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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting the System Memory | Performance Issues ]

I added more memory to the system but I didn't see any improvement in performance

Explanation: Additional system memory was added to the PC, but performance did not improve.

Diagnosis: Depending on the circumstances, this may be true and may not indicate any sort of a system problem. Assuming that the memory is configured properly and is recognized by the system, it may just be that you have reached the point of "diminishing returns" if the PC already has a fair bit of memory in it. Most people who have 8 MB of RAM and add another 8 MB, will experience a much greater relative performance improvement than if they have 48 MB and add another 48 MB. How much performance is affected by memory total depends to a large extent on what operating system and software you are using, and also how tight your memory total was before you upgraded. Recognize that small changes in performance, less than 10%, are generally not noticeable to most users. This is discussed in more detail here.

Recommendation:

  • Make sure that all of the memory is being recognized in the system. If it isn't, then the upgrade isn't working properly.
  • Beware of being misled by benchmarks. Adding more memory will not improve the score of a benchmark that only tests the processor, for example. If possible, run an identical system benchmark before and after adding the new RAM. There should be some increase, even if it is minor.
  • Check your BIOS settings related to memory to see if any of them need to be changed if you add memory or if you cross one of the common memory size "borders" (64 MB is the most common one).
  • Often, the problem is that the operating system you are using is not being set up optimally to manage its memory efficiently. If you increase the amount of memory in some systems, the operating system may allocate the extra memory poorly, and you may see no improvement in performance. Refer to the System Optimization Guide for ideas on optimizing your operating system setup.

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