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RAM and Act speed/functionability

New Member
Posts: 30
Country: USA

RAM and Act speed/functionability

I called ACT customer support line (we have until the 1st left on our contract) to talk about the speed issues we have been having.  I have been adding a history comment to 4000 contacts for 6 days.  I have it running on an extra computer so it doesn't slow me down and that is the only thing running on the machine.  I realize it is a lot of contacts, but all it is adding is 'e-mail sent'.  Anyway, the owner was getting frustrated and asked me to call the support line to see if there was another way to add the comment or something we could do to make it faster.  The person I spoke with took over my pc and pretty much just looked to see how much RAM I had on my machine and the back up pc.  Both showed up as 504.  He said the minimum requirements for ACT 10.0 was 512 and he reccomended that we upgrade the ram to between 1-2 gigs.  We have ordered me and the owner more ram, but my question is, will that really make a significant difference?  I will be sending out email blasts through constant contact every 3 weeks or so, and then will want to add a history to them.  I need a program that is capable in a timely fashion of being able to do this.  I'm just curious how much RAM most people have on their machines and if they are happy with the performance.  I have my fingers crossed that this will make the difference for me.
Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 595
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

For what it's worth, I learned over 10-years ago to never RAM starve a system. My present main system has 4 gig of RAM. I have three systems and the least amount of RAM on any system is 1.5 gig which is a system limitation. So, increasing the RAM to 1 or 2 gig will show a significant performance improvement. However, with the ACT! program you also want to check the hard drive speed. The recommended minimum hard drive speed is 7200 RPM. My laptop has a 5400 RPM hard drive and I see a performance difference between that system and my desktop systems with 7200 RPM hard drives.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
Techbenders
royel@techbenders.com
New Member
Posts: 30
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

We are upgrading my machine to 2 gigs and the owners to 1 gig.  I checked the hard drive speed and it is 5400.  The support guy didn't mention that part.  Not sure if the owner would want to upgrade pcs or just switch database programs.  He is getting very frustrated with ACT.
Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 595
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

With adequate RAM, the hard drive speed is reduced in importance. The combination of low RAM and the 5400 RPM hard drive would make the program seriously slow. Try the RAM first and see what that does. Hard drives are relatively cheap and you might want to make that a future upgrade.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
Techbenders
royel@techbenders.com
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 72
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

[ Edited ]

imnosupermom wrote:
We are upgrading my machine to 2 gigs and the owners to 1 gig. I checked the hard drive speed and it is 5400. The support guy didn't mention that part. Not sure if the owner would want to upgrade pcs or just switch database programs. He is getting very frustrated with ACT.
I can attest to the fact that more RAM is key to better performance. I measure the size of our database by the size of the backups. Exactly two years ago, our database was 544MB. Today, it's 1,134MB, so double the size. The machines that we have in our office that were running the database two years have all needed to be upgraded in order to run the current size of database. Every computer in our office with less than 2GB of RAM struggles to run Act (and Outlook, etc).

The owner currently has 1GB. I just purchased an additional 2 GB for her this week for a total of 3GB. This has solved the majority of issues she's been having with delays, freezing, and other performance issues. Because of these experiences, I would have to say that the bare MINIMUM of RAM for any machine is 2GB. Ideally, buy as much as you can afford! (RAM prices have dropped significantly in the last year.)


Not to hijack the thread, but I have a question regarding the functionality of Act. When using the web version of Act hosted on a server, this would obviously shift the entire load from the workstation to the server. Assuming a kick-ass server that can handle this load effectively, wouldn't that make it easier to have workstations that weren't top of the line?

A second question that I have is this: Converting to a web based version of Act will be great for my offsite users. What about my onsite users. Is it better for them to have Act installed on their machines and connect to the database in the more "traditional" manner or can they also connect through a web browser? Does Act for Web perform better with 10 users connected through Act, or 10 users connected through the web. If anyone has any information or a white paper on this subject, I'd love to review it.
Message Edited by DaveHenzel on 04-16-2008 10:02 AM
Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 595
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability


DaveHenzel wrote:

Not to hijack the thread, but I have a question regarding the functionality of Act. When using the web version of Act hosted on a server, this would obviously shift the entire load from the workstation to the server. Assuming a kick-ass server that can handle this load effectively, wouldn't that make it easier to have workstations that weren't top of the line?

