Oh, hey… more RAM really works

Some of the “upgrades” to the coloring of Schlock Mercenary have sent me out for lunch while my PC grinds (and grinds, and grinds.)

Earlier this week I decided that the problem had to be solved, and since CPU utilization was never more than 30% during the grinding, I figured more RAM would help.

I figured correctly. WOW.

I went from 1GB to 4GB (of which my 32-bit Windows XP is only recognizing 3.25GB) and the only operations I have to wait for now are opening files and saving lots of changes (like the addition of several colored layers).

As soon as my Serial ATA interface cable arrives, I’ll be adding a second drive to this machine, and telling Photoshop that if it ever DOES need to page to disk, it should use the second drive instead of the one Windows is using. That way when I do grind, I can grind in parallel.

In related news, who wants to buy four 256Mb DDR2-400 DIMMs? If these chips could talk, they’d tell you about all kinds of Schlock I’ve forced them to remember at one time or another.

14 thoughts on “Oh, hey… more RAM really works”

  1. If it helps, windows XP may already be seeing the full 4 GB. It depends on what the BIOS is saying. XP can use 4 GB of ram, but usually only reports 3.5 – but some chipset bioses will only recognize 3 without an update.


    1. Well, the problem is that memory mapped i/o has to go somewhere in the memory map… and given the 4GB address space for 32-bit Windows XP, you’re stuck. PAE may help, but I’m really not sure.

  2. Ohhh yeah. More RAM always makes a noticeable jump – when I went from 512 to 2GB my jaw about hit the floor with how fast things were loading.

    I think *my* problem presently is I have three drives, one 30gb one 80gb and one 120gb, and I’m uh…running out of disk space.

    Gogo huuuuge graphics files. Oy.

    1. you’ve probably also got pretty slow drives, I hope you’re running the newest and fastest one as the main drive. 🙂

  3. Have you increased the amount of ram that you’ll allow Photoshop to address as well? Edit>Preferences>Memory and Image Cache. Try setting it so it can utilise 2 gigs (as good as you can go).

    1. The going price for this stuff seems to be $15 per DIMM. $50 gets it shipped to you. I’ll be packaging it in the nice little DIMM cases my new RAM came in, so it’ll be safe.


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