PC still seems slow with 2 GB of RAM, why?

  erkmatrix 09:48 28 Sep 2006

Hi I've recently bought a new PC from PC Specialist it said it was a AM Athlon 64X2 Dual core 3800+ Processor 2.01 gHz, 2.00 GB of RAM which companred to my old machine of just 512k RAM you would of thought it to be faster, I bought it because in photoshop I wanted to work on 24inch by 24inch size paintings I do digital art, on my old one it was very slow with 24inch by 24 inch at 300pixels/inch so thought this machine with its 2 GB would be able to handle it fast, but no seems just as slow.

Is there anyway I can see if all this memory is actually working, I've clicked on my system pon my control panel and it shows up as 2.00 GB yet why isn't this machine able to handle big digital art files, Do I still need more memory?


  sil_ver 10:13 28 Sep 2006

I would have thought 2Gb of RAM more than adequate. Possibly your graphics card (if it has one) could be a bottleneck also check out the number of processes you have running and close those that don't need to be. Go into 'System properties' click on 'advanced' then the topmost 'settings' and put a dot in 'Adjust for best performance', apply and exit.

  erkmatrix 10:29 28 Sep 2006

Hi I've done that and changed to use best performance, it now has changed everything to look dull in colour, is that what it should do. Yeah my graphics card is a Nvidea Gforce 7600GT installed on the machine, whats a bottleneck, I know when it plays a game like hitman blood money it makes a hell of a racket with a motor and did crashes on one of the later levels every time, could it be something to do with the graphics card making photoshop run slow, its photoshop CS2 I have, with my old machine I used to use photoshop 7 which yeah was slow on 24inch by 24 inch but not this slow.

  Batch 10:50 28 Sep 2006

Hit CTL/ALT/DEL to get up Task Manager, click on the performance tab and look at the Physical Memory usage. Youll'probably find that there's plenty of spare (available) and memory is not your prob.

How big (in GB / MB is the file that you're trying to manipulate?

  sil_ver 10:55 28 Sep 2006

Yes it will look a bit drab that's because it is now built for speed not for looks. The 'racket' you hear is probably the fan on the graphics card but could be any other fan, check they are all up to speed and not clogged with dust etc.
A 'bottleneck' is when a particular process slows down everything else. For instance, if you have two sticks of RAM of different speeds they will both run at the slower speed, so the slower speed RAM is the 'bottleneck' You might go online and check that you have the latest drivers especially for your Graphics card and your Motherboard chipset. For the chipset drivers go to the chipset mfr not the motherboard mfr Your Motherboard manual will tell you what your chipset is. I had a problem with slow graphics and it turned out that the chipset drivers needed updating altho' the m'board mfr said they were up-to-date.

  sil_ver 11:00 28 Sep 2006

I forgot to ask how big your Hard drive was, for the sort of work you are doing I would have thought a fairly massive one would be in order, at a guess 200GB wouldn't be unacceptable, If you already have one that size then a defrag might be in order.

  Diodorus Siculus 11:01 28 Sep 2006

click here for some info about how PhotoShop uses RAM and hard disk space

  sil_ver 11:14 28 Sep 2006

Diodorus Siculus
Well that's a bit of an eye-opener. Well spotted.

  erkmatrix 11:28 28 Sep 2006

cheers guys, I'll check to see if I can find some updates on the graphics driver chipset and my motherboard, and I'll have a read of that how photoshop uses RAM, cheers again, I'll get back to you this afternoon to see if it improoves things.

My hard drive I have a 250GB with around 170GB spare and also external hard drive of 250Gb too.

Its the graphics fan yes as the others are really quiet and its not very old so won't be dust just yet I don't think.


  gudgulf 12:15 28 Sep 2006

May I ask what speed the cpu was in the old pc?

It's not just the amount and speed of RAM that will have an effect.

  dazwm 13:38 28 Sep 2006

I too bought a PC from them which I found to be a bit slow. I called their technical line and they can dial into your PC and run tests to find out where there are errors. It turned out to be the Gfx card. Call them and ask them to do the same.

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