Would more RAM improve this laptop?

  palinka 13:24 21 Nov 2004

Can anyone solve this problem of RAM, please.

A friend and I bought laptops approx 2 years ago; from same local supplier & theoretically same spec. Both have dial-up connections.
Mine (Acer Aspire1310 with Win XP & MS Office installed) has had no problems; speed of all activity is fine. Slowed a fraction by SP2, but not significantly.
My friend's (Compaq Evo N1015v with Win XP & MS Works installed) has been a pain from the start but he didn't realise this until after the guarantee expired, etc. (He is elderly, it's his first computer) He's had several viruses 'cos it's all SO slow that he thinks he's updated AVG when he hasn't. Other problems too, all to do with slow speed. SP2 brought it to an almost complete halt and had to be uninstalled.
I think it needs more RAM, but I don't want to put him to the expense of installing this if it won't make much difference.
A check on both systems with cpu-z seems to show big differences, but I'm not knowledgeable enough. Here are the differences.
Processor: Compaq- AMDAthlon XP 1700+; Acer AMD Athlon XP2000+
Clocks: Compaq core speed 530.1MHz, Multiplier x4.0; Acer 663.4Mhz, x5.0
Mainboard: Compaq nothing in Graphic interface tho there is in Acer
Memory: Compaq- only info is 128Mb; Acer – 224Mb DDR-SDRAM, and there's info about timings.
SPD: Compaq slot 1 DDR-SDRAM; 128Mb, Slot 2 empty.
Acer slots 1&3 empty, slot 2, 256Mb.
Other details seem very similar in both systems, but I can provide them if needed.
Can some knowledgeable person tell me whether more RAM would improve the Compaq? Or will anything improve it? Or how about he sells this and buys 2nd hand desktop – which would probably be easier for him to operate, anyway.
Only advatage of laptop is that he can bring it to me when he's in a mess; I would have to go to him for a desktop!

  Forum Editor 13:35 21 Nov 2004

is right on the lower limit as far as WindowsXP is concerned, and no machine is going to break any speed barriers like that. Notching the installed RAM up to 512Mb is going to make a difference, certainly. The machine has two RAM slots, so you can put 256Mb in each one, or 512Mb in slot one - put the existing module in slot two.

Speed gains are impossible to forecast, but if your friend is only running MS Works, plus email and Internet Explorer I wouldn't expect anything too spectacular. Presumably the hard drive has been defragmented? Run disk cleanup too (before running the defragmenter), and see what happens.

  interzone55 13:36 21 Nov 2004

Running XP with only 128Mb or RAM (well 96 actually as 32Mb will be taken by graphics) is not going to be an enjoyable experience, so I would definately slap a 256Mb dimm into the second slot. This will cost about £60 for the memory, and little, if anything, for fitting it, as with most laptops you only need to open a panel in the base to find the spare memory slot.

I would also be tempted to download a copy of AdAware (it's not a big download, or else get it on most magazine cover discs - it's free)and run it to check for spyware, as these can really slow a system down, and without a firewall & upto date AV protection these can easily get in. Then update AVG and run a full scan. And finally install Zone Alarm from almost any cover disc.

The Compaq will always be slower than the Acer as it has a lower rated CPU, but adding the extra memory and tidying things up should help.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:40 21 Nov 2004

1. Run antispyware progs Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here

2. Run CCleaner to get rid of unwanted files and bloated registry. Crap Cleaner click here

3. Run scandisk and Defrag drive.

4. add new memory amd increase to a minimum of 512Mb

  palinka 13:53 28 Nov 2004

thank you everyone for your help on this. I followed FE's advice and put an extra 512Mb in slot one and the existing 128Mb module in slot two and the improvement is significant. Friend now much happier!

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