RAM deficit syndrome.

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
My desktop has been noticeably slow for some time, with multiple windows and applications open especially. One of the slowest apps has been Apple Mail, which would barely function, even though my phone and tablet worked fine and rapidly with it.

Today I expanded the 4GB RAM on my iMac by adding another 8GB to total 12GB. What a MASSIVE improvement in performance it has made to this mid-2011 machine. Adding RAM was dead easy and cost only £30+VAT.

If your desktop or laptop only has 4GB RAM, then I highly recommend adding at least an extra 8GB or more to it. No matter what brand or operating system you use. It so happens that 16GB is the absolute maximum that my old machine can take, as it was the poverty-pack entry-level machine back in 2011.

I have a mind to upgrade the hard drive [500GB] to a 1TB SSD as a project at some point. Luckily my 2011 machine is more accessible than 2012 onwards machines for this job. From 2012, even the RAM access on 21" iMac requires the screen taken off, but mine, plus 27" machines of all ages, at least give RAM access externally, although disc drive upgrades require the screen off on all versions. My thick iMac mid-2011 has the glass held on by magnets with the LCD held by six screws, while thin bodies, from 2012> have a one piece screen that is held on by double-sided tape around the edge.

I have a new 27" 2019 iMac on order from an authorised re-seller in North Wales. It comes at quite a large discount to prices on the high street or from the Apple website. This has been specced from the factory with a solid state drive.

I've had a super fast external do-it-yourself 1TB ssd for it already for backing-up. Building an external drive yourself only takes five minutes and saves a ton of money compared to a similar speed ready made one.
For instance a 500GB WD Blue NVME m.2 card costs £50+VAT plus an enclosure and cable will cost about £32+VAT for a grand total of £82+VAT for something that will be up to ten times as fast as an internal hard drive if connected through USB3 or Thunderbolt. There are faster options still, like the Sabrent Rocket drives, but to utilise these you really need Thunderbolt 3 or USB3.2 equipped computers.

It is possible, for use with a desktop computer primarily, to configure an external SSD connected through a later USB system, to be the boot drive incorporating the operating system, and designating the internal old mechanical hard drive as the backup or for supplementary storage use. This will make a vast speed difference to almost all machines fitted only with mechanical hard drive storage from new.
 
May I just add, adding more than a total of 4GB of RAM will only work on a 64 bit system. 32 bit systems can only 'see' and use around 3.25GB of RAM. However, as The Duck points out, adding more RAM to a 64bit system, which most modern systems should be, will improve performance no end.
Replace the mechanical hard drive with an SSD and your system will fly. (y)
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
May I just add, adding more than a total of 4GB of RAM will only work on a 64 bit system. 32 bit systems can only 'see' and use around 3.25GB of RAM. However, as The Duck points out, adding more RAM to a 64bit system, which most modern systems should be, will improve performance no end.
Replace the mechanical hard drive with an SSD and your system will fly. (y)
Anything in the desktop and laptop line sold new since 2004 should be 64 bit.

I seem to remember, vaguely, that some operating systems [W Vista perhaps?] could use a USB memory stick as an extension to the machine's native RAM. Not sure whether this was with 32 bit or 64bit machines.
 
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Anything in the desktop and laptop line sold new since 2004 should be 64 bit.

I seem to remember, vaguely, that some operating systems [W Vista perhaps?] could use a USB memory stick as an extension to the machine's native RAM. Not sure whether this was with 32 bit or 64bit machines.

