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new ram and hdd

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#1 mharrison


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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:04 PM

like the title says, I'm looking to upgrade my ram and my HDD, I'm looking for suggestions, I'm not really sure on my price range, I'm really looking for the best performance and reliability, listed below is what I am using now, it is a custom built setup.

Intel i7-2600k
Asus p67 sabertooth motherboard
Asus engts450 graphics card
western digital caviar black 1tb
g.skill ripjaws ram (8gb ddr3 1333 pc3 10666)
corsair 650w power supply
xclio a380 case

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#2 dpunisher


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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:27 PM

Don't know how much improvement you will see with more/faster RAM. The Egg has 16 gigs (4X4gig) of Corsair 1600 for $80 now which is a pretty good deal. I have yet to see a system perform noticably faster with 8 gigs of RAM vs 4, so 8-16gigs, even ddr3 1600, would be a hard sell for me. Good part is DDR3 will likely be the standard for awhile, so that new RAM will carry over to another build. The RAM you have is good stuff. G-skill is my go to stuff for most builds. I was shopping 16 gig sets for a potential Sandy Bridge-E build, but those benchmarks will make me hold onto my i7 920 for another year.

Hard drives: The only real upgrade from a 1TB Black is an SSD. I picked up a 256gig Crucial M4 for ~$340 last month to replace my 1TB Black. On my X58 board I am limited as I have only SATA2 connections and the throughput is less. On a SATA3 board there is a real difference and an SSD really shines. Not going to get into a discussion about capacity. To each his own. For me ~250 gigs is just enough storage for my primary drive. The WD blacks are now my storage drives ( 250 gigs+ of Steam downloads). I usually choose reliability over speed so I avoided Sandforce SSD controllers on this go around until they get them fixed.

To be honest, you are already pretty near the "best performance and reliability" you mentioned in your original post

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#3 Nicholas Basso

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 03:20 PM

I have to agree with dpunisher but with adding the following recent-events caveat:

Given the flooding in Thailand recently, hard drive prices have spiked upwards, where a 1 TB hard drive once cost $55-$65 it now costs $165.
An SSD for your boot drive would be your best bet, SSDs are still, at this time, extremely unreliable and likely to fail at the drop of a hat, so definitely pay attention to reliability - speed will already have come, in that you'll see increases in read/write from your platter hard disk of roughly 2x to 3x speed, so a little more isn't really worth the added headache of regular RMAs (having had to RMA 16 different SSDs of various make and model for a number of clients, I can tell you the "extra speed" is not worth it).

As far as RAM increases, his RAM increase suggestion is the best. While you'll not see a huge increase in performance immediately, the best performance increase will be to use about 1/4 to 1/3 of that as a RAMDrive and use it as the scratch or workspace for major development software, like Photoshop, or 3D modeling software.

If you really want a good speed boost, load or copy the installed files for a game to the RAM Drive and watch the load speed skyrocket. Don't do an install to a RAM Drive as that will REALLY hose up Windows' registry. This is best for games where moving the files can be done without too much damage to them.

To be honest, you are, as dpunisher said, at your plateau. Unless you find that applications are slowing down because they're pulling massive amounts of memory (CS5.1 anyone?) the increased cost of what you're looking for may not be immediately translated into performance increases, but will instead provide future-proofing.

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