I recently upgraded my 1999-era Compaq Armada 7770dmt laptop from 64MB of RAM to the maximum of 144MB (16MB on the motherboard, plus two 64 MB SODIMM EDO modules), and it made the computer run a whole lot better.
I’m using the Puppy Linux 2.13 live CD’s Seamonkey browser to write this Blogger post, and it’s running extremely well.
I’m also running Damn Small Linux 4.3 from live CD (not at the moment, though), as well as OpenBSD 4.2 on the 3 GB hard drive.
OpenBSD isn’t as fast as the live CDs, but it is usable — and much more so after the memory upgrade.
Memory upgrades make much more of a difference in performance on the low end of the scale. Going from 32MB to 64MB, or 64MB to 128MB will dramatically increase performance.
While another machine performed well with 256MB of RAM, boosting that to 1GB — in Linux, anyway — didn’t seem to make as much of a difference, mostly because that machine was working very well with 256MB. 1 GB made it bettter, but for a 64MB machine, running the X Window system in Linux was difficult, especially when using Firefox.
But with 144MB, I’m able to run Firefox (or in this case the Mozilla-based Seamonkey) with a whole lot more comfort.