to get by day to day. I ended up getting a HP Netbook - it came stock with 2gb of ram and found I would max this out very quickly - the whole thing would run sluggish etc. I then upgraded the ram to 8gb, shoved in a 128gb SSD and installed Windows 8 and the performance boost was amazing, not only do I have 19 tabs open in Chrome, I have Spotify, Libreoffice, Trillian, a couple of Putty SSH sessions open and also Photoshop all on a "cheap" netbook - best of all the whole thing is still snappy fast, responsive etc.

Only issue is I need to get a more powerful PC since I have started working with high def video editing, but I did the complete same to my parents ageing Acer laptop (AMD Dual Core 1.8GHz with 1gb of ram stock) to 8gb, SSD etc and they think they have a whole new laptop, it's not just a little boost it's pretty substantial.

So those complaining about sluggish netbooks too - max out your ram (no excuse) and grab a SSD - except according to Windows my CPU is seriously lacking now :P







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  Reply # 700742 13-Oct-2012 19:27 Send private message

TL;DR: RAM is many more times faster than HDD. Windows will try and cache as much as possible. If there's a process that has a lower chance of being used in the near future Windows will swap it out to disk (even if there's free memory) so that more memory is available for cache.

Also some processes can not be swapped to disk, which means parts of the memory are always being used, and unavailable. This is kind of "reserved". If you have 500 MB free, but need more than this for a non-swappable process then something else will be moved out.

In other words: you can have as much free memory as you think you have, and swap may still happen.





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  Reply # 700766 13-Oct-2012 21:48 Send private message

I think kiwis have become so used to the media talking about how rubbish NZ broadband is at every opportunity, that they just believe it, when actually it's not true. Our broadband speeds are good, and data caps are starting to disappear as an issue, and all this long before ufb has any sort of impact.

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  Reply # 700769 13-Oct-2012 21:53 Send private message

NonprayingMantis: I think kiwis have become so used to the media talking about how rubbish NZ broadband is at every opportunity, that they just believe it, when actually it's not true. Our broadband speeds are good, and data caps are starting to disappear as an issue, and all this long before ufb has any sort of impact.


You know, I actually agree... I can't really remember the last time I was unhappy with the speed of my connection.




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  Reply # 700779 13-Oct-2012 22:20 Send private message

RBI is on the way. But many rural and semi-rural users will still disagree with you at this point in time.

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