Hey All! Longtime Tom's Hardware reader here, first time poster. I need some advice.
Here's the situation: currently running a Core2 Q9400 with 4gb DDR2. I'm noticing that I'm maxing out (or coming very close) my ram quite easily these days and am wanting a little memory boost, but it's DDR2... So here are a few options I've been thinking about, and I'd like to get some more informed opinions...
1. Buy 4 more GB DDR2. Easiest option, but is it the wisest investment? It's DDR2... I like to think long-term with my upgrades. What's going to last me the longest.
2. Keep my Q9400, which is running great IMO, and buy a new Socket 775 MB that supports DDR3 and buy 8gb of that. Has anyone looked for a Socket 775 MB with DDR3 support lately? Slim Pickings!
3. Upgrade everything (MB, CPU, RAM) all at once. I try to find a useful median between long-lasting performance parts and keeping a budget that won't break the bank, so I like to get as much practical life out of my components as I can. If I went this route, I was thinking maybe a nice AM3 something or other, since AMD sockets have longer lifespans than Intels. Or maybe save and splurge on an 1155/56.
So is it worth keeping my Core2 Quad for now? I just don't like my memory upgrade options
wasting money on your current system NOW will be throwing money away. a complete upgrade is probably your best bet. getting a board that runs DDR3 will be disappointing to say the least and you'll find in short order how much a waste of money it was...there will be no difference to see... I see you kicking yourself non stop for month's if you did.
What OS are you running? I'm curious as to how your maxing out 4GB of RAM. Even with a 64-bit OS and lots of stuff running I've never hit 4GB of RAM use (that said I don't do any video editing).
If you're running Vista or Windows 7 you might try just using a quality high speed USB flash drive as a supplement to your RAM via Windows Ready Boost. Supposedly it works quite well and its a cheap and easy solution.
I'm sitting here writing this with 10 Firefox tabs open, watching a YouTube video, and my system monitor shows 2.7GB RAM usage. My 2nd monitor wouldn't affect memory, would it? I do have a lot of programs running in the background though in the system tray. Just normal stuff I like to keep running.
You're talking about ReadyBoost? or whatever it's called. I'll give that a shot. I've got a few 1GB flash drives floating around.
Windows 7 pre-fetches data . It loads t in to RAM because you MIGHT need it based on previous usage .
It doesnt mean that RAM is being "used" . Pre-fetching is just faster than having empty RAM ready to load a program in to .