Is laptop worth putting more memory in?

I have a Sony PCG-FRV26 Laptop.
Pentium 4 2.8GHZ
334 mhz 448mb of RAM
I am running xp Home SP2.
Is it worth buying more memory?
I have reloaded xp with Sony restore utility and I get a lot of the advertisement and software installed when I first bought it.
I don't have an XP disc to try a clean install but I only have one computer right now and I am worried that I might not even be able to get to the Internet for updates.
The laptop does ok but is slow when browsing the web and trying to stream.
Where could I get prices for compatible ram?
Dragon0x40Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
PCBONEZCommented:
Yes, you will see significant improvement going from 512Mb to 1Gb with XP.

You will need two 512Mb SO-DIMM, PC-2700, DDR-333, unbuffered, non-ECC.
-
Currently you may have one 512Mb or two 256Mb.
You need to check before you order.
- Actually it's not a bad idea to order two 512Mb that are exactly the same anyway.


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kaskhedikar_tusharCommented:
Yes, you can upgrade the RAM , if you have a single chip 512 memory, so you can purchase another 512 MB compatible & install in your Laptop.

http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/laptop-support/137922-sony-pcg-frv26-memory-upgrade.html

http://www.edgetechcorp.com/memory/upgrade.asp?cid=25909   
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Dragon0x40Author Commented:
thanks kaskhedikar tushar,

The first link mentions that replacing the 4200 rpm disk drive with a 7200 rpm disk drive would give the greatest speed enhancement and is usually the bottle neck. I have a Hitachi DK23EA-40 which I believe is a 4200 rpm drive.

How much RAM is this laptop able to address/hold?
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kaskhedikar_tusharCommented:
There are 2 slots of RAM In Laptop So , you can upgrade upto 2 -3 GB of RAM.
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PCBONEZCommented:
Oh, missed one, it's 200-pin modules.

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/PCGFRV26.pdf
It's on page 116

A faster drive will only speed up those things that have to do with drive access.
It WILL speed it up but given you only have 512Mb RAM it won't be as much as the RAM upgrade.
There are also 5400 RPM drives which are cooler and use less power than the 7200 RPM units.
.



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PCBONEZCommented:
kaskhedikar_t&
The number of slots doesn't control the amount of RAM. - The motherboard's chipset does.

This model takes a max of 1Gb RAM. - Max module size is 512Mb.

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Dragon0x40Author Commented:
http://www.pcmemorystore.com/Sony-Vaio-PCG%5EFRV26-ram.htm

I can only find 512, 256 and 128 memory modules for my laptop.

The above link says that my laptop only supports 1gb or RAM.

About 70 dollars for 1gb which is not bad if it improves my performance.

My concern is if I also need to upgrade my hard disk to a higher speed.

Have not price a higher speed disk but even at 150 plus memory would put me at 225 dollars.

Not sure what the price break point for upgrading this one or buying a new one.
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Dragon0x40Author Commented:
Also if I upgrade my hard disk I have to find a copy of windows xp.

I believe I already have the license but just need the media.
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Dragon0x40Author Commented:
My laptop currently had 2 256 modules so I would have to buy 2 512 modules.
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PCBONEZCommented:
I would put in the 1Gb of RAM and see if that's good enough for you.
If not then add a 5400 RPM drive later on.
[7200 RPM drive + P4 CPU = Lots of heat inside chassis.]
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Dragon0x40Author Commented:
thanks pcbonez,

Thanks for the link and that is a good price.

Having done desktop support in the past I have been unpleasantly suprised more often than not with the performance increase in windows xp when adding more memory.

Unless you go from 512 to 4gb or some great increase and even then I have seen it be a different bottle neck.

Never found a good way to test for the bottle neck. Any idea how I could test to see if it is the hard drive or memory?

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Jackie ManCommented:
You can try to remove the bundled software with SONY VAIO laptop first. If the performance is still low, adding memory is an option but it is expensive (512mb costs about US$40).

You need to go to BIOS to see whether you have two 256mb (256mb + 256mb = 512mb) or just one 512mb as your laptop has two memory slots. If it is just one 512mb, it is OK to add another 512mb. Please see the URL below for details.

URL: http://www.techsupportforum.com/hardware-support/laptop-support/137922-sony-pcg-frv26-memory-upgrade.html

You can purchase 512mb PC2100 memory module from the URL below.

URL: http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=554515

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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
>Is it worth buying more memory?
to answer that question is simple:
? how long do you plan to keep that laptop?

I just had the same situation, 1GB => 2GB, for 50?, and it is worth for me, as the machine is definitively responding much better
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PCBONEZCommented:
>>>>>
Unless you go from 512 to 4gb or some great increase and even then I have seen it be a different bottle neck.

Never found a good way to test for the bottle neck. Any idea how I could test to see if it is the hard drive or memory?
<<<<<

The thing is there isn't 'A' bottle neck that's huge compared to others. There are simply several little ones.
RAM in that probably comes the closest being only 512Mb.

XP runs fine on 512Mb until you start adding things like Firefox, Acrobat, Flash player, and all that.

I've upgraded numerous laptops from 4200rpm to 5400rpm and it's noticable,,,,
but my guess is 512mb->1Gb will be more noticeable.
- Something drive related that helps is to set virtual memory manually vice leaving it in auto and to restrict it to the C drive. If you don't Windows continually re-sizes it which means it's writing to the hard drive very often. You do that by setting the max and min size to the same number. It's generally recommended to set it to 1.5x the amount of physical RAM in the system [but 4Gb max in a 32-bit system]. If you have any partitions make sure you turn it off [select no page-file] for them. [No reason to write to two places on the same drive.]

I 'fired' adobe for PDF reading and got this free program called Foxit Reader to read PDF files. It's a bit less 'polished' but it works well enough and it's doesn't bog the PC and pop-up nag screens for every blasted PDF file.

A problem that you can't fix is that you have a P4.
P4 & P4-M are based on Netburst Architecture which is a dog.
Pentium-M is based on the P3 Tualatin Core. [In fact it pretty much IS a Tualatin, only for laptops.]
- Intel had to downplay Tualatin because they outperformed P4 until P4 went over ~2Ghz.
The Core Architecture was then based on the Pentium-M Core.
- P4/Netburst is not in 'Core's' family tree.

Some systems run better with hyper-threading disabled.

Set browsers to clear cache and 'off-line' files when turned off.

Minimize programs auto starting with Windows.

Run defrag on the drive every couple of months.

.
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