Buy New Computer Or Add More Memory

Microsoft Windows xp home edition
November 1, 2009 at 14:43:06
Specs: Windows XP
I bought my Dell computer in March, 2004, Windows XP Home Edition, Intel(R) Pentium(R), 4CPU 3.06GHz. Memory 512. It is getting very slow. I don't know if I should add memory or just buy a new computer. My processor speed is 2.99 GHz as of today.

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November 1, 2009 at 14:53:33
And To have more RAM available at startup,
You can do Start, then RUN, then type
Then uncheck items in the Startup tab.

To find out what each Startup(or Process) item
does or means, and any recommendation as to if you should close the process:
Task List Programs
Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease

When you open, then close programs,
programs may not free up RAM memory.
That is called "Memory Leak".
Restarting computer will clear out its RAM memory.
install more RAM memory.
Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP
How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP
Most Virus and Spyware scans are likely to work better in Windows Safe-Mode.

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November 1, 2009 at 15:51:47
Your computer specs do not sound that bad at all. Maybe another stick of memory would do you good, but it just sounds like you have a lot of junk garbage (adware, spyware, etc) clogging up your computers memory.

I would try downloading Lavasofts Adware program to free up some space of your computer. This programs pretty much erases all the adware crap that you can't see yourself. You can get the free version at

Also, I would recommend download AVG Virus protection for your computer. They have a free version as well, which works pretty good.

But like I said, your computer specs aren't that out of date. Another stick of memory wouldn't kill you, but if your running Windows XP, you should be in the clear. If you plan on upgrading to Vista, definitely invest in some more RAM.

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November 1, 2009 at 16:42:11
Ditto... I also think it sounds like you have a system that could benefit from some more memory.

But... Don't forget the hard drive as well. You didn't mention the size of your drive or how much free space is available. You'll also see performance issues if you have less space available than Windows needs to create it's swap file. Many folks never have this issue, but if you store a lot of photos, music, etc., you'd be surprised how quickly you can run in to this problem.

I usually tell my clients to try to maintain 20% free space or more. Since you're having performance problems and your system is several years old, you'll probably want to defragment your hard drive as Chuck2 suggests and that requires a minimum of 15% free space.

-- kptech

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Related Solutions

November 1, 2009 at 18:13:28

Agree, your specs for your CPU don't look too bad, assuming your not into heavy spreadsheet number crunching or lots of video or games!

512 RAM is almost certainly a limiting factor and if you are using it all, Windows will start moving more information onto the hard drive and then back again, so really slowing you down.

Look at Task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) , performance tab and see if all your or most of your 512 of Ram is being used. It almost certainly is, but it will confirm that RAM is an issue.

Moving to 1 Gig Ram is OK, but if your motherboard only has 2 memory slots, a further upgrade will mean trashing both your new and existing 512 sticks, so a new 1Gig stick might be better.

Check your Motherboard info. to see if it will take 1.5 gig memory, then you will have lots of RAM and if you need a further upgrade, you will only need to replace your old 512 stick with a second 1 gig stick.

If hard drive space is an issue as discussed in the previous posts, and is still limited after clean out of trash, temp files etc, you can keep your existing hard drive and add a second one (check your motherboard info.).

Nearly all PC's have capacity for 4 drives. (I assume your PC uses parallel connection hard drives not the newer serial (SATA) drives.

With a new drive, which is likely faster, you can move the swap files that Windows uses onto it, as well as using it for general file storage, so that you don't need to affect your Windows installation or move any installed programs.


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