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  1. #1
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    Just as a matter of information, I am wondering how many programs it would take to serviously activate my 8 GB of RAM on an HP Pavilion Elite desktop 64-bit quad duo with two 512 GB hard drives, using Vista SP2 64-bit operating system.

    That is, I have often had Firefox with six or seven occupied tabs, IE8 with several tabs, Pandora playing, two windows of Maple 13 - a symbolic math program, a Word file and maybe also one or two Notepad files open at the same time and never used more than about 2.1 GB of that 8 GB of RAM.

    Is this normal or is the RAM being underutilized?

    If the RAM is underutilized, how can I get it to have a higher level, say at 4 GB or 6 GB or more?

    Or, would that involve much, much more in terms of running programs?

    If RAM were underutilized, it seems that hard drive activity would correspondingly be excessive.

    Just wondering. Thanks for your responses.

  2. #2
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    [quote name='Flatlander' post='792056' date='03-Sep-2009 20:36']Just as a matter of information, I am wondering how many programs it would take to serviously activate my 8 GB of RAM on an HP Pavilion Elite desktop 64-bit quad duo with two 512 GB hard drives, using Vista SP2 64-bit operating system.

    That is, I have often had Firefox with six or seven occupied tabs, IE8 with several tabs, Pandora playing, two windows of Maple 13 - a symbolic math program, a Word file and maybe also one or two Notepad files open at the same time and never used more than about 2.1 GB of that 8 GB of RAM.

    Is this normal or is the RAM being underutilized?

    If the RAM is underutilized, how can I get it to have a higher level, say at 4 GB or 6 GB or more?

    Or, would that involve much, much more in terms of running programs?

    If RAM were underutilized, it seems that hard drive activity would correspondingly be excessive.

    Just wondering. Thanks for your responses.[/quote]

    It appears normal to me. RAM usage is greatly increased by editing large graphics files, movies, etc. Your mix of running jobs does not appear to me to require large amounts of RAM.

    Vista does a much better job at managing RAM than prior versions of Windows. It will utilize all of your RAM as needed.

    Looks as though you've got a ways to grow.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
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    [quote name='joeperez' post='792057' date='03-Sep-2009 21:52']Vista does a much better job at managing RAM than prior versions of Windows. It will utilize all of your RAM as needed.[/quote]

    That's a debatable topic. I'm assuming you're alluding to Superfetch and ReadyBoost. I've toggled these on and off and frankly, haven't noticed an immense difference. Vista seems to want to cache memory.

    I'm not attempting to trash Vista. I have three machines with Vista installed and I haven't had one BSOD. With some tweaks I have been able to reduce the boot time to 43 seconds. It's not the dog that people claim it to be.

  4. #4
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    [quote name='theUnGuru' post='792450' date='07-Sep-2009 15:49']That's a debatable topic. I'm assuming you're alluding to Superfetch and ReadyBoost. I've toggled these on and off and frankly, haven't noticed an immense difference. Vista seems to want to cache memory.

    I'm not attempting to trash Vista. I have three machines with Vista installed and I haven't had one BSOD. With some tweaks I have been able to reduce the boot time to 43 seconds. It's not the dog that people claim it to be.[/quote]

    I wasn't specifically referring to either feature. I don't use ReadyBoost and think it is a waste when you consider RAM prices. SuperFetch will help improve load times during boot and frequently used programs. One way to hamper the effect of SuperFetch is to use a third party defrag product that does not interface with SuperFetch. Programs get moved but the SuperFetch index does not get updated. It takes a while for the index to catch up to the new layout.

    The caching mechanisms used in Vista are significantly more sophisticated than in prior Windows versions. Memory is not automatically released when a program terminates but only when Vista needs to allocate memory for some other use. Given most usage patterns that ends up providing better performance.

    I'm with you about Vista being a good OS. I've used on one PC since shortly after it was released to businesses. I've never had a BSOD on that machine. Soon to go to Windows 7.

    BTW, given the few times I re-boot systems anymore I don't worry about boot times but more about stability and performance after booting is complete.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    After experimenting with Superfetch toggled on or off, I determined that Superfetch actually improves the load times of Word documents and IE web pages. It would make perfect sense because loading a program from cache would seem to be faster than retrieving it from disk. And in the end, it doesn't consume any additional memory. So I am on board with Superfetch. I had read online from various sites that Superfetch was a dog that degraded the performance of your PC. I wanted to see for myself. I've learned not to buy into the hype one way or another. It's amazing how many will form their opinion based on the bias of another.

  6. #6
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    I also think the $25 I dished out for Driver Detective was well spent in regards to Vista. It provides me a centralized location to install the latest drivers for my machine, whether it be for the graphics card or NIC. These drivers are much more recent than you will find from Microsoft.

