I finally got around to doing the RAM upgrade that I posted about earlier. To recap, I have a Dell OptiPlex GX260 with only 512MB of RAM dual booting Windows XP Pro and Xanrdos Desktop Pro 4.x. Although the GX260 was never blazing fast, it had seemed to become slower, over time regardless of whatever disk optimization I tried. So, I decided to increase performance by removing the 512 and replacing it with the maximum, for this model, of 2GB.
The Dell easy open case opened, well, easily. I was pleasantly surprised to see a single 512MB chip rather than a pair of 256s. Thus, I can use the 512 to upgrade one of the other Dells in the office from 512 to 1MB, total.
In any case (no pun intended), the 512 popped out and the two 1GB chips went in without problem. I closed the case and rebooted. Note to Windows users. I had unplugged all the USB devices (scanner, mouse, and keyboard) prior to opening the case so I could move the case to where I had more room to work. All devices were plugged back in prior to booting. When Windows came up, it went through this long period of finding new hardware, even though none of the hardware was new (without, at first, letting you know what it was doing). During that time, Windows did not recognize any of the USB devices. This was of some concern because the keyboard and mouse didn’t work. However, after Windows had finished detecting and loading the correct drivers, everything did (work, that is). I mention this here in case someone sees the same behavior and wonders if something went wrong or was not plugged in.
Although I don’t have any numbers, running Windows XP Pro seems to be faster with the extra RAM. Linux, not so much. I guess XP Pro was hogging so much RAM, and Linux so much less, that adding more RAM helps XP more than it does Linux.
Still, it was worth the $80 to try to speed things up. At least, it was to me. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.