Go to Crucial.com and run their analysis program. It will answer all your questions about RAM, and offer you several combinations of things you can order from them. You don't have to buy from them if you don't want to, but I've found them reasonable when I've done so.
Now regarding the noise you're hearing, my guess is that it's one of your cooling fans rather than your hard disk, but I'd need to get my hands on it to be more specific. In either case, it's not going to break your bank account to replace the problem component. Cooling fans can be as cheap as $20, and you can buy hard drives for as little as $50.
I have Acer Aspire 5740 laptop. There are two numbers so I am not too sure which one is the correct one. The sticker with all kinds of logos say, Acer Aspire 5740/5340 Series, Model No MS2286 and the one with serial number on it says, Aspire 5740-333G32Mn.
The specs of this laptop are
Intel Core i3-330M, 3GB RAM and 320GB HDD, along with other standard stuff for this series.
The installed HDD is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145256
and one of the RAM modules is M471B2873EH1-CF8 CJS 1GB 204p PC3-8500 CL7 8c 128x8 DDR3-1066 1Rx8 1.5V SODIMM RFB, Samsung
I find the RAM insufficient for one of the programs I need for my work (It seems that the coding is not done well and the developers know that too), So I would like to upgrade RAM to 8GB but I am not too sure if it supports that. I am not very clear from Acer's webpage.
If it supports upgrading to 8GB then I wonder if it makes any difference if I put PC3-8500 vs PC3-10600 / PC3-10660 / PC3-10666 memory modules? I guess, what I am asking is, if I HAVE to stick to PC3-8500 modules or others are fine too?
Is there any preference towards specific brand or model? I was considering G.Skills but I am open to other brands as well. All I care about is, they are reliable.
With hard drive, my hard drive has been funny lately. Sometimes the system just hangs for no reason. On a couple of occassions, the drive made funny noise but some of the tests I ran came out with no issues (I don't remember the tests now). For the safe side, I would like to replace it with Seagate hybrid drive. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178340 I just want to make sure that this drive is compatible with my machine.
Thanks a million in advance.