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Hard Drive or Memory to upgrade? Which one first?

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  • Memory
  • Cache
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Memory
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April 23, 2010 8:09:31 AM

Hi guys, I am looking forward to upgrading my computer very soon and am wondering which to upgrade first as according to which is the worst bottleneck in my system; My choices of upgrade are 4GB DDR2 @ 1066 Ram or 7200RPM 64MB Cache 1TB Hard Drive. Which is a better choice to get first? ;) 
By the way, the HDD is approx $97 and RAM is approx $130.

My system specs are:

GA-MA770-UD3 (rev 2.0) Gigabyte Motherboard
AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition @ 3.2Ghz
XFX HD 5750 1GB VRAM
3GB DDR2 @ 667 Ram
5400RPM 8MB Cache 150GB Western Digital Hard Drive (IDE)
Windows 7 Ultimate - 32bit

So should I get the 4GB DDR2 @ 1066 G-Skill RAM first? or the 7200RPM 64MB Cache 1TB Western Digital HDD (SATA2)?
Please keep suggestions to either of the two! Thank you, and much is appreciated :) 

Here are the links to my two choices:
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=48186&vpn=WD10EA...
and
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=28306&vpn=F2-850...

More about : hard drive memory upgrade

a b } Memory
April 23, 2010 9:38:50 AM

Well, if you're gaming and such, then 3GB is adequate, and 4GB will only show up as 3GB in your system, unless you change to Windows 7 64-bit. Your HDD should be your priority, IDE 5400RPM is more of a bottleneck than 3GB of RAM - although I'd personally get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM instead, because 'green' editions of anything, especially hard drives and GeForce 9800GT graphic cards are slower than their counterparts, sometimes considerably.
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April 23, 2010 9:45:58 AM

LOL question... if you need space then hard drive first...........
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April 23, 2010 12:07:30 PM

The drive might be your "bottleneck", and the computer may boot quicker with a faster spinning drive. I don't think you'll see any major change...
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April 24, 2010 4:55:56 AM

How about if im gaming and recording (Like using Fraps, because I still stutter and the video is still choppy when I record)
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a b } Memory
April 24, 2010 6:17:12 AM

CPU is the main factor while recording FRAPS, I doubt that an SSD would help, correct me if I'm wrong.
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April 24, 2010 6:50:54 AM

ANY 7200rpm HDD should be faster than your 5400. :bounce: 

But I'd go with a Wester Digital Black, not green, for performance.

Actually, I'd go with a Seagate 7200.11 500GB 32MB cache SATA II 3.0Gb/s drive, if you can find one, 'cause of the 32MB cache. Else, a Seagate 7200.12 1TB (or more) 32MB. I picked up 3 from MicroCenter, 'cause they didn't care about a price difference b/t 16 & 32MB cache. This was also onsite, brick & mortar store.

I have researched that the difference b/t 32 and 64MB cache is not that much. Since these hard drive will never flood the SATA controller, they don't need to "hold" the information, waiting for the motherboard controller. They state 3.0gb/s maximium data transfer rate, but I've never come close.

Really want to free up the hard drive botteneck, go SSD. :sol:  But that may be over your budget. Here's an example:
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.phtml?Ntt=Intel+X25&N=0

But SSD's are a whole other topic. Check it out is the forums. They added a SSD section the the storage forum. ;) 

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a b } Memory
April 24, 2010 2:30:26 PM

Neither one is going to make huge shiny difference, but personally, I would go for the drive first.
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