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Ram Memory

December 6th, 2003

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Should updating my ram memory increase my cpu performance for streaming videos online or is it something else?

I have a 128 mb ram memory with a Pentium 4 1.88 ghz on a laptop.
My cpu is super slow anything takes about 1 min to open. I have 10mb/s internet speed. 30 gb hdd. I think its the ram but it might also be my processor or hdd.

Well, it deppends. Normally I wouldn't look at the memory for this sort of problems, moreover when the streaming comes from a source with way, way less bandwith than the one inside your computer.

However, 128 Mb is very few of memory for the Win XP. It requires more memory (at least 256) to hold everything it needs at hand, so Win XP simulates more RAM by means of exchanging data and programs modules in use back and forth from the actual RAM and the hard disk, which is callied "paginating memory". A lot of this data and modules are part of the operating system, and even when you may configure everithing to reduce this overhead, it'd requires a lot of knowledge to achieve your goal, and even so the activity would be unavoidable.

So the problem when you have low memory is that the memory bandwidth ends up pegged to the hard disk data transfer bandwidht. In your case, should you remain having 128 Mb, a faster disk properly defragmented would provide a noticiable performance boost. So, I'd start by adding memory to your PC, at least 512 Mb. 256 would be required for the OS to avoid paginating on disk it own modules but not other installed product's ones, so with 512 you'd ensure to reasonabily minimize paginating memory (with 512 Mb should you keep having problems, for sure you cannot blame the memory).

Moreover when you mention you have a laptop, since is often common to make them cheaper by means of using part of your 128 Mb of RAM a video memory, i.e., memory used to store the data represented as colored pixels later on in your screen, that for video requires to duplicate the space: while one video frame is being decompressed into memory, you see the previous frame, once completed the decompression, you see this frame and the space used by the previous frame is used to process the following one, and so forth (called "double buffering").

Check on the BIOS configuration to see wheter your laptos share RAM for video. For example, with less than 128 Mb devoted exclusivelly for video at a HDTV resolution with 16 millon colors (true color), you may get pauses when playing a DVD because there isn't enough space for the double buffer process. So, if your laptop shares ram, it shouldn't be sharing more than 64 Mb or Win XP wouldn't work, and with 64 Mb the memory pagination for sure would be killing your laptop.

A reasonable amount of memory devoted to video, for streaming videos, would be 64 Mb of 512 Mb of RAM (and the difference is still enough to minimize paging... to the point you can even disable paging at all). If you want to stream DVD or DVD quality videos, I'd devote 128 Mb... but then it'd be desirable to have 1Gb of RAM installed.

In any case, for a laptop the hard disk drains way more power from the battery than the motherboard working alone: With 1 Gb of RAM Win XP automatically disable paging memory on disk, improving the amount of time you can use it unplugged. In fact, the more RAM you have, the less you use the disk, and the more the laptop last turned on when unplugged.

