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I'm using XP now in an old Dell PC. Here are the stats:

OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 1
Processor Count: 1
RAM: 1149 Mb
Graphics Card: Intel(R) 82865G Graphics Controller, 96 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 38091 MB, Free - 18046 MB;
Motherboard: Dell Computer Corp., 0U2575

I want to convert to Xubuntu 13.10 but now I get a lot of 'low virtual memory' warnings and I'd like to increase the memory from 2GB to 4GB. I want to do this before the conversion because this website ( assess your computer and gives compatible memory stick recommendations ( does not do this for Linux). A computer knowledgeable person I know said it was not worth increasing the memory, but the way I see it, it can't hurt.

Anybody got any feedback on this for me? Think I should increase the memory from 2GB-->4GB or not? Thanks!

Sorry, all, got that RAM situation wrong (the specs are right). Am only thinking about upgrading to 2GB of Ram. (Thx for quick, excellent responses.)

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2GB should suffice given 4GB easily suffices for Ubuntu GNOME(GNOME 3 is considered rival of Windows 8 in UI area) – Erkin Alp Güney Feb 19 '14 at 20:33
I rather doubt that this old motherboard supports modules larger 1 GB, so 2GB might be the maximum already. – Klaus Warzecha Feb 19 '14 at 20:35
If you know your computer make/model you should still be able to use crucial. – Mateo Feb 19 '14 at 20:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm confused by a few of the things you said. "Low virtual memory" is an issue with running out of swap space on your hard drive and can be fixed by increasing the virtual memory size in your OS settings.

You say you want to increase from 2GB to 4GB, but you list your system as having only 1GB and change (RAM: 1149 Mb), so you may not have as much RAM as you think you do. If you do have 2GB, your motherboard might not properly recognize it in which case a firmware upgrade COULD fix the issue.

Also, depending on what you're going to use the machine for, a 38GB hard drive is pretty tiny by today's standards.

Surprisingly (to consumers) older RAM is often more expensive than newer, faster RAM. This is due to lack of efficiencies of scale: nobody is mass producing old RAM.

Given all these factors, I would take a quick look at what the RAM would cost you (maybe more than you expect), and another quick look at what an economy no frills new PC would cost you (probably less than you'd guess). As you have a PC now, you could probably get by without buying a new keyboard, mouse, and possibly monitor.

Weigh these factors; I would lean towards limping along with what you have and putting your money and effort into something you will enjoy using (and won't wear out on you...)

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Also: if the machine is only 32bit, it can only use up to 3 GB RAM (there's the PAE option, but that can get tricky). – Piskvor Feb 19 '14 at 20:43
Sorry. I was wrong about the RAM situation. The Crucial system scan suggested I remove the 128MB stick and replace it with a 1GB stick, giving me a total of 2GB. Thx! – user250093 Feb 19 '14 at 21:20

Xubuntu 13.10 works well with 2GB, and is much more efficient at memory use than XP. You will have no problem with 2GB, which is good since Crucial shows you cannot go past a pair of 1GB memory sticks.

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2 GB would be good, but it looks like you have 1.25 GB. You should have enough to run Xubuntu happily. It sounds like you need to look at your swap partition, make it twice as large as your ram. If you're going to upgrade to 2 GB, have a 4GB swap partition on your disk.

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