Sluggish Older Machine -- Memory a Solution?


W

W. eWatson

I have about a 5 year old ASUS MB, Asus A7S333. It runs at about 1.6GHz, 1G
of memory. Other details below.

As I am continually adding software, it seems almost monthly or worse (!),
performance seems to be degrading. Every six months or less I defrag my
drives. Twice in the last many years I've attempted to add 1G or put in 4G.
Despite a strong effort, it just never works.

I thought I'd let a good location shop take a shot at getting more memory
installed, which usually . However, I called another shop to see if they
might be able to help. They service guy said memory isn't going to help. I
didn't really buy that. He suggested that the registry might be tangled, and
that the best way to deal with that is to re-install. Not likely. I have no
interest in restoring the system again. Short of that they could do a tune
up. Free, currently. Buff up the registry and defrag the drives.

I then turned to maybe beefing up the machine by going to a quad core with
XP Pro. He said that's not likely going to help. Suggesting XP doesn't put
much of the extra features to work.

So what part of the above is myth? I still may opt for increased memory.
Maybe one of the shops can actually do it.

Hardware Information

Motherboard ID 04/30/2003-SIS745/IT8705F-A7S333

CPU Type AMD Athlon XP, 1466 MHz (11 x 133) 1700+

Field Value
Physical Memory
Total 1023 MB
Used 773 MB
Free 249 MB
Utilization 76 %

Swap Space
Total 1313 MB
Used 595 MB
Free 718 MB
Utilization 45 %

Virtual Memory
Total 2337 MB
Used 1369 MB
Free 967 MB
Utilization 59 %

Field Value
North Bridge Properties
North Bridge SiS 745
In-Order Queue Depth 7

Memory Timings
CAS Latency (CL) 2T
RAS To CAS Delay (tRCD) 2T
RAS Precharge (tRP) 2T
RAS Active Time (tRAS) 6T
Row Cycle Time (tRC) 8T
RAS To RAS Delay (tRRD) 2T
Write Recovery Time (tWR) 2T

Memory Slots
DRAM Slot #1 1024 MB (DDR SDRAM)

AGP Controller
AGP Version 2.00
AGP Status Enabled
AGP Device nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440
AGP Aperture Size 64 MB
Supported AGP Speeds 1x, 2x, 4x
Current AGP Speed 4x
Fast-Write Supported, Enabled
Side Band Addressing Supported, Disabled

Chipset Manufacturer
Company Name Silicon Integrated Systems Corporation
Product Information http://www.sis.com/products/index.htm#chipsets
Driver Download http://download.sis.com



--
W. eWatson

(121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

Web Page: <www.speckledwithstars.net/>
 
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J

Jerry

Go to www.crucial.com and run their memory test.

When upgrading memory and to avoid problems you should always install memory
sticks from the same manufacturer to include type, speed, etc. Is the 1Gb
you have installed one stick or two 512's? Does the cpu support dual
channel?
 
D

DL

If you run standard office type apps increasing memory wont do anything.
4gb cannot be fully utilised by winxp.
Your mobo supports only 2gb PC2700 or 3gb PC2100/1600
And only supports Socket A, Athlon, Duron and AthlonXP

Video/Photo editing types of software may benifit from increased memory
Visit a site eg Crucial, and run the memory configerator to find memory for
your sys.

The statement 'continually adding software' causes some concerns, paid for
or free software?
Either clean install winxp, and only install apps you actually use, that
come from known resources, or update your complete hardware, ie mobo, cpu,
memory, vid
 
L

Lil' Dave

W. eWatson said:
I have about a 5 year old ASUS MB, Asus A7S333. It runs at about 1.6GHz, 1G
of memory. Other details below.

As I am continually adding software, it seems almost monthly or worse (!),
performance seems to be degrading. Every six months or less I defrag my
drives. Twice in the last many years I've attempted to add 1G or put in
4G. Despite a strong effort, it just never works.

I thought I'd let a good location shop take a shot at getting more memory
installed, which usually . However, I called another shop to see if they
might be able to help. They service guy said memory isn't going to help. I
didn't really buy that. He suggested that the registry might be tangled,
and that the best way to deal with that is to re-install. Not likely. I
have no interest in restoring the system again. Short of that they could
do a tune up. Free, currently. Buff up the registry and defrag the drives.

I then turned to maybe beefing up the machine by going to a quad core with
XP Pro. He said that's not likely going to help. Suggesting XP doesn't put
much of the extra features to work.

So what part of the above is myth? I still may opt for increased memory.
Maybe one of the shops can actually do it.

