Is this worth adding RAM to? [SOLVED] (It was worth it!)

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jimallyn
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Is this worth adding RAM to? [SOLVED] (It was worth it!)

Post by jimallyn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:01 pm

My old laptop gets unacceptably slow at times, especially if I have more than a few Facebook tabs open in Firefox. When it gets slow, I see that nearly all of the 2 GB of RAM is used up, and often a substantial portion of the swap, too. And the CPU is pretty busy under those circumstances too, but that might just mean it's busy moving stuff back and forth from RAM to swap. I can get 4 GB of RAM in this computer for about 25 bucks. Is it worth it? Or should I buy a newer used laptop?

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$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: jim-Qosmio-F45 Kernel: 3.19.0-32-generic i686 (32 bit gcc: 4.8.2)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 (Gtk 2.24.23) Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: TOSHIBA product: Qosmio F45 v: PQF43U-007004
           Mobo: Intel model: SANTA ROSA CRB Bios: Phoenix v: 1.10 date: 05/17/2007
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core2 Duo T5450 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB
           flags: (lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 6649
           clock speeds: max: 1667 MHz 1: 1333 MHz 2: 1333 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary) bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.15.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1280x800@59.9hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 965GM x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 10.1.3 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.19.0-32-generic
Network:   Card-1: Realtek RTL8101/2/6E PCI Express Fast/Gigabit Ethernet controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: 2000 bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection
           driver: iwl4965 v: in-tree: bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 200.0GB (28.2% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_MK2035GS size: 200.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 182G used: 51G (30%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.14GB used: 0.67GB (32%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0C mobo: 46.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 180 Uptime: 1 day Memory: 1250.1/2006.0MB Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28 
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all41
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by all41 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:16 pm

Are you hitting swap? Doubling from 2gb to 4gb should be a noticeable improvement regardless
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Flemur » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:58 pm

jimallyn wrote:I can get 4 GB of RAM in this computer for about 25 bucks. Is it worth it?
I have 4GB and can't really recall the last time it swapped. Typical is FF open with 10-15 tabs, a video converter or some such running, foobar+wine, a few terminals open, etc. So I'd say it'd be worth $25.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by catweazel » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:12 pm

If the machine is doing the job you bought it for then it's worth keeping, which to me implies it's worth adding the RAM to.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Petermint » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:41 pm

Add the ram. For many machines, the cost of ram is dirt cheap compared to the benefit. My machine rarely uses 2GB but I have 4GB because it is of use once every couple of months and saves hours for one large process.

Reboot. Open system monitor. Watch memory usage as you start and use applications. You can see where memory is used and calculate the cost of ram versus weaning yourself off faceblab. You might also test a different Web browser.

The big memory wasters now are the Web browsers preloading pages in the background to fake speed and to artificially inflate their income from advertising. This is worth killing off because all those fake page views are used to add to your interest list. I found LM 18.3 slightly more efficient compared to LM 18.2 but Web browser bloat and Web page junkware is easting up resources far faster than any OS can trim down.

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by thx-1138 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:53 pm

I can get 4 GB of RAM in this computer for about 25 bucks. Is it worth it? Or should I buy a newer used laptop?
For 25$, i'd say go for it...regardless if you eventually also get another 2nd-hand laptop in the near future. The more machines you can afford having around (even if only for testing stuff), the better...
I was reading this yesterday...ok, it's obviously ridiculously overkill, lol...but still...(eg. something like Antix would run pretty great on your Core Duo above, especially with 4gb instead of 2gb...)
https://linux.slashdot.org/story/18/01/ ... -a-1993-pc

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by all41 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:18 am

and you might find the ram for a song
search ebay using your model number+ram
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by jimallyn » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:39 am

OK, that's the answer I was expecting. Just wanted a second opinion. I'll probably go ahead and order the RAM upgrade. Thanks to all of you!
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by RobertService » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:14 pm

I have mixed feelings about my answer, mostly because I found, on a review of your machine, that it has a RAM max limit of 4GB (I was going to suggest going up to 8GB). But it also has great sound (a subwoofer on a laptop?), and the most compelling attribute of all?: you already own it. Considering that I'm a sucker for older hardware (IF you can live with the system's limitations, you cannot BUY new hardware built as well as the older stuff): for the vastly greater potential improvement--KEEP IT; buy the RAM, but do it quickly; RAM for this machine won't get any cheaper.
Then, when you want better battery life, more RAM, a more powerful processor, gigabit ethernet...buy yourself a newer "old-hardware" machine--a refurbished Win7 Lenovo T420 (or T430; my T420 cost 180) from a quality supplier; then dual-boot-install MINT. Just remember to NEVER connect to the internet if you ever need to run Win7. (But you already knew that.)
***********************************************************************
[Words of wisdom from catweazel: "If the machine is doing the job you bought it for then it's worth keeping, which to me implies it's worth adding the RAM to."]
Last edited by RobertService on Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:19 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Moem » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:17 pm

XFCE runs more than fine in 4GB. I'd get the extra RAM in a heartbeat.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by turtlebay » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:21 pm

Just my two pence worth - get more ram. This Dell 1545 Inspiron laptop ( Intel® Celeron(R) CPU 900 @ 2.20GHz) runs Mate extremely well on 3 GB.

