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Would Increasing RAM to 2GB Help with Speed of Photo Using Programs

By murray1987 ·
I have a Compaq Presario with Pentium 2.93 Ghz CPU (7200 rpm), 1 Gb RAM, and 160 Gb hard drive using Windows XP Home sp2.

I have over a thousand photos on my computer. I sell on eBay and the photos are stored until an item sells. When I open my photo software it is getting a little slower than it used to be. And my auction program is really getting slow the more auctions and photos I put in it. My business is doubling so I wanted to see what I could do to help speed.

I still have 2/3 of my hard drive free. I did all of the basic cleanup stuff and defragging helped the overall performance of my computer. Eliminated a lot of unneccessary junk in the configsys startup. Expanded the virtual memory to 4000 mb. But my main 2 programs I use are still slow.

I have been told 2 different things. One was that too much memory is bad when using photos, then another said doubling my memory would help the slow programs. I can't afford a new computer, I just bought this one last year.

Would it be good to add 1 Gb of RAM? Would it help my problem with so many photos at all or would I just be wasting my money?

Thanks,
Blake

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Some thoughts

by JamesRL In reply to Would Increasing RAM to 2 ...

Check your memory usage when running the program. Launch the program, then launch the task manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) and then the performance TAB. You will see a section for physical memory - how much is available?

One GB is pretty respectable. I use a memory hogging game that uses as much memory I can give it, and with 1GB of RAm at home, it will use 500-600MB. If I installed 2 GB it would use about 1200MB.

Expanding virtual memory without knowing what you aredoing can be counter productive to say the least. I suggest you let the system manage for you. With 1GB I have mine set to min 1500MB, max 3000. Depending on how fragmented your drive is, having 4GB of virtual could slow you down to a crawl.

Try running MSCONFIG (run command) to see what apps are starting up. In many cases you might find you can still use them on command without starting them up when the PC boots. I would eliminate anything you dont run often.

James

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a couple of things...

by Jaqui In reply to Would Increasing RAM to 2 ...

using a 233 mhz p2 laptop I ran 3 operations on an image with Corel's Photo Paint.
at the same time, my wife performed the exact same operations on the exact same image, using the exact same version of Photo Paint. The differences were, she was using a p3 @ 600Mhz, and had 768mb ram to my 128 mb, as well, she was using windows, I was using Linux.

the operations took exactly the same time.

The most common answer is throw more hardware at it to speed it up, but as James pointed out, most of the time, cleaning the configuration, using the default settings for memory management, and not filling the taskbar with everything you might use will usually do the job nicely.

The other issue, with microsoft's products, you do need to re-install it at least once a year to fix the system slowdown that windows suffers.

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the way to speed up your photos

by Dr Dij In reply to Would Increasing RAM to 2 ...

is reduce their size. if you have 3 megapixel photos on highest quality, your PC will be manipulating in memory for the display lots of info your eyes will never see. you can see 72 dpi I'm told.

I have a quarter million photos on my hard drive. your defragging will only help time to load the photos.

I'm doing a bunch of powerpoints for presentations from 3megapixel jpegs at highest quality. on my PC (windoze) it is noticeably slow pasting these into powerpoint.

I use photo paint (you can use any photo pgm) to reduce them to about 1/4 size. you can also reduce the dpi instead in some pgms. If you don't reduce them, they overflow the size of powerpoint anyway and you need to zoom out to make them smaller.

If you never reduce the size, 20 pix at 3megapixels made a 250 megabyte powerpoint!

at quarter size it goes down to 15 or so megs
- and loading ppt this size is slow, copying slides is up to 10 seconds each picture. reduce, it is almost instantaneous.

i'm not sure what pgms you are using but I'd reduce the size first.

the memory won't help for speed (unless you've got a bunch of other pgms open); I'd close browsers, and not have alot of other pgms open if you're doing heavy photo work. I occasionally get the 'low on virtual memory' thing from leaky windoze pgms, so I shut down and reboot.

what more memory WILL help you with is manipulating more photos. photopaint can't paste in photos on my Pc after about 32 are open. I then have to close them all to paste new ones.

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More RAM would

by Blackcurrant In reply to Would Increasing RAM to 2 ...

help your program run a little better, but it is the processor that is doing all the hard work. I assume you are using on-board graphics which are OK for normal PC use.

If you want to display hi-res images, or want to display a lot of images, your best bet might be to purchase a low-end graphics card, perhaps one with 64MB memory.

Purchasing a low-end graphics card will remove a lot of the graphics processing burden from the CPU to the card, which will speed up the display.

However, if you are using these images for display on a web page, one of the previous suggestions is best - reduce the image size. You do not need hi-res images if they are going to be displayed on a web page. You only need hi-res images for printing purposes.

Good luck

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