I know some of you are top-notch computer geeks, so I have a couple of questions regarding computer memory that I’d appreciate some answers to.
The first question relates to Hari’s computer. It should be quite a high performance machine, but she still gets rather low framerates on World of Warcraft. Software-wise her system checks out – it’s not bogged down with unnecessary programs running and she has always been pro-active in checking for viruses and spyware even before meeting me. She has a 128 MB nVidia graphics card and a 2 GHz Pentium 4 processor too.
So we reckon that the one thing she is a bit short of is memory. She has 512 MB, which isn’t bad but could probably be upgraded, especially as her system can take up to 2 GB. Right now she has two 256 MB modules in the two slots on her motherboard.
Because we’re both students and neither of us are swimming in cash, any upgrade has to be good value for money. So we’re aiming for the most amount of performance boost for the least amount of cash – sure, we could go for the full 2 GB but if only going up to 1 GB would give a pretty good performance boost then we’d prefer that as it’ll undoubtedly be cheaper. Question is, what combinations do we go for?
Our options are the following:
- Buy new 1 GB module and take out both 256 MB modules and sell them (total RAM: 1 GB)
- Buy new 1 GB module, sell one 256 MB module and keep the other (total RAM: 1.25 GB)
- Buy new 512 MB module, sell one 256 MB module and keep the other (total RAM: 768 MB)
- Buy 2 new 512 MB modules and take out both 256 MB modules and sell them (total RAM: 1GB)
I’ve heard there may be issues with having differently-sized memory banks, which may make options 2 and 3 inappropriate, but I don’t know how likely these issues are or whether they still apply to DDR RAM (which is what Hari’s machine takes). Buying two 512 MB modules seems to be cheaper but then having a 1 GB module gives more room for future expansion. Any help would be appreciated.
The second question is about memory suppliers. In the past I’ve gone to Crucial because I’ve heard good things about them and they’ve been good to me as a customer, but they can also be expensive. If anyone knows of any good memory suppliers who are cheaper than Crucial then I’d love to hear from you. I’m also contemplating upgrading my Mac Mini to 1 GB, which I’d like to do for £50 if possible – with Crucial it’ll be more like £70 when you include VAT.