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Maximum suggested RAM for W98SE?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Joseph King, Sep 20, 2003.

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  1. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

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    I'm running a P-III/500 machine with an Abit BE6 MB using W98SE.

    The MB will support up to three 256MB DIMMs for 768MB total.

    I've been getting conflicting advice from salespeople as to whether it's advisable to limit W98SE to 512MB or go to 768MB.

    Some say to max it out. One says W98SE has a memory leak problem above 512MB and performance will go down.

    Most agreed that upgrading from my current 256MB will show a marked improvement in performance -- apps loading, resources available, less crashes due to pushing the multitasking.

    Should I go to 512MB, or should I go to 768MB?

    Thanks!

    Joe
     
  2. active95

    active95

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    If you do a search on the web will see that acctually the biggest improvement in win98 is seen from 256 to 512. True, there is a problem with 768 ( which can be fixed ,following the instructions on microsoft.com , just search for 768 and win98 < lazy at this hour to search it for you :D > ) but that doesn't mean you can not use 768. If you do use Adobe Photoshop or memory intensive programs , more RAM always help. In a day to day usage 512 will be just fine..
    If i was in your shoes, i would stick with 512. In case you want to move to win2k or XP , 768 then will easy the path.. :)
    HTH
     
  3. Aaron.W

    Aaron.W

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    768 works, but due to a bug in the VCACHE of Win9x/ME you'll have to add the following lines to the [386ENH] section of SYSTEM.INI:

    MinFileCache=4096 ;Minimum size of the cache in kilobytes
    MaxFileCache=8192 ;Maximum

    You can choose your own values to suit your purposes. These are the lowest I would recommend.

    The bug was that all of your RAM would be allocated to the cache when your total RAM went over 512M. Manually setting the minimum and maximum sizes will prevent that bug from biting you. :D
     
  4. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

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    Thanks, folks!

    Actually, my goal is not so much better performance from a single memory intensive program like Photoshop, but rather more ability to multitask with less chance of system freezes or program crashes, and faster loading of programs.

    I recently had two system freezes within a week threaten to compromise the integrity of a five-year-old contact management database we use (it doesn't write recent changes to disk until the cache clears). The system froze while burning CDs with Nero 5.0 to my Plextor drive (usually Nero does great buffering, and multi-tasking sees tolerably limited performance degradation, but these two times the system locked up). I'm told more memory may reduce the chance of that occurring, plus help with faster loading of programs, and with having multiple programs open at once (with my business, that's often needed, such as contact management, accounting, UPS, and credit card processing all at once to rush orders out and copy-and-paste info from place to place).

    Thanks again!

    Joe
     
  5. MCP

    MCP

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  6. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    First Name:
    Frank
    Joseph:

    Increase the amount of RAM to 512 MB.

    Keep the startup load in the MSCONFIG startup tab trimmed down as much as possible.

    Between the two, your computer will run noticably peppier. (y)


    Frank's Windows 95/98 Tips
     
  7. compilerxp

    compilerxp

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    Two system freezes isnt that bad for Windows98... doing a burning shouldn't cause a freeze up. I suppose you already have 512mb?

    Do what flavallee says... click on RUN / START / MSCONFIG

    CLick on Stat up tab.... look at those programs... you may have all kinds of junk running when you turn on your computer. How big is your system tray? (The box in the bottom right with the clock) how many items? SHould try to keep it under 6 items...

    AOL, IM, MSN, dialup, Antivirus, Spyware (gator), AIM, Quicktime, Real Audio, etc etc - much of that is JUNK that causes you problems. Hmmm... used to have a link that lists lots of items that LIKE to start up.

    Also, download and install from www.download.com - SPYBOT Search & Destory - free program, does wonders.

    or we can give you some tips... after you run SPYBOT...

    go to www.aida32.hu - CLick downloads (on the top left) grab the enterprise version - its 100% free. Install it, run it... tell you everything about your PC.

    Click your way to: SOFTWARE/Autostart - see whats in there...
    Okay, click on REPORT WIZARD (iits the PAPER looking button on the top right of the window - next to the normal 3 Windows buttons) or use the REPORT menu...

    Click NEXT to start the wizard, Choose CUSTOM SELECTION only, click NEXT. You will see a window with lots of pre-checked items. CLick on "AIDA32 - report" - it will uncheck them ALL. Scroll down to SOFTWARE, and check ONLY: Auto Start, Scheduled and maybe INSTALLED PROGRAMS. (these do say anything about you personally). Click NEXT

    Choose PLAIN TEXT, click FINISH A text Window will pop up showing the report... Click SAVE FILE, and save it to a easy location you can get to it... Then OPEN that text file.

    With your mouse, SELECT the Auto start & installed programs and Scheduled text - but NOT the "DECODE" junk thats mostly 00 00 00 00 00
    00 00

    And PASTE IT HERE. (use mouse to paste).