The answer to your question is yes and no. Yes, using the WEB version does allow under powered machines use the later version of the ACT! program. However, the overall functionality will be slower because of a thing called WEB latency, that is, the time it takes for the message to go from the remote system to the server, be processed and then returned to the remote user. Because the transfers from the remote to the server and back take place at less than the speed of light, there is a noticeable lag. If you want to get a feel for ACT! for the WEB, there is a demo available at the following web site. Use Chris Huffman for the login and no password.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
Techbenders
royel@techbenders.com
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 72
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability


Royel wrote:

DaveHenzel wrote:

Not to hijack the thread, but I have a question regarding the functionality of Act. When using the web version of Act hosted on a server, this would obviously shift the entire load from the workstation to the server. Assuming a kick-ass server that can handle this load effectively, wouldn't that make it easier to have workstations that weren't top of the line?

The answer to your question is yes and no. Yes, using the WEB version does allow under powered machines use the later version of the ACT! program. However, the overall functionality will be slower because of a thing called WEB latency, that is, the time it takes for the message to go from the remote system to the server, be processed and then returned to the remote user. Because the transfers from the remote to the server and back take place at less than the speed of light, there is a noticeable lag. If you want to get a feel for ACT! for the WEB, there is a demo available at the following web site. Use Chris Huffman for the login and no password.

I've actually tested out the Act for Web. Unfortunately, the only machine that I had available to run it on was a 5 year old, 2.16 Athalon XP with 786MB of RAM. Obviously it was slow so it was difficult to really get a feel for the performance of AFTW. I was able to test out the functionality, though I never took the time to adjust our custom layouts. It was mostly just used as a test to see if I could get it working. (It would be a lot easier to test the actual performance if Act 2008 could be installed on the same machine as Act 2005.)

I understand your point of data transmission. We have approximately 10 users on workstations which all connect to one database hosted on a server. So there is already data transmission back and forth. How would this compare to using AFTW which is sending web traffic rather than traffic from the ACt db on the server to my local instance of Act?
Nickel Elite Contributor
Posts: 595
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

It's the distance that's important. In a typical office network the typical distance is a few feet so the transmission time is very short. When you go to the WEB the distance now becomes significant. You also can't assume that the remote is just a few miles away that the distance is relatively short. With the WEB you have no control over the routing and a connection from New York to Philadelphia may be router through Los Angeles. Again I suggest that you try the demo that I provided the link to, it's very typical of what you can expect. I use ACT! for the WEB in a client situation for other purposes on my system and the demo is typical of what you can expect for performance.
Roy Laudenslager
ACT! Certified Consultant
Techbenders
royel@techbenders.com
Copper Contributor
Posts: 172
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability

Your Ram spend dollars will be money well spent - Of course CPU Speed - Hard Drive Speed and mutitasking and background running software - all contribute to performance --

Start with the Ram ----

I suggest a minimum of 1GB Ram for all PCs now ( I own a PC Store 7Yrs +) ---- 2GB of Ram is great, and most programs platue if more than that is installed (so if a program doesnt require 4GB of Ram - then save your money, becuase it likely wont be able to use more than 1 to 2 GB )

 

Good Luck

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 72
Country: USA

Re: RAM and Act speed/functionability


Royel wrote:
It's the distance that's important. In a typical office network the typical distance is a few feet so the transmission time is very short. When you go to the WEB the distance now becomes significant. You also can't assume that the remote is just a few miles away that the distance is relatively short. With the WEB you have no control over the routing and a connection from New York to Philadelphia may be router through Los Angeles. Again I suggest that you try the demo that I provided the link to, it's very typical of what you can expect. I use ACT! for the WEB in a client situation for other purposes on my system and the demo is typical of what you can expect for performance.
I think you're missing the point in my question. I don't care about routed traffic. In the situation I described, I would host AFTW in my office and other users WITHIN my office would be connecting to AFTW. My question isn't about the users that are several hundred miles away. I'm literally sitting 25 feet from my server. Is there a performance difference if I connect Act to Act versus IE7 to AFTW IIS on my server.
Also, I don't need to try the demo, I've already tried it!