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System Upgrade Advice

Last response: in Systems
November 20, 2011 3:38:52 AM

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 :kaola: 

Please, lay it on me :D 

More about : system upgrade advice

November 20, 2011 7:55:26 AM

how much money are you willing to spend
November 20, 2011 4:41:36 PM

If option 3 turns out to be my best course of action, $150-$200
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2011 4:54:33 PM

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.

November 21, 2011 12:19:56 AM

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.
November 21, 2011 12:49:22 AM

Win7 x64.
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.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2011 1:08:20 AM

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 .

You dont need a RAM upgrade at all
November 21, 2011 9:17:04 PM

Ha, sweet.