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1937 posts

Uber Geek
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# 20434 26-Mar-2008 12:21
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Compaq laptop
Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo CPU T2450 @ 2.00GHz
120HDD
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7200 (I suspect shared RAM)

Originally 1Gb RAM, the Windows Experience Index was:
4.7 4.5 (RAM) 2.9 2.7 5.1

On the recommendation of many people here and other computer forums, I upgraded to 2Gb.

However startup and shutdown times are essentially unchanged. Application load times are similar. I wasn't the one expecting massive performance changes, but from what I was recommended I was given the impression that speed would definitely be improved significantly.

The new WEI is:
4.7 4.6 (RAM) 2.9 2.7 5.1

Any comments? Glad I didn't pay more than the $40 I did for the RAM because for my usage (internet, email, Word/Office), I didn't think that going to 2Gb would be completely essential.

Edit: WEI figures included for reference only. I have recorded objective data for load times that I am basing these comments on - see my next post for more details.  

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799 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 118744 26-Mar-2008 12:28
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Just from the RAM we really cant help you. Sometimes the apps that run can make your OS slow and you need to frequently check with Startup Programs because many applications have the tendency to add themselves in the startup list. Just type msconfig in the Run Dialog and check your startup items.

The WEI does not directly contribute to your system upgrade or RAM upgrade. Just search our Geekzone forums for WEI discussions and you will get more info on them.

And 2 GB of RAM is more than enough for Vista to perform good. I am running Vista here in more than 4 machines (with different processors though) with 2 GB RAM and they all seem to be perform well. And ofcourse, I do keep an eye on the Startup list.




Regards,
Chaks

Desktop : Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66GHz - 8GB RAM - 500 GB + 500 GB HDD - NVidia GeForce 9800GT - LG246WH Flatron Display - Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Hyper-V
Virtual Machine : Powered by Hyper-V and VMWare Workstation
Laptop: HP dv7-3004TX Entertainment Notebook PC | HP Touchsmart tx2 1119au - Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Mac: iMac 21.5" Snow Leopard
Mobile : iPhone 3GS



1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118747 26-Mar-2008 12:36
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I haven't monitored startup programs, but I can say that my startup and shutdown times are identical to those when I first reinstalled a CLEAN Vista OS.

And this is 2 months down the track, with regular usage.

Adding RAM has NOT improved application startup speed. I only use Firefox, Office, and a few other applications.

I wasn't rushing to add RAM because I believed that 1Gb would be fine for my usage. But a lot of people recommended another 1Gb and said it would improve performance.

I have objective data on load times for Windows and other applications both before and after installing the additional 1Gb and it has made no significant difference according to my stopwatch.

I only put the WEI data for reference. The objective times I have recorded is what I am basing my experience on.  

 
 
 
 


Hawkes Bay
8477 posts

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  # 118748 26-Mar-2008 12:39
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More RAM will allow more applications to use more memory without swapping out to disk.

E.g. my Macbook has 2GB and I run an XP virtual machine, IRC, mail, FF, iTunes, Skype, aMSN, Growl, Himmelbar, smcFanControl, Plaxo, iSync, and more pretty much fulltime. I have enough RAM to run all those and the OS itself, and plenty left over.

I am going to upgrade to 4GB, this will not speed my computer up, but it will let me run even more software at once, without swapping out to disk (so therefore, its not that it speeds me up - its that it DOESNT slow me down under heavy memory usage situations).

RAM is storage. Bigger, smaller. RAM has speed considerations, but you normally can't just go and get 'faster' RAM for a given machine.
CPU is processing. Faster, slower.

If you want a faster PC, upgrade your CPU.

If you are doing anything other than basic email, www and wordprocessing on a Vista machine, then almost anyone would recommend 2GB RAM.







741 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 118751 26-Mar-2008 12:41
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Your graphics card hasn't yoinked any of that RAM (sorry I'm useless with technical terms) as I thought when I added another gig it would run a lot faster, checked out my performance info and found my graphics card had yoinked half of the new ram!







171 posts

Master Geek


  # 118752 26-Mar-2008 12:44
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RAM is not the only thing to affect performance of an operating system. By the description you've given, I suspect the hard drive might be the issue. Have you defragmented the disk recently?

Being a laptop, the hard disk is likely to be only 4200rpm. Upgrading to a faster hard drive is likely to have a noticable impact, especially during startup when a lot of disk activity is occurring.