    Sample:

    --------[ Auto Start ]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alarm Manager StartMenu\User C:\MEDIA\Palm\AlarmApp.exe
    ccApp Registry\Common\Run C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe
    ccRegVfy Registry\Common\Run C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccRegVfy.exe
    FAST Defrag Registry\User\Run
    LoadPowerProfile Registry\Common\Run Rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,LoadCurrentPwrScheme
    Net.Medic StartMenu\User C:\Net\VitalSigns\Net.Medic\Program\netMedic.exe
    NPROTECT Registry\Common\Run C:\Program Files\Norton SystemWorks\Norton Utilities\nprotect.exe
    Pop-Up Stopper Registry\Common\Run C:\PROGRAM FILES\PANICWARE\POP-UP STOPPER\DPPS2.EXE
    QuickTime Task Registry\Common\Run C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\QTTASK.EXE -atboottime
    ScanRegistry Registry\Common\Run C:\WINDOWS\scanregw.exe /autorun
    seticlient Registry\Common\Run C:\Program Files\[email protected]\[email protected] -min
    SystemTray Registry\Common\Run SysTray.Exe
    TaskMonitor Registry\Common\Run C:\WINDOWS\taskmon.exe
    Tweak UI Registry\Common\Run RUNDLL32.EXE TWEAKUI.CPL,TweakMeUp
    ZoneAlarm StartMenu\Common C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zonealarm.exe


    --------[ Installed Programs ]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3DMark03 3.1.3.0 Unknown
    ACDSee 5.0 PowerPack 5.0.0 Unknown
    Ad-aware 6 Personal 6.0. Unknown

    (rest removed)

    I noticed that QuickTime has RE-ADDED itself to my startup without showing itself... grrrrrr. gone.

    Here is what WE don't need:

    B00 D00 F00: VIA VT8377 Apollo KT400 Chipset - System Controller

    Offset 00: 06 11 89 31 06 00 30 A2 00 00 00 06 00 00 00 00
    Offset 10: 08 00 00 F0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
    Offset 20: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 43 10 7F 80



    Very handy tool....
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    In that case, I suggest you seriously consider upgrading to W2K or WXP, it's like night and day. :)
     
  9. Deathdealer

    Deathdealer Guest

    im running win98se with 64ram its going really fast
     
  10. spaceman_333

    spaceman_333

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    Hi Joseph,

    Funny thing.......384MB works better for me than 512MB with Win98se.

    SM
     
  11. raybro

    raybro

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    Been running 384mb SDRAM for a couple of years. Zero probs. Haven't had a freeze or crash since I can't remember.
     
  12. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

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    First Name:
    Frank
    DeathDealer:

    I don't know what qualifies for you as "really fast", but 64 MB of RAM just doesn't do it. (n)

    Wait until you install and try to run a program that requires more RAM. (n)


    Frank's Windows 95/98 Tips
     
  13. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

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    I appreciate all the advice.

    I've gone through the MSCONFIG Startup group with various tech support people on the phone a few times. It's probably not unduly heavy. I only have five things in the SysTray: Task Scheduler, Volume control, Resource Meter, Norton Anti-Virus, and MailWasher (plus the clock, of course). I want all of them running.

    I never installed SpyBot but I have Ad-aware (6.0 Professional) and run it regularly. Isn't that enough to do what SpyBot would? (I have Ad-watch, too, but never run it.)

    Resource Meter usually shows about 45-60% in all three areas.

    I don't know if I'm ready for the aida32.hu download but will look into it when I have the time. I've had similar snapshots of the entire system using other diagnostic programs and nothing much jumped out at me as being superfluous.

    Upgrading to 2000 or XP is high on my priority list but my time and finances are spread pretty thin with the business at the moment. It's my understanding that upgrading will cost hundreds above the cost of the OS in order to replicate all my software (I expect some of my software isn't 2000/XP compatible), and that the time involved will be days of fulltime work in order to get the whole system replicated with all of our setting and customizations. Also, I'm told my hardware (P-III/500) isn't quite up to par for running 2000, or is that just applicable to XP? What I'm hoping to do is be able to buy a new machine soon (P-IV or comparable) and have both machines side-by-side so I can do a gradual migration and can refer to the old when setting up the new.

    MEANWHILE, the idea that 384MB might run better than 512 is a whole new dimension. I'm not sure how best to proceed now.

    BTW, nobody has yet mentioned: Is it likely that more RAM will cut down the chance of a system freeze with something like burning?

    Thanks again!
     
  14. active95

    active95

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    If the problem ( freezing ) only occurs with Nero , then it's not a RAM problem , but most likely Nero ( didn't mention if you patched NERO with the lastest version ).
    On the other hand, if the freezing happens with other programs then yes it's possible that RAM could be the cause.
    And since RAM is still cheap , 512 can help with win2k if you want to upgrade the current machine.
    HTH
     
  15. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

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    I agree it's probably not the current RAM that caused the freezes since, no, the machine virtually never locks up (certainly not twice within a few days -- but often lately when I'm burning, for some reason).

    Haven't looked into upgrading Nero yet. I'll have to do that.

    Going to W2K is a "job" for a business system with tons of custom settings, though, isn't it? I mean, it's not at all feasible to install it "over" the W98 installation and expect all custom settings to be reliably retained, righT? It's got to be a "format the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch" project, doesn't it? That's why side-by-side systems and a slow migration is what seems most realistic to me.

    THANKS!
     
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