RAM....384 vs 640? big difference?

iamme

Lifer
Jul 21, 2001
21,059
3
0
what do you guys think:

i have a Thinkpad X22 with these specs:

PIII 800MHz
128MB PC133 (built in)
40GB 5400rpm HD
windows xp pro

i want to upgrade the ram (1 open slot), so my choice is either a 256MB (~$35) or 512MB (~$90) sodimm. since 128mb is built in, my totals will either be 384mb or 640mb (for the mathematically impaired :p).

i use my laptop for ms office, vb programming, mp3's, websurfing, etc. biggest problem is when i try to do any of those things at the same time. my system starts to crawl.

do you think 384mb would be sufficient? will i be regretting not getting 640mb later down the road?

 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
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The system must be using some of the 384Meg for video RAM. That would be my guess. The best way to tell if you have enough is to try to do several things at once and see if you run out of memory. Typically a business comptuter should have 512Megs of RAM for a standard Desktop. This is because programs like MS Word use a lot of memory. Swapping Memory into virtual memory which uses the hard drive must slow down a computer with a hard drive that runs at 5400rpm. So if you plan on using things like MS Word, IE, and other programs like AIM at the same time you may be really taxing the computer.

My vote would be for more RAM.

I wonder if that laptop can handle a faster hard drive?
 

Thoreau

Golden Member
Jan 11, 2003
1,441
0
71
grab the 512 stick. As piasabird mentioned, it is indeed likely to be sharing some of the ram for video.. and we all know that XP is the happiest with at least 512 megs all to itself =)
 

iamme

Lifer
Jul 21, 2001
21,059
3
0
the HD was upgraded from a 4200rpm model. i doubt i'll be spending more money on the next step (7200rpm).

as far as video ram, it has an ATI 8MB dedicated card.

my biggest issue is the amount of money invested in an older laptop. i've been runnin 128 for a while and it hasn't been too bad. i'm wondering if the difference between 384 and 640 is substantial enough to warrant the extra price.
 

Thoreau

Golden Member
Jan 11, 2003
1,441
0
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I can certainly attest to there being a major and very noticeable difference in going from 256 to 512, but it's hard to say with the numbers you have to work with. Any amount of RAM added to a system like that is gonna give you some performance boost, so you can't *really* go wrong here.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,055
3,408
126
XP Pro works quite well with the stats you have, even with 128 MB of RAM. I used a computer just like that at work for years (exceptions: it was a desktop and it was originally PIII 600 MHz upgraded to 800 MHz under warranty). The rest was the same though. I even use similar programs (Word, Excel, VB Programming, and internet)

One day at work, two trays of memory were purchased and I grabbed a 256 MB stick. Put it in and had 384 MB. No dramatic speed boosts, but everything was slightly snappier. I was happy. A month or so later it turned out that there was another 512 MB stick laying around unused from the other tray. I took it and swapped it for the 128 MB stick. No speed boost at all. Of course your specific use may be slightly different than mine, but I bet you probably would be happy with 384 MB as I was.

My opinion, get the 384 MB. If you are going to dump nearly $100 into an old computer, it is probably better to get a new one.
 

iamme

Lifer
Jul 21, 2001
21,059
3
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yeah, i was pretty surprised that my laptop works well with 128mb of ram. of course, when i'm using 1 program at a time, it runs smoothly. once i listen to mp3's, while doing some VB, do a google search for something, and then open up ms word, my system begs for mercy :p

 

htmlmasterdave

Golden Member
Jul 13, 2001
1,309
0
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If the money isn't a HUGE deal I say get more. Like it all depends on your plans... how much longer are you going to use this machine before possibly buying something new? If it's going to be a while, get the more ram for sure, that way 2 years down the road if you want to run sosmething more taxing that requires more ram you'll have it, instead of maybe having to pay a fortune for it, and then have to sell/get rid of the smaller dimm that you already bought to take it's place. But if this is a 6 month fix or something, save your money and get 256.
 

WobbleWobble

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2001
4,867
1
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You might want to make sure that the system can support a 512MB stick or address more than 512MB of memory.
 

Chapbass

Diamond Member
May 31, 2004
3,146
88
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I have 384 mb memory in my laptop. Its about the same specs, 750mhz, and with 384 mb, i can be running multiple programs (AIM, WMP/musicmatch, firefox, mcafee, and word/onenote 2003) all at the same time, without much, if any lag to it.

obviously 640 would be better, but if yer strapped for cash like i am, 384 definitely wont disappoint you.
 

Sideswipe001

Golden Member
May 23, 2003
1,116
0
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I'd get 640, just to max it out. That way, in 6 months when you're complaining about the speed again, you won't think "Maybe if I went all the way to 640....". You could know for a fact that the computer can't hold any more RAM, and you just wouldn't wonder anymore.

That's my thoughts at least.
 

magomago

Lifer
Sep 28, 2002
10,973
14
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Originally posted by: dullard
XP Pro works quite well with the stats you have, even with 128 MB of RAM. I used a computer just like that at work for years (exceptions: it was a desktop and it was originally PIII 600 MHz upgraded to 800 MHz under warranty). The rest was the same though. I even use similar programs (Word, Excel, VB Programming, and internet)

One day at work, two trays of memory were purchased and I grabbed a 256 MB stick. Put it in and had 384 MB. No dramatic speed boosts, but everything was slightly snappier. I was happy. A month or so later it turned out that there was another 512 MB stick laying around unused from the other tray. I took it and swapped it for the 128 MB stick. No speed boost at all. Of course your specific use may be slightly different than mine, but I bet you probably would be happy with 384 MB as I was.

My opinion, get the 384 MB. If you are going to dump nearly $100 into an old computer, it is probably better to get a new one.

Man speaks the truth. I had the same thing. I had 128 megs of ram, and i got a upgrade to 384 and running win98 MAN i felt the difference. games and whatnot were smoother (this is in 2001 with a 550k6-2) although that means it went from 10 fps to 15 ;). but i noticed i could run more things without any perceived lagginess and it was beautiful.
But then i got another 256 stick, and took out my 128 and noticed no difference. That stick ended up getting sold because I got more value outta selling it than keeping it.

So like he said...if you have to pay money (I would personally say no more than 60) for that stick...then it really depends. But i would say nah~ because i've noticed that on a slim system with winxp if you don't go TOOO slim, but you don't load up on bloat i load with 150megs used. A defeault with all my crap is about 210 so that still leaves a good chunk of ram.

But if you don't think of it this way: another 80 to go to a future computer ;)
 

iamme

Lifer
Jul 21, 2001
21,059
3
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well, ended up getting 640MB :p

i was set on "settling" for 384MB, but i stumbled upon an ebay auction and got a 512MB PC133 sodimm for ~$70 shipped. it was about $20 less than i estimated 512MB would be, so i jumped on it :)

thanks for the input, guys.