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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> SSD hardrive or more RAM to boost pc performance?
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03/11/2012 06:57:02 PM · #1
What do you think?

I have a AMD Phenomn Quadcore P9500 processor with 4.5GB of ram, and my main drive is a WD 7200 rpm with 320GB.

My OS is Vista 32 bits and I want to upgrade to Windows 7 professional. My queston is regarding what else to upgrade. The hard drive (a 64 or 120GB SSD just for Windows, PS and LR) or invest th emoney in 12 GB od good ram to boost ram up.

Do you have any experience with this kind of upgrade, specially with the SSD hard drive. Would it make a diference in practical terms?

Hope to find any advice on this matter...
03/11/2012 07:19:07 PM · #2
ram costs next to nothing nowadays while SSDs are still pretty expensive ($/GB).

Both would be pretty nice though, I suppose.
I decided to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB after I noticed my CS5 used ~5GB :).
03/11/2012 08:05:49 PM · #3
RAM
always will be the first bet for improved prformance.
I bought 24GB last month (6X4) and it was less than $180
03/11/2012 08:19:02 PM · #4
The SSD will mostly benefit boot performance and app load times. The RAM, on the other hand, will benefit the "working performance" of the machine, but will not substantially improve app load times or boot performance (unless the machine needs to page a lot during app loads, and if this is true, you *really* need more RAM).
For my money, I'd get more RAM. Once you are running a 64-bit OS you can effectively use a lot more than is really needed. In practice, unless you deal with *really* large files and/or many memory-hungry apps at once, you probably don't need any more than 12GB. 8GB may make sense, and 16 is almost certainly a little bit of overkill.

Message edited by author 2012-03-11 20:19:23.
03/11/2012 09:08:50 PM · #5
Kirbic is correct. However, SSD drives make everything else fly. I'm running two 120 gig drives in a raid 0 configuration. (Makes a 240 gig drive as far as the system is concerned.) The two drives alternate with each other as data is written, to maximize throughput. Same on reading. Boot times went from seven minutes to 27 seconds. Got em on cyber Monday on sale. Very, very satisfied.
03/11/2012 09:46:33 PM · #6
I've maxed out the RAM on my MacBook Pro to 8GB. Last week I replaced the 750GB hard drive with a 240GB SSD. I then bought a kit that lets me remove the DVD ROM drive and replace it with the 750GB hard drive. It also came with an external USB enclosure for the DVD drive for the rare occasion that I need it.

So now I have the 240GB SSD drive for the OS and the applications and the 750 GB hard drive for the data.

This notebook is now wicked fast at booting up and launching apps. I get 100MB/second data transfer between the SSD and the hard drive. So things like large Photoshop files open very quickly. Filters render much faster than before. The difference is really quite impressive.

03/11/2012 10:01:10 PM · #7
The only thing that will cause a noticeable difference in LR performance is RAM. 12 GB is excessive, but if it's cheap, go ahead.

An SSD will mean improvement in boot times and, if you choose to put your images on the SSD, they may load faster in LR, but in reality they load quickly enough on the average machine that it shouldn't be a huge difference. The RAM will provide a noticeable difference, provided your processor speed can operate equally as well with it.
03/11/2012 10:19:36 PM · #8
It also depends on your processor. If it's not fast enough, all this memory isn't going to be maximized
03/12/2012 03:16:37 PM · #9
Your vista OS isn't utilizing all of your ram. Is your system compatible with windows 7 64 bit? If you can install the 64 bit version of windows you will get ram bump right there. Installing the OS and photo software to an ssd and using the ssd as your scratch desk will also speed up performance.
03/12/2012 03:38:59 PM · #10
Originally posted by Zeissman:

Your vista OS isn't utilizing all of your ram. Is your system compatible with windows 7 64 bit? If you can install the 64 bit version of windows you will get ram bump right there. Installing the OS and photo software to an ssd and using the ssd as your scratch desk will also speed up performance.


Just to elaborate on this, a 32 bit OS can use a maximum of 4G RAM, in reality this means 3.4G addressable.

You can get beyond this by using the /PAE switch (not sure what it is in Vista) but even then, each application (or instance of it) can only address 4G RAM. If you're using a single application such as LR, it in itself will use 4G, your OS will use a bit and other apps can use a bit. You see where this becomes a limiting factor. If you're going to ramp up on RAM, you need 64bit OS and 64bit apps as well. Even if your OS is 64bit, your 32 bit apps can still only address 4G at a time.

A SDD drive will benefit more than just boot times. It gives you faster application launching, application switching (because of much faster virtual RAM), page swaps when working with massive files (ala Photoshop) and general installs / uninstalls are very fast (you don't realise just now nice this is until you go back to a normal HD). I would never have bought an SDD but I added mine to my Macbook Pro to get it over the VAT threshold and now I wouldn't have it without one!

Hope that helps with a decision.
03/12/2012 04:27:52 PM · #11
I just threw a 240GB SSD in my Macbook Pro and the difference was significant... It is so fast now I don't know how I ever did without...
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