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More RAM or Hard Drive?

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  • RAM
  • Hard Drives
  • Laptops
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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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December 11, 2012 9:07:00 PM

I'm having a computer made for gaming.

Starting out with:
i7 2.4 processor
12GB RAM 1600 Hz
HDD: 750 GB 7200rpm SATA300 Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M

However, would it be better to increase RAM to 16GB or add another 750 GB hard drive? Please note the benefit of the one you think I should choose. Just want to make the best decision for the money I'm spending.

Thank You!

More about : ram hard drive

a b D Laptop
December 11, 2012 9:10:30 PM

Neither. Get a better video card. or a SSD
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December 11, 2012 9:14:19 PM

for gaming?

Change i7 to i5
Go with 8GB Ram 1600
Use the extra cash to get an ssd and better gpu
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December 11, 2012 9:18:19 PM

If I'm not mistaken the GTX 675M is a laptop GPU. If this is a laptop/notebook that you are building for gamining then there's not much you can do other than add an SSD and try to get a faster CPU option.
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a b D Laptop
December 11, 2012 9:31:08 PM

That is a laptop. And nobody is even answering his question, come on guys.

6GB of RAM is the sweetspot now days, 12GB is well more than enough.
750GB Hard drive is fine, but if you were to do anything I would recommend purchasing an aftermarket 120GB SSD for your OS. It helps a bit with battery life, and often (from my experience) laptop HDD's are pretty darn slow for loading applications.

The quad core processors turbo boost two cores up to the same speed that the dual cores will reach under turbo mode.

Games that only support two cores will play the exact same, however MANY games now utilize more cores, and the i7 will provide a substantial benefit in this scenario. (Such as Battlefield 3, an i5 will be vastly CPU limited!)
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December 11, 2012 9:31:26 PM

With 12GB RAM, is this a triple channel setup? Like the LGA 1366 platform? Who's doing this? If this is the case you are buying an old system.


EDIT: Agree this is a gaming laptop.

Now the system seems plenty fast. The 675M GPU is based of off Fermi architecture which is last gen. Depending on the cost upgrade to the GTX 680M which is full Kepler that would get you the biggest performance upgrade but I see it costing an arm and a leg. If that upgrade is too much than a SSD is the way to go over another 750 Gb hard drive.
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December 11, 2012 9:31:36 PM

Those are pretty good spec, just take them and there's no problem with it! i7 2.4GB and 12GB of RAM for multi-tasking and a GTx 675m, that's a great spec for laptop already! lowering it will just make it useless in the future...
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December 11, 2012 9:33:08 PM

bruce555 said:
With 12GB RAM, is this a triple channel setup? Like the LGA 1366 platform? Who's doing this? If this is the case you are buying an old system.

Most laptop with 12GB of ram is probably 3 stick 4 slot... basically there's 3 stick in there with 4GB each...
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December 11, 2012 9:40:57 PM

legendkiller said:
Most laptop with 12GB of ram is probably 3 stick 4 slot... basically there's 3 stick in there with 4GB each...



You break your Dual Channel mode by running off pairs of DIMM's populated. It wouldn't be that bad of a move to spend the extra $40 to get yourself an extra stick of memory.

As for OP, I'd just wait and toss in an extra stick of memory on your own. For laptop's it is usually easy enough that anyone could do it and that way you won't be overcharged by the system builders.
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December 11, 2012 11:13:23 PM

azathoth said:
That is a laptop. And nobody is even answering his question, come on guys.

6GB of RAM is the sweetspot now days, 12GB is well more than enough.
750GB Hard drive is fine, but if you were to do anything I would recommend purchasing an aftermarket 120GB SSD for your OS. It helps a bit with battery life, and often (from my experience) laptop HDD's are pretty darn slow for loading applications.

The quad core processors turbo boost two cores up to the same speed that the dual cores will reach under turbo mode.

Games that only support two cores will play the exact same, however MANY games now utilize more cores, and the i7 will provide a substantial benefit in this scenario. (Such as Battlefield 3, an i5 will be vastly CPU limited!)



Thank you for answering my actual question. I admitt my computer knowledge is limited and therefore didn't want to just take the advice of the one's building it for me. I will pretty much be playing games, web surfing, some photo's and email. I don't want this computer to just be good enough for now, would like it to be future friendly. Now I know things are changing and improving constantly so I understand can be outdated fast enough but would like to make an attempt.

The games I play take a lot of memory and need a good graphics card. I will look into the cost of the SSD you suggested and make sure it doesn't put me over budget.
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December 11, 2012 11:15:16 PM

bruce555 said:
With 12GB RAM, is this a triple channel setup? Like the LGA 1366 platform? Who's doing this? If this is the case you are buying an old system.


