Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • misterthrifty
    • By misterthrifty 10th Mar 17, 4:58 PM
    • 353Posts
    • 81Thanks
    misterthrifty
    Extra RAM to speed up PC
    • #1
    • 10th Mar 17, 4:58 PM
    Extra RAM to speed up PC 10th Mar 17 at 4:58 PM
    Hi

    I have an old Hi-Grade PC running Windows 10 which is getting a bit slow. I carried out a check on the Crucial website and it currently has 2x 1GB DDR PC2 5300 memory sticks. My question is, would upgrading to 2GB sticks make a substantial improvement and what specification should I be looking for to upgrade for a reasonable price and where to look?

    TIA
    Mr T
Page 1
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 10th Mar 17, 5:09 PM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 2,083 Thanks
    coffeehound
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:09 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:09 PM
    How old is your PC? What processor does it have?
    • misterthrifty
    • By misterthrifty 10th Mar 17, 5:16 PM
    • 353 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    misterthrifty
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:16 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:16 PM
    Not sure how old as I bought it 2nd hand but based on an Asus P5QPL-AM I think
    • Chrishazle
    • By Chrishazle 10th Mar 17, 5:33 PM
    • 429 Posts
    • 240 Thanks
    Chrishazle
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:33 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:33 PM
    First thing you need to do is find the exact spec of your motherboard to see how many RAM slots it has and what RAM you can install. You can then price up a RAM upgrade - but as it looks like you have DDR2 (as I have) you'll get a shock at the price of quality RAM. Don't be tempted by the cheap generic stuff on Ebay - I have 4 x 4GB DDR2 800 PC6400 sticks of RAM sitting on my desk, they caused so many crashes - BSOD etc - that were only cured when I removed them, re-installed my previous OCZ 2GB sticks and added 2 x 2GB sticks of Crucial RAM. I got lucky on Ebay and picked up the Crucial RAM for £25.

    Also check your Mobo owners manual (online if necessary). My ASUS mobo will not support RAM made from 128Mb chips, which many of the cheap Ebay RAM is made from! You can quickly tell by counting the number of chips, look for 4 per Mb rather than 8! I found out the hard way and had to return 4 sticks to China for refund - then bought 4 sticks made from 256Mb chips - they crashed the machine despite passing the Windows memory checker.

    If it is the Mobo you mention :

    https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P5QPLAM/specifications/

    2 x240-pin DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR2 1066(O.C.)/800/667 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
    Dual Channel memory architecture
    ** Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for Memory QVL (Qualify Vendor List)
    *** When installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Hence, a total installed memory of less than 3GB is recommended.
    Last edited by Chrishazle; 10-03-2017 at 5:35 PM.
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 10th Mar 17, 5:49 PM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 2,635 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:49 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:49 PM
    Even if you are running 64-bit Windows (which can make use of 4 GB of memory, as Chrishazle says) I doubt you would get a large speed increase. The PC is more likely to be limited by the speed of the CPU and of the hard disks. Any improvement will also depend on what software programs you want to run.
    • misterthrifty
    • By misterthrifty 10th Mar 17, 5:57 PM
    • 353 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    misterthrifty
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:57 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Mar 17, 5:57 PM
    So are you saying it wouldn't be worth putting extra RAM?
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 10th Mar 17, 6:24 PM
    • 3,338 Posts
    • 7,371 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:24 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:24 PM
    If it's a 64 bit version of Windows then extra RAM may make a difference as the 64 bit builds have a much higher base load than 32 bit versions and so need less programs running before they need to start paging.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 10th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • 519 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    Heedtheadvice
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    Crucial is quality ram and their online checked for what you can fit is very reliable.
    Now it might be debatable as to whether it is worth updating on a purely financial basis but updates can be an easy option for some improvement. It depends upon.....Lots of things some of which have been mentioned already.

    In general it is worth doing a performance check to see what size of swop file is being used and if there are holdups in the disk queue or lots of swops taking place. Extra ram can reduce these and bring an improvement in apparent speed.

