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Q.  I recently increased my memory of 512MB to 1G. I use a Dell 8400 Hyper thread 3200 Intel chip. I have the hyper thread turned on in the bios. Windows XP OS.
I didn't seem to get any performance increase, and wonder if I should change the setting in Performance Options from the Virtual Memory Paging file "custom size" (which is set to 1533 MB with max of 1536; which is what is says is recommended) to "system managed size", or something else. The Memory Usage is set for "system cache'. My Hard Drive is 40MB. Is there any other tweaking I could do?";

A.  The recommended setting for the Paging file should be what the initial size is set to.  You want the maximum to be significantly larger than the initial size.  My machine recommends 1531 MB, so I set my initial size to 1536 MB and the maximum size to 4096 MB.  This gives the page file the ability to grow as needed.

Also, I don't think the performance increase you get from turning on Hyper threading is noticeable to most people.  It does help the processor out a little bit, but processors are so fast now that any performance increase will be a matter of nanoseconds (i.e. billionths of a second).

Setting your memory usage to "System Cache" will mean that your operating system gets precedence over the applications that you run.  This means that the Windows startup and shutdown may go a little faster, but some of your applications may experience some minor lag.  Again, this performance impact will probably be negligible and infrequent.

The best use of time and money to increase a computer's performance is to do exactly what you have already done -- upgrade the memory.  If you are not happy with the speed of the computer, try upgrading the memory even more, if possible.

Also, try to keep to a regular maintenance schedule of virus/worm scanning, defragmenting the hard drive, and cleaning out unused programs.  That will help you to keep your computer running as fast as possible.  You can also see my Article on Spring Cleaning for more Performance Tips.

Let me know if you need anything else.

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