My sister's blue iMac is running under OS 9.2.2 with 320mb of RAM. It's used mostly for AOL, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, and a variety of children's applications. Like many families, more than one application is open at the same time. As you might guess, they were experiencing frequent freezes and the machine moved oh so slow while the hard drive spun and spun and spun. I noticed that a RAM disk had been created and that virtual memory was "on,"and that the cache size for IE was set to 100Mb.
A quick look at "About This Computer" showed that 300 Mb of RAM was being chewed-up by the OS alone!
So I eliminated the RAM disk, turned off virtual memory , and reduced the cache size for IE to 20Mb. Now the system OS takes only 80-90Mb of RAM with plenty of headroom for the applications. Freezes haven't occurred since the fix and all applications run visibly quicker.
I'd like to look at their top five applications and reset the minimum and preferred RAM for each. Any suggestions or "rules of thumb" for setting these parameters relative to the suggested size?
From past expereince: IE-50 megs, Word-20 to 40 megs (does she do complex documents?), Excel-a mulpile of the base memory amount, i can't remember exactly but excel had a base requirement of like 5144 megs and you need to multiply that by say 4 to get a good amount. As for AOL, i'm not sure, but I guess 50-75 should be okay. THe OS is using 80-90 megs of ram? That sounds like an awful lot.
I vaguely remember os 9 taking up like 35-45 megs when I was in os 9. I would set virutal ram to be 1 meg more than your base amount of hard drive (set virutal ram to 321) and don't use a ramdisk. Ramdisks are a waste and useless in this day of virutal ram anyway.
The IE cache has nothing to do with how much memory your computer has while its runing. The cache is how much hard drive space can be used for storing the temporary files while browsing the web.