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SSD or VelociRaptor and RAM

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December 3, 2010 5:14:35 PM

So here is my dilema, I want to squeeze some performance out of my Vostro 1700.

I currently have 3GB RAM PC2-5300 RAM and a 250GB HDD. Storage capacity is not an issue.

I'm thinking that moving the OS to a faster drive will give possibly the biggest step in performance, but do I go all out for a SSD (option 1) or do I go for a fast HDD alongside more faster RAM (option 2)

Option 1)
120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2E, 2.5" Sandforce SSD, MLC-Flash , Read 285MB/s, Write 275MB/s £175.65

Option 2)
4GB (2x2GB) Corsair Value Select, DDR2 SO-DIMM PC2-6400 (800MHz), 200 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5 £61.85
150GB Western Digital WD1500BLFS VelociRaptor, 2.5", SATA 3Gb/s, 10000rpm, 16MB Cache, 4.2 ms £107.22



The rest of my system is:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7500 @ 2.20GHz
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB

More about : ssd velociraptor ram

a b D Laptop
December 3, 2010 5:42:19 PM

Option 1 hands down. Velociraptor is really obsolete with SSD prices dropping. If you have a 32 bit OS it can only see 3.25GB of RAM anyway. You may want to add RAM in the future but as a single upgrade you will notice the most from the Vertex 2.
December 3, 2010 6:28:59 PM

Is the move from 3GB PC2-5300 to 4GB PC2-6400 going to give any noticable performance increase?

I know this isn't a gaming rig by todays standards but...

My thinking was that RAM speed would have more effect when running games. While the HDD speed would improve load times, how much load goes on a HDD once you're in-game? (think fps in a FPS)

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a b D Laptop
December 3, 2010 7:30:22 PM

The SSD or a fast HDD just improve load times they will not give you more FPS in games. It will however make you computer "feel" faster than more RAM. My Windows loads in 14 seconds. It takes the BIOS longer to boot than the OS and programs open instantly.
Do you have a 64bit OS so you can use the extra RAM?
The RAM upgrade in speed might give you a few ( think 1 or 2 ) more FPS in some games but just going from DDR2 to DDR2 that makes latency more important. It's a laptop so no overclocking to worry about.
December 3, 2010 7:55:22 PM

The SSD or a fast HDD just improve load times they will not give you more FPS in games. It will however make you computer "feel" faster than more RAM. My Windows loads in 14 seconds. It takes the BIOS longer to boot than the OS and programs open instantly.
- This is what I'd expect.

Do you have a 64bit OS so you can use the extra RAM?
- I am considering upgrading OS, but that is an aside. The amount of RAM isn't the reason for the hardware upgrade. It was the higher RAM speed I was after.

The RAM upgrade in speed might give you a few ( think 1 or 2 ) more FPS in some games but just going from DDR2 to DDR2 that makes latency more important. It's a laptop so no overclocking to worry about.
- I'm guessing the DDR2 to DDR2 is a typo? The 3GB of RAM I currently have shows in cpuz as being dual channel.


Thanks for the replies btw :) 
a b D Laptop
December 3, 2010 8:34:25 PM

No the DDR2 to DDR2 was correct. There is barely any difference in DDR2 667 and DDR2 800 in real world computing. Only in benchmarks will you see any difference. Since you can not overclock ( tied to the RAM in Core 2 systems) there is really no reason to upgrade unless you get a 64 bit OS that can use it all. You arer at the limit of the OS right now as far as how much it can use.
a b D Laptop
December 3, 2010 9:03:13 PM

For gaming, the video card is the most important component.

To clarify the situation, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.

Speed of ram has little impact on performance, FPS or app run times.

Once you have 3gb, there is little impact with more.

A SSD will make your pc feel much quicker, but will have little impact on games.

I love the velociraptor, particularly the large ones, but today, the SSD is the performance champ.

If needed, gat a small one, like the Intel X25-V 40gb drive. Put the os and apps there, and use your old drive for storage.
December 3, 2010 9:38:16 PM

Thanks for the advice. Your CPU/GFX card test is definately something i'll try on my desktop pc but unfortunately I'd rather not think about swapping out the GFX card or CPU on my laptop. RAM and HDD are all I have to play with.
December 3, 2010 9:51:24 PM

Ahh its a laptop nevermind.
Velocity raptor won't fit in that laptop. it's actually pretty large for a 2.5" drive. It also comes glued to a 3.5" heatsink that voids the warranty if you remove it. it also gets extremely hot.

I would say option 1, an SSD, is your only option.
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I would say look into getting a quad core CPU. You will notice huge performance boost from that. You could probably upgrade your video card to a 250gt but double check your power supply.

That is where I would start. Faster Hard drive and RAM won't benefit you much.

Getting more RAM or faster drive will only help you load more applications at the same time and load the OS faster. While getting a quad core will just improve your overall system performance all the way around.

I don't think more RAM or disk drive will help you much and you would need a 64bit OS to see all 4gigs anyway so you're just wasting money with RAM as it will only see 3gigs.
December 3, 2010 10:01:29 PM

You can't swap out GPU from a laptop. CPU you can but that will only make your laptop hotter. I can't really recommend doing that plus you'll need to know how to take apart your laptop. It's a pain the ass. RAM won't beenfit you either.

you could get a seagate momentus 7200 rpm drive that's 500gigs its the hybrid drive. That's about 110 bucks.

DomRK said:
Thanks for the advice. Your CPU/GFX card test is definately something i'll try on my desktop pc but unfortunately I'd rather not think about swapping out the GFX card or CPU on my laptop. RAM and HDD are all I have to play with.

!