Saturday, February 03, 2007

Memory Upgrade

If you want to breath some new life into your computer, consider a memory upgrade. I purchased a new development computer, for Weather Message, two years ago. I ordered it with 1gb of memory. Moving from a computer with 512mb to 1gb made a big difference.

At any given time, I have a number of programs running, including Weather Message. A couple of copies of the development environment, Word, and Weather Message consume more memory than you think. I recently added an additional 1gb of memory for 2 gb total. Although the computer does not seem like it is alot faster, the hard drive activity has dropped considerably. This is a result of the operating system not having to swap programs out to the hard drive's paging file.

As you are working, bring up the task manager and click on performance. Watch the PF Usage. This shows how much of the hard drive's paging file that is being used. Hard drive paging file access is slow.

Systems that are running low on memory have a high paging file usage. This results in alot of hard drive access when programs start. If there is not enough memory, inactive programs are moved from physical ram to the paging file on the hard drive to make room for active programs.

The next time you think your system is running slow, take a look at the Task Manager and see if you need a memory upgrade.

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