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View Full Version : Upgrading RAM - difference for GIMP/PS?


pridash
25th of September 2008 (Thu), 02:56
I started using GIMP for editing some time ago and was trying to learn more about layers and more then just simple type of edits...but have given up for some time as the file sizes were getting incredibly big with multiple layers and my laptop would freeze up for some time.

I'm currently using an Acer laptop (Sempron 1.8ghz, 768mb RAM, shared video, XP) which I know is on the slow side for editing. I was considering purchasing a new laptop/PC next year, but in the meantime I was wondering what sort of difference I could expect running GIMP/Photoshop Elements (may get this in the future) if I upgrade the RAM to 2gb? 2gb being the max my laptop can take.

Btw, I won't be editing multiple photos at one time and running loads of other apps...except running Firefox for tutorials and obviously Mcafee in the background.

estisdal
25th of September 2008 (Thu), 09:47
Maxing out the memory will allow the computer to better juggle the tasks that are all running at the same time.

Along with GIMP, you've got lots of necessary programs running in the background for Windows XP. Windows probably takes up the first 100-200 MB, so you're only left with 500 or so for GIMP and anything else you want to run. With 2 GB (2048 MB), you'll have much more left over for you!

pridash
25th of September 2008 (Thu), 17:20
Maxing out the memory will allow the computer to better juggle the tasks that are all running at the same time.

Along with GIMP, you've got lots of necessary programs running in the background for Windows XP. Windows probably takes up the first 100-200 MB, so you're only left with 500 or so for GIMP and anything else you want to run. With 2 GB (2048 MB), you'll have much more left over for you!

Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I was thinking that more ram would certainly help...but just wondering if the cpu would still struggle? Or will the ram increase be sufficient to counteract the lack of processor power?

Moppie
25th of September 2008 (Thu), 17:30
Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I was thinking that more ram would certainly help...but just wondering if the cpu would still struggle? Or will the ram increase be sufficient to counteract the lack of processor power?

728mb is not a lot to start with, so yes adding more ram will help.


Just note that some tasks in photoshop are very ram intensive, and some are very processor intensive, I would imagine elements is similar.
So adding more RAM will help with the ram intensive proccess (these tend to be filters, working on more than one file at a time, handling large files etc,).
I am not sure how Gimp works, but being that it is open source you may be able to find with a little resuarch.

While you will see an improvment in performance, there may still be some process that run slowly.

estisdal
26th of September 2008 (Fri), 15:26
Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I was thinking that more ram would certainly help...but just wondering if the cpu would still struggle? Or will the ram increase be sufficient to counteract the lack of processor power?

No matter what type of system you have, there will be bottlenecks that slow down your process. Right now, the amount of memory is probably the bottleneck but if you upgrade then the processor will likely be the bottleneck.

No matter what kind of processor or amount of memory you have, there will always continue to be faster processors or cheaper memory that will let you have more. It's a delicate balance of budget vs. obsolescence.

MLphoto
26th of September 2008 (Fri), 17:21
I have 3gb RAM in my HP PC now, i just started having CPU problems that i cant solve. If i add RAM will it help boost up my PC speed a bit?

estisdal
26th of September 2008 (Fri), 20:47
I have 3gb RAM in my HP PC now, i just started having CPU problems that i cant solve. If i add RAM will it help boost up my PC speed a bit?


What type of issues are you seeing?

Collin85
26th of September 2008 (Fri), 21:32
I have 3gb RAM in my HP PC now, i just started having CPU problems that i cant solve. If i add RAM will it help boost up my PC speed a bit?

3GB should be plenty. Like estisdal already requested, what are the issues?

If it's purely performance related, whatever your problem I doubt adding another 1GB of RAM will help you.

MLphoto
26th of September 2008 (Fri), 23:00
What type of issues are you seeing?

Yesterday just out of know where my PC CPU meter is showing really high stats, going up and down to 0-70. When im using a game or program its disaster.

what are my options.

Collin85
27th of September 2008 (Sat), 04:54
Yesterday just out of know where my PC CPU meter is showing really high stats, going up and down to 0-70. When im using a game or program its disaster.

what are my options.

I'm assuming you're referring to Task Manager.

What you're seeing is normal. If you're running a demanding program, such as a game or photo editing software, the CPU will be expected to run certain tasks at full load. Even when you're not running anything, background Windows processes utilize CPU resources.