  7. #7
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    [quote name='theUnGuru' post='792558' date='08-Sep-2009 11:02']I also think the $25 I dished out for Driver Detective was well spent in regards to Vista. It provides me a centralized location to install the latest drivers for my machine, whether it be for the graphics card or NIC. These drivers are much more recent than you will find from Microsoft.[/quote]
    First of all, there is NO reason to be installing new drivers just because the OEM have released them. Some of the newer drivers are NOT required for a older device even though it does apply to it.
    Bottom line, "If is ain't broke, Don't fix it"

    As for the drivers from Microsoft, the ONLY time I install drivers from them is when I am running a new Beta of their OS. Always get drivers when needed from the OEM.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  8. #8
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    [quote name='DaveA' post='792696' date='09-Sep-2009 11:54']First of all, there is NO reason to be installing new drivers just because the OEM have released them. Some of the newer drivers are NOT required for a older device even though it does apply to it.[/quote]
    Agreed! Generally, what will dictate if an updated driver is needed is the History/Change log. IF the update is to fix 'bugs' or to add something required for certain software, e.g., video drivers are often updated to allow playing or to improve playing specific games, or if the update is issued to accommodate a resolution not previously supported, then it would be feasible to update the drivers. If there is nothing in the update that pertains to your system or software, then why update it?

    I also agree with the drivers offered in Windows Update. Those are most always basic and temporary drivers supplied by the OEM for those who don't have the actual drivers released by the OEM just to get you going. I never install any of those drivers.
    Jeff
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  9. #9
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    [quote name='Pilgrim' post='792726' date='09-Sep-2009 13:02']I also agree with the drivers offered in Windows Update. Those are most always basic and temporary drivers supplied by the OEM for those who don't have the actual drivers released by the OEM just to get you going. I never install any of those drivers. [/quote]
    The drivers from Microsoft are the released ones from the OEM, BUT, it takes a long time for them to be tested and APPROVED by Microsoft before posting them at the Update site. By this time, there may be another update out from the OEM. This is one of the problems with 64 bit drivers as they must be Microsoft approved.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  10. #10
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    [quote name='DaveA' post='792753' date='09-Sep-2009 23:02']The drivers from Microsoft are the released ones from the OEM, ...[/quote]
    I don't think so Dave! On the infrequent occasion that I have looked at those offered drivers and compared the sizes to the actual OEM drivers, there is a huge difference; OEM being much larger. Additionally, I can share from my own personal experience when I first upgraded from XP to Vista, Epson didn't offer updated drivers for my Stylus Photo R200 printer at the time. In fact, on the Epson website it said to use the "Inbox Drivers" available in Vista or Automatic Update. They were definitely "basic" drives for most of the functionality/options were missing. As was the case for quite a number of peripherals from various companies, the printer drivers were never updated for Vista and I had to buy a newer printer. (Funny how that works, eh? )
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  11. #11
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    [quote name='Pilgrim' post='792785' date='10-Sep-2009 06:41']Additionally, I can share from my own personal experience when I first upgraded from XP to Vista, Epson didn't offer updated drivers for my Stylus Photo R200 printer at the time. In fact, on the Epson website it said to use the "Inbox Drivers" available in Vista or Automatic Update. They were definitely "basic" drives for most of the functionality/options were missing. As was the case for quite a number of peripherals from various companies, the printer drivers were never updated for Vista and I had to buy a newer printer.[/quote]

    Many HP printer users were left out completely. That is the choice of the OEM. Just a form of planned obsolescence.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
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    These "Inbox" drivers are for a NEW OS, and the OEM is not going to support them on it. They are more Generic than basic, as they will sometimes cover several models of the device. I have run into this on many betas of the OS and one driver will work on a build but not on the next build.

    Some of these "Inbox" drivers are developed by Microsoft or other third parties, because the OEM is NOT going to support those devices on the new OS, as HP has done many times and still are.

    Were these Drivers that were different in size in fact for the SAME OS?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
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    [quote name='DaveA' post='792832' date='10-Sep-2009 12:11']Were these Drivers that were different in size in fact for the SAME OS?[/quote]
    they were for the same OS.

    On another note closely related, the few times I have actually out of curiosity installed drivers via Automatic Update I had problems, once disastrous. I had to use a True Image backup to restore my system. So, my personal choice is to never install any updated drivers offered via Automatic Update. I don't blame Microsoft... no, NO! The manufacturer who supplied them is to blame, IMHO and mostly myself for being too lazy to check the OEM website for real drivers for my peripherals or system hardware.
    Jeff
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  14. #14
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    Yes, sometimes the approved drivers from Microsoft are a couple rev's old, because of the "Approval" plan. Sometime a MS driver can be installed over a NEWER driver from the OEM and everything goes out the window.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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