Hardware Information

Motherboard ID 04/30/2003-SIS745/IT8705F-A7S333

CPU Type AMD Athlon XP, 1466 MHz (11 x 133) 1700+

Field Value
Physical Memory Total 1023 MB
Used 773 MB
Free 249 MB
Utilization 76 %

Swap Space Total 1313 MB
Used 595 MB
Free 718 MB
Utilization 45 %

Virtual Memory Total 2337 MB
Used 1369 MB
Free 967 MB
Utilization 59 %

Field Value
North Bridge Properties North Bridge SiS 745
In-Order Queue Depth 7

Memory Timings CAS Latency (CL) 2T
RAS To CAS Delay (tRCD) 2T
RAS Precharge (tRP) 2T
RAS Active Time (tRAS) 6T
Row Cycle Time (tRC) 8T
RAS To RAS Delay (tRRD) 2T
Write Recovery Time (tWR) 2T

Memory Slots DRAM Slot #1 1024 MB (DDR SDRAM)

AGP Controller AGP Version 2.00
AGP Status Enabled
AGP Device nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440
AGP Aperture Size 64 MB
Supported AGP Speeds 1x, 2x, 4x
Current AGP Speed 4x
Fast-Write Supported, Enabled
Side Band Addressing Supported, Disabled

Chipset Manufacturer Company Name Silicon Integrated Systems Corporation
Product Information http://www.sis.com/products/index.htm#chipsets
Driver Download http://download.sis.com



--
W. eWatson

(121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

Web Page: <www.speckledwithstars.net/>

Save your files and so forth to removable media. Remove excess hardware for
now. Wipe the HD, write zeroes to it with HD maker software. Clean install
XP w/SP3 installing at a partition created by setup.. Install appropriate
drivers to support hardware actually used at XP installation. Activate XP
anywhere after installing all your hardware, do not doddle online after
activation is completed. Use appropriate reboots each driver installation.
Add hardware one at a time, install drivers, reboot as prompted (or even if
not prompted afterwards). Use proper software installation sequence when
installing a printer/AIW (before or after may be appropriate). Install 3rd
party software at default location, reboot as needed. Image this
installation (activated) if satisfied to removable media. Incorporate your
personal files to the appropriate locations from removable media. Install a
partition(s) if needed at this time within XP windows environment. Disable
system restore on all but the "C:" partition. If satisfied, allow XP
windows update to further update windows XP. Do not use auto-update,
rather, see what its updating first before allowing. Net Framework of
various versions may or may not be needed on your PC for instance.
 
W

W. eWatson

DL said:
If you run standard office type apps increasing memory wont do anything.
4gb cannot be fully utilised by winxp.
Your mobo supports only 2gb PC2700 or 3gb PC2100/1600
And only supports Socket A, Athlon, Duron and AthlonXP

Video/Photo editing types of software may benifit from increased memory
Visit a site eg Crucial, and run the memory configerator to find memory for
your sys.

The statement 'continually adding software' causes some concerns, paid for
or free software?
Either clean install winxp, and only install apps you actually use, that
come from known resources, or update your complete hardware, ie mobo, cpu,
memory, vid
Free packages. For example, if one does much video work (I'm not talking
about games, but editing video), it seems as though every 3-4 months I need
some little utility to do something. Similarly with other hobbies. Nothing
really big though. My biggest acquisitions in the last 6-12 months are
Acrobat 8 and SnagIt 8. Recently I went to FireFox. I do a lot of
downloading of pdfs, but that's not going to impact general speed. I get
away with about 6 window being active, and then I start to notice some
slowing down. I suspect if I went to 10, I'd be in trouble.

Now that I think of it, I think I posted something about general slowness
12-18 months ago, and got some very good tips, including those about memory
leakage. Time to look through my Sent boxes. I keep it all.

I see my virtual memory is above 2G and 59% utilization. Swap space is 1G+
with 45% utilization. I would think I would profit by 1G more of memory to
cut down on virtual space.

--
W. eWatson

(121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
Obz Site: 39° 15' 7" N, 121° 2' 32" W, 2700 feet

Web Page: <www.speckledwithstars.net/>
 
G

Gerry

Try Ctrl+Alt+Delete to select Task Manager and click the Performance
Tab. Under Commit Charge what is the Total, the Limit and the Peak?

Have a look in the System and Application logs in Event Viewer for
Errors and Warnings and post copies here. Don't post any more than 48
hours ago.

You can access Event Viewer by selecting Start, Control Panel,
Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. When researching the meaning
of the error, information regarding Event ID, Source and Description
are important.

HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427/en-us

A tip for posting copies of Error Reports! Run Event Viewer and double
click on the error you want to copy. In the window, which appears is a
button resembling two pages. Click the button and close Event
Viewer.Now start your message (email) and do a paste into the body of
the message. Make sure this is the first paste after exiting from
Event Viewer.


--


Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
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G

Gerry

W. eWatson

Rely less on Undo? Save at shorter intervals?

--


Hope this helps.

Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
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P

Paul

W. eWatson said:
I have about a 5 year old ASUS MB, Asus A7S333. It runs at about 1.6GHz,
1G of memory. Other details below.

As I am continually adding software, it seems almost monthly or worse
(!), performance seems to be degrading. Every six months or less I
defrag my drives. Twice in the last many years I've attempted to add 1G
or put in 4G. Despite a strong effort, it just never works.

I thought I'd let a good location shop take a shot at getting more
memory installed, which usually . However, I called another shop to see
if they might be able to help. They service guy said memory isn't going
to help. I didn't really buy that. He suggested that the registry might
be tangled, and that the best way to deal with that is to re-install.
Not likely. I have no interest in restoring the system again. Short of
that they could do a tune up. Free, currently. Buff up the registry and
defrag the drives.

I then turned to maybe beefing up the machine by going to a quad core
with XP Pro. He said that's not likely going to help. Suggesting XP
doesn't put much of the extra features to work.

So what part of the above is myth? I still may opt for increased memory.
Maybe one of the shops can actually do it.

Hardware Information

Motherboard ID 04/30/2003-SIS745/IT8705F-A7S333

CPU Type AMD Athlon XP, 1466 MHz (11 x 133) 1700+

Field Value
Physical Memory
Total 1023 MB
Used 773 MB
Free 249 MB
Utilization 76 %

Swap Space
Total 1313 MB
Used 595 MB
Free 718 MB
Utilization 45 %

Virtual Memory
Total 2337 MB
Used 1369 MB
Free 967 MB
Utilization 59 %

Field Value
North Bridge Properties
North Bridge SiS 745
In-Order Queue Depth 7

Memory Timings
CAS Latency (CL) 2T
RAS To CAS Delay (tRCD) 2T
RAS Precharge (tRP) 2T
RAS Active Time (tRAS) 6T
Row Cycle Time (tRC) 8T
RAS To RAS Delay (tRRD) 2T
Write Recovery Time (tWR) 2T

Memory Slots
DRAM Slot #1 1024 MB (DDR SDRAM)

AGP Controller
AGP Version 2.00
AGP Status Enabled
AGP Device nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440
AGP Aperture Size 64 MB
Supported AGP Speeds 1x, 2x, 4x
Current AGP Speed 4x
Fast-Write Supported, Enabled
Side Band Addressing Supported, Disabled

Chipset Manufacturer
Company Name Silicon Integrated Systems Corporation
Product Information http://www.sis.com/products/index.htm#chipsets
Driver Download http://download.sis.com

Before adding more memory, check the Asus forum. While
the manual may mention 3GB max memory (3x1GB), there is
a report here the board doesn't like more than 1.5GB total.
One other article reports that memtest passes with more
memory present, but WinXP won't boot. So adding memory
past 1.5GB, doesn't currently sound like a good idea.

"PC won't start with 2GB of RAM present"
http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?board_id=1&model=A7S333&SLanguage=en-us

As for an upgrade, a quad core would help with certain kinds of
multimedia software. A dual core is more likely to get used
more of the time, but won't necessarily save you a lot of money.
(Some of the dual cores should be cheaper than they are. And
some are priced just right :) ) WinXP, the OS, treats them the
same (as multi-core processors on a single socket), but it is
the applications that may or may not make use of the extra cores.

Some examples of processors you could upgrade to.

*******
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core $67
A very low cost upgrade. Uses DDR2 memory (4GB for $40).
AM2/AM2+ motherboards are dirt cheap as well. This is the low cost upgrader's choice.
Processors like this used to cost hundreds of dollars a few years ago.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103771
*******
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core $165
Cheapest dual core with 6MB of L2 cache.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037
*******
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core $275
Cheapest quad core with 12MB of L2 cache. If you keep the computer as long
as you've kept the A7S333, you might get to use more of the cores some day :)
For example, five years from now, one core will probably be running at 100%
just doing AntiVirus software :)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

Now, to keep those choices in perspective, what am I using right now ?

I have a Core2 Duo E4700. It has only 2MB of L2 cache. It is definitely
faster than my AthlonXP 3200+, which it replaced. It was selected
with future overclocking in mind, and has run for a short time up
around 3.46GHz. I paid almost as much for it, as that E8400 above!
I think it might be discontinued now, not sure.

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E4700 2.6GHz 800MHz 2MB LGA775 CPU, OEM $118
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=E4700&c=pw

If you change motherboards, you can do a repair install of WinXP, to
get up and running again, when the new motherboard is installed. You'll
need to put back service packs, IE7, Windows Updates, WMP upgrade if used,
but your applications and user data stay put. So you could upgrade with
a few hours work.

As for memory, DDR2 for these new systems is dirt cheap. I have a pack
of this stuff lying around now. 4GB for $40!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134582

Paul
 

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