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Old 27th December 2008
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TerryP TerryP is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: USofA
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Default Is it worth upgrading this laptops RAM

My brother got me a $25 gift card to Best Buy (joy), so since that helps balance it out to a price range that I am willing to pay (newegg), I'm considering upgrading my laptops memory.

Aside from a big ROFL of a moment when looking it up, I found out that her 1x512MB DDR is in a DDR 333/PC-2700 slot and 1 free slot for another SO-DIMM; the system tops out at 2GB max memory. The only thing is, the computer only has a Sempron 3300+ clocked at 2.0 GHz with a 128 KB L2 Cache according to the specs, and an Radeon Xpress 200M using 64mb leached memory. I can easily upgrade her RAM to 1GB or 1.5GB, but is it really worth it on such a low end system? When I ran KDE3, top often showed high levels of memory usage even at idle, and I frequently 'abuse' my system in terms of how much load she can handle, but rarely ever have performance issues; even when digging into SWAP. Really, if anything, I'd rather replace the CPU or graphics card, but with how cheap the laptop is, it they are almost certainly permanently attached, and this laptop is likely to remain my work station until it finally explodes. Heck, a 500Mhz P3 and 384mb of PC100 is still fast enough for me, let along this laptop.

My original specification was any laptop that will run FreeBSD, Vi, and a C compiler; she does that well actually lol. If I upgraded the memory, the stats would be looking like:

2.0Ghz CPU (Sempron Mobile, 3300+)
1024MB or 1536MB DDR 333 - 64MB for graphics card.

Is the extra RAM worth while, or just waste of money?

The only other thing I can think of to spend it on, is to replace the old chess board I am using as a lap-table. I reckon the hard drive could use an upgrading, but my entire installation is 16GB, complete with 6GB of personal files, and two full TexLive 2007 and 2008 installs. $25 doesn't go very far at best buy stores here, where the price is often 2 * higher then what you should be paying for anything, but I very much dislike wasting money that I can't save :-(.
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