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Old 08-24-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
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Computer Speed Question

Hey, I'm thinking of getting a laptop and I just have a question about computer speed. What decides how quick your pc operates?

The pc I have at the moment was pretty cheap and whenever I have a load of windows, or applications open, it can slow down a lot. For example, if I have numerous youtube windows open it will slow, or if I have a number of applications open like itunes, mozilla, windows media player, it will slow. I know that any pc will slow to a certain degree but my one can slow to a crawl sometimes.

Is it memory space on a pc, RAM, hard drive space, etc that decides how quick a pc can run? (As ya can tell, I'm not the most intelligent on this matter.) What I should be looking out for when trying to decide if a laptop is fast or not?


Thanks for any help..
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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Is it memory space on a pc, RAM, hard drive space, etc that decides how quick a pc can run?

I'm sure someone more techy will come along but I'm pretty sure all of those things are a factor if your computer is running slowly. Memory (RAM) can play a big factor when it comes to opening windows applications.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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The two main factors for speed are CPU clock speed and RAM.

The clock speed is the general measurement of how fast your system will run, how smoothly video will play, how quickly applications will open, etc.

RAM determines how much your computer can do at one time without slowing down. The more RAM you have, the more programs/windows you can have open at the same time.

High-end clock speeds will be between 2 and 3 Ghz(probably closer to 2 or 2.5 right now, 3 is just recently becoming a reality), and high-end RAM will be 1-2 GB, although, depending on what exactly you're doing with this laptop, 512MB or 1 GB should be plenty.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #4
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The two main factors for speed are CPU clock speed and RAM.

The clock speed is the general measurement of how fast your system will run, how smoothly video will play, how quickly applications will open, etc.

RAM determines how much your computer can do at one time without slowing down. The more RAM you have, the more programs/windows you can have open at the same time.

High-end clock speeds will be between 2 and 3 Ghz(probably closer to 2 or 2.5 right now, 3 is just recently becoming a reality), and high-end RAM will be 1-2 GB, although, depending on what exactly you're doing with this laptop, 512MB or 1 GB should be plenty.
Sound, thanks for the help guys
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:54 AM   #5
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One more question, is there any way of finding out what RAM and what high end clock speed I have on this computer that I already have? I've thrown the packaging and boxes out a long time ago!
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Final Straw View Post
One more question, is there any way of finding out what RAM and what high end clock speed I have on this computer that I already have? I've thrown the packaging and boxes out a long time ago!
My Computer > Control Panel > System

Under the General tab, it will display your CPU speed and amount of RAM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bonochick View Post
My Computer > Control Panel > System

Under the General tab, it will display your CPU speed and amount of RAM.
Thanks

It must be the RAM where I have a problem. I have 2Ghz of the computer speed but only 224mb of RAM.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Oh man 224mb of RAM is REALLLY slow.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:45 PM   #9
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Also, the video card can make a difference, if it's "sharing" RAM, and also the graphics. My old laptop was Windows XP Pro with a processor under 2GHz and 256MB RAM and it ran just fine, even running photo editing programs and Dreamweaver. Now with Vista, I have 2GB RAM and 2.something dual core processor and the computer isn't really any faster, running the exact same applications (used the same installers as I used on my old laptop). I'm not complaining though b/c my old computer wasn't really slow, the new one isn't slow either, but it's definitely not blowing the old one away considering the difference in CPU and having 8x as much RAM. I don't know much about video/graphics but I think Vista is a lot more intense, especially Aero.

Other things that can affect speed are hard drive speed and cache. RAM and CPU are definitely the biggies though. "Memory" usually refers to hard drive, RAM, and cache (three types) but generally people assume RAM.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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Vista takes up loads more than XP in terms of ram, so that might explain that problem..
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bonochick View Post
My Computer > Control Panel > System

Under the General tab, it will display your CPU speed and amount of RAM.
Is there anyway of finding out your amount of RAM on a mac?
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:46 PM   #12
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Oh man 224mb of RAM is REALLLY slow.
Haha, I said it was a cheap one!

Thanks for all the help again guys/gals. Just needed an idea what to look out for when buying and I've got a pretty good idea now. Just need to get saving.
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