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Small Computer Upgrade Time - Need Advice!

ok, so, my friend got me a copy of Win7 Home Ultimate 64bit for my birthday a few weeks ago. i'm picking it up when i got home next weekend.

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Small Computer Upgrade Time - Need Advice!

ok, so, my friend got me a copy of Win7 Home Ultimate 64bit for my birthday a few weeks ago. i'm picking it up when i got home next weekend. the idea being that once i go to 64bit windows i will upgrade my RAM. right now i'm running 4 1gb DDR2 (PC6400) dims. my motherboard max's out at 16gb's of RAM. two of the dims are more generic "economy" style crucial boards, the other two are PNY "gaming" ram which has heat syncs built in and a lower latency (or is it higher? i can't remember...). anyway, i'm thinking about picking up 8gb's of RAM. what's my best option?

1) take out all my RAM (and sell it!) and just run two 4gb dims
2) take out all my RAM (and sell it) and run four 2gb dims
3) take out the "cheaper" RAM and put two 4gb dims in for a total of 10gb's

i will eventually be upgrading to either an i5 or i7 chip and motherboard down the road but that won't be anytime soon and i'd like to upgrade to at least 8gb of RAM in the meantime. if i go with #3, will have any hardware conflicts between the two different sizes of RAM? what's your thoughts on it?
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Matching memory brand, speed and size is the best bet for properly working dual channel. I would remove what you have and buy 2 x 2GB sticks of Ram. A decent option would be Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ assuming PC6400 is the fastest your mobo supports. 8GB would be overkill for most. You will probably be ready to upgrade the rest of the system before you can really utilize 8GB of RAM. If you're running several VM's or Crisis 2 you might need 8GB but will probably run into a processor or Graphics card bottleneck first.

Oh and more to the point, if your memory speed and size is not matched you lose dual channel support which will actually hinder performance. You're probably better off with 4GB in dual channel than 8GB in single channel.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The two different sizes don't necessarily cause conflicts but it can run slower as a result as the motherboard will run a slower timing (lowest common denominator). Typically there are less headaches running 2 DIMMs instead of 4 mismatched ones and it is easier to optimize the timings to make them run faster.

I would just get rid of what you have (sell it, donate it etc) and 2x4GB DIMMs as your upgrade. Unfortunately your i7 board will probably by DDR3 so you'll have to get rid of all the memory and start over.

Or ... try to limp along on the 4GB you have until you can do the full upgrade. I have 4GB in this computer running WIN7 64-bit and don't have too many issues as long as I'm not running several heavy duty apps at once. At work I have 8GB and get out of memory warnings all the time, LOL. I also upgraded to an SSD OS drive at home and that made a big improvement (plus that upgrade would carry over).
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i don't really play many games on my PC anymore (recently starcraft 2 but it ran perfectly fine at full resolution at the highest settings) but what's killing my computer is processing pictures. when i open Adobe Bridge and look at a folder, it's trying to load (usually) 15+gb's of RAW files at once and it really starts to chug. add photoshop CS4 on top of that and it can be unbearable. i've got a fast hard drive for my photography (10k rpm, 6.0/gbps) but it still lags quite a bit. most RAW files are 20-25mb each. my friend, and i, believe that i'll be better off with at least 8 gb.

if i go with #3, i would definitely get the same PNY ram just two 4 gb dims instead of 1gb's
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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dont bother with new ram if your gonna upgrade later. Cus you wanna buy your ram later based on the specs of the MOBO and best suited to it.

if you wanna help speed things up, get a really fast USB flash drive. plug it in and turning on ready boost.

Otherwise i'd say just wait. Or like now, you'll end up with a new pc afterwards and some decent but otherwise not perfect ram for it.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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well my understanding was that DDR3 dims are backwards compatible with DDR2 RAM, so theoretically, couldn't i reuse my DDR2 RAM in the new board when i get it till i can afford to upgrade to DDR3 down the road?
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKYStormFront View Post
well my understanding was that DDR3 dims are backwards compatible with DDR2 RAM, so theoretically, couldn't i reuse my DDR2 RAM in the new board when i get it till i can afford to upgrade to DDR3 down the road?
your gonna kick my *** for saying this but, when you pick your processor and your motherboard, you should pick the ram best suited to the specs of the mobo / proc combo. There are slight / subtle differences that can make a big difference at times.