Ah, yes. I think you may be referring to a feature called ReadyBoost. You are correct, it was introduced with Windows Vista.
It's basically a way of using a plugged in flash drive as an extra cache, mainly to speed up small random disk reads.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
Running a mid-2010 iMac here, maxed out with 4x 4gb of RAM and a 2tb SATA drive (retrofit).
It's running a bit slow (spinning beachball of doom) but I put that down (partly) to having 67,000 photos in the 'Photos' folder, and probably a lot of already transferred photos still in the legacy iPhoto archive.
This wasn't helped by the purchase of a second hand Nikon D5000...
Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 22.11.36.png
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Running a mid-2010 iMac here, maxed out with 4x 4gb of RAM and a 2tb SATA drive (retrofit).
It's running a bit slow (spinning beachball of doom) but I put that down (partly) to having 67,000 photos in the 'Photos' folder, and probably a lot of already transferred photos still in the legacy iPhoto archive.
This wasn't helped by the purchase of a second hand Nikon D5000...View attachment 879702
I have well over 100,000 photos, about half of which are in Photos, which i have stored on an external drive. I don’t think that is a problem or your problem. Your issue is probably the large slow hard drive. Possibly consider upgrading it to a SATA SSD. The Photos app should not slow things down unless you are accessing it or reading/writing to it.
Am external SSD connected by your fastest port, Firewire 800, would be much faster, but swapping the internal drive out is what I intend to do.

EDIT
My mid 2011 iMac [Poverty Pack edition] has a Thunderbolt port, which is much faster than Firewire800, so check out your mid2010 to see if it has the same port. If so, an External SSD is a very viable alternative to running from the internal hard drive, even if this is a 7200rpm drive.
I note that your graphics card is also superior to mine [67% higher performance apparently], so that should be more than good enough for 99% of work, although if you are gamer it will not be up to today's needs.
 
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Running a mid-2010 iMac here, maxed out with 4x 4gb of RAM and a 2tb SATA drive (retrofit).
It's running a bit slow (spinning beachball of doom) but I put that down (partly) to having 67,000 photos in the 'Photos' folder, and probably a lot of already transferred photos still in the legacy iPhoto archive.
This wasn't helped by the purchase of a second hand Nikon D5000...View attachment 879702

How much space does 67000 photos take up?

I would seriously consider putting them all on a cloud based service for safe keeping.

Internal drives should be SSD, and external drives used for backups and with firmware designed for this task in mind. Western Digital do such drives. Being mechanical their reliability is their prime virtue.
 
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PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
How much space does 67000 photos take up?
53gb apparently, but thats with older photos held on iCloud. I really need to learn to understand iCloud storage better, as I'm not using a fraction of its potential. Frankly I'm at a point where I realise that I have been left behind by technology as it's raced ahead.

One thing I did recently to free up a lot of hard drive space was to delete older phone backups from 2015 to recent. I hadn't realised that these added up to about a whopping 200GB, despite the current family phones being backed up to iCloud. Delete.
 
53gb apparently, but thats with older photos held on iCloud. I really need to learn to understand iCloud storage better, as I'm not using a fraction of its potential. Frankly I'm at a point where I realise that I have been left behind by technology as it's raced ahead.

One thing I did recently to free up a lot of hard drive space was to delete older phone backups from 2015 to recent. I hadn't realised that these added up to about a whopping 200GB, despite the current family phones being backed up to iCloud. Delete.

50 odd gig is not a huge amount, I would get that put straight on iCloud or OneDrive etc. You may need a higher speed connection temporarily to upload it all. Once it is there only changed files are reuploaded so minimal traffic then.
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
Just the way it is. I can do 99 percent of my non gaming computing on a first edition raspberry pi. Running an operating system emulating a mid 90s Acorn.
I bought my s/h RiscPC in '98, now upgraded to Kinetic with a whopping 68mb of memory, far too much for my needs. It's last upgrade was adding 2mb of video ram along with replacing the backup battery.
Handles all correspondence and accounting. Trying to migrate over to an ArminiX.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
How much space does 67000 photos take up?

I would seriously consider putting them all on a cloud based service for safe keeping.

Internal drives should be SSD, and external drives used for backups and with firmware designed for this task in mind. Western Digital do such drives. Being mechanical their reliability is their prime virtue.
Mechanical drives, by the very nature of being mechanical with precision components, stepper motors and platters spinning on bearings at up to 7500 rpm, do have a finite though not predictable with any degree of accuracy, life before they inevitably fail.
SSD's have no moving parts and again have a finite life, but more predictable in terms of the times they are overwritten and they vary in this respect by design.

Cloud is great. either as a primary store, or a secondary one, but certainly not the only store with no local backup. The cloud is dependent on the company that stores the files, which may not be the company that owns and runs the data centres. It is also dependent on internet access, which in many areas is neither reliable nor fast.

