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RAM upgrade slows computer down.

Last response: in Memory
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April 6, 2008 4:52:55 PM

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum but I'm not sure what else to try. I've recently upgraded my RAM from two sticks of 512MB to two sticks of 1GB, as I wanted to speed things up. The speed difference at first wasn't greatly noticeable, but I wasn't expecting it to be, obviously.
However, after installing this new memory, I've experienced a significant slow-down in boot time, and also the ability to run several programs at once (which I used to be able to do) has become impaired. The computer doesn't hang, but runs very slowly. I've checked, of course, that everything is sitting firmly in its slot and that cooling is sufficient, but I'm not sure what could be causing this slowdown.
My best guess is that the motherboard/system recognises the RAM as the old sort and therefore hasn't efficiently adapted to it, but that doesn't seem right. I've tried everything possible with the pagefile, but no joy. The RAM, according to my motherboard manual, is compatible, and using HWMonitor, CPU-Z, and the boot up menu, I have confirmed that the RAM is recognised as the right type by the system.

So is there anything I've been overlooking or that I could try to attempt to fix this problem, as it's a shame to install something expensive, only to have it make your computer worse!

My specs are as follows:

SiSoftware Sandra

Processor
Model : Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6420 @ 2.13GHz
Speed : 2.08GHz
Cores per Processor : 2 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Type : Dual-Core
Internal Data Cache : 2x 32kB, Synchronous, Write-Thru, 8-way, Inclusive, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 4MB, ECC, Synchronous, ATC, 16-way, Inclusive, 64 byte line size, 2 threads sharing

System
Mainboard : 775i65G.
Bus(es) : AGP PCI IMB CardBus USB i2c/SMBus
Multi-Processor (MP) Support : No
Multi-Processor Advanced PIC (APIC) : Yes
System BIOS : American Megatrends Inc. 8.10
Total Memory : 2.00GB DDR

Chipset 1
Model : ASRock 82865G/PE/P, 82848P DRAM Controller / Host-Hub Interface
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 261MHz (1.04GHz)
Total Memory : 2GB DDR
Memory Bus Speed : 2x 174MHz (348MHz)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : Default Monitor
Monitor/Panel : LG L226W(Digital)
Adapter : Radeon X1650 Series
Adapter : Radeon X1650 Series Secondary

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP (2002) Home 5.01.2600 (Service Pack 2)
Platform Compliance : Win32 x86

RAM detailed

Kingston DDR PC3200 (200MHz) 1GB CL3
Kingston DDR PC3200 (200MHz) 1GB CL3

Each is currently running at only 174MHz at the moment, although maximum is 200MHz, don't know if that helps at all.
April 6, 2008 5:44:14 PM

check the bios if you can force the ram back to 200MHz. also make sure that your cpu is running at the right speed, it might have underclocked itselt at the same time when the ram speed was dropped down, since the FSB freq affects both...
April 6, 2008 6:10:12 PM

Well I checked in the BIOS and it says that the RAM is set to run at 200MHz now, but I'm still having the slowness problem. I tried to find something to do with the FSB on the CPU, but the only thing I found to do with speed (didn't say anything about FSB but could have been) was set to 'auto', and the current automatic value was 266MHz, and it could potentially go up to 300MHz but I didn't want to try that without being sure it was the right thing.
Reckon a Windows reinstall might help things out? I did one about 10 months ago, but maybe if I did that, it'd help stuff settle in a bit better?
Any other ideas?
Related resources
April 6, 2008 6:47:59 PM

If Your pagefile is set for windows to automatically adjust page file then it makes it 1.5x of the RAM size so when You addded memory windows increased pagefile from 1.5 GB to 3GB but there probably was not enough free space next to original pagefile so it created other part of pagefile somewhere else on the disk. So Your pagefile is fragmented and it causes a lot of head movement on HDD when paging and that slows everything down. You could manually set no paging file, reboot , delete pagefile from Hdd, defragment Hdd and then manually set pagefile to 3 or 4 GB and hope that there are enough contiguos free space on the hdd to make pagefile in one piece. But if Your pagefile is put on the end of hdd it will still slow down because hdd is slower at the end. So probably the best is to reinstall Windows.
April 6, 2008 6:54:57 PM

