1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Vast improvement in performance of XP with 512Mb or more of system RAM

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Reviews' started by RAM-PAGE, Feb 7, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. RAM-PAGE

    RAM-PAGE Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,355
    Vast improvement in Performance of XP with 512Mb, or more, of system RAM

    Defragmentation of Paging files, Master File Tables, and the Padding of Master File Tables, for systems running on NTFS, is vital for good performance.


    NOTE: Sometimes the amount of RAM in a computer is shared by the Video system. So you can buy a computer with 512Mb of RAM (total) where 128Mb is used by the video system and 'only' have 384Mb available for the main system. Adding another 512Mb module overcomes this problem.

    It is much better to purchase a computer which does not share the main memory with the video system so that you can have 512Mb (or more) system memory plus 128Mb video memory on the video card itself. So always ask if the video memory is inclusive (shared) or exclusive (not shared) withe the main memory.

    Another common example is: 256Mb main memory less 64Mb video memory = 192Mb of system memory.
    Not enough to get really exhillarating performance from XP!

    NOTE: It is usually better to fit RAM in equal sized modules, 2 x 512Mb, 3 x 256Mb, 4 x 1024Mb and so on, depending on your use of the computer, the type and number of programs you are using, and the allowable maximum for the motherboard.

    How to re-seat your RAM modules or add more: http://images.crucial.com/pdf/dimm_install.pdf

    Clean Install XP http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html

    Example of partitioning an 80Gb drive: (Maxtor Diamondmax 7,200 rev/min with 8Mb drive-cache.)

    80Gb (Decimal size) = 80,000,000,000 Bytes , divide by 1024 three times to give the Binary sizing:

    78125000 Kb
    76293·95 Mb
    74·51 Gb

    (10·0Gb = 10,000,000,000 Bytes (÷ 1024) = 9765625 Kb (÷ 1024) = 9536·74 Mb (÷ 1024) = 9·313 Gb)

    Drive C: 10240 Mb (10·0Gb) Operating System & Programming. 2000 Min & Max paging file. (2048Mb on the drive.) (Drive Image Backup to CDRs or Data DVDs)

    Drive D: 10240 Mb (10·0Gb) (My) Documents & Email Folders.
    (Copy Backups to CDRs or Data DVDs)

    Drive E: 20480 Mb (20·0Gb) Music only.
    (Drive Image Backup, otherwise original Audio CDs)

    Drive F: Remaining Drive Space. Archive, Video, etc.
    (Archive Copy Backup to CDRs and/or Data DVDs)

    Drive F: also has an Automated System Recovery (ASR) BackupC.bkf file for drive C: , to use with an ASR floppy.

    All drives are partitioned & FULL formatted, directly from the Windows XP CD, to NTFS.

    The installation uses Diskeeper 9 Professional, with Frag-Shield, to defragment the paging file and Master File Tables and to pad the Master File Tables when necessary.

    NOTE: Defragmenting the paging file and Master File Tables improves performance, as does running on 4096 bytes per allocation unit clusters, which is the default size for NTFS systems.

    Fdisk and delpart.exe should only be used to delete partitions which cannot be deleted otherwise.

    Bob Cerelli's XP Tips http://www.onecomputerguy.com/windowsxp_tips.htm

    Free Service Pack Slipstreamer http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4444.html
    Powertoys TweakUI http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx
    XP ClearType http://www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype/cleartypeactivate.htm
    Power Supply Calculator http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply
    Free SP2 CD http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/cd/order.asp
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
    Messages:
    106,418
    Any system that's sharing the main memory with video memory isn't really a candidate for massive performance enhancements! :D
     
  3. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    RAM-PAGE,

    Been seeing this post copied to a lot of other threads.

    Are you always recommending having 4 different partitions? Isn't another possibility to just to keep all you data orgainized on the D: drive. For example, just put it in something like a D:\data\photos, d:\data\music etc.
    Also, not sure that 10 gigs would always be enough for everyone's OS and program files. I've also found that, since you never fill up a partition, having too many wastes a lot unused of space like this.
     
  4. RAM-PAGE

    RAM-PAGE Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,355
    Hello Bob, not exactly. It is intended purely as an example. I am the only user on this machine. You need 15% free-space on each drive and 15% of one quarter of a drive is the same as 15% of an entire drive.

    Equally empty space is empty space, whether there are four empty spaces, or one big one, the space is the same.

    If those who have a lot of programming need a bigger drive to install to it is worth considering using a 20Gb (or bigger) Master and as big a Slave drive as you need for storage.

    It helps to keep the Operating System drive no bigger than necessary, as it makes it easier to image and maintain.

    I had also considered having User space. With a Master drive, and a Slave drive with four partitions, each user can have their own partition for their personal data.

    Master with C: & D: where D: is used to hold a backup for C:

    Slave with E: F: G: & H: for Mom & Dad, Brother & Sister, for example.

    You can then use Partition Magic to resize partitions if one gets filled up and another is hardly used or someone stops using the machine.
     
  5. RAM-PAGE

    RAM-PAGE Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,355
    I just thought to add. I had suggested to the industry, some years ago now, that they adopt a twin-disk system where the computers were sold with a 20Gb Master and a hot swappable storage drive so that you could carry the second drive around together with a Laptop.

    I had wanted three screens on the desktop PC to act as "Hard Windows" where you have one screen as an in-box read screen, a second as a out-box write screen, and a third as an application screen.