    Compared to memory, hard disks are slow, so cause speed slowness in the operating system, applications and data reading and writing.
    A smallish solid state drive installed as well as your large hard drive to hold the os and apps will normally make a big difference to many operations even when data (pix, document, videos etc.) remain on the hard disk. 250GB ssd will normally do the job to hold the os and apps that many people have and still leave space for the swop file and temp files to reduce the need to access the slower hard disk.

    No doubt someone will post things more specific......Or even disagree as to the benefit of spending money on a machine that is not this year's model but those two simple easy steps can be money saving (£100 might do it) and well please you. You will not get top of the range performance but ask yourself if you need that!

    I'd rather spend any excess ensuring I have a decent backup!!

    Oh for a practical result my machine, middle range a few years ago has lots of ram and an excellent see, boots into desktop in less than ten seconds and is certainly fast enough for me in general even when used for some intensive activities such as video editing which had previously been frustrating me.
    .....Horses for courses.....
    Last edited by Heedtheadvice; 10-03-2017 at 6:44 PM. Reason: addition
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 10th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 2,635 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    So are you saying it wouldn't be worth putting extra RAM?
    Originally posted by misterthrifty
    I wouldn't put it as strongly as that (because I don't know for certain); more like it may not make a major improvement.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 10th Mar 17, 6:51 PM
    • 13,965 Posts
    • 75,006 Thanks
    GDB2222
    This PC is probably similar vintage. It has 4GB RAM but only reports 2.75GB as I am running W10 in 32 bit mode. I have never noticed a problem with running out of RAM and doing a lot of paging.

    However, 2GB is probably a bit on the low side.

    2 questions:
    Do you have an SSD?
    If you get a new PC one day would you put it together yourself?

    I ask because buying an SSD might be the smart upgrade, but even more so if you later take it out and use it in a new PC.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 10th Mar 17, 8:39 PM
    • 8,214 Posts
    • 6,184 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    Everyone says has it got a SSD or add more RAM? Yet no-one ever asks define slow, in what way is it slow(nor do original posters define it) ? Slow is subjective and then the answers become generalised. I used to get annoyed when the former forum user "closed" used to say run hijackthis and post the results etc. Often the term slow is down to malware or a bad internet connection, my post is slow because my keyboard is sticking and I HAVE TO KEEP use the caps lock key to type i oops I meant a caps i/I. Sometimes perceived slowness is never solved by new SSD/more RAM/nor re-install(though sometimes it is the quicker option). The thread is titled Extra RAM to speed up PC but the OP does not say in what way it is slow , compared to what , when it was new? since I have installed many PUPs , or it was better when I was with BT/TT/Sky or since my neighbour has been using my internet or the channel used for WiFi is congested, or my streaming is slow, or even it was because of Donald tweeting at 8.04 GMT .
    end of lecture .....
    I would say 4GB may be better, but W10 is "better" in memory needs, and that may be the cheapest option apart from time spent looking for problems within the pc.
    • TROY-100
    • By TROY-100 10th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    TROY-100
    I am a technophobe. I've also downloaded ccleaner on my computer. It really speeds up a PC! Try it! x
    • pappa golf
    • By pappa golf 10th Mar 17, 10:26 PM
    • 7,293 Posts
    • 7,445 Thanks
    pappa golf
    what else did you do?
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 11th Mar 17, 7:06 AM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,380 Thanks
    NiftyDigits
    Intel® G41 /ICH7

    No AHCI or RAID(hardware) support.

    Look for ICH9 upwards.

    Does your PC have a Celeron CPU or is it one of these? http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/14450/Hi-Grade-Desktop-PC-E5400-Dual-Core-2-7GHz-2GB-250GB-Windows-7-Pro/


    You are better off spending £40 on a half decent Dell Optiplex, 780 upwards, than spending more on the Hi-Grade.
    • GDB2222
    • By GDB2222 11th Mar 17, 8:19 AM
    • 13,965 Posts
    • 75,006 Thanks
    GDB2222
    Intel® G41 /ICH7

    No AHCI or RAID(hardware) support.

    Look for ICH9 upwards.

