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More Speed...

 
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: More Speed... Reply with quote

I was just wondering if it were possible to gain any speed by removing the network card and any/all components in windows (or perhaps just the windows components are sufficient)? What about any other windows components? Surely the smaller the OS the better?

The PC is around 5 years old with only 256MB RAM and trying to run ANYTHING is painfully slow. I've used a program called SIW to gain info on type of RAM required - DDR133MHz or DDR166MHz (PC2700), would RAM make much of a difference?

If RAM is, as most people say, the best way to add speed, what EXACTLY am I looking for? I've looked on eBay but am unsure of the important specs. Is the 'PC2700' just a model number or important stat for compatibility? For example do I need to match all the above mentioned stat's for it to work?

Essentially the PC is to be used for playing Sims 2, plus perhaps the odd letter/drawing using PortableApps and maybe films.

Thanks

Scott
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removing the network card and disabling such components in Windows are unlikely to give you any noticeable speed improvements.

When looking at speeding up a system, there are 3 main things to look at - the CPU (faster clock speed = faster processing), memory (more memory = less swapping to disk), and hard drive (faster and sufficient capacity to reduce bottlenecks).

The first of these, the CPU, is not normally an option as that would more than likely result in a new motherboard, memory, etc. so you are practically going for a new PC.

The second, memory, is usually considered the best value for money. Having 256Mb is not much, certainly by today's standards. I take it you are running XP on this system, if so it should run OK, but increasing to 512Mb or better still 1Gb should work wonders. Your system needs PC2700, so look for 184pin PC2700 DIMMs. I wouldn't recommend buying from eBay, get from a reputable place with a warranty. I recommend Crucial RAM and they have a great checker on their website where you can enter your PC or motherboard make and model and find out exactly what is compatible. Bear in mind you will need free slots on the motherboard (shouldn't be an issue as you only have 256Mb) and if the computer supports Dual Channel memory configurations, by matched pairs of memory and install them correctly to get a boost in memory speed.

The final option is the hard drive, if you hard drive is low on space <5Gb free then you will probably start to run in to problems and have performance suffering. A newer faster hard drive may help a little, but really clear out as much as possible, defragment it, and ensure that you have the correct drivers installed for the hard disk controllers and you should be fine. Also, uninstall any unused programs and disable things from starting up when the computer does unless you absolutely need them as they only take up resources. If Windows has been on the system a long time, a format and reinstall can really boost the speed, otherwise use something like ccleaner to clear out the registry and unwanted files.
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies I should've stated that this is an extension of my previous post - Restore PC Gone Wrong - but wasn't sure to include in that post as it's a diversion of the original topic. And so this is a fresh minimalistic install on a 40GB HDD (15GB remaining) plus 8GB drive with some portable apps on it (including CCleaner - excellent program btw).

1. What is dual channel and how do I know if this PC supports it?
2. Is it necessary or just an option?
3. Would 1GB be enough, or better with 2GB, would it warrant that much?
4. There's only one module at present but do I have to buy a pair of 512MB for a 1GB upgrade?

Thanks

Scott

EDIT:

Ok, just looked at Crucial RAM site and they don't have the exact model listed and i've handed PC back so bit stuck at mo. According to the listing though for a model 2240 (looking for 2230) I can install mixture of modules but am confused about speed of modules.

As stated above I used SIW to find out info on memory spec. this said I needed PC2700 at either 133 or 166MHz but Crucial says that the modules compatible are 333MHz this is for a different PC model though so can't be too sure if it's like the next model up or completely different later model???
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, now we know it's an eMachine 2230, with some help from Google (and insomnia), I've established the motherboard is an Intel D845GVSR - this is what Intel say, and this is what Crucial say.

I would forget what the program told you. Smile

In answer to your questions:

1. What is dual channel and how do I know if this PC supports it?
Basically, dual channel doubles the maximum throughput of data from/to the memory. More info
2. Is it necessary or just an option?
Dual Channel? No, it's not necessary.
3. Would 1GB be enough, or better with 2GB, would it warrant that much?
Unless you are doing some seriously large image editing or video editing, then XP won't really benefit from 2Gb. 1Gb should be sufficient.
4. There's only one module at present but do I have to buy a pair of 512MB for a 1GB upgrade?
Well, it appears there are only 2 slots on the board, but you can mix and match types and speeds. Options for 1Gb are:
- 2 new 512Mb modules and discard the 256Mb
- 1 new 1Gb module and discard the 256Mb
However! There are 2 other options worth considering:
- 1 new 512Mb module and keep the 256Mb (768Mb in total)
- 1 new 1Gb module and keep the 256Mb (1.25Gb in total)

The last 2 options there make the most sense. For the sake of an extra tenner, I'd stick a 1Gb in there, but adding a 512Mb will give significant improvement and from what you are telling me the system will be used for this should be sufficient.

I just want to mention something about memory speeds. PC2700 is 333MHz RAM, by definition, and this is the max supported by your board. It is possible to put PC3200 (400MHz) RAM in your system as well, but it will clock down to 333MHz giving no performance boost. You may notice on Crucial's website they show PC2700 and PC3200 as options to buy, and they are the same price! I'd still buy the PC2700 here as the CAS Latency (CL) is lower 2.5 for the PC2700 compared to 3 for the PC3200. I won't get in to the technical details, but this is another factor in RAM speed, although not as significant as the clock speed at which it runs.

I must stress, don't buy memory from unknown brands and untrusted sources. Cheap RAM fails, and unscrupulous suppliers can sell faulty RAM that appears to work. The price of RAM is pretty low, so there is no real need to cut corners here. Faulty RAM can cause all sorts of problems. I'd seriously recommend buying from Crucial directly, they have stuff on their website saying why to buy from them, but the bottom line is they offer a lifetime warranty on RAM and a 30 day money back compatibility guarantee - you won't get that from eBay!
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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Markb



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 164
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While looking for RAM this week, I fund that ebuyer's website was offering better prices on memory than Crucial even for some Crucial memory. They are a reputable suppler and have other brands where Crucial just sell crucial memory.
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all Thanks Markb I'll check it out Very Happy

Thanks Softstag for all the trouble you went to, especially at that time of the morning Exclamation Or was it night for you Confused How you found all that out about the e 2230 I don't know, I couldn't find it out by going to the mftr's site!!!

It looks like the program I used for getting the info is a duffer then as it gave completely the wrong info Confused How the hell does that happen?

Thanks for the advice on buying too I'll keep that in mind Very Happy

Scott
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let us know how you get on. I agree with Markb - ebuyer are a good place to buy memory from (do you work for them Mark?)

It was morning, I'm in the UK too!
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"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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sl23



Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Portsmouth, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It was morning, I'm in the UK too!


Mad, completely mad Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
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