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Determine if computer needs more memory

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
My client has an HP xw6000 workstation pc.  It currently has 1 gig of memory.   It’s responsiveness slows down when 5 applications are opened.  I’m trying to determine if more memory would help.

The pc is running Windows XP Pro.   Task manager (when all 5 applications are running) shows CPU usage at 24% and Commit charge of 964058 and Physical memory at 1048076.  

Q1.) So, could this pc benefit from more memory?

Q2.) How can I measure the swap rate to determine if the computer is swapping programs in and out of memory at an excessive rate?


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Question by:donpick
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:BigBadWolf_000
ID: 35011631
Yes it would...max usable memory on XP 3GB to 3.5GB
Set paging file to System managed

Having said that it would also depend on Processor type, Bus speed, HDD R/W speeds and applications used

but for the most part you will see a performance gain
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by:ragnarok89
ID: 35011634
Performance Monitor will help you with this.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490957.aspx

this is a tool included in XP, and can help you analyze disk usage, memory usage, swap etc.
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Expert Comment

by:ChopperCentury
ID: 35011649
If you have 964MB of 1GB being used then Yes...you need more memory.
First find the application using the most memory by opening Task Manager and sorting the running processes by memory usage. Should that app being using so much?
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 668 total points
ID: 35011650
>>  It’s responsiveness slows down when 5 applications are opened.
>>  Commit charge of 964058 and Physical memory at 1048076


Commit is almost up to the 1 Gb level.  That is almost your memory level.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commit_charge  If you are getting up here it will be swapping out and slowing down.  You won't need to measure the swap rate.

Yes.  This computer does need more memory.

If you can give it 4 Gb.  The user will thank you and buy you coffee and donuts for a week.

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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 668 total points
ID: 35012812
This is a no brainer. IF you have a PC running on just 1 GB of memory then NO MATTER what you run on it then adding additional memory WILL make it run quicker.

There is NO situation where a WINDOWS computer running more than 1 App will not benefit from more memory if it currently has only 1Gb ram.

Make it 4GB and you will have a friend for life.
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LMiller7 earned 664 total points
ID: 35012820
The commit charge means very little to performance. The physical memory usage is what is important. The Available memory and Cache should both be at least one third of the total memory. Less than that and the system cache and standby list will be low which will hurt performance. This is a general guide and varies depending on how much RAM you have and the kind of workload.
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