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Author Topic: amount of RAM in a netbook  (Read 4184 times)
techidave
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« on: May 02, 2011, 02:32:57 PM »

I have noticed that most of the netbooks only have 1 gig of memory in them.  Is this enough for basic web surfing and email?  I figured since most of them have a "starter" OS on them, this is where the difference is.

please advise,
Dave

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wraith808
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 02:40:32 PM »

I've used 1GB netbooks with success, having no problems with web browsing/e-mail (using a web client).  It is a bit slower, and more RAM does help.  But it's definitely doable.
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mrainey
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 03:40:23 PM »

1GB works fine with XP.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 05:46:26 PM »

i suspect 2gb would make a noticeable difference in performance when doing non-trivial stuff.
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techidave
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 05:49:31 PM »

I think that 2 gb would be best also, but I haven't found one yet that is very inexpensive.  Of course, I haven't look to see how hard it is to add one or the price of an extra stick yet.
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techidave
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 05:50:06 PM »

would the win 7 starter OS be ok for a novice user?
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Deozaan
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 05:57:13 PM »

I had Windows 7 Ultimate on my netbook since shortly after it came out until just a couple months ago. It ran but it was generally sluggish.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 06:04:05 PM »

i was looking at netbooks recently and one reason that windows 7 starter seems very appealing for a netbook is that one of the things it does not have is the aero glass effects, which is good because for a netbook it's not worth taking the speed hit that comes with that.  so i think windows 7 starter is a good match for a netbook for a novice.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 06:43:43 PM »

so i think windows 7 starter is a good match for a netbook for a novice.

I think it's a good match for a netbook period. They're not for heavy multitasking, they're for the quick on-the-fly in and out kind of thing. Like a web enabled cell phone with a bigger screen.
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f0dder
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 07:07:14 AM »

i was looking at netbooks recently and one reason that windows 7 starter seems very appealing for a netbook is that one of the things it does not have is the aero glass effects, which is good because for a netbook it's not worth taking the speed hit that comes with that.  so i think windows 7 starter is a good match for a netbook for a novice.
Aero could very well be a performance benefit - but it does require the GPU to not suck majorly, and have discrete video memory. Dunno if you can find a netbook that fulfills those requirements, but if you do Aero should run faster and result in less system memory being gobbled up.
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- carpe noctem
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 08:07:28 PM »

I just recently picked up my first netbook:
Aspire One 522

Comes with 1GB RAM, but I dropped in a 4GB stick from Newegg and it works perfectly (with the anytime upgrade to Home Premium). The catch is that Win7 Starter is limited to 2GB max, and many older netbooks apparently are hardware-limited to 2GB. 

Performance is great. Internet, email, editing, etc. work as expected. Decoding 720p HD video (action scenes) averages about 25-30% CPU, 1080p around 50-60%. I've just started loading a few games, but I expect older/less graphics heavy titles to work very well. So far I'd say AMD has a clear winner with their Fusion APU tech.
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mhenriday
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2011, 11:42:02 AM »

Techidave, run an up-to-date Linux distro on that netbook and you won't have to worry about either outdated OSs or insufficient RAM....

Henri 
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techidave
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2011, 06:12:45 PM »

I had a friend today suggested Chrome OS.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 11:17:03 PM »

Yeah, if all you want is basic web surfing or "web apps" then go for a lightweight cloud/Linux OS.
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mhenriday
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2011, 06:26:15 AM »

Deozaan, I don't understand what you mean with your rather dismissive ┬ź... if all you want is basic web surfing or "web apps"┬╗. Pray tell what you can do with a Windows OS that requires both an advancerad processor and a great deal of RAM, that I can't do with, say, Ubuntu 11.04, which makes much fewer demands on hardware ?...

Henri
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y0himba
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2011, 06:52:43 AM »

I have an old Dell Mini 1010 Netbook.  I put Windows 7 Ultimate on it, 1GB ram, Intel Atom processor, 6 hour battery, and disabled the Aero effects.  I can run Firefox with 30 tabs open, and Last.fm streaming in the background at about 70% memory usage with very little sluggishness. I started dual-booting Ubuntu and it runs really nice (11.04).

Runs decent.  It's not a full sized laptop with a dual core and 4gb, but it runs more than sufficient. I cannot upgrade the RAM in this version of the Netbook as it is soldered into a daughter board with the processor. 

I have been thinking about putting XP back on it of late.  XP runs really nice on 1GB RAM and the Intel Atom processor.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2011, 11:32:01 PM »

Deozaan, I don't understand what you mean with your rather dismissive ┬ź... if all you want is basic web surfing or "web apps"┬╗. Pray tell what you can do with a Windows OS that requires both an advancerad processor and a great deal of RAM, that I can't do with, say, Ubuntu 11.04, which makes much fewer demands on hardware ?...

Hi Henri,

Maybe you misunderstood me. I didn't intend to sound dismissive. And I wasn't suggesting that Windows is superior to any particular Linux distro.

That said, I was referring to some extremely lightweight Linux distros or "Cloud" OSes (like Chrome OS) that purposefully have limited functionality compared to Windows or Ubuntu in order to boot quickly and get you to your web browser as fast as possible. I think it would be foolish to try to make the case that these lightweight OSes are just as capable as Windows or Ubuntu. Do you really want me to start listing examples of what you can't do in, e.g., Chromium OS that you can in Windows? huh Here are a couple easy ones:

  • Install a program.
  • Play Minecraft (or just about any other non-browser/non-flash game).
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mhenriday
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2011, 07:01:00 AM »

Deozaan, I fear we misunderstood each other. My contention was that while most of the netbooks in question will choke on Win7, they will run quite adequately with, say, Ubuntu, which in my experience does everything Win7 can do (I'm running both on a fat laptop). I certainly didn't mean to suggest that Chromium OS will do everything Win7 can do ; from what I understand, that is not what the former OS was designed to do (not residing in the United States, I missed out on Google's offer to test Chrome OS on a dedicated netbook, so I must here appeal to lesefr├╝chte rather than to my own experience)....

Henri   
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phillfri
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2011, 09:50:23 AM »

I have been running first Windows XP and then Windows 7 Home Premium on my Asus 1000H, the latter for almost 2 years now. When I got my 1000H, probably 3 years ago now (or more), the first thing I did was upgrade to 2gb ram (the machine's max) and a 7200 rpm 500gb hard drive. I've been using this laptop in a corporate work environment, running dual monitors (laptop and 19" LCD). I use mostly Browsers and MS Office type applications, do some occasional vba coding, and once in awhile run Chief Architect Home Designer 9 and photo programs. It works well, though its not a speed demon on the graphics and photo editing programs. I usually have several browser pages, a handful of Outlook windows, a couple instance of Word and perhaps Excel or Adobe Reader open at the same time. I am running aero, but you can turn that off if you want. I can run Youtube videos and stream Hulu on it without stuttering. As a side comment, I'd say get a physically well built netbook. I've taken mine on 4 extended European travel vacations to handle digital camera photo storage and processing and the original Asus eggshell design has held up well (hate the fingerprints though :>).
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