Also, if your current system is fairly older (im assuming why your talkign about upgrading anyway) then buying more ram for it may not give you as much of a boost as you think.

Also ram is fairly cheap (i see 8gb on sale allllll the time) 60-80 bucks.

Also i forgot to add, whats your Starcraft SN so i can kick your *** (i suck at it)

Also, i just like seeing a line of also's.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hahahaha

i've got a Pentium Dual Core 2.8ghz with a P51 chipset Asus board (i think? it's been a while). my copy of SC2 is a hacked torrent so it doesn't let me log into battle.net. i play just for single player (which is f'n awesome in that game!)
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKYStormFront View Post
well my understanding was that DDR3 dims are backwards compatible with DDR2 RAM, so theoretically, couldn't i reuse my DDR2 RAM in the new board when i get it till i can afford to upgrade to DDR3 down the road?
They are not backwards compatible.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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ah ok, that changes things...
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisuke149 View Post
dont bother with new ram if your gonna upgrade later. Cus you wanna buy your ram later based on the specs of the MOBO and best suited to it.

if you wanna help speed things up, get a really fast USB flash drive. plug it in and turning on ready boost.

Otherwise i'd say just wait. Or like now, you'll end up with a new pc afterwards and some decent but otherwise not perfect ram for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisuke149 View Post
your gonna kick my *** for saying this but, when you pick your processor and your motherboard, you should pick the ram best suited to the specs of the mobo / proc combo. There are slight / subtle differences that can make a big difference at times.

Also, if your current system is fairly older (im assuming why your talkign about upgrading anyway) then buying more ram for it may not give you as much of a boost as you think.

Also ram is fairly cheap (i see 8gb on sale allllll the time) 60-80 bucks.

Also i forgot to add, whats your Starcraft SN so i can kick your *** (i suck at it)

Also, i just like seeing a line of also's.
+1

Also, anytime I start wanting to upgrade a computer I just build a new one. Everything changes and only works with new chipsets and boards it seems like now adays. So if you want the full potential of a part your buying you need the newest board out etc. etc.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree with Dai and you should get a new computer. If you dont want to go that route, you could go to 8gig of matching dimm ram modules and upgrade your hard drive to an SSD (solid state drive). I know you probably think your 10k drive is fast enough, but I promise it isnt even close to a good SSD. Have fun.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue370tt View Post
I agree with Dai and you should get a new computer. If you dont want to go that route, you could go to 8gig of matching dimm ram modules and upgrade your hard drive to an SSD (solid state drive). I know you probably think your 10k drive is fast enough, but I promise it isnt even close to a good SSD. Have fun.
yup. 10k drives is old stuff. My 5 year old comp (still kicks ***) built it exactly to the spec i wanted. didnt compromise which is why it still runs great today.

It has 4 10rpm drives in raid :-D yeah yeah big money at the time but hard drives are generally a huge bottle neck for the things i do (video games! loadin times = suck)

Now, i just have a intel SSD in my laptop. and thats faster than those 4 drives (although the cost is about the same : /)
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i'm just not ready to scrap what i have yet... i'll be curious to see what happens after just installing Win7.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Installing Win7 x64 will pick up a slight speed boost over XP when running Bridge+PhotoShop as it will make better use of the 4GB and provide more working space for your apps. Going up to 8GB should make a big difference in smoothness, though I don't know if processing time will improve.

I would think (old) folder loading is primarily a matter of disk speed.
You may want to check your Bridge Cache location and make sure it is using your fast drive (assuming you have > 1 drive). You may also want to have Bridge use Quick Thumbnails to speed up loading of previews.
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