High performance HDD or more RAM?

Pretty new to building computers - I just put together my first machine, and I have some reservations. I reused a hard-drive without doing a fresh format of the drive after switching out everything else ( new MOBO/CPU/RAM/GPU/PSU ) and after tweaking some stuff some things that have me wondering is:

1) Why does the computer take 2x longer to load than my previous computer?

Here are my specs... and the windows experience index.

Windows 7 Enterprise ed.
Processor AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 970 Processor 7.4
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 7.5
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 (MSI Hawk Talon. ) 7.6
Gaming graphics 2815 MB Total available graphics memory 7.6
Primary hard disk 409GB Free (596GB Total) 5.9

Should I just format the HDD and do a clean install?

2) If I were to add either a new HDD or two more sticks of RAM which would be more encouraged?

I do use the computer for some rendering etc, but I also play games on it.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. What exactly is slow? Depending on the issue, it could be simple or complex.

    You probably won't see an added benefit from 2GB of RAM. What do you use your PC for?
  2. When you say it takes 2x longer to load I'm assuming you mean when you reboot the computer it takes 2x longer before it's ready for you to use it. Is that correct?

    Since you said you moved the hard drive over, I'm assuming you were running Windows 7 on the old machine as well?
    Is your hard drive partitioned?
    Have you made any other adjustments, particularly paying attention to programs that load on start-up? I'm wondering if there is some program or feature trying to load at startup that references a component that's no longer present on your system. That could definitely slow it down on boot up.
    If that were the case then there would likely be messages complaining about it in the event viewer.
  3. You don't necessarily need to jump to the clean install yet, as it may just be some sort of software that is causing the lag like CopaMundial mentioned. Although, a clean install would make your computer run fresh and it would boot very quickly. I like to clean mine almost yearly, it really keeps your computer running fast. Although that's only on the gaming rig that I don't keep any important files on, I realize that most people keep more important files on their computers and can't just wipe them at will.
  4. I think it may be referencing hardware that is no longer present, which may be the cause - not sure. I'm an amateur at best when it comes to PCs, I looked through the event log but couldn't find my startup log so I can't post it. I'll do a clean boot and try seeing if I can find that log and post it here.

    Will that help?
  5. boiler1990 said:
    What exactly is slow? Depending on the issue, it could be simple or complex.

    You probably won't see an added benefit from 2GB of RAM. What do you use your PC for?

    Windows loading/start up is much slower than it was on my previous computer.

    Rendering, coding, and gaming.

    Most of it is amateur ( rendering and coding ) and not corporate associated.

    Games I play ( just examples )

    Mass Effect 1 & 2
    Dragon Age Origins ( and 2 when it comes out tomorrow )
    Hearts of Iron 3
    Then classic games like Baldur's Gate and such, I emulate some console ports since I no longer use my SNES or Sega.
  6. Well, a newer hard drive would speed up loading times (maybe marginally for games, but you may see a bigger improvement with larger rendering files), but that's about it.

    The RAM will help if you tend to run out of space for coding and/or rending while running the programs. You can use Windows' performance monitor (one of the tabs on the Task Manager) to see your RAM usage while doing your average work. If your usage is very high (~80% of your RAM), I would consider the extra RAM, though you may just want to add another 2x2GB kit, since they're more cost effective, and they aren't quite that expensive.
  7. RAM usage typically doesn't spike that high.

    Hard-drive is what I might be looking at buying, i'm up for suggestions if you have any.

  8. Best answer
    The Samsung F3 1TB is the most recommended hard drive in the homebuilt section, since it's the fastest and is relatively well priced (~$60).
  9. Best answer selected by anraleth.
  10. Appreciate the advice.

    I'll go with the HDD for now, my video editing may eventually lead me down towards more RAM but that's good for now, thanks !
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