Re: Upgrade computer Was (Re: "budget" laptop?)

Subject: Re: Upgrade computer Was (Re: "budget" laptop?)
From: "Kathleen MacDowell" <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
To: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 15:05:01 -0500

> -- Geoff Hart
> ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
> What operating system are you running? Windows XP works fine in 1 Gig of
> RAM, whereas Vista only begins to perform acceptably fast at 2 Gig. If
> you're using software such as Photoshop, more RAM is better. Note that Vista
> lets you use more RAM than XP, so adding RAM beyond 2 Gig probably won't
> produce much additional improvement for an XP computer.

I am using Vista.

Another reason I'd thought of upgrading was to see if I could do a
split installation, Vista and XP. If necessary, I might even go back
to XP.
I ran a system check a month ago when I was looking into setting up
XP, and everything seemed fine. My computer came with McAfee (I do not

> I've seen a few anecdotal reports of speed problems with AMD chips, so you
> might need to contact the manufacturer to find out whether there have been
> any reported problems for your version of Windows and your computer. If so,
> they might have a patch. I've also seen reports of problems with suites such
> as Norton, which are memory hogs.

I have been putting off some of the updates, figuring they'd do more
harm (performance wise) than good. But it looks like I do need to do

> I've been using a laptop for most of the last 6 years,
> including with memory hogs such as Adobe's Creative Suite, with no problems.

Amazing. I had problems with my office computer too when I was running
CS3. I used to find that I had to get off the VPN connection and the
internet, or Illustrator would hang. I think your having a Mac makes a
big difference.

> However, one big problem might arise from the graphics chip. Check your
> specs: if you're using any of the Intel "integrated" graphics chips, or any
> other chip that uses "shared memory", that will slow things to a crawl for
> graphics-intensive applications. Then check the software requirements: if it
> requires a certain minimum level of graphics chip, and you don't have that
> much power, you're SOL. Since laptop graphics chips are usually soldered to
> the motherboard, you can't replace it, and might need to upgrade to a laptop
> or desktop with a better graphics chip (e.g., NVidia, ATI).

Thanks for all the suggestions, Geoff, and to everyone else. I'll
start looking into the gritty details. Just don't do them frequently
enough to know where to start when something comes up. I've been
working at a company with tech support for several years, and used my
home computer very little, so I've become lazy.

Kathleen MacDowell

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Upgrade computer Was (Re: "budget" laptop?): From: Kathleen MacDowell
Upgrade computer Was (Re: "budget" laptop?): From: Geoff Hart

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