It's only an issue when your computer grinds to a halt often, which could point to software issues (e.g. if you have one particular process hogging up 100% of CPU resources and fails to terminate). If you're on dual-core, then this is less of a problem, although this issue itself is still inherently software-related.

If you feel all your programs are actually running slow, then that's potentially a different matter (which could still be software related). But referring to the CPU meter isn't relevant here. If you had a slow processor and then upgraded, you'll still see the meter jump to high loads during certain tasks - those tasks just get completed quicker.

MLphoto
27th of September 2008 (Sat), 13:41
I got 4 AMD 9500 Quad-Core Prossesors. Thats pretty good i would have to say.
Programs are running good like normally, maybe when i open a game up or photoshop sometimes i think its not running how it should be.

estisdal
27th of September 2008 (Sat), 17:19
I got 4 AMD 9500 Quad-Core Prossesors. Thats pretty good i would have to say.
Programs are running good like normally, maybe when i open a game up or photoshop sometimes i think its not running how it should be.

Your CPU is a quad-core processor, effectively 4 processors on one chip. This means your system has 4 CPUs to use as it sees fit. How the system uses them depends on the programs you run and how they're written. If they're written to use more than one CPU, then they might spread the load over all 4 cores. If not, then the load sits on just one.

If you're seeing a CPU usage rte of 70% and you're not doing anything that means something *is* doing something and you probably have a virus/malware eating up your resources.

Collin85
27th of September 2008 (Sat), 19:18
I got 4 AMD 9500 Quad-Core Prossesors. Thats pretty good i would have to say.
Programs are running good like normally, maybe when i open a game up or photoshop sometimes i think its not running how it should be.

Did you mean to say you have ONE 9500? EACH Phenom 9500 X4 has four cores. To say you have FOUR 9500 processors is to imply you have four of these quad-core processors (which essentially implies you have four computers). In other words, you were probably meaning to say that you have ONE processor, but that processor has four cores. Just a minor technicality.

To add to what estisdal said, if your system is hogging up 70% of resources constantly, then that would imply the combined processing of four cores is resulting in that. This would equate to a decent amount of processing and that certainly shouldn't be happening if your system is sitting idle. Check out the Processes tab to get a hint on which processes are hogging up those resources.

Just because you have a relatively fast computer these days doesn't mean you should expect to run games flawlessly. Also, many commercial games in the past ten years or so are very GPU-dependent, so your 9500GT is going to be chugging alot to some of the more demanding games (especially at higher settings and screen resolutions). Photoshop isn't going to run flawlessly either. Again if in doubt, check the Processes tab to make sure nothing else is hogging up those resources.

pridash
2nd of October 2008 (Thu), 16:31
many thanks to everyone for their advice!

I think I will upgrade the ram and see how much better it is...and eventually just get/build a new pc which will run gimp/photoshop easily.

MaxxuM
2nd of October 2008 (Thu), 18:17
many thanks to everyone for their advice!

I think I will upgrade the ram and see how much better it is...and eventually just get/build a new pc which will run gimp/photoshop easily.

Good decision. I just upgraded my daughters HP laptop w/ Turion 2Gh cpu from exactly the same RAM you have up to 2GB and it sped up A LOT. And RAM is so darn cheap these days its well worth trying.

pridash
3rd of October 2008 (Fri), 03:13
Good decision. I just upgraded my daughters HP laptop w/ Turion 2Gh cpu from exactly the same RAM you have up to 2GB and it sped up A LOT. And RAM is so darn cheap these days its well worth trying.

I was under the impression that changing a laptop cpu was quite tricky. was that the case for you? what processor did you have originally?

Collin85
3rd of October 2008 (Fri), 04:17
I was under the impression that changing a laptop cpu was quite tricky. was that the case for you? what processor did you have originally?

I don't think he mentioned upgrading the CPU - he said that he upgraded the RAM on his laptop (which happened to have a Turion 2GHz processor) from 768MB to 2GB and noticed a big performance increase.

pridash
3rd of October 2008 (Fri), 10:21
I don't think he mentioned upgrading the CPU - he said that he upgraded the RAM on his laptop (which happened to have a Turion 2GHz processor) from 768MB to 2GB and noticed a big performance increase.

Oops...sorry! :oops: I should take more time to read the posts carefully!