More RAM or SSD?

Steve.EX

Active Member
I recently obtained a Dell 1564 Core i5 from the Outlet Store for £349inc :).
It runs W7 (64x). It came with a rather measly 3gb of PC8500 (1066mhz) DDR3. Storage is certainly not an issue as i use quite large offboard storage stacks.
Given that other than the operating and security systems the only programs installed that i use regularly are iTunes, Convert X, MakeMKV, Photoshop and a few other tiny apps i feel i could comfortably operate on a small (64gb) SSD much like the very popular current Crucial 300.

Would i be better spending £120 on an SSD OR as much RAM as i can afford?

Thanks

Steven
 

Sniper Ash6

Distinguished Member
There's an interesting article on Tom's Hardware asking the question: "Do you really need more than 6GB of RAM?"

Although the question is not exactly what you are asking they do compare 3GB to 6GB and 12GB.

You can read the article here: Do You Really Need More Than 6 GB Of RAM? : Is

For dual channel set-ups the sweet spot is normally 4GB and for triple channel commonly 6GB - which the article points out. I won't spoil the article for you as to whether that is needed though :D
 

lead

Novice Member
Over the years I have performed many upgrades to my PC(s): processors, graphics cards, RAM, HDDs. In that time, I can safely say I have never experienced the dramatic performance boost (PC felt unmistakeably quicker) that I gained from installing an SSD. Make of that what you will. :smashin:
 

irradiated

Novice Member
ive also found an SSD to be the best upgrade ive ever done. just check their quoted read speeds as i find that the most important part rather than write
 

Michael

Well-known Member
You would probably see a bigger difference with an SSD, though it would cost quite a bit more. (£60-100 vs £30)
Remember though, an SSD can also be transplanted to a pc if the need arises, but not so with laptop ram.
 

Habanos

Member
Same here. I bought an SSD a few months ago and it gave a noticeable performance increase all-round.

Moving from 2GB to 6GB RAM a couple of weeks ago was not noticeable day-to-day.
 

1080PMAN

Banned
i5 is dual channel i beleve so from 3gb to 4gb would not make a huge diff you might be able to run PS better but other than that nothing

save and get a SSD
 

Bobbler

Banned
Given the 1546 is a laptop, I would bet it's a 5400RPM drive rather than a more desktop speed like 7200rpm, the best upgrades I have done to a laptop are swapping out the lower speed drives for the faster ones.
SSD is good though, I have one in my Mac Mini (a Samsung PBJ22) and the difference in tasks like zipping or par checking is phenomenal over a 7200rpm drive.

That article Sniper posted is an eye opener though, I was always thinking 4GB was the sweet spot now since 64bit Windows 7, guess I was very much mistaken and could have saved myself a couple of quid.
 

knightwhosaysni

Standard Member
There's an interesting article on Tom's Hardware asking the question: "Do you really need more than 6GB of RAM?"

Although the question is not exactly what you are asking they do compare 3GB to 6GB and 12GB.

You can read the article here: Do You Really Need More Than 6 GB Of RAM? : Is

For dual channel set-ups the sweet spot is normally 4GB and for triple channel commonly 6GB - which the article points out. I won't spoil the article for you as to whether that is needed though :D
That's a pointless article - they test everything on 32 bit applications and are then surprised that adding more RAM just uses more power for no performance gain.

It's as usual horses for courses. If the original poster is often running out of RAM, then RAM is the answer. Personally, and I know big strides have been made, I wouldn't trust the constant writing to an SSD if free RAM is an issue and I've no other drives.

So
Do you often have 85% or more RAM in use? Yes? Then it is measly, and you should get more.
If not, it's more than you need and an SSD will serve you better.
 

pubjoe

Standard Member
If I were you, I'd go for the ssd too. Ram shortage isn't as noticeable with a faster hard drive anyway. Keeping a few GB free as a scratch disk would be a very dramatic boost for photoshop. For this usage, I think the sandforce controlled drives are best as they maintain better performance after regular usage when the blocks have all been filled. (Trim on the other hand prolongs the time it takes for the blocks to fill and is a hugely overrated feature imo).

Personally, I'm looking at the crucial (force) f100 60GB for around £110. It was a toss up between this or the c300 (which most people prefer), but for my specific usage, I think the f100 will perform better long term. Plus it's the better price.
 
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AnthonyG

Distinguished Member
The new Intel SSD's are due out very soon with the next two to three months.

Reports are these should wipe the floor with existing drives and would be therefore definitely worth the wait.

Therefore if you can afford both within 3 months I would say get the memory now and the SSD at Christmas.

The memory upgrade to 6GB to 8GB would be advisable mainly to use around 2GB or more as a ram drive.

PC ram is lightening fast, way faster than any SSD by a huge margin, so you can use this for your temp files, and browser cache and the likes to speed up many tasks quicker than the SSD could offer.

Furthermore with SSD's it is inadvisable to have frequent writes to them as it reduces the life of the drive, therefore having a ram drive for your browser cache and temp files is the best route to use alongside your SSD if you could afford both.

Speeding up the build – ditch the SSD and go for the RAM drive
 

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