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Thread: Memory

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    Default Memory

    I have windows xp home edition and it says I have 74.5 GB of disc space on my hard drive. But I only have 512 MB of RAM. Where are all those other GB of space? And can I access it?

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    Member alwrmcusn's Avatar
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    How much do you think you should have?
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T / 12gb Ram / Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    HP w2207 Monitor / 24X Dual Layer Optical Drive / 700W PSU /
    Nvidia GeForce HD N460 1GB /...Keurig ready to brew a quick cuppa!

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    Member Spyware Fighter Grim322's Avatar
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    The disk space refers to the space on the hard drive. The RAM is the amount of memory installed. They are 2 different things. An office analogy- hard drive space is like how big your filing cabinet is. RAM is how much space is on your desk. XP runs fine on 512 mb of RAM. Charlie

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    Member Digerati's Avatar
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    XP runs fine on 512 mb of RAM.
    Well, it runs, not sure I would say it runs fine - depending on the hardware. With only 512Mb, the operating system will be forced to access the page file on the hard disk much more often. That does nothing for performance. The "sweet spot" for XP and single core CPUs is 1Gb of RAM, 2Gb for multi-core CPUs. By "sweet spot" I mean any less and performance is affected, and any more and the performance gains are marginal.

    Where are all those other GB of space? And can I access it?
    Sitting there on your hard drive and you access it every time you save (write) a file, or read it.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Thank you, everyone, for your help. It's getting clearer so let me try an analogy of my own: The hard drive space is the file cabinet and RAM could be an accordian file within the cabinet. (Doesn't it sort of have to be part of the whole?)

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    Member Spyware Fighter NeonFx's Avatar
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    You're close, but that's not entirely right. If a harddrive is like a file cabinet then RAM would be your desk space. Your computer works on and is saving everything temporarily in RAM (because it's much faster than a harddrive) but it can only do that as long as the power is on because of how it works. Once you turn your computer off everything that was saved in RAM is lost, which is why your computer takes a while to shut down: It's making sure all the programs had a chance to save everything to the harddrive and are closed before turning itself off.

    They're two separate pieces of hardware.

    If you don't have enough RAM, ie you have a small desk, then you'll have to go back and forth more often to the file cabinet; which wastes time and slows you down. This is why upgrading RAM can be so beneficial.

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    Member Digerati's Avatar
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    The hard drive space is the file cabinet and RAM could be an accordian file within the cabinet.
    No, sorry, but that does not really fit either because in your analogy the accordion file is still on the hard drive. RAM has nothing to do with hard drive space. Look at the hard drive as a bucket of tennis balls. More RAM lets you juggle more balls. A faster CPU lets you juggle them faster.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!
    MS MVP, 2007 - 2018
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