RAM expanding. Is it worth it?

  NickyK 09:50 02 Sep 2007

I run a Dell Dimension 2400 with Windows XP plus SP2. I also only browse with Firefox.

A year ago, I installed a 512MB memory card and expanded the RAM up to 766MB (approx) - this was in addition to the existing 256MB RAM card that came with the system.

My system can only support a maximum of 1 gig of RAM (in two memory slots).

What I would like to know is this: Is there any point in replacing the 256MB with a 512MB?

Would I notice a significant enough increase in performance by going from 766MB (approx) to a gig?

Yes, I did look this up in Search. Well, there was every RAM answer except this!


  sinbads 10:08 02 Sep 2007

This depends on what programs you use? If you're not into games and only use your computer for basic's then no you would not see a difference.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:08 02 Sep 2007

There would not be too much difference. If you double the RAM you will notice a change but increasing by 33% will not result in a huge change...however RAM is so cheap now that I would do it in any case.


  Taff™ 10:11 02 Sep 2007

I don`t think you`ll notice much difference with your system. I did an experiment with a laptop on exactly this basis by timing the start up with the original 256Mb RAM at 7 minutes! Using only the 512MB Ram the start up was reduced to 3 minutes and with the full 768Mb it was just 15 seconds faster.

In general use there was virtually no discernable speed advantages but the user only uses it for Word Processing and the Internet. Obviously opening programs was much quicker but we`re talking only a few seconds.

  NickyK 10:22 02 Sep 2007

Hello Gandalf. Long time no see! And thanks Sinbads too.

Basically, I only use my PC for surfing, storing my photos (occasionally editing them) and my writings. Yes, I do play games occasionally, and I also download a movie from time to time. But that is about it.

However, I do find that, even with 36% of free space, my folders can take time to open and sometimes the system can freeze for a while for no apparent reason. Yes, I have scanned with the usual anti-everything things (AVG, adaware, spybot) and I have cleaned it with cCleaner. I am unsure expanding the RAM would actually affect this annoyance.

A friend in Connecticut said that adding another 250 MB would make a minimal difference, as Sinbads suggests. A friend in Portugal said it would make all the difference in the world!

Well, perhaps it is worth it anyway. RAM cheap? Ha! Where do you shop? Tee-hee.

Thanks. I'll leave this open a bit longer in case anyone wants to respond, then I will resolve it.

Thanks to you both. Your replies are, as always with any replies on this forum, greatly appreciated.



  NickyK 10:26 02 Sep 2007

Thanks TaffTM. That pretty much answers my question. I suppose if I have a spare twenty quid at the end of the month, it might be worth it. I guess I might just do it so that I can then tell everyone else that it wasn't worth doing (or was, perhaps?)! Hehehe.

Thanks. Appreciated.

I'll resolve this now.

Thanks everyone!

  NickyK 11:11 02 Sep 2007

Thank you Marg7. That is very interesting advice. I have been thinking along similar lines. Specifically, if it is not worth expanding the RAM by a few hundred MB, then is there a better way to spend twenty to thirty quid (I have a birthday coming up, and this is why I want to buy something sensible to mark the occasion)? A better graphics card might be a good option.

I actually very rarely play games on the PC (desktop, btw,; besides, I have a PlayStation anyway). When I do, they are very basic early "Tomb Raider" or "War-Game" type things. They are certainly not "I spit on your interactive alien in 3D stuff" or "Resident Gerbil 27". The less graphically dense games play reasonably okay on my system (though actually I haven't tried any since I last expanded the RAM, so they might load quicker). But my photography is quite important to me and I do like to watch DVDs on the computer because I have no other media for those.

It seems from the tech specs that my system, similarly to what you told me of, has a 32MB onboard graphics thingie. So, I think I agree that my twenty-thirty quid might be far better spent on a graphics card rather than an expanded RAM.

Thanks. This really helps! Appreciated!

  holme 11:36 02 Sep 2007

We fully agree with 'all of the above'.

The only area where we find oodles of RAM makes a significant time difference is where the file(s) we're working on are especially large, e.g. while video editing with files up to 1GB or more.

The saving comes in that most of the file can be massaged in RAM, instead of for ever having to be shifted to and from hard disc (virtual memory and all that).

And if we may stress that Vista - *as an operating system* - does not need huge amounts of RAM. MS recommend 1GB for anything above Vista Basic - but that's to support media centre functions etc which - funny old thing - include a commercial video editing suite.

  Armchair 12:04 02 Sep 2007

If you're going to be playing the likes of Tomb Raider Legend, and Company of Heroes, then the more RAM you have the better. 2GB would be better.

  Any1 17:02 08 May 2008

Sure!!Try to get a good ram speed from a good company like acer advent or kingston.The ram shares the load of the usage with the cpu and if the ram is not enough than the pc wont work smoothly and will freeze oftently.Like mine not a long ago.I used some guys called aememory or smth ,a good ones,scanned my system and my pc was faster than ever.
Oh just to let u know that the ram speed is often more important from the CPU depends on what you are doing .

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