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Do I need to upgrade RAM?

This is a discussion on Do I need to upgrade RAM? within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey y'all, it has been a long time since my visit. I didn't know much about hardware then. Laptop Details:


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Old 01-17-2016, 09:52 AM   #1
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Hey y'all, it has been a long time since my visit. I didn't know much about hardware then.

Laptop Details:
Toshiba L500, i3 intel core, 4gb, 500gb
Windows 7, 64bit, etc.

Everyday use:
- VCL player with lots of videos.
- Internet browsing using firefox with multiple tabs 5-7. Yeah I know it is best to keep it less.
- Microsoft excel, word, etc.
- Thunderbird emails
- Itunes listening to music
- Sometimes notepad
- Sometimes I use utorrent and have days where I use it to the extreme.
- I have multiple folders opened i.e. 5-7.
- I use to use a lot of heavy software like adobe photoshop, dreamweaver, etc, but haven't used them in 2yrs now.

Questions:
- Is worth upgrading to more RAM like 8gb? I found one on ebay priced at $54 free shipping.
- I use the internet a lot. Does the web browser use up any RAM? Sometimes my laptop slows down. I was told to use CCleaner and it seem to work.
- Any other tips I should know?

I have a Thermaltake fan under the laptop to keep it cool. Plus I know how to take the laptop apart to remove the hefty dust in the air vent to prevent any overheating. So far so good my laptop is in good condition after 5yrs.

Many thanks in advance
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:58 AM   #2
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5years is a long time if using the original hard drive it might be worth running chkdsk https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2641432
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:41 PM   #3
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5years is a long time if using the original hard drive it might be worth running chkdsk https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2641432
OK I did that and it seem there is no error on the drive. What am I looking for?

Can someone please answer my questions in the OP? Much appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:28 AM   #4
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Ok, that's good, it won't hurt to increase the ram.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:58 AM   #5
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VLC will be playing 1 video at a time, so you're ok there for RAM.

5-7 browser tabs is not too many. If it was 20 or more, you might start to notice it. If your browser feels slow, make sure it's the latest version and all addons and plugins are up to date. If you have too many addons/extensions installed, try removing any you don't need.

Office apps, email, iTunes, Notepad, uTorrent and Windows Explorer don't need much RAM. Running these programs individually won't put any strain on your 4GB memory, but running them all at the same time could lead to the computer feeling unresponsive. If you're multitasking heavily, it's the hard drive that will slow things down more than the RAM, especially programs like uTorrent which are constantly accessing the drive.

Be careful using CCleaner. If configured incorrectly, it can wipe some settings that you might want to keep. Avoid using its registry cleaner - it's not worth the risk and doesn't speed up the computer.

As Joe says, adding another 4GB won't do any harm. It might make the computer feel slightly quicker in certain situations like multitasking and program startup times. Let us know if you need any advice on choosing the type of RAM. Crucial Memory Advisor - https://www.crucial.com/usa/en
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeten View Post
Ok, that's good, it won't hurt to increase the ram.
Too easy, thanks Joe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koala View Post
VLC will be playing 1 video at a time, so you're ok there for RAM.

5-7 browser tabs is not too many. If it was 20 or more, you might start to notice it. If your browser feels slow, make sure it's the latest version and all addons and plugins are up to date. If you have too many addons/extensions installed, try removing any you don't need.

Office apps, email, iTunes, Notepad, uTorrent and Windows Explorer don't need much RAM. Running these programs individually won't put any strain on your 4GB memory, but running them all at the same time could lead to the computer feeling unresponsive. If you're multitasking heavily, it's the hard drive that will slow things down more than the RAM, especially programs like uTorrent which are constantly accessing the drive.

Be careful using CCleaner. If configured incorrectly, it can wipe some settings that you might want to keep. Avoid using its registry cleaner - it's not worth the risk and doesn't speed up the computer.

As Joe says, adding another 4GB won't do any harm. It might make the computer feel slightly quicker in certain situations like multitasking and program startup times. Let us know if you need any advice on choosing the type of RAM. Crucial Memory Advisor - Welcome to Crucial USA
Ah I see. I think you nailed it there with "...multitasking heavily.."
Interesting, so if I was downloading and still multitasking does that mean the hard drive will be working harder and could make it slower and not the RAM?
I have my VCL open all times, folders, firefox, and in between I have utorrent open now and then. I think it might of been when I used utorrent for heavy downloading and shortly after it was slow as even my cursor and switching to folders was slow. Very annoying :(
Yes, I ran CCleaner and restarted and it was fast again. I think your right about CCleaner. I did a registry run a few years ago and for some reason it did something to my laptop. I can't remember if I had to reinstall Windows 7 again straight after the hiccup or later on? So I never touched the registry run on CCleaner again.

I think this is the one I need: New 8GB 2X4GB PC8500 DDR3-1066 1066MHz PC3-8500 204pin Sodimm laptop Memory
I can only buy this on ebay since my local store won't have it?

I looked on the Toshiba site: PSLS6A-00X013 - Toshiba Satellite L500 Computer - Australia :: Toshiba :: Computers, Laptops/Notebooks, Tablets, Televisions, DVD and Blu-Ray Players, Camcorders, Storage, Accessories, and more
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:50 AM   #7
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Because your notebook has integrated graphics, some of that 4GB you current have is being used for graphics processing. So with that and the fact you are using 64-bit Windows, you will likely see some improvement with some tasks if you add more RAM - in part too because your system will not need to bang on slow hard drive as often to access the Page File.

Chkdsk not finding any errors is good. You might also run Disk Optimize to defrag the drive too and uninstall any startup programs you don't use.

If you really want to see some improvement, you might consider replacing the hard drive for a SSD - though this is a much more involved task than just adding RAM - and more costly.

As for CCleaner, it is by far my favorite utility program and I use it, including the Registry cleaner often. I think it sad CCleaner is frequently bashed and lumped into the same category as all other registry cleaners. It is not like any other cleaner. It is conservative and always prompts to backup the Registry before making changes. And the restore process works. I note CCleaner and Piriform have been around for well over 10 years - and is well known for making a quality product that is NOT known for breaking Windows (unlike other Registry cleaners, registry "fixers", and registry "optimizers").

I use the CCleaner Registry cleaner every time there are lots of, or major Windows Updates or system patches installed. Every time I swap out hardware - especially graphics cards. Every time I do a major upgrade to a software suite like Office. And often when changing or major upgrades to my security software. And I've been doing this years on all my systems and I have never had CCleaner break any of my computers. NEVER!

I never recommend the use of CCleaner's registry cleaner on a broken Windows. But I do recommend it to maintain Windows. So with new computers (or fresh OS installs), I heartedly recommend CCleaner right from the start (including the registry cleaner) to keep your computer clean and tidy. I do not recommend ANY other Registry cleaner or system optimization programs. Do NOT believe any hype that these programs will make your system run better than new. It is not true (and CCleaner does not even claim that).

See Fred Langa's Are system/Registry cleaners worthwhile? and note his "Bottom-line conclusions and caveats",
Quote:
Iíll continue using ó and recommending ó lightweight tools such as CCleaner for routine cleanups.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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It's been a while I forgot to comment back here. Yeah I heard so much about the SSD. I noticed a desktop can hold more than one HDD. Can a laptop do the same?
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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Generally no, some have the ability not all.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Generally no, some have the ability not all.
Which means can only buy one or the other, right? Cool, SSD it is.
Thanks
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