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cpu vs. memory

Posted on 2001-08-09
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Is there any way to compare cpu speed vs. ram.In other words I have a p111 450 with 256mb. Ram. How would this compare to a computer with  say 733 or 900 cpu with 64 or 128 ram, are they comparable? Does more Ram make up for smaller cpu?
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Question by:dlt6109
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12 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:andysalih
ID: 6370843
nope

your memory speed depends on your mother board bottle neck, but if your memory is running at 133 and the 733 was only running their memory at 100 it wont make any differene in bench marking against yours.

in other words it would kill yours, even with slow memory.

i douwt that a 733 or 900 would be running 100 anyway,

the other thing that puzzles me a pentium 111. im not aware that there was a pentium 111mhz machine ?????

THE ANSWER
no you will not run applications or anything else quicker just because you have more memory. than a computer which runs 4 times quicker with slower memory

cheers
Andy
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by:andysalih
ID: 6370846
sorry i appogise about the 111 i miss read the question
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by:andysalih
ID: 6370850
ps for the cost of a couple of sticks of ram you can buy a new processor and run much quicker

cheers
Andy
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by:xSinbad
ID: 6370901
Something I read in a magazine.

Upgrade from
32Meg -64Meg = upto 30% increase in performance
64Meg -128Meg = upto 15% increase in performance
128Meg -256Meg = upto 5% increase in performance

This of course changes if you have multiple apps open at once.


Cheers
Marcus
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LVL 25

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by:dew_associates
ID: 6371005
dlt, try this link:

http://www.dewassoc.com/performance/

First, open the Processors section of the menu and then click on "How fast is you x86 processor?

*Don't bother with the other prcessor links as they are being revised!

Next, expand the memory area and begin with the Intro to Memory

This should give you a good understanding about what you are referring to.

Dennis
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jhance earned 400 total points
ID: 6371975
The simple answer to your point is NO.  You cannot validly compare CPU speed vs. memory.  They are UNRELATED concepts.

This is like comparing the horsepower of an automobile engine with gasoline tank capacity.  One has nothing to do with the other.

But....there is an interaction between the two w.r.t. system level performance but that relationship is VERY situational.  Some (incorrectly) claim that you can relate added RAM to an increase in CPU performance but this is FALSE.

To summarize:

If you are running apps where lack of memory is causing performance degradation, then adding more RAM will help.

If you are running apps where lack of CPU performance is causing performance limitations, then a faster CPU will help.

If you are running apps where lack of memory AND lack of CPU performance is causing performance limitations, then adding BOTH will help the most.  Adding one or the other will help some.

In general today, NEITHER RAM nor CPU are the most limiting factors for overall application performance.  Most applications today are I/O bound.  So a faster disk system, a faster video card, or a faster network will give you more percived gain than CPU or memory.

But to be sure, you need to analyze what is going on in your system and identify the limiting factor and enhance that.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 6372029
JH, when you say "But....there is an interaction between the two w.r.t. system level performance but that relationship is VERY situational.  Some (incorrectly) claim that you can relate added RAM to an increase in CPU performance but this is FALSE", aren't you painting this scene with an overly broad brush?

Dennis
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by:jhance
ID: 6372214
Broad brush?  I don't think so in this case.  The question is quite broad in nature to begin with.  Without knowing ANYTHING about the computing problem being addressed, what can be done OTHER than paint with a "roller".

My guess is that this guy has a game program that he'd like to run faster.  More RAM is very unlikely to help as very few games are memory intensive.

But in any case, the root of his question seems to be:

"Does more Ram make up for smaller cpu?"

And the answer is clearly NO.  Let me illustrate:

What is a better computer:

1) 33 MHz 80386 with 256 MB RAM
2) 1.7GHz P4 with 8MB RAM

The answer is, you can't answer.  I've not given you enough information.  There are some problems where the 80386 will outperform the P4 by a wide margin.  There are others where the P4, in spite of very limited RAM will perform better.

Of course, I am aware that you know all this.  I'm just trying to illustrate to dlt6109 who got this discussion started...
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by:fruey
ID: 6372761
Yeah but Windows 98 needs at least 64Mb to do anything useful.

Lots of RAM won't help if it's at 100 and you have a fast processor.

A decent CPU on a crap motherboard won't help either.

The point is to identify correctly the bottleneck for your system at the current time and upgrade that. Then check again for the bottleneck and upgrade that.

At work I have a PIII on a crap motherboard with 128Mb RAM and it performs worse than my home Pentium II with 64Mb RAM. However, I can have more applications open at work than at home.

Each individual component has it's own particular purpose, and depending on what you do with your PC most you should tailor your system accordingly.

So - the point of the whole question :

Does more Ram make up for smaller cpu?

The answer, is not black or white.

For Photoshop (memory intensive when editing, processor intensive when running filters) may perform better in some areas with more memory and a lesser CPU.

For multiple windows open (say Internet Explorer) you may sense that more memory is better than a faster CPU.

Most games need good video I/O so memory is more important on your GFX card than the motherboard (unless it's shared with your normal RAM, in which case get a better motherboard!)

This could go on forever.
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by:jhance
ID: 6372878
>>>The point is to identify correctly the bottleneck for your system<<<

EXACTLY what my entire point is!!
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by:fruey
ID: 6373104
Yeah.. thanks jhance. I'm not trying to steal your thunder I just like writing in these forums :-)
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by:jhance
ID: 6373126
I was just saying thanks for reiterating what I had been saying...
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