Jump to content

RAM amount incorrect and no speed boost


Baby Astronaut
 Share

Recommended Posts

Two problems.

 

I put 4 GB of RAM (total) in my friend's XP Media Center Edition, but it's only showing 2.93 in the system properties. It originally had two 512 MB RAM out of 4 available slots, until I replaced them with four 1 GB sticks.

 

Also, he often manipulates about 15-20 very high resolution vector images, moving/resizing/etc, which usually slows the computer -- for example, it takes 2 minutes of hourglass to copy and paste them as a group. And I'd have thought going from 1 GB to 4 GB RAM would've sped up this process. But nope.

 

So I want to try a few things.

 

First, double-checking the RAM info in the BIOS, in case Windows is just being inaccurate. But...I didn't find anything labeled RAM there.

 

Second, I heard one can assign a portion of RAM to the hard drive, and that alone would boost speed. If true, how does one accomplish this?

 

BTW, he's using Flash 3 -- maybe the program's too old to efficiently use memory? Any different suggestions?

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His chipset might not support more than 3 gig of memory.

 

Second, I heard one can assign a portion of RAM to the hard drive, and that alone would boost speed. If true, how does one accomplish this?

page file. google on how to increase it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of hardware are you working with? If it's OEM, the vendor website probably has the supported RAM information -

 

you may also check for background processes and other items running in the background. My roommate's computer is ridiculously slow, but he refuses to uninstall all the craziness that his girlfriend downloads...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what's funny. It runs normally for video, internet browsing, etc, but for manipulating or switching between large amounts of high resolution info -- not great.

 

The Flash prog takes about 5 secs to open if the file has more than a few high resolution images. Normally it opens in less than a sec.

 

It has an AMD Athlon 64 2.21Ghz (3500+), and max Memory is 4GB. I used two pairs of matching RAM sticks so it's not likely a compatibility issue.

 

RAM: PC3200 DDR400

 

I'll google "page file" and try it, see if anything improves. My one friend suggested XP might give the wrong reading, so I should check the C-MOSS to see what it says for RAM amount. But I didn't find anything referring to it.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

Here's what I found. One place said to do the following steps.

 

Run ---> msconfig ---> SYSTEM.INI ---> 386enh ---> click "New" ---> type "ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1" ---> click "OK" ---> restart computer.

 

As for changing your page file size, there were various inconsistent suggestions, but the most popular says to change its minimum to 1.5 x your RAM and your maximum to double your RAM.

 

So from 2.93 RAM I guess we'll need to do a 4467 minimum and 5956 maximum (assuming 1 GB RAM is 1024 MB). Is this right? Because another tip had said to change both fields to 1.5x your RAM (i.e. same min/max).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how much stock you hold with Microsoft, but it's their software and they usually provide pretty good tips!

 

Try their Knowledgebase article on performance, it's got some bit in there dealing with the PF.

 

Microsoft Article

The recommended minimum size is the same as 1.5 times the RAM on your computer, and 3 times that figure for the maximum size. For example, if you have 256 MB of RAM, the minimum size is 384 MB, and the maximum size is 1152 MB.

 

Hope that helps

 

 

edit:: I just realized that despite all I've done to this, my roommate's, computer, I failed to check the memory size - which is a whopping 448MB! I kinda feel proud I have it running this fast now =D

Edited by Dudde
Epiphany
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, 3 times the amount.

 

The link was very helpful, thanks. Just a couple more questions. #1: It recommends you avoid having the paging file on the main drive ©. But wouldn't putting it on an external drive be kind of counterproductive, making access slower? The C drive is quicker than external drives. #2: If you change the page file size for one user, does this change it for other users too (including admin)? Or does each user have their own paging file, even simultaneously running?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The link is actually mostly for server 2000 Operating system, so it's expected you'll be running two Logical drives at the minimum - the next suggested way is to do via USB drive, but as you stated, that's next to useless without a USB 2.0 slot - I've never really had trouble running on the C: drive though as long as you've got the space to handle it - some of the other guys can correct me if I'm wrong

 

The page file should change for all users, thus the reason you have to be logged as the admin to change it. I haven't done anything with the PF with xp for a long time, so I could be wrong - if there are more than one user, just have someone else log in and check the page settings.

 

Edit: Also note, that if you increase the size of the pagefile too much, you can slow the system performance, best results would be achieved by testing out different sizes, I wouldn't give more than .5 - 1GB between Min and Max, and you can often times get the best results just by using both as the same thing (about 1.75 your RAM size for a few of my computers)

Edited by Dudde
I forgot something
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your first issue is that you are (I suspect) using a 32bit operating system, which reads a maximum of just under 4GB. The OS isn't seeing the last stick. However, if you go into the BIOS, it should show all 4 gigs.

 

As to the swap file, its not that big of a deal. Swap files exists to cache data off of ram when the ram gets used up. You have maxed out the ram, so I doubt the swap file is being heavily used. A test you can do, however, is watch the hard disk light when your friend is working. If the hard drive light is constantly on, then the swap file is being used heavily.

 

Of course, the other reason the hard disk light would be on, would be if you are copying lots of from the hard disk into the ram. If you are loading large image files off of the hard disk, it could be just that the disk is taking a while to find all of the data. Defrag the disk to see if that helps at all.

 

Finally, the processor/mobo seem a little dated for heavy duty photo editing, so it could be that the computer is just too slow. You can us msconfig and services.msc (typed into the "run" prompt) to cut down on background processes, to try and free up some resources. You could also try overclocking some if it is available on your mobo.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
Wow, 3 times the amount.

 

The link was very helpful, thanks. Just a couple more questions. #1: It recommends you avoid having the paging file on the main drive ©. But wouldn't putting it on an external drive be kind of counterproductive, making access slower? The C drive is quicker than external drives. #2: If you change the page file size for one user, does this change it for other users too (including admin)? Or does each user have their own paging file, even simultaneously running?