    Does your PC have a Celeron CPU or is it one of these? http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/14450/Hi-Grade-Desktop-PC-E5400-Dual-Core-2-7GHz-2GB-250GB-Windows-7-Pro/


    You are better off spending £40 on a half decent Dell Optiplex, 780 upwards, than spending more on the Hi-Grade.
    Originally posted by NiftyDigits
    Curiously, the PC that I use all the time has a 2.2 GHz core2duo CPU and is similar vintage to the HiGrade. It's fine for internet surfing, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.

    It was slowing down, but an SSD breathed new life into it. It's not a long term solution, but it's fine at the moment for these tasks.
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
    • misterthrifty
    • By misterthrifty 11th Mar 17, 12:52 PM
    • 353 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    misterthrifty
    Hi
    Thanks for all of the replies. I was hoping for a nice easy & cheap solution but it seems to be much more complicated.
    I used the W10 re-install to get a clean system on it but even after that when it is first turned on the little red CPU light stays on for up to 5 minutes even though I have reduced the startup programmes as much as I can and then if the computer has to open a programme it can take a couple of minutes before anything will work at all. I only use it for internet, office or other simple applications.
    I'm afraid some of the questions are a bit beyond my computer knowledge but I was just looking for a cheap and fairly easy fix to improve it.
    • were
    • By were 11th Mar 17, 1:23 PM
    • 499 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    were
    misterthrifty, you could go to a command prompt, or Start > Run, or Win key + r and type msinfo32

    The screen has a left and right half (2 columns). By default the top item on the left half is selected "System Summary" and leave this alone.

    On the right half click "OS Name" it turns blue. It only turns blue and nothing else. Press Control-a (to select all) and everything turns blue. Press Control-c (copies he text on the screen)

    in a nice new 'reply to thread' window on here press control-v. or right click mouse and paste.

    This will inform the good people here to some extent on what they have to work with

    and you get a post like this below

    OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
    Version 10.0.14393 Build 14393
    Other OS Description Not Available
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
    System Name DESKTOP-X24GTY7
    System Manufacturer SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    System Model 350V5C/351V5C/3540VC/3440VC
    System Type x64-based PC
    System SKU P09ABE
    Last edited by were; 11-03-2017 at 1:28 PM.
    • Jivesinger
    • By Jivesinger 11th Mar 17, 2:54 PM
    • 1,197 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Jivesinger
    Hi
    Thanks for all of the replies. I was hoping for a nice easy & cheap solution but it seems to be much more complicated.
    I used the W10 re-install to get a clean system on it but even after that when it is first turned on the little red CPU light stays on for up to 5 minutes even though I have reduced the startup programmes as much as I can and then if the computer has to open a programme it can take a couple of minutes before anything will work at all. I only use it for internet, office or other simple applications.
    I'm afraid some of the questions are a bit beyond my computer knowledge but I was just looking for a cheap and fairly easy fix to improve it.
    Originally posted by misterthrifty
    A new Windows 10 installation can spend a lot of resources at first while it's trying to sort itself out. It may get better after you've just left it switched on for a while.
    Mind you, 5 minutes is still very slow.
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 11th Mar 17, 4:23 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    emptybox
    If you want to see if more RAM would be helpful, then open up Task Manager (right click on taskbar and select), and keep an eye on the RAM usage as you work.
    If it's getting up to 80 or 90% usage then more RAM would alleviate that.

    But find out the specs first. Especially whether it's a 32 or 64 bit system.
    • prowla
    • By prowla 11th Mar 17, 4:47 PM
    • 9,550 Posts
    • 7,582 Thanks
    prowla
    Bunging some memory in can help; I try and do a minimum of 4 GB.

    I wouldn't go beyond 4 GB of PC-6400 on a computer (because that type of memory is only used on older systems which don't support current model processors) but that amount can be had relatively cheaply.

    An SSD instead of a hard disk can also speed things up, but that's £60-100 to spend, so questionable returns for the expenditure.

    Depending on the motherboard, the CPU can be upgraded; I've done that a couple of times and achieved some level of performance improvement.

    However, there is a fundamental limit to the performance of that system, so if you are expecting a really snappy performance then it simply is not going to achieve it.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

80Posts Today

1,916Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin