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Memory upgrade. Thoughts?

by unknownkw / December 15, 2004 3:19 AM PST

I'm thinking of getting an upgrade for my laptop this Christmas. It is Toshiba Portege R100. As far as I'm concerned it has 256MB DDR fixed onboard and one SODIMM slot easily accessible which supports DDR266 up to 1GB for a maximum total of 1280MB.

The problem is, the difference between 512MB and 1GB upgrade. A 512MB SODIMM costs HK$680(about US$87) but a 1GB one costs HK$2150(about US$275), from a local dealer.

If I buy the 1GB one I can turn off virtual memory completely, not only getting improved performance but also reducing harddisk workload to extend it's life span. If not I will still have to make some headroom by turning on virtual memory.

I use the laptop mainly for dealing with digital images, graphics and 3D games at times. Does the additional 512MB memory capacity worth US$190 in this case? Since once upgraded, the only way to add further memory is by replacing.

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Bang for the buck.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2004 3:41 AM PST

For me, the big payoff has been to stick with 512MB, then upgrade the stock drive from a lowly 4200 RPM drive to 5400 or even 7200.

My personal laptop boots in 1/2 the time so it appears to me that this under 99 buck update paid off well.

Bob

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Oh well.
by unknownkw / December 15, 2004 3:54 AM PST
In reply to: Bang for the buck.

The 1.8" 40GB ultra-thin harddisk for my R100 isn't upgradable today at best. =P

Plus, I don't think a harddisk faster than 4200RPM is suitable for any given ULV-Pentium M system.

Another concern is battery life. Less disk access on the road would be nice. I favors the 1GB piece more at the moment.

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RAM consumes power too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 15, 2004 4:07 AM PST
In reply to: Oh well.

No free ride I fear. You pay one way or another.

An example I love to share is a pair of DVD rendering machines at the office. Both are "identical".

But one has 1GB of RAM and the other 512MB. DVD renders take 6 hours on the 512MB machine and 5 hours 55 minutes on the other. We can move the 512MB stick to the other machine and save ... 5 minutes.

Something about Windows doesn't seem to pay off as well as you go above 512MB.

You mention the paging file, but we see almost zero activity on that, so again it's debatable if reducing will pay off.

Be sure to benchmark with your 1.25GB of RAM to see if you got your money's worth. We did.

Bob

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Paying that much for 1gb RAM not worth it
by KenSanramon / December 15, 2004 3:08 PM PST

The 1gb RAM costs way too much.

Also, the improvement in RAM performance above 768mb is negligible and the price you have stated for the 512mb notebook RAM is reasonable at about $87 US. I paid $69.99 after rebates for Kingston PC2700 notebook RAM (333mhz) but that is with discounts at a special time of course.

There is no way you should have to spend over $200 US for 1GB RAM when it is on a sale price.

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Thanks for the replies
by unknownkw / December 16, 2004 2:23 AM PST

True, RAM does drain battery but compare with processing units and the LCD it's more like 10 minutes difference in a 6-hour battery life, for an additional stick. I'd better run a battery drain test on normal use after the upgrade to see the real difference myself.

I'd surely walk over 768MB RAM easily with photoshop or the like. Quality digital images are so huge in file size these days, especially when you add a few layers they eat up memory like nothing...
Not sure about Warcraft3 though. Perhaps there will be no difference between 512MB or 1GB on this one.

May be next week I'd pick up a 1GB one if I have enough money to spare. US$275 is somewhat overpriced yet reasonable. I do realize a 512MB upgrade could be more worthy for the buck in most cases, though.

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