Where's the Slow Down Coming From in my Computer?

Truthiness

Junior Member
May 1, 2006
7
0
0
Hey all,

I upgraded a few months ago going from an Intel P4 2.8ghz to AMD X2 +3800, a KN8 SLi Mobo, and an EVGA 7800GT while still keeping my old RAM in and my hard drives from before.

I do web design which requires me being incredibly involved with Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, Flash 8, and Dreamweaver. I can now keep all those programs open fantastically as opposed to my previous setup (X2 is a god-send for me) but there's a problem. About an hour or two of working straight on Photoshop and Flash, I notice an excessive amount of lag in Photoshop only but Flash runs pretty smooth. Is this caused by a slow hard drive, old RAM needing replacements, or something else?

The hard drive I run Photoshop, Flash, and Dreamweaver off of is a Maxtor 120gig, specifically this: http://www.drivesolutions.com/cgi-bin/s...=desktop&pos=0&type=itemid&itemid=d6.5

My RAM is mixed; I'm quite sure it's all value ram or unknown RAM that is completly out of date (I'm just copying information taken from CPU-Z):
Total RAM: 1.5gigs

Slot #1 --
DDR-SDRAM
Module Size: 512MBytes
Max Bandwidth: PC3200 (200Mhz)
Manufacturer: Kingmax Semiconductor
Frequency
133Mhz | 200Mhz
2.0 2.5
3 4
3 4
6 8


Slot #2 --
DDR-SDRAM
Module Size: 512MBytes
Max Bandwidth: PC3200 (200Mhz)
Manufacturer: Nanya Technology
Frequency
133Mhz | 166Mhz | 200Mhz
2.0 2.5 3.0
2 3 3
2 3 3
6 7 8




Slot #3 --
DDR-SDRAM
Module Size: 512MBytes
Max Bandwidth: PC3200 (200Mhz)
Manufacturer: Kingmax Semiconductor
Frequency
133Mhz | 200Mhz
2.0 2.5
3 4
3 4
6 8

--------------

From my own guessing and speculation, I'd say it is a mix of the two or maybe both of them together. I have to do my upgrading in steps because of money, but I now have an amount I am willing to spend to finally get above the lag. I need at least a hard drive that is 150-200GB (or more if it's fast/reasonably priced) and RAM I would like to get a good amount that is fitting for what I do on a regular day-to-day basis (Web Design).


Amount I am working with: $300-450

So any advice, links to products you suggest, or information on my situation would be very much appreciated. Also, I run Spyware/Anti-virus every night before I sleep so I'm sure that is not the issue of this slow down.

Thank you for any help, I won't bump this constantly as I know help here isn't something I am in a position to demand for,

-Truthiness.

Oh, and if the hard drive does get replaced would I be able to make it an external drive just to put data on (like music or files that don't require a fast drive)?
 

Howard

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
47,989
10
81
When it's slow, open up Task Manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc) and look at the "Available physical memory". What's the number?
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
11
0
Are your Scratch Disk(s) on a different drive than the primary one?
 

Truthiness

Junior Member
May 1, 2006
7
0
0
Howard: Right now with Photoshop open (and yeah, there's the same lag I receive after about 1 or 2 hours into usage) my Available Physical Memory is 618696

Pkme2: I checked that thread, my drives are set in Ultra DMA mode and I'm not sure if re-formating would do the trick. I thank you for the help though as I need any I can get with this problem.

Her209: What do you mean Scratch Disks? I've not heard this term before...or maybe I have as a different name, how could I check?

My RAM being purchased maybe 2-3 Years ago and my hard drive being purchased the same time wouldn't attribute to this slow down I am receiving?

-Truthiness.
 

George Powell

Golden Member
Dec 3, 1999
1,265
0
76
The scratch disk is what Photoshop uses when it runs out of ram, mainly for storing data about previous incarnations of the image. , so that you can go back. But also some functions that use for than the availlable ram. Because of the amount of data that photoshop generates when it is running having a fast scratch disk is quite useful. You could of course limits its use though.

I also noticed that you are using 3 out of the 4 dimm slots on your motherboard. This will mean that the system will default to running in single channel mode most likely at a 2T command rate.

Taking out the existing ram and replacing it with 2 x 1GB sticks would help a bit. As for the scratch disk, tweaking its use with photoshop can help, but also if you can run it on a separate drive to the installation and windows.
 

pkme2

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2005
3,896
0
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My graphic workststion was built specifically to run my CS2/Dreamweaver/TrueSpace 6. I run only 2GB OCZ, and I'm quite satisfied with rig.
I'm considered upping my card to a Nvidia Quadro FX4400/or better, if I can find a super deal.
 

Truthiness

Junior Member
May 1, 2006
7
0
0
Hm, alright it seems as though have 3 sticks of RAM is hurting me rather than helping, so I will look into getting a new pair (2x1GB). But yeah, all my programs other than ones I feel are absolutely necessary to be on the main drive are on either my D: or G: drives. I try to keep the C: drive (main drive where Windows is installed) as clean and open as possible. I will also look into these Scratch Disks and figure out exactly what drive it is using. Thank you, George.

And pkme2, you find the RAM you're running to be sufficient and fast for what you do? Since you're using almost the same programs, I'd like to know if you ever experience any weird lag(in Photoshop the most and slightly in other programs) that continues until you either reboot or shutdown?

Thanks everyone for the help so far, I really appreciate it!

-Truthiness.
 

Howard

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
47,989
10
81
You have quite a bit of free memory, so I don't think that's the problem.

In Adobe PS CS2, go to Edit > Preferences > Plug-Ins and Scratch Disks... Is the "First" Scratch Disk set to Startup or your OS drive?
 

Truthiness

Junior Member
May 1, 2006
7
0
0
My Scratch Disk is set to Startup. Should I maybe set it to the G:\ drive which is a small SATA drive that I'm using for video editing? I notice it being a faster drive than my D:.

Thanks for helping :)

-Truthiness
 

Howard

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
47,989
10
81
Yes, set it to a separate physical drive (not a slow one, mind you) and see if that helps any.
 

alimoalem

Diamond Member
Sep 22, 2005
4,025
0
0
i would still get the new ram. get a 2x1gb kit. g.skill, corsair, ocz, and crucial are good (although some crucial sticks fail quickly). don't spend more than $150 on the ram
 

Truthiness

Junior Member
May 1, 2006
7
0
0
Awesome, I will probably pick a pair up of OCZ since I see them being talked about very highly on here frequently.

Thanks for all the help everyone; also Howard, that actually did help out a great deal. Thank you for opening my eyes to that problem I had no idea about!

-Truthiness
 

themagic8ball

Junior Member
Aug 31, 2005
23
0
0
With your current RAM setup you will not be able to run in Dual Channel mode which is probably hindering your performance. Try running the kingston's in slots 1 & 2 and removing the 3rd stick and then enable dual channel mode in the BIOS to see if you get any improvement.