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John H
10-02-2010, 10:56 AM
My PC seems to be a bit sad/slow these days managing multi-tasking, and I wanted some advice please.

According to Belarc Advisor, this is what I have got:
Operating System
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 (build 2600)
Processor
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 2.00 gigahertz
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
Main Circuit Board
Board: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. NF-CK804
Bus Clock: 201 megahertz
BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. F4 12/14/2004
Memory Modules
1024 Megabytes Installed Memory
Slot 'A0' has 512 MB
Slot 'A1' has 512 MB
Slot 'A2' has 512 MB
Slot 'A3' has 512 MB
Display
NVIDIA GeForce 6200 [Display adapter]

I have Sygate Personal Professional Firewall and MSSE installed (the latter is regularly updating itself), and update and use CCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware weekly, and nothing is showing up as nasty.

I would have thought that I had enough RAM installed - would more RAM improve this situation? If so, should I pull all of those modules and replace them with 1GB per slot? Or am I just being optimistic, given the current motherboard and processor?

Thanks for any helpful advice.

PS: I have just checked this Belarc Advisor report against the System Control Panel, and under General it says I only have 1GB of RAM? And this made me be more careful and notice that Belarc says I have 1024 MB installed memory, but it shows 4 slots filled with 512MB per slot. What is going on here?

Coaster
10-02-2010, 11:01 AM
I would go for 2X2Gb sticks.

bla bla windows wont see it all... but it is so cheap now and wont matter if windows wont see it all, it will see most of it.

Trev
10-02-2010, 11:07 AM
Do a defrag. When did you last reinstall windows? You could also run disk cleanup.
:)

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 11:12 AM
Looks like it supports up to 4 Gb. So may work with 1 x4 GB sticks. But, I would say it wont work with 2 x 2 GB sticks. Since it uses DDR 400. I dont think 2 GB sticks exist

Coaster
10-02-2010, 11:22 AM
Looks like it supports up to 4 Gb. So may work with 1 x4 GB sticks. But, I would say it wont work with 2 x 2 GB sticks. Since it uses DDR 400. I dont think 2 GB sticks exist

Good point.

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/TechGuide_List.aspx?NewTechID=75

KarameaDave
10-02-2010, 11:24 AM
By my calculations you should have 2GB

Slot 'A0' has 512 MB
Slot 'A1' has 512 MB
Slot 'A2' has 512 MB
Slot 'A3' has 512 MB
2048 MB

yet Belarc reports
1024 Megabytes Installed Memory

So you already have it maxed out and then some:confused:

Or it's not compatible (your board supports 4GB max according to one site I looked at).

Coaster
10-02-2010, 11:26 AM
Belarc is a crap program

qazwsxokmijn
10-02-2010, 11:47 AM
I *think* there are 2GB DDR sticks....availability of said sticks however is another matter.

You have to know that DDR sticks are now old tech and are pretty expensive. I think 4GB DDR would cost you over $150.

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 11:54 AM
Even if 2 GB DDR sticks did exist, each slot only supports up to 1 GB max. On this mobo. The other PC here has XP on it (1.25 GB ram - 1.6 ghz AMD) and did have MSSE on it. And it took forever to do anything. In the end I uninstalled it, and its a lot faster now. Takes about 12-13 secs to boot.And its faster than the other 2 PC's here. All I've got on it is trojan remover and malwarebytes. Thats it. No extra AV program, and no firewall, except XP's firewall

heni72847
10-02-2010, 12:12 PM
You can also use CPU-Z (http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php) to find out how your RAM is currently installed, and their speed too. Might remove some confusion caused by Belarc Advisor.

John H
10-02-2010, 12:29 PM
Well, thanks for all that advice - I think! :waughh:

The thing gets curiouser and curiouser. I have Windows saying I have 1024 MB of RAM, ditto Belarc Advisor saying I have the same amount but also saying I have 4 x 512 sticks installed, and I have now tried CPU-Z as suggested by heni. CPU-Z tells me I have 4 x 256 sticks installed, and 1024MB total RAM!

I think my next step must be to get into the guts of the machine and see what is actually there physically.

Realistically, assuming there is 1 GB of RAM installed, am I likely to see any improvement in speed if I installed more than that?

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 12:31 PM
You should with 3.0 - 3.25 GB ram. it depends on WHAT's in startup / whats running in the background now. Why it is so slow. BUT, I would say MSSE would be one of the culprits. If the video is onboard its probably taking some ram from the physical ram.