1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118753 26-Mar-2008 12:45
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Hi Tony,

I realise what you are saying about RAM is true, but I was told by multiple people that 1Gb more of RAM would significantly enhance my Vista experience (which was somewhat lukewarm).

It's not entirely true though that RAM doesn't improve benchmarks right? At the lower end of the scale adding RAM will definitely improve speed, given the same CPU.  



1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118755 26-Mar-2008 12:46
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xcubed: RAM is not the only thing to affect performance of an operating system. By the description you've given, I suspect the hard drive might be the issue. Have you defragmented the disk recently?

Being a laptop, the hard disk is likely to be only 4200rpm. Upgrading to a faster hard drive is likely to have a noticable impact, especially during startup when a lot of disk activity is occurring.

You sure it's only 4200?

wd1200bevs-60ust0 is the model number

Windows rates the HDD performance as 5.1/5.9

No recent defrag but the objective data recorded was done immediately before and immediately after the upgrade was performed.  

 
 
 
 




1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118756 26-Mar-2008 12:52
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pebbles: Your graphics card hasn't yoinked any of that RAM (sorry I'm useless with technical terms) as I thought when I added another gig it would run a lot faster, checked out my performance info and found my graphics card had yoinked half of the new ram!

Virtual memory is managed by Windows.

This is what the WEI tells me about the shared Graphics:

Graphics  
  Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce Go 7200
  Total available graphics memory 527 MB
        Dedicated graphics memory 32 MB
        Dedicated system memory 0 MB
        Shared system memory 495 MB
  Display adapter driver version 7.15.11.6743
  Primary monitor resolution 1280x800
  DirectX version DirectX 9.0 or better

103 posts

Master Geek


  # 118792 26-Mar-2008 16:06
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Hi Ahmad,

After reading the posts, I'm still not sure what the problem is..?

Like others have said, Increasing the amount of RAM does not necessarily mean windows or applications start up faster or run faster. This will only be the case if in fact you dont have enough RAM in the first place.

There are several things that affect the performance of windows or your applications:

H/W:
- CPU speed (the faster this is, the quicker the computer can execute instructions and move bits around)
- RAM (this is just memory which can be accessed much faster than your hard drive, so the more RAM you have the more space you have to store information/programs for quicker access)
- HDD speed (The faster your HDD, the faster the information can be read/written to the HDD) 

S/W:
- Startup Programs (msconfig as already mentioned here can be useful in choosing what programs to start and not to start)
- Proprietory Software (Most laptops come with the vendor specific software which can slow down your computer.
- Antivirus/Firewall Software (I've found some antivirus or firewall programs can put a big load on the computer depending on what settings you have for them)

Just out of curiosity, how long does it take to start up your laptop from pressing the button to finish loading your startup applications? Perhaps then we can compare with other Vista Users...

Cheers,

171 posts

Master Geek


  # 118799 26-Mar-2008 16:28
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Ahmad, give up on the WEI. It is not a proper benchmarking tool and is only intended to determine which computers are capable of running which versions of Vista (which from what I've heard, it doesn't do accurately anyway).

ahmad:
You sure it's only 4200?
wd1200bevs-60ust0 is the model number


No, I wasn't sure as you hadn't provided any information about the hard disk in your original post. The model number you have given suggests that it is a 5400rpm drive which is better than a 4200rpm.

ahmad: No recent defrag but the objective data recorded was done immediately before and immediately after the upgrade was performed.


Do a defrag now. A defrag is generally the first point of call if you're having performance issues. The fact that it was a fresh install or upgrade has no bearing on whether the disk is fragmented or not. The design and implementation of the FAT32 and NTFS filesystems are not smart enough to prevent fragmentation.

And as suggested by the others in this post, make sure there is nothing running that doesn't need to be running. Even a fresh install can install components and services that aren't actually needed but still impact on performance. On a laptop, I always make sure that things like the Indexing Service or Windows Desktop Search are disabled as the hammer the hard disk unnecessarily and can affect battery life. The same can also be said for anti-virus software although that is necessary evil in most cases.

799 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 118809 26-Mar-2008 16:41
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You shouldn't really see the Startup and Shutdown time and rate your System's Performance, instead, you should see how stable your System is performing after the Startup. Startup purely depends on the startup programs, for example, If I have IIS 7, SQL Server turned on, it will take time for it to start if its in Startup Services list. But in Vista, you could also configure it to be Delayed Start.