Aaaah interesting. Sounds good. I'm trying that method now... if still not working I'll try reinstalling Windows.
April 6, 2008 7:04:54 PM

oh and get diskeeper if you can, wink wink
its smarter than the windows' own defragmenting tool and will show the pagefiles location among the other usefull data.
April 9, 2008 10:53:34 PM

I guess the problem is that your Asrock 775i86G doesn't really work well with 1GB RAM (each RAM module) because normally Intel 865G chipset supports every single RAM module is 512MB only and maybe the modification by ASROCK in BIOS / hardware design is not good enough to cover the gap between your 1GB RAM module and the maximum supported RAM module size of 865G. It maybe not meaningful for you to reinstall the Windows xp
a b } Memory
April 9, 2008 11:22:39 PM

ainarssems said:
If Your pagefile is set for windows to automatically adjust page file then it makes it 1.5x of the RAM size so when You addded memory windows increased pagefile from 1.5 GB to 3GB but there probably was not enough free space next to original pagefile so it created other part of pagefile somewhere else on the disk. So Your pagefile is fragmented and it causes a lot of head movement on HDD when paging and that slows everything down. You could manually set no paging file, reboot , delete pagefile from Hdd, defragment Hdd and then manually set pagefile to 3 or 4 GB and hope that there are enough contiguos free space on the hdd to make pagefile in one piece. But if Your pagefile is put on the end of hdd it will still slow down because hdd is slower at the end. So probably the best is to reinstall Windows.

Exactly what I was going to say. I say keep the page file at 3GB.
April 10, 2008 12:08:11 PM

Crazy-PC said:
I guess the problem is that your Asrock 775i86G doesn't really work well with 1GB RAM (each RAM module) because normally Intel 865G chipset supports every single RAM module is 512MB only and maybe the modification by ASROCK in BIOS / hardware design is not good enough to cover the gap between your 1GB RAM module and the maximum supported RAM module size of 865G. It maybe not meaningful for you to reinstall the Windows xp


Hmmm I kinda see what you're getting at, but not totally sure. I've tried defragging both hard drives and redoing the pagefile so it's nice and clean and at 3GB, and that's improved performance a little, but it's still booting up and shutting down slowly, and has trouble dealing with some processes (shows a lot when I'm watching a movie on my PC for example, as it sometimes stutters... something it never did before).
In response to your reply, I'm interested, as the motherboard manual stated that the RAM I have is supported, both in terms of frequency, and in size (indeed it says it can support up to 4GB in the two banks). I take it that even though it supports it, it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be able to function fully? Do you think there might be a firmware/BIOS upgrade that might be able to fix this issue, or is that hoping for too much? I'll try the Windows reinstall, just to see, but I'm worried now that it's not going to cut it.
Anyone have any other ideas/further clarification?
July 3, 2008 5:44:28 AM

You are flooding your FSB's bandwidth due to the considerable differences between your FSB speed and memory speed of RAM. What's happening is data is having to be sent through the bus 1.5 times as much due to the speed differences.

FSB speed of motherboard = 261 Mhz (quad pumped)
RAM speed of motherboard = 174 Mhz

261 / 174 = 1.5

FSB:RAM ratio is 1:5:1

Your computer is having to cycle through the bus 1.5 times before it is accessed. If you decrease your FSB to about 700 mhz (175 mhz instead of 261 mhz) you might see a considerable performance gain because your PC isn't having to go through the bus multiple times to access data ("flooding it").
July 3, 2008 5:48:21 AM

The difference in speed between a 261 mhz FSB and a 175 one is maybe 1/2 second real time. But constantly having send data through the bus 1.5x each time equates to about a 3 -5 second real time loss!
!