John H
10-02-2010, 12:41 PM
Good point.

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/TechGuide_List.aspx?NewTechID=75

Coaster, how did you identify my mobo as being GA-K8NF-9 from the data I posted? Sorry if this is a really dumb qn...

PS - I just found the mobo box in the garage and it says GA-K8NXP-9 - I don't know if that makes any diff. It also says 4 DDR400CH

John H
10-02-2010, 12:47 PM
You should with 3.0 - 3.25 GB ram. it depends on WHAT's in startup / whats running in the background now. Why it is so slow. BUT, I would say MSSE would be one of the culprits. If the video is onboard its probably taking some ram from the physical ram.

Thanx SG. Maybe I ought to look at reducing some services etc. Video is not onboard - I am running a NVIDIA GeForce 6200 Display adapter.

John H
10-02-2010, 12:56 PM
I just checked the mobo on the Gigabyte website and it says:
1. Type: Dual channel DDR400/ 333/ 266 -184pin
2. Max capacity: Up to 4GB by 4 DIMM slots
It doesn't say how much you can put in one slot.

Coaster
10-02-2010, 12:58 PM
Coaster, how did you identify my mobo as being GA-K8NF-9 from the data I posted? Sorry if this is a really dumb qn...

PS - I just found the mobo box in the garage and it says GA-K8NXP-9 - I don't know if that makes any diff. It also says 4 DDR400CH

Close guess I found with google.

http://asia.giga-byte.com/FileList/Manual/motherboard_manual_k8nxp9_e.pdf

will tell you:
4 DDR DIMM memory slots (supports up to 4GB memory) (Note)
Supports dual channel DDR 400/333/266/200 DIMM

(Note) Due to standard PC architecture, a certain amount of memory is reserved for system usage and
therefore the actual memory size is less than the stated amount.
For example, 4 GB of memory size will instead be shown as 3.xxGB memory during system startup.

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 01:00 PM
I just checked the mobo on the Gigabyte website and it says:
1. Type: Dual channel DDR400/ 333/ 266 -184pin
2. Max capacity: Up to 4GB by 4 DIMM slots
It doesn't say how much you can put in one slot.

It'll be 1 GB per slot since 1 x 4 = 4 GB. You cant put 2 GB in each it wont boot. And 2 GB sticks dont exist anyway (well I've never seen 2 GB DDR 400 ram).

Coaster
10-02-2010, 01:03 PM
http://dragonpc.co.nz/c.aspx?r=1e&c=Hardware&s=Memory+DDR

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 01:04 PM
Thanx SG. Maybe I ought to look at reducing some services etc. Video is not onboard - I am running a NVIDIA GeForce 6200 Display adapter.

Um I wouldn't disable services if you have no idea what they do. Disabling the wrong one can affect other services. And other programs, that may rely on the services (that you disable). Look in startup, and see how many programs are there

John H
10-02-2010, 01:42 PM
No doubt that is good advice SG - I probably wouldn't know what they do...

I just installed and ran Everest, and this is what it said (I have edited out unnecessary info from the following):
Motherboard Name Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 (4 DDR DIMM)
System Memory 1024 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)

And:
Memory Controller Properties:
Supported Memory Types SPM, DIMM
Maximum Memory Module Size 4096 MB
Memory Slots 4

And:
[ Memory Modules / A0 ]
Socket Designation A0
Type EDO
Speed 70 ns
Installed Size 512 MB
Enabled Size 512 MB
Everest then gives identical info for each of slots A1, A2 and A3

[ Memory Devices / A0 ]
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Device Locator A0
Bank Locator Bank0/1
Everest then gives identical info for each of slots A1, A2 and A3.

So if I have 4 x 512 MB DIMMs showing as installed, why am I still showing only 1024 MB RAM altogether?

John H
10-02-2010, 01:46 PM
Ha! I didn't read far enough in the Everest report. When you get down to the memory device descriptions, each of them is described as 256MB; hence the 1024 total. I don't understand the conflict between the first set of figures and these ones. It looks like Windows is correct; I only have 1024 MB of RAM.

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 01:49 PM
hmm I think this

[ Memory Devices / A0 ]
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Device Locator A0
Bank Locator Bank0/1 <-- means the first and second slot make up 512 mb?? Since it says Bank 0 and 1?

John H
10-02-2010, 02:01 PM
Sadly no, here is the full section of the report:

[ Memory Devices / A0 ]

Memory Device Properties:
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Speed 200 MHz
Total Width 64-bit
Data Width 64-bit
Device Locator A0
Bank Locator Bank0/1

[ Memory Devices / A1 ]

Memory Device Properties:
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Speed 200 MHz
Total Width 64-bit
Data Width 64-bit
Device Locator A1
Bank Locator Bank2/3

[ Memory Devices / A2 ]

Memory Device Properties:
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Speed 200 MHz
Total Width 64-bit
Data Width 64-bit
Device Locator A2
Bank Locator Bank4/5

[ Memory Devices / A3 ]

Memory Device Properties:
Form Factor DIMM
Size 512 MB
Speed 200 MHz
Total Width 64-bit
Data Width 64-bit
Device Locator A3
Bank Locator Bank6/7

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 02:04 PM
Well the only way to find out is to open the case. And see what it says on the labels, on the sticks

John H
10-02-2010, 03:09 PM
Will do.

Agent_24
10-02-2010, 03:37 PM
Assume this is socket 939 you can't have more than 2 sticks of double-sided memory without reverting to DDR-333 speed.

So 4x 1GB sticks is only useful if they are single sided. And all the cheap ones are double sided.

John H
10-02-2010, 04:10 PM
Yes, it is socket 939. The rest of your message is unwelcome news, but thank you for it anyway...

Oddly, when I was sold this processor and motherboard combination, I was told that I was future-proofing my pc! Hah! Another urban myth bites the dust.

Speedy Gonzales
10-02-2010, 04:22 PM
Oddly, when I was sold this processor and motherboard combination, I was told that I was future-proofing my pc! Hah!

That may have been true like 5-10 yrs ago, but it isnt now

inphinity
10-02-2010, 04:35 PM
Yes, it is socket 939. The rest of your message is unwelcome news, but thank you for it anyway...

Oddly, when I was sold this processor and motherboard combination, I was told that I was future-proofing my pc! Hah! Another urban myth bites the dust.

Considering it still, apparently, is serving reasonably well on a platform 6 years old (and that is OLD for PC technology - the 939 platform has been superceded 3 times since in AM2, AM2+ and AM3, and is shortly going to be again), I'd say it was relatively futureproof ;)

But yes, chances are they're double-sided DIMMs 512MB, but as Agent24 said, you won't get to use four double-sided DIMMs in that board, so they're effectively running as 256MB each. You may be able to force them to DDR333 in the BIOS and gain the extra 1GB usable that's sitting there doing nothing.

John H
10-02-2010, 05:36 PM
Considering it still, apparently, is serving reasonably well on a platform 6 years old (and that is OLD for PC technology - the 939 platform has been superceded 3 times since in AM2, AM2+ and AM3, and is shortly going to be again), I'd say it was relatively futureproof ;)

Goodness, and here's silly old me thinking this is quite a new computer! Sigh. But you are right, it is serving reasonably well, and when it comes to my original issue of speed, I suspect I am being a fuss-budget. Goodness knows when I last had a clean install of Windows XP too, so I should be circumspect about Microsoft abuse.


But yes, chances are they're double-sided DIMMs 512MB, but as Agent24 said, you won't get to use four double-sided DIMMs in that board, so they're effectively running as 256MB each. You may be able to force them to DDR333 in the BIOS and gain the extra 1GB usable that's sitting there doing nothing.

I will pull it apart on the weekend and see what I have got. If I only have 1GB of usable RAM I may have a word with the techie who set up this computer with the first two sticks, and then sold me the second pair when I said I thought I needed more. Hard to believe he wouldn't have known about the double-sided/single sided issue. It is a bit off if I have been sold the wrong kind. I have no comeback on him given how long ago this was set up, but still... Perhaps he will come to terms on a good price for replacement proper spec RAM! :lol:

Agent_24
10-02-2010, 06:10 PM
To be honest you won't probably notice much difference between the RAM running at 166 or 200Mhz

linw
10-02-2010, 07:40 PM
I, personally, think you are grasping at straws with the RAM upgrade thing. I very seriously doubt that you would see any difference with more than 1GB of RAM.

Would be helpful knowing what sort of work you are putting your machine to, though.

If you seriously want better multi-tasking, you should go to a multi-processor.

But, do we know you are not running heaps too many startups? Every slow machine I see benefits greatly by stopping 10-12 (usually) startups.

If you posted a HJT log folks could advise on this.

Agent_24
10-02-2010, 07:57 PM
The computer hasn't become any slower, the software has become more demanding