    All in 90° A4 Portrait presentation so that you can get a complete A4 page per screen, especially useful for Adobe PDF presentation and, of course then for all other A4 based documents.

    If you hold a piece of A4 paper in landscape position, on a 19", or bigger, monitor you'll see what I mean.

    The alternative, for those who need a large Landscape screen as well, is to use a large plasma screen where three A4 pages can be presented side-by-side on the one screen. One advantage is that it has to be placed a bit further away from you so you don't feel quite so claustrophobic sitting right on top of a small monitor.
     
  6. hewee

    hewee

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    57,791
    See PLANNING YOUR PARTITIONS
    http://aumha.org/a/parts.htm

    Good reading on how to set up a drive(s). Also lets not forget the we can use removeable hard drives to for data and things that do not have to be on the PC.
     
  7. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    Still can't see that much benefit in having 7 partitions. Would really like to see actual performance test data supporting the need for this.
     
  8. RAM-PAGE

    RAM-PAGE Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,355
    Personally I don't see why it is that people have so many computers, except to play Big Brother games with them.

    You can have as many partitions as you like really, with the right partitioning equipment, provided there is a real need for them. I just like to have my drive set up this way, as I find it makes it easier to backup all the data.

    I don't see the point of dual booting, but I don't worry if people do.
     
  9. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    RAM-PAGE,

    Guess folks can have as many computers as they want. We have something like six in our house. Three for me for working and testing, one for the wife and one for each kid.

    And I guess you can have as many partitions as you want as well. Just as long as it makes sense for you and has technical merit.
     
  10. RAM-PAGE

    RAM-PAGE Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,355
    I prefer country pursuits really Bob. Makes a whole lot more sense to me.

    Depends what people want really. It could also be that with four data partitions on a separate Slave drive the My Documents folder could disappear altogether, to be replaced by four individual folders:

    Documents
    Pictures
    Music
    Video

    One on each partition, to keep like files together.
     
  11. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    That helps clarify it.
     
  12. hewee

    hewee

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2001
    Messages:
    57,791
    Lots of good reason for partitions. If one partition goes bad you got the other. If you need to reinstall windows you don't lose what is on the other partitions. Doing a scan, defrag is a lot faster and you can just do the partitions that need it. Doing a AV scan or other anti sayware scans that like you pick the drives to scan are faster. If you ever find some and clean it up and want to do a 2nd scan to see if you cleaned things up you can pick just that one partition.
    My old IBM aptiva P-200 I had two drives in it and 4 partitions on each. The swap file was on the 1st partition of the 2nd drive and I also move the cache for netscape to that same partition. It really help speed things up and because having the swap and cache on it's own partition it did not fragment the other drives. I could months and months without doinf a defrag on some partitions
     
  13. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    RAM-PAGE,

    Please read my previous posts carefully. There was no mention of the total amount of disk space used or free being any different regardless of the size or amount of partitions. Just that it can waste space using too many.

    Maybe an example will help.

    Let's say there are four partitions (OS, PROGRAMS, DOCS_PICS, VIDEOS). And just consider the available space on each.

    The OS has 5 gigs free. PROGRAMS has 20 gig free. DOCS_PICS has 2 gigs free and VIDEOS had 20 gigs free. But you want to start taking more digital pictures but there is not enough room on that partition. While there is other available disk space, but it is not organized or utilized how future needs are now requiring.

    Now I suppose you could always keep running something like Partition Magic or some other program that lets you resize partitions as you need them. But that seems a bit risky at best, time consuming, and not always the easiest thing for most folks to do or purchase. Most of all it is unnecessary if you simply organize your data better.

    So maybe a better phrase than - too many partitions can cause wasted disk space - would be something like - too many partitions can cause unnecessary wasted used of your disk space. Regardless of the wording, hopefully the example helped explain this a bit more.
     
  14. Big-K

    Big-K

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,052
    RAM-PAGE, my primary computer runs an Athlon XP 1800+ processor with 512mb of pc3200 ddr ram. I multi-task bigtime. This machine still runs perfectly with Anim8or, Adobe Photoshop 6, Firefox(many tabs open), AVG AV, ZoneAlarm Firewall, MSNMessenger, Winamp, occasionaly IE, possibly other programs, all open at once. The ONLY time this machine has truly run slow has been when running Windows Media Player 9(which I do as little as possible).
     
  15. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    22,468
    hewee,

    I'm not exactly sure what is meant by "If one partition goes bad you got the other."

    Are both partitions exactly the same? So if one goes bad you still have the same data on the other one? Do partitions go bad? Generally I see hard drives go bad. Never seen just a partition go bad.

    Usually I have two partitions. One for the OS and what it needs to run. The other is for everything else - data, programs, pictures, source files etc. All these are organized into as few directories as possible.

    The OS partition I image to the second partition. Then that second partitioned is all backed up to another hard drive.

    I'm not sure how much faster it is to scan or Defrag multiple partitions or single partitions with the same amount of data. Do you have performance data to show which is faster. Generally I like to Defrag and virus scan everything. Can't see the point in virus scanning only part of your computer.

    Also I really haven't seen that much tremendous performance gains with even relatively infrequent defrags. I would like it if there were. Tried this on a badly fragmented, never been done drive vs. a brand new one that had the same software install and was defragged. My slowest program, Adobe Photoshop took the same time to open with each drive. Just didn't seem like that big of a deal to get all worked up about.
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/327697

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice