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Is 2GB really all I can get?

  1. Dec 11, 2008 #1
    My girlfriend has a Gateway ml6720 for which support says that the max RAM it can handle is 2GB. I already gave it 2GB on an upgrade and it still runs slow. Has anyone had any experience in putting more than the supported amount of RAM in?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2008 #2
    I was under the impression that the amount of usable RAM was dependent on not only the hardware you are using but also the operating system you are using.

    I don't know what kind of computer that is, but either could be the limiting factor.

    Also, there are other things that could be making it slow. What kind of RAM was it? Some RAM is faster than other RAM, so if you put in more, but it's a slower type, it could very well end up with little change.

    Secondly, the bottleneck could be something else. It could be the processor.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2008 #3

    f95toli

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    You need a 64-bit OS such as the the 64-bit version of Vista to use more than 2GB RAM, it is not a "bug" or anything; it just has to do with the number of addresses you can access using 32 bits (2^32)
    In addition to this some computers are limited to 2 GB because of their BIOS; although that is pretty rare on modern computers.

    Also, 2GB should be enough for most tasks so if the computer is still slow RAM is not likely to be the limiting factor; many laptops e.g. use fairly slow harddrives which can make the computer feel really slow.
    A clean install of whatever OS you are using can also help.
    Finally, I assume you have already made sure that the problem is not atrojans or other type virus?
     
  5. Dec 11, 2008 #4
    The computer has always been slow. It was relatively inexpensive, so I cannot imagine it was designed with high performance in mind. By clean install of OS do you mean a reinstall? I don't think that should be necessary as we have only had it a year and only 6 months ago we reset it to its factory settings.

    I do not think it has a virus, but I do not know how to tell. We never activated Norton or Macafee or any of that other garbage.

    Here's the product specs:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  6. Dec 11, 2008 #5

    turbo

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    Run, don't walk to the nearest Internet access point and download the free AVAST anti-virus, anti-trojan, etc software. It is free, and definitions are updated daily (or more frequently), and the core program seems to be updated at least once a month or so. It is a great package. I've been using it for a couple of years now, after NAV failed to rid my computer of some nasty hitch-hikers.

    http://anti-virus-solution.com/avast2/indexicc.asp

    As a musician, I often search for lyrics and or tabulature (to see how other people interpret songs that I play), and I swear that those sites are the most heavily contaminated with worms, trojans, etc. AVAST is powerful, and it is so up-to-date with it's threat definitions that I rarely have any problems.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2008 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Are you running vista? Another 1Gb of RAM will help. Those are reasonable for running XP.
    One reason for reinstalling windows is that most new machines come with a load of pre-installed junk - demo software, utilities etc, the manufacturer gets paid to put all this stuff on your machine. Do you have a dozen little system tray icons near the clock ?

    Take a look at the tips here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/northrup_restoreperf.mspx
    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/window-on-windows/?p=157&tag=rbxccnbtr1

    edit - to echo Danger's comment, you can also try http://www.spybot.com/ it scans you computer for viruses but doesn't run continually like avast or other av products.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2008 #7
    Is this something that runs continuously or only when I run it? I do not use Norton or stuff like that because it just slows my computer down anyway... It's like paying for a virus.

    I already upgraded to 2GB and yes I am running Vista. We cannot even notice the memory upgrade!
     
  9. Dec 11, 2008 #8

    mgb_phys

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    avast runs all the time and checks each file when you open it - safer but you pay a performance penalty.
    spybot does a scan when you tell it (avast does this when you first install aswell), so if not scanning there is no perfomance penalty, but you have to scan regularly if you indulge in unsafe computing ;-)

    Those are pretty much the minimum specs for vista.
    Make sure you have the latest drivers, especially for video.
    Try turning off some of the eye-candy. Somewhere in display properties there is a setting for best performance/best appearance - try setting best perfomance.
    Defrag the c drive.
    Check how much junk is loading at startup.
    Check the extra memory is being used, see control panel->system

    Search on MS for vista performance tweaks.
     
  10. Dec 11, 2008 #9
    Its my girlfriends, so it's pretty safe :smile:
    How do I check this?

    And this?
    Check the extra memory is being used, see control panel->system
    [/QUOTE]

    I did and it is. Could it be the kind of memory I bought? Is there reallt a such thing as slow memory and fast?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Dec 11, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

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    The memory speed is limited by the 'fsb' number in the specs above - any ram that fits in your computer will manage at least this speed.

    That was just to check that the ram was detected correctly by windows.
    Another explanation is that the ram wasn't the bottle neck - although going from 1->2 gb on vista should help a lot.

    Goto the laptop makers web site and look for drivers in the support/downlaods section.

    I think the most likely explanation is that you are loading masses of junk utils and demos at startup. checkout 'autoruns' on the MS website and the link I posted above.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2008 #11
    Okay thanks! Buy the way, I use a MacBook Pro and am about to upgrade myself. Do you know if Kingston is a good brand of memory?
     
  13. Dec 11, 2008 #12

    robphy

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  14. Dec 11, 2008 #13

    mgb_phys

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    There are only a couple of plants producing ram and they supply all the makers. All the makers sell different grades based on the amount of testing they do. Kingston is fine.
    I normally buy crucial, they have excellent support - eg. will replace for free if you selected the wrong type, and with free shipping they are ussualy as cheap as anyone else.
     
  15. Dec 11, 2008 #14
    1) As far as I know, 32-bit OSes including 32-bit Vista/XP allow you to utilise a little over 3GB of your memory, but definitely at least 2.75GB of it. My PC runs on 32-bit Vista and I have 4GB of memory on it; it shows "2.75GB" on the system information dialog, but my BIOS shows the full 4GB.

    2) Yours is a chipset limitation; it has only 2 slots for your RAM and 2GB RAM DIMMs aren't compatible. So the maximum you can go is 2x1GB after all.
     
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