Regards,
Chaks

Desktop : Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66GHz - 8GB RAM - 500 GB + 500 GB HDD - NVidia GeForce 9800GT - LG246WH Flatron Display - Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Hyper-V
Virtual Machine : Powered by Hyper-V and VMWare Workstation
Laptop: HP dv7-3004TX Entertainment Notebook PC | HP Touchsmart tx2 1119au - Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Mac: iMac 21.5" Snow Leopard
Mobile : iPhone 3GS



1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118825 26-Mar-2008 17:58
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Hi Sinn, the "problem" is one of possible wasting of resources (ie. money).

When I bought the laptop, I was pretty sure that 1Gb would "do" for me, but everyone I discussed this with said that I pretty much "needed" 2Gb to run Vista properly, despite me emphasising that I would only be using the computer for very basic tasks (firefox, MS Office, IM applications).

So I'm just commenting that after the recommended update, I don't have any objective evidence to suggest my computer is running any smoother or faster as some said I would get.

Power on to logon = 0:45 (same after RAM upgrade, and same as January 2008 under a fresh install)

Power on to fully loaded desktop = 1:50 (same after RAM upgrade, and same as January 2008 under a fresh install)

Load Firefox (or IE) = 0:10 (same after RAM upgrade)

Load Word for first time after startup = 0:14 (not different after RAM upgrade)

Hibernation = 1:05 (no open applications, same whether 1Gb or 2Gb RAM)

Shutdown = roughly 0:20, and not significantly different under 2Gb.



1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118843 26-Mar-2008 18:46
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xcubed: Ahmad, give up on the WEI. It is not a proper benchmarking tool and is only intended to determine which computers are capable of running which versions of Vista (which from what I've heard, it doesn't do accurately anyway).

Regardless of whether or not it is a good benchmark tool, it is the SAME tool being used immediately before and immediately after an upgrade. At least a little information can be garnished from it. And I wasn't using that as the performance indicator anyway.

No, I wasn't sure as you hadn't provided any information about the hard disk in your original post. The model number you have given suggests that it is a 5400rpm drive which is better than a 4200rpm.

Well the only laptops I know of that use 4200rpm drives these days are the high end ones called "Air".

799 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 118859 26-Mar-2008 19:12
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ahmad:
When I bought the laptop, I was pretty sure that 1Gb would "do" for me, but everyone I discussed this with said that I pretty much "needed" 2Gb to run Vista properly, despite me emphasising that I would only be using the computer for very basic tasks (firefox, MS Office, IM applications).


What according to you means - "to run Vista properly"

ahmad:
So I'm just commenting that after the recommended update, I don't have any objective evidence to suggest my computer is running any smoother or faster as some said I would get.


Your startup time, logon time, hibernation and shutdown will not decrease if you upgrade your RAM. I would like to know who advised you like that.

Are you running Fresh Vista RTM version or the Compaq's one with all the bloated software? Have you installed Vista SP1 (if it has been offered for you through Windows Update) ?

Again, increasing RAM need not increase WEI (which as mentioned in the posts is not a benchmarking tool!) and need not decrease shutdown/hibernation/logon time.




Regards,
Chaks

Desktop : Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66GHz - 8GB RAM - 500 GB + 500 GB HDD - NVidia GeForce 9800GT - LG246WH Flatron Display - Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Hyper-V
Virtual Machine : Powered by Hyper-V and VMWare Workstation
Laptop: HP dv7-3004TX Entertainment Notebook PC | HP Touchsmart tx2 1119au - Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Mac: iMac 21.5" Snow Leopard
Mobile : iPhone 3GS



1937 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  # 118887 26-Mar-2008 20:57
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You are preaching a little to the converted. I didn't think I would get benefit from 2Gb RAM, but many people told me I should upgrade. I seem to recall statements like:

"Vista needs 2Gb RAM to run properly"

"It will fly with 2Gb RAM".

I'm not disappointed because I didn't expect miracles - in fact I didn't even want to spend money on the upgrade.

I'm running a clean install with no bloatware and am pre-SP1.

All of this is a moot point anyway - if there was performance change, it would happen regardless of how I'm running my system. You don't have to have an entirely clean system to notice performance enhancements.

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