The space taken by 67k photos depends on the size of individual files and that depends on whether raw, jpeg or tiff files types are used. Typical jpeg compressed files do not exceed 15mb each. About 1TB should be sufficient in that case.
 
Mechanical drives, by the very nature of being mechanical with precision components, stepper motors and platters spinning on bearings at up to 7500 rpm, do have a finite though not predictable with any degree of accuracy, life before they inevitably fail.
SSD's have no moving parts and again have a finite life, but more predictable in terms of the times they are overwritten and they vary in this respect by design.

Cloud is great. either as a primary store, or a secondary one, but certainly not the only store with no local backup. The cloud is dependent on the company that stores the files, which may not be the company that owns and runs the data centres. It is also dependent on internet access, which in many areas is neither reliable nor fast.

The space taken by 67k photos depends on the size of individual files and that depends on whether raw, jpeg or tiff files types are used. Typical jpeg compressed files do not exceed 15mb each. About 1TB should be sufficient in that case.

Good quality mechanical drives designed for backups (I.e half the time they do not spin and are idle) are very very reliable, far more so than the average consumer hard drive of any kind. The main bonus is that if they did fail, the data on them can be retrieved with specialist skills. There are parts of an SSD, which, if it fails, will fudge the entire ream of data.

I understand a lot of data is still stored on ultra-modern tape drives because it's dirt cheap.

Data on the cloud is never going to fail, the data will be stored across multiple drives through a RAID array and in specialist buildings designed for the job. You are talking about something with a tiny chance of failure.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Good quality mechanical drives designed for backups (I.e half the time they do not spin and are idle) are very very reliable, far more so than the average consumer hard drive of any kind. The main bonus is that if they did fail, the data on them can be retrieved with specialist skills. There are parts of an SSD, which, if it fails, will fudge the entire ream of data.

I understand a lot of data is still stored on ultra-modern tape drives because it's dirt cheap.

Data on the cloud is never going to fail, the data will be stored across multiple drives through a RAID array and in specialist buildings designed for the job. You are talking about something with a tiny chance of failure.
Companies go out of business and people forget to pay their subs and their files are wiped. It happens. Not such a tiny risk.
So you advise storing on hard drives that are not available for the consumer to purchase? How odd.
 

Spear

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Devon
Companies go out of business and people forget to pay their subs and their files are wiped. It happens. Not such a tiny risk.
So you advise storing on hard drives that are not available for the consumer to purchase? How odd.

No he’s advising storing on hard drives designed for storage not the type used in pcs as every day drives.

I use a twin disk nas drive to back up everything. 2 4Tb drives with RAID 1 so that if 1 fails I still have everything
 
Companies go out of business and people forget to pay their subs and their files are wiped. It happens. Not such a tiny risk.
So you advise storing on hard drives that are not available for the consumer to purchase? How odd.

Microsoft and Google are going to go out of business?

You can get cloud storage space for not a lot of money, and like most subscription services, they do warn you if you forget to pay.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Microsoft and Google are going to go out of business?

You can get cloud storage space for not a lot of money, and like most subscription services, they do warn you if you forget to pay.
I do use many cloud sevices, including backing up photos and all files to an external Raid plus a seperate external drive with Time Machine [actually two external drives dedicated to time machine backing up alternately, plus automatic backups to Apple, Google and Amazon Cloud drives. So you could say that i Have double belt and braces with extra contingencies. The usual recommendation is to have three backups, two on-site and one off site. I go the extra mile because sh!t happens.
The other imperative is to ensure that at least two other people know where and how to get the information required to access these files, just in case I and one other are incapacitated.
 
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Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
The rule for a good backup strategy is known as 3-2-1.
3 separate backups, on 2 different types of media with 1 kept off site.
Precisely. It needn't be two 'types' of media though. As long as two are done alternately daily or hourly, depending on how many critical files are created or updated. The third, kept off-site, used to be rotated with one of the others weekly. This was before Cloud storage and fast internet of course.

One very important thing to check, is that you can actually read and retrieve all backups. Nothing worse than losing data and finding that the backups are either inaccessible or contain corrupted rubbish.
 

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