Should I upgrade my memory?



I’m in the market to get a DVD burner, but I’m hoping to make the process smooth. I know not having enough memory seems to make my CDR burning process slow. Here is what I have:

Windows XP SP2
Pentium 4 2.5GHz, 504MB of RAM
108 GB Memory (24,4GB used, 83.8GB free)

Do you think I should upgrade my RAM or storage space? I wanted to do all of this before I purchase a burner. I’m guessing the DVD images I want to burn might take up 1-10GB of space, which won’t be a problem, but is 504MB of ram sufficient? Any advice would be helpful.


Open Task Manager and see how much memory the processes are currently occupying. DVD recording alone does not need hundreds of MB more memory. I have 1GB on this PC but it usually uses just under 300MB when I’m not running heavy programs. Even when I run several programs and burn DVD disks, nowhere close to 1GB. 512MB RAM should be sufficient for most users of Windows XP or any other popular OS. Running a few Microsoft Office XP applications might require a lot of memory, like Outlook, Word, Excel, Frontpage all at once. Background-running programs like Norton AV, Daemon Tools, anti-spyware, firewall, graphic utilities, system monitoring, etc. all also require some more memory. Opening a few Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer instances at once also require a lot of memory depending on the opened pages and folders as well.


I have to ask, how do you get 504Mb? Just curious. But I run mine using 512Mb and I do conversion, burning etc on it. It handles it fine. I prefer to convert overnight while I am a sleep, just set it up go to be and it’s ready for DVD-ing in the morning.

Dpending on how you do it you will need more hard drive space. I use seperate conversion and authoring software so to make a SL DVD I require about 9Gb of space.


The 504MB of memory (you have 8MB used for shared video memory?) you have available should be enough in the standard case. So if you aren’t doing anything heavy on your system (like Photoshopping), you really should be fine with that amount. If not, it might be time to clean up a little :slight_smile:


512 / 504MB should be plenty for DVD burning under Windows XP.

I used to have ‘only’ 512MB but have recently upgraded to 1GB because I was making use of Photoshop and VMWare (at the same time).


i think memory is cheap enough so you should upgrade to 1gb, and you won’t regret it. it is much more confortable to work…


Agree with Kenshin. Mine has I Gb of Ram but I have never seen memory usage over 30% through Asus Probe or 285 Mb on the Task manager so you should be fine. Like Dee-ehn says a clean up couldn’t hurt.


An interesting thought here is that if you have an 8MB shared video card… is that your ONLY video card? If you have an add-on AGP video card, you should turn that 8MB shared thing off… and if it’s your ONLY card, boy is that a bottleneck in your system!


Why should that be a bottleneck? Depending on what you do, 8MB can be just fine. When just using standard apps (desktop use) at a lower resolution (800x600 for example), you won’t even notice the difference between a cheap onboard video or a more expensive AGP/PCIe card. Depending on the needs of the user, the onboard video doesn’t have to be a problem. Not everybody is a gamer :slight_smile:


I figured out 504MB of Ram by right-clicking on “My Computer” icon. I guess the video card thing is the correct explaniation. My typical programs open are AOL 9, Firefox, Photoshop, Norton Antivirus, A firewall, and other small things. I just hate it when the computer takes so long to even open a drop down menu in a program while its processing.



Onboard graphics are great for most things. I usually install my Nvidia 5600 or ATI 9700 Pro card only when I want to play HD files because Intel 845G graphic just can’t play them well.

BTW, the BEST reason why you should all have to have 1 or 2GB or more memory is because memory modules are now very cheap! Even DDR 2 1GB modules are affordable. To have 2GB DDR 2 costs just as much as a Pentium 630. I personally want to buy more memory only after at least 65nm processors become cheap (though the first of them will probably cost a lot.)


Kenshin is correct 1gb modules are very cheap now for example-184 Pin PC3200 DDR 2 1gb module for my dell 4600c is $100.14 + shipping I bought 2 of these modules in Feb. this year, no problems fast shipping (2business days from CO. to MI!), at that price I bought 2. I now have 3gb of memory but 512mb is enough for dvd burning.


To address the OP’s question, no - adding RAM won’t improve your ability to burn DVD’s. If you have had speed issues with CDR, then there’s a good chance you will also have speed issues with DVDR, but RAM won’t help. Your HD is the culpret.

The single best upgrade you can do for an older system, for burning or anything else, is a new hard drive. Get a good drive with 8MB cache and re-install Windows to a clean drive. This will speed things up more than you can imagine, and free up loads of space while eliminating fragmentation. When you install Windows, set up the paging file to the same initial and max sizes, around 1 GB, before you install any programs. Keep the drive defragmented. If you plan to store many movies or large video files, a second drive for that purpose is highly recommended.


3GB DDR 2? Great, do you run RAM drive software? :slight_smile: I want to have 6-8GB memory. 5-7GB = temp drive for downloading files and the rest for main memory. LAN -> RAM -> DVD. :slight_smile: