Why does adding more RAM slowe down my pc?

Recently I installed Windows 7 32bit and upgraded my Ram for 1.5g to 4g. My problem is that my pc has slowed down considerably. Just opening programs and websites shows a significant decrease in speed. I also play WoW and my girlfriend plays Framville which is now abominably slow. I have changed around the amount of RAM that I have and noticed that it was the extra memory that slowed down my pc and it actually runs a bit faster with less! How is this possible, and how can I speed up my PC?

My specs:

HP Pc that is about 7 years old
Processor: Pent4 3.20 ghz
RAM installed: 4gb (3.31 usable)
32 bit os
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS

Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide, I have done quite a bit of research already and I can't figure anything out.
24 answers Last reply
More about adding slowe
  1. Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

    Do you re-ajust the virtual memory?
  2. I'm not sure how to do that or even what that is.
  3. How is the ram arranged in the computer now? What speed are the new sticks? To get this ram to work, did the bios change the speed?
  4. I have 4 1g sticks, one in each slot and I think they are at least a couple different speeds. I'm not sure what you mean by the bios setting, sorry I'm a noob.
  5. Choad said:
    I'm not sure how to do that or even what that is.


    Hi.

    Not problem, read this
  6. Most likely on a system that old, its a BIOS problem handling 4GB memory. Check for an updated BIOS for your system. Otherwise, stick with 3GB installed (e.g. 1GB + 1GB + 512MB + 512MB).
  7. Thank you, I was able to increase my virtual memory to 4095 now how would I check for an updated BIOS? And if I can't update my BIOS is there an order that my memory should go in? I have 2 blue slots and 2 black that are in the order: Black,Blue Black,Blue.
  8. Well, for update the BIOS we need know the exactly model of your PC, but usually the PCs from brands like HP, DELL or Lenovo, don't have the option to update the BIOS.
  9. Huh? Nearly all OEMs release BIOS updates for the majority of their systems, moreso from HP/Compaq, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, and Dell than from the budget brands such as eMachines and Acer.

    And you can return your pagefile settings back to what they were. There is almost zero chance that virtual memory has anything to do with this.
  10. If your RAM speeds are unmatched, best case is they run at the slower speed....worse case they don't work.
  11. Could be several things: Mobo not liking 4 sticks, speeds/timings not set correctly in BIOS, bad stick, Virtual Memory not set properly...

    Guess the first step would be to check the BIOS and make sure the memory settings make at least some sense.
  12. JackNaylorPE said:
    If your RAM speeds are unmatched, best case is they run at the slower speed....worse case they don't work.

    Is this correct, I've heard that different speeds shouldn't matter?
  13. Ram runs at the speed of the slowest stick. You could have three sticks of DDR1-400 and put one stick of DDR1-266 and they ALL will run at DDR1-266. They will also run at the speed of the slowest timings.
  14. You should benefit far more from the added RAM than you would lose by reduced RAM frequency.
  15. Maybe. If his ram usage is only 1GB, and used to run at DDR-400MHz adding more ram which he won't use and slowing it down to DDR-266 will make things slower. I'm sure win7 uses more then a gig though.

    If he just installed, isn't there a caching "learning" period for win7?
  16. What BIOS settings specifically should I be checking? The only BIOS update that I can find is one for windows xp which I don't have anymore so I would have to to get a recovery disk to reinstall xp and take out 7 then reinstall 7 if that is even possible.
  17. Use compatibility mode for Windows XP.
  18. Use CPUz to check your ram settings. Not sure I'd try updating the bios. Then again if your computer is 7yo it might need a bios update to handle win7 correctly.
  19. Choad said:
    Thank you, I was able to increase my virtual memory to 4095 now how would I check for an updated BIOS? And if I can't update my BIOS is there an order that my memory should go in? I have 2 blue slots and 2 black that are in the order: Black,Blue Black,Blue.

    Well the population scheme is entirely dependent on the board design. Some are intended to populate same-color as one channel, some populate different color as one channel. Check with the manufacturer specs or just experiment.
  20. I have done some more research during the past couple of weeks and still haven't found a solution to this problem. I went to HPs website and found some specs on my pc. It says that the maximum ram is 2gb at .5gb per slot. Now does that mean that the most memory that my pc can use is 2gb or does it just say that because larger memory sticks weren't available at the time of manufacture? When I check my settings it does say that I have 4gb installed but does that necessarily mean that I am using that much or even able to? Also, should I just get 4 .5gb sticks, is it possible that each slot can only handle that much although the pc still reads that it has more?
  21. Choad said:
    I have done some more research during the past couple of weeks and still haven't found a solution to this problem. I went to HPs website and found some specs on my pc. It says that the maximum ram is 2gb at .5gb per slot. Now does that mean that the most memory that my pc can use is 2gb or does it just say that because larger memory sticks weren't available at the time of manufacture?


    It could be either. But usually, its a hard limit.

    I thought "board memory limit" the moment I saw your specs. It was not uncommon in boards of that time to have 1 or 2 GB limits. I have only seen a boards memory spec exceeded a few times but on those occasions, it did exactly what your describing.

    Try backing it down to 2 GB's and see how it performs."
  22. If I am going to install 2GB do I need to follow the ".5 per slot" or should I be able to use 2 1GB sticks? I don't have 4 .5GB sticks this is why I'm asking.
  23. Your likely ok with two sticks at 1 GB each. In my experience, boards total addressable memory is more of a problem than size of the sticks.
  24. hello guys..im confused, i have 2GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (runs 800MHz) in my laptop when i bought it and add an extra stick 2GB DDR3 PC3-10600 (runs 667MHz)clocked 9..retailer's site says the extra/additional RAM runs 1333MHz (-http://www.excaliberpc.com/601797/kingston-kvr1333d3s8s9-2g-2gb-ddr3.html).and now i have RAMs running in two different speeds and the system is using the slower speed..

    Questions:

    1.what does PC3-10600 "1333MHz" mean on the additional RAM? does my 2nd RAM have a maximum speed of 1333MHz but was just set to run at 667MHz?

    2.what do i need to do to make my RAM run at the same speeds?can't do OC,dont have EFI Utility on my BIOS.

    3.if No.2 has no option,do i have to replace the additional RAM(667MHz) with the same speed with the first RAM(800MHz)?

    Specs if it helps:
    ACER Travelmate P243 laptop
    Intel Core i3-3110M CPU @ 2.4GHz

    tnx in advance.
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