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NEW 32GB 84GB MEMORY Dell Precision workstation 490 690 R5400 T5400 1 YEAR war
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M A systems 25 pin parallel 9 pin serial with memory Card 9000 900014
M A systems 25 pin parallel 9 pin serial with memory Card 9000 900014
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24GB 3x8GB PC3L 12800R DDR3 1600MHz ECC Reg Server Memory RAM Upgrade Kit
24GB 3x8GB PC3L 12800R DDR3 1600MHz ECC Reg Server Memory RAM Upgrade Kit
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8GB 2X4GB Memory HP All in One 18 4000la 18 4004la 18 4021la 18 4103la RAM
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8GB 2X4GB RAM Memory 4 Acer Aspire 4253 Series AS4253 xxx A29
8GB 2X4GB RAM Memory 4 Acer Aspire 4253 Series AS4253 xxx A29
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HYS72T256220HR 5 A 2GB 4x512GB DDR2 PC2 3200R ECC Reg Server Ram
HYS72T256220HR 5 A 2GB 4x512GB DDR2 PC2 3200R ECC Reg Server Ram
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8GB 1x8GB MEMORY RAM 4 HP Compaq Pavilion Notebook x2 13z p100 A14
8GB 1x8GB MEMORY RAM 4 HP Compaq Pavilion Notebook x2 13z p100 A14
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2GB Kit 2 x 1GB DDR2 RAM 667MHz Gateway MX6446 SODIMM Memory
2GB Kit 2 x 1GB DDR2 RAM 667MHz Gateway MX6446 SODIMM Memory
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128MB Sdr DIMM E 128 Mg PC 100 SDRAM Random Access Memory Pny 5 13
128MB Sdr DIMM E 128 Mg PC 100 SDRAM Random Access Memory Pny 5 13
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Lot of 25 x Hynix 16GB HP 500207 071 16GB PC3 8500R Ecc Reg Server Memory RAM
Lot of 25 x Hynix 16GB HP 500207 071 16GB PC3 8500R Ecc Reg Server Memory RAM
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HYNIX 2GB PC3 10600U DDR3 Memory Module 112U6TFR8C H9 REFURBISHED
HYNIX 2GB PC3 10600U DDR3 Memory Module 112U6TFR8C H9 REFURBISHED
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8GB 2X4GB Memory HP All in One 18 4204la 18 4205la 18 4221la 18 4415la RAM
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2GB 2x1GB RAM Memory 4 Foxconn 945G7AD 8EKRS2H 945G7AD 8KS2H Motherboard
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Kingston PC2 6400 1 GB DIMM 800 MHz DDR2 Memory KTD DM8400C6 1G
Kingston PC2 6400 1 GB DIMM 800 MHz DDR2 Memory KTD DM8400C6 1G
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Hynix 2GB 2RX8 PC2 5300S 555 12 HYMP325S64AMP8 Y5 RAM Laptop Memory
Hynix 2GB 2RX8 PC2 5300S 555 12 HYMP325S64AMP8 Y5 RAM Laptop Memory
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32GB 4x8GB PC3L 12800R DDR3 1600MHz ECC Reg Server Memory RAM Upgrade Kit
32GB 4x8GB PC3L 12800R DDR3 1600MHz ECC Reg Server Memory RAM Upgrade Kit
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Lot of 19 Transcend 2GB 1Rx8 DDR3 1600 Memory
Lot of 19 Transcend 2GB 1Rx8 DDR3 1600 Memory
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Lot Of 4 MX 32 EDO Memory Stick
Lot Of 4 MX 32 EDO Memory Stick
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8GB 1 X 8GB RAM Memory FOR Lenovo ThinkPad W701 Notebook SERIES A14
8GB 1 X 8GB RAM Memory FOR Lenovo ThinkPad W701 Notebook SERIES A14
$43.00
Hynix 2GB PC3 10600S SO DIMM Memory OEM
Hynix 2GB PC3 10600S SO DIMM Memory OEM
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR120 AL03 ATP 2GB DDR1 400 ECC REG LP Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR120 AL03 ATP 2GB DDR1 400 ECC REG LP Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR380L SL03 ER13 Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR380L SL03 ER13 Samsung 8GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L HL01 LR13 Hynix 32GB DDR3 1333 LR DIMM Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L HL01 LR13 Hynix 32GB DDR3 1333 LR DIMM Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR320L HV01 ER16 Hynix 2GB DDR3 1600 VLP ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR320L HV01 ER16 Hynix 2GB DDR3 1600 VLP ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR240L CL03 ER6 Micron 4GB DDR2 667 ECC REG LP Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR240L CL03 ER6 Micron 4GB DDR2 667 ECC REG LP Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR340L HV01 ER16 Hynix 4GB DDR3 1600 VLP ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR340L HV01 ER16 Hynix 4GB DDR3 1600 VLP ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L HL01 ER13 Hynix 32GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L HL01 ER13 Hynix 32GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR340L SL02 ER13 Samsung 4GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR340L SL02 ER13 Samsung 4GB DDR3 1333 ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR220L CL06 FB6 Micron 2GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR220L CL06 FB6 Micron 2GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR316L SL02 ER10 Samsung 16GB DDR3 1066 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR316L SL02 ER10 Samsung 16GB DDR3 1066 ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR220L CL02 FB6 Micron 2GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR220L CL02 FB6 Micron 2GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
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Hynix 2GB PC3 12800S SO DIMM Memory OEM
Hynix 2GB PC3 12800S SO DIMM Memory OEM
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR320L HV03 ER13 Hynix 2GB DDR3 1333 VLP ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR320L HV03 ER13 Hynix 2GB DDR3 1333 VLP ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L SL01 ER10 Samsung 32GB DDR3 1066 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR332L SL01 ER10 Samsung 32GB DDR3 1066 ECC REG Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR240L CL04 FB6 Micron 4GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR240L CL04 FB6 Micron 4GB DDR2 667 FB DIMM LP Memory
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Supermicro Certified MEM DR380L SL03 ER16 Samsung 8GB DDR3 1600 ECC REG Memory
Supermicro Certified MEM DR380L SL03 ER16 Samsung 8GB DDR3 1600 ECC REG Memory
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Crucial 2GB PC2 6400 DDR2 800MHz Unbuffered CL6 Memory CT25664AA800K16F
Crucial 2GB PC2 6400 DDR2 800MHz Unbuffered CL6 Memory CT25664AA800K16F
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MNT 512MB ASint SO DDR II DIMM Memory RAM SSX232M16 FGES
MNT 512MB ASint SO DDR II DIMM Memory RAM SSX232M16 FGES
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16GB 2 X 8GB RAM Memory FOR Lenovo ThinkPad W701 Notebook SERIES A13
16GB 2 X 8GB RAM Memory FOR Lenovo ThinkPad W701 Notebook SERIES A13
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