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Posted on 1998-09-07
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Hi folks. can you help me understand ram, cpu speed and how they affect speed. I have a program I use to keep track of my fantasy football league. I use this program at work too, and it seems to work much quicker. my comp. at home has more ram[64}but a slower processer beefed up 486[133].
I am also running win98 at home. At work i use a 166 48mb ram win 95. I also downloaded a cd streamer program at home and when I playback a song, anything else I try to run is very slow. to sum it up my question is even though I increased my ram will my slower processer still cause me to lack speed? whats more important or do they have to work hand in hand. Thanks for your time.
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Question by:filmbuff
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1644698
Yes, even a 486 133 is slow, mainly because of the inferior architecture.  The FPU (floating point unit, used for processing math, specifically numbers like 1.3 * 5.3, i.e. ones that contain a decimal point) is slower on the 486 than on the Pentium and Pentium II.  If you have the money, you should upgrade to a Pentium II.  You could get the lower end ones for very cheap now (266 for example).
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wayneb earned 100 total points
ID: 1644699
Filmbuff,

There is no substitute for raw processing power, but ram is the single most piece of hardware to speed up your access. Let me put it another way I would rather have a pentium 100 with 48 megs of ram then a pentium 400 with 8 megs.  All running programs reside in ram while you are using them, windows is very resouce intensive, without the proper ram, like 32 megs minimum windows has to use the virtual memory much more then it should and will be swapping what is in memory to the harddrives swapfile, and tricking the system in believing it has enough memory.  If you had your 486 upto 32 megs ram, a cheap venture you should see a about 20 to 30% increase in performance compared to a machine that only had 16megs. After the 32 meg mark you will see very little increase in speed so it would not be worth it to upgrade from 32 to 48 or 64 megs as it the price per performance gain would be minimum.

If you require more info then let me know.
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by:wayneb
ID: 1644700
For some type of programs like video, there is no substitute for a very fast processor and lots of ram, there are also many other factors that may effect performance not just ram and processor, it could be a bottleneck in the video or disk sub system or a like.  This is why pentium-II's come with plenty of memory, a very fast harddrive and powerfull video card.
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by:thresher_shark
ID: 1644701
I agree completely wayneb.  The computer basically has to be "in proportion."  Like you said, you don't want a computer like this: i8088, 16.8gb hard drive, 64kb monochrome video card, 1gb RAM.  It just doesn't work well at all.
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