EDIT: Agree this is a gaming laptop.

Now the system seems plenty fast. The 675M GPU is based of off Fermi architecture which is last gen. Depending on the cost upgrade to the GTX 680M which is full Kepler that would get you the biggest performance upgrade but I see it costing an arm and a leg. If that upgrade is too much than a SSD is the way to go over another 750 Gb hard drive.



I was given the option of going from the 675M with 2GB dedicated memory to the 680m with 4GB dedicated memory at the extra cost of $392.00.
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a c 466 D Laptop
December 11, 2012 11:44:38 PM

Generally speaking 4GB of RAM is more than enough for games. Games generally do not use more than 1.3GB of RAM; at least from my experience unless there is a memory leak in the game which means the game was not properly coded.

With a gaming running and Firefox opened with 12 different tabs, PDAnet running (tethering) and a bunch of background programs running, I might use 3.1GB of RAM.
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a c 466 D Laptop
December 11, 2012 11:48:57 PM

However, I will add that if the laptop only comes with a single 4GB stick of RAM, then you want to upgrade to 8GB so that your RAM will be running in dual channel mode, rather than single channel mode.
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December 11, 2012 11:50:51 PM

SimCrazy said:
I was given the option of going from the 675M with 2GB dedicated memory to the 680m with 4GB dedicated memory at the extra cost of $392.00.

I'm not sure how much you're spending on the whole but 400 seems steep for that upgrade. I just had a quick look and the 680m isn't too much faster than the 675m
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-G...

edit: Looking again, it is a decent amount faster, but only on ultra settings as before that the cpu is probably the limiting factor. If you want to maximise its usable life go with the 680m, depending on how much the entire computer is going to be (eg 50% extra cost for 33% extra frames is imo not worth it)
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December 11, 2012 11:55:22 PM

jaguarskx said:
Generally speaking 4GB of RAM is more than enough for games. Games generally do not use more than 1.3GB of RAM; at least from my experience unless there is a memory leak in the game which means the game was not properly coded.

With a gaming running and Firefox opened with 12 different tabs, PDAnet running (tethering) and a bunch of background programs running, I might use 3.1GB of RAM.



Thank you for putting that into perspective for me. I appreciate all the advice given. It will help me to make better choices for me and not the company.
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December 11, 2012 11:57:04 PM

blackjackedy said:
I'm not sure how much you're spending on the whole but 400 seems steep for that upgrade. I just had a quick look and the 680m isn't too much faster than the 675m
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-G...

edit: Looking again, it is a decent amount faster, but only on ultra settings as before that the cpu is probably the limiting factor so if you want it to have a longer usable life, go with the 680m depending on how much the entire computer is going to be (eg 50% extra cost for 33% extra frames is imo not worth it)


My buget is $1000-$2000



I had also looked it up there and saw the same thing and thought the cost seemed high.
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December 11, 2012 11:57:41 PM

SimCrazy said:
I'm having a computer made for gaming.

Starting out with:
i7 2.4 processor
12GB RAM 1600 Hz
HDD: 750 GB 7200rpm SATA300 Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M

However, would it be better to increase RAM to 16GB or add another 750 GB hard drive? Please note the benefit of the one you think I should choose. Just want to make the best decision for the money I'm spending.

Thank You!


However, You could probably ditch the 12GB 1600Mhz and go for a 8GB 1600Mhz, downgrade the 750GB HDD to a 500GB, and get an 60 - 64GB SDD just for a boot drive. Not really sure if you can squeeze an SSD in.

Instead of an SSD, you can probably go with a better GPU since you won't be needing a better CPU since an i7 is fine enough. Maybe get a 680M. It would be better if you can squeeze in an SSD as said for a boot drive.
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December 12, 2012 12:00:58 AM

I couldn't find a prebuilt with what I was needing in my price range is the reason I looked into having one built for me.
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December 12, 2012 12:04:05 AM

SimCrazy said:
My buget is $1000-$2000



I had also looked it up there and saw the same thing and thought the cost seemed high.


storm slider said:
However, You could probably ditch the 12GB 1600Mhz and go for a 8GB 1600Mhz, downgrade the 750GB HDD to a 500GB, and get an 60 - 64GB SDD just for a boot drive. Not really sure if you can squeeze an SSD in.

Instead of an SSD, you can probably go with a better GPU since you won't be needing a better CPU since an i7 is fine enough. Maybe get a 680M. It would be better if you can squeeze in an SSD as said for a boot drive.



Thank you, I will consider these options.
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