 

The reason they recommend having it on a different drive, is that the page file acts as "pseudo-ram". There will (if you are short on ram, which I doubt you are) be lots of read/write operations performed on the swap file. By placing the swap file on a physically different disk, you use one disk for uploading system files, and another disk for the page file. Basically, it's a form of load balancing to improve performance. However, as you surmised, an external disk would be horribly slow. Not to mention the myriad problems that would happen if the external disk were unplugged while the machine were on.

 

As to #2, I can't answer that, but I suspect that there is only one paging file at any given time.


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

Forgot a couple of diagnostic tests:

1) To see if CPU is the hold up, open up the task manager and look at the CPU utilization. If it is running at 100% continuously, then it probably is.

 

2) To see if there is sufficient ram, look at the "commit charge" box. One of the things listed is "peak". This is the peak amount of "ram" (in quotes, because if the physical ram is exceeded, then the swap file is called in to meet the demand) that the system has used since the last reboot. If this number is larger than the total amount of ram in the machine, then ram could be the hold up.

 

Both of these can be found in the "performance" tab of the task manager.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

After updating the Paging File to 5500 minimum and 10500 maximum (previously it was 1500 and 2000), the Flash 3 program isn't handling the images any quicker. In fact, I haven't noticed a boost of speed anywhere on the computer. And usually, people say they do notice a change after updating the paging file numbers.

 

Not really sure what to do from here. Is there another way to boost speed of image processing?

 

Forgot a couple of diagnostic tests:

1) To see if CPU is the hold up, open up the task manager and look at the CPU utilization. If it is running at 100% continuously, then it probably is.

The CPU utilization runs from 0-4% to 8% continuously, switching back and forth if the mouse is used, or small activities are done. Playing a movie sends it over 20%. However, just opening the file of vector images shoots it to 100% continuously (opening for 5-10 seconds), and then 40, 60, or 100% while manipulating them or scrolling down.

 

2) To see if there is sufficient ram, look at the "commit charge" box. One of the things listed is "peak". This is the peak amount of "ram" (in quotes, because if the physical ram is exceeded, then the swap file is called in to meet the demand) that the system has used since the last reboot. If this number is larger than the total amount of ram in the machine, then ram could be the hold up.

I've listed some numbers after my friend rebooted and opened the images file again.

 

Commit Charge (K)

Total 560,904 (always changing by small increments)

Limit 8,547,248

Peak 958,492

 

Physical Memory (K)

Total 3,078,640

Available 2,378,536 (always changing by small increments)

System Cache 478,320 (changes less often, small increments)

 

Kernel Memory (K)

Total 112,008 (occasional changes)

Paged 50,776

Nonpaged 61,232 (occasional changes)

 

Hopefully you can make better sense of these numbers.

 

Right, you need a 64-bit OS to view all 4 gigs of RAM. It's normal for 32-bit XP (or 32-bit Vista) to see only 3gb when there is really 4 in the system.

Gotcha. I'll go with the assumption it has 4GB RAM. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sure,

 

I remember you saying your friend was using Flash 3 - any other info you can provide on that? Is it cracked, purchased, torrented - it could just be a really messed up version of the software, you might save all the saved-files in another location on the computer and try re-installing if that's an option. What's the full name of this software btw, performing a search for "flash 3 trouble" produces an expectedly bajillion results with little to no relevance to this.

 

right click 'my computer' on the desktop and go to manage, check out the event logs - look under the application event logs to make sure there isn't anything being reported as an error by flash - a lot of software complaints go here when they're not necessarily erroring out

 

when it's running slow while performing functions, i.e copy and pasting, have you checked the processes tab in task manager to see if maybe one of the processes are taking more CPU or memory usage than the rest? I had a corrupt install of a program one time that ran normally, but one of it's processes was spanking my computer like a girl scout at all times :rolleyes:

 

One more thing: is this program the most hardware intensive activity being performed on this computer? You guys play any games, or run 3DStudio max or something, anything that would severly hog system resources? If so, see if you can get it to lag as much as the flash program, if you can duplicate the results with another program, it helps to find out what's up

 

I agree, 250 views is pretty sweet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Sure,

 

I remember you saying your friend was using Flash 3 - any other info you can provide on that? Is it cracked, purchased, torrented - it could just be a really messed up version of the software, you might save all the saved-files in another location on the computer and try re-installing if that's an option.

It's legit.

 

What's the full name of this software btw, performing a search for "flash 3 trouble" produces an expectedly bajillion results with little to no relevance to this.

It's Macromedia Flash 3, and I just found out it's for Windows 95. But even running the program in (the appropriate) compatibility mode didn't help.

 

(FIY, the program nowadays is called Adobe Flash.)

 

right click 'my computer' on the desktop and go to manage, check out the event logs - look under the application event logs to make sure there isn't anything being reported as an error by flash - a lot of software complaints go here when they're not necessarily erroring out

Nice, thanks. I didn't see anything related to Flash, but it's a good to know where the event logs are kept. :)

 

when it's running slow while performing functions, i.e copy and pasting, have you checked the processes tab in task manager to see if maybe one of the processes are taking more CPU or memory usage than the rest?

I listed everything there in post #10, maybe you can understand it better than me?

 

One more thing: is this program the most hardware intensive activity being performed on this computer?

Almost for sure, except when he's playing internet movies or the sort.

 

It's probably time he got a newer version of the program, anyway. But I'd like to give it one more try.

 

This sound like a RAM timing issue to me. I'd look into whether the BIOS settings need to be changed.

There is no mention of RAM in his BIOS, for some reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.