Code: Select all

~ $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: pete-Inspiron-1545 Kernel: 3.13.0-110-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.4)
           Desktop: MATE 1.12.0 (Gtk 3.10.8~8+qiana) Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: Dell (portable) product: Inspiron 1545
           Mobo: Dell model: 0G848F Bios: Dell v: A14 date: 12/07/2009
CPU:       Single core Intel Celeron 900 (-UP-) cache: 1024 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 4389 speed/max: 1200/2200 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 4 Series Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.17.1 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1366x768@60.1hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Mobile Intel GM45 Express GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 10.5.9 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.13.0-110-generic
Network:   Card-1: Marvell 88E8040 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller driver: sky2 v: 1.30 port: de00 bus-ID: 09:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Broadcom BCM4312 802.11b/g LP-PHY driver: wl bus-ID: 0c:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: dormant mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 250.1GB (21.9% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST9250315AS size: 250.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 69G used: 48G (73%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda7
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 3.93GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda6
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 48.5C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 141 Uptime: 2:57 Memory: 781.2/2970.6MB Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28 

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by jimallyn » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:18 am

I ordered a 4 GB RAM kit for my laptop (2 GB X 2). Should be here in a week or so.

RobertService, a friend came over today and commented on the sound quality of the laptop. It does sound pretty good for a laptop.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by RobertService » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:21 pm

Congratulations! I'm sure you won't be disappointed; it's obvious that we all think you made the right decision (what else would we think?)
One more point to consider, regarding 'old'(er) hardware: it's easy to work on (nothing is glued together), and there's still a lot of the older ecosystem's parts available (read 'socketed' CPUs). Sometimes it makes a lot of sense to upgrade the CPU. Other times, it just doesn't make sense at all. There's a lot of information available, at such places as 'cpu-world-dot-com and cpu-upgrades-dot-com; and both new and used older CPUs at Ama**n. (e.g., I just turned an Acer Aspire 5251 'dog' into a super-super respectable, very nice machine because the pokey single-core V120 CPU has a triple-core Athlon drop-in replacement--at a great price). Just thought I'd mention this--it's easy to not even have thought about.
Once again--great decision. Best of luck with your new laptop, and

Warmest regards...

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Petermint » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:02 pm

SSD is the best upgrade after ram, based on a few upgrades. Good SSD is now cheap. CPU upgrades are often good for desktops but shrink battery usage in portables. Unfortunately no battery upgrades.

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by RobertService » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:13 am

@ Petermint--

"SSD is the best upgrade after ram..."

Very good point; and, like everything else, you need to know a little bit about the subject in order to get a good return on your investment. Case in point: my son has 'donated' an older Toshiba with terrible battery life (the 1-amp, 40 GB HDD is the biggest culprit), but it has a 4:3 display which I really like.
After reading your reply--along with a healthy forehead-slap--a quick search on Ama**n turned up a 60 GB Adata SSD for USD 39+. A no-brainer. (By the way, the CPU upgrade is 50% faster, has twice the cache, costs half as much, and takes slightly less power; but implementing your suggestion by far gives the most and best immediately-useful results, and with much less effort; the CPU upgrade will come later, if I decide to 'gold-plate' the machine via some more speed).
Thanks for the advice.

Warmest regards...

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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by all41 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:40 am

The aggregate of these will result in less heat and less fan usage-which is also a power savings.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by jimallyn » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:26 am

The new RAM is supposed to arrive by the 18th, and my clock says it's still the 14th for another 39 minutes. So, not too much longer to wait. The hard drive on this machine is only 200 GB, and I'm not using all of that, so I wouldn't need to get a terribly large SSD, and I may do that at some point. New processor? Not right now anyway.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by all41 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:44 pm

jimallyn wrote:The new RAM is supposed to arrive by the 18th, and my clock says it's still the 14th for another 39 minutes. So, not too much longer to wait. The hard drive on this machine is only 200 GB, and I'm not using all of that, so I wouldn't need to get a terribly large SSD, and I may do that at some point. New processor? Not right now anyway.
Let us know how things worked out for you--here is a wish for a noticeable improvement.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Spearmint2 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:52 am

Facebook is a HOG of bandwidth, and RAM to store it. Sometime boot, open browser, then run inxi to see how much ram is used, then open one facebook page and scroll it a few pages, then run inxi to check ram use again. Grrrr.
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Re: Is this worth adding RAM to?

Post by Petermint » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:56 am

They might have to change the name from Faceblab to Facebloat.

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