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Archive 2013 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits
  
 
pyrate
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p.1 #1 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Hi all. I am currently using a Compaq notebook with 3GB of Ram. The system is expandable to only 4GB. I am shooting RAW on a 16mb Pentax K5 and using Lightroom 4.4 for most of my PP work.

My computor is not scheduled for an upgrade to a newer model for at least another year (barring equipment failure). It will cost me about $70.00 to upgrade to the fastest, matched Ram for 4GB.

So, assuming I don't try and process images from a camera with a larger amount of MB than I have, will the increase in speed and room for PP'ing be worth it?




May 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


70 bucks to get 1gb more , I'd probably pass. More ram is always a good thing but 4 is still very low .
I don't know if its possible with your machine , but you would likely see a better result putting that 70 bucks (ok plus more) into an SSD drive . You could take that out of the macine when your due the upgrade (pressume its company or lease ?) . 128gb ssd's are pretty cheap now and 256gb are now quite good value .

When I built my machine last year the SSD was the first thing to arrive , so installed windows and Lightroom on it in my old machine (that couldn't run lr4 for toffee) and LR4 ran pretty well.

Also have you looked at the beta of LR5? Its quite a bit quicker than LR4 on mine . Which is pretty good considering its a first public beta .



May 11, 2013 at 02:52 PM
pyrate
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p.1 #3 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Hi. It's my personal laptop, but I treat my computors like I do my cars, cameras, etc. I plan on future upgrades and budget towards that. Of course life does get in the way sometimes.

My current computor was purchased a year ahead of schedule when my old one died before it's time. Yet my current car was bought two years later than planned when my husband was out of work due to an unexpected health condition.

That said, I will look into the SSD drives as well as LR5.

Thank you



May 11, 2013 at 03:08 PM
glacierpete
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p.1 #4 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Did you check whether you could use one 8GB stick. (1x8) in your model. I could use 16 GB (2x8) in my Dell and there was no official information from the manufacturer. The Dell user forum had plenty of information from other users using 16GB.
I has to be supported by the bios, chipset and you need a 64bit operating system to make use of it.



May 11, 2013 at 03:29 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #5 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


In your position i think i would put the money towards the new laptop. Ian's suggestion of an SSD is a good one though, and when the new laptop arrives you might well be able to transplant it in there. If not, you can put it into a desktop PC (if you have one) or turn it into an external drive. If your new laptop has an e-sata port then it would run at full speed even in an external case.


May 11, 2013 at 03:42 PM
rockant
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p.1 #6 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


I work as a Business Systems Analyst and have to do this analysis for customers all of the time. Determine the most cost effective course of action, do nothing, upgrade, or replace. It all comes down to what you need and can handle... cost vs performance.

While I love the speed of the SSD in my laptop, the size limitation can be a hassle. In the course of a few busy days I can shoot more that it can hold (128gb - software). Since this is primarily for travel I have not done a clean reinstall to make more space. However, if your laptop is your primary system this could be problematic.

A Desktop is cheaper and faster, but not portable.
An Ultra-light Laptop is fast and portable, but limits storage and are expensive.
A Standard Laptop can be fast, with good storage, but are not as portable.

All of that being said, I don't think the cost of the memory upgrade will give you the bang for your buck. The SSD would give you improvement, but may greatly reduce your storage capacity. Waiting to replace your system costs you only time while processing images.

Good Luck,
Anthony



May 11, 2013 at 04:26 PM
pyrate
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p.1 #7 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Thanks all for the input.

I have spent the time since posting researching SSD's. I do like the idea of a SSD as an external drive but will not be installing one in my present machine.
I have researched my RAM situation and even though I have a 64 bit OS the 4 GB is still my limit.
I feel that right now waiting to upgrade the laptop is my best choice.



May 11, 2013 at 04:55 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


The system is only expandable to 4GB RAM ... due to the OS or due to the CPU/Motherboard limitations?

Either way, even though you can install up to 4GB you are essentially going to be replacing a current 1 GB + 2GB to a 2GB + 2GB. As others have mentioned you're paying $70 for that 1GB upgrade. Add to that the likelihood that your system will only let you really use less than the full 4GB (say 3.5), then you are paying $70 for only 1/2GB or $140 per GB.

The fact that you probably can't get even a full GB of usable RAM improvement ... TOTAL PASS from 3GB to 4GB (i.e. 3.5GB). My upgrade from 2GB to 4GB way back when was viable as it netted me from 2GB to about 3.5GB usable.

It might help if you could tell us which model you are talking about. Things change a bit if you have hardware that will actually support more than 4GB, but your OS is the limiting factor. Then an OS upgrade could allow you for more than 4GB. But if your CPU/motherboard are limited to 4GB ... you're pretty much stuck @ 3GB for any realistic practical purposes.



Edited on May 11, 2013 at 05:13 PM · View previous versions



May 11, 2013 at 04:59 PM
pyrate
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p.1 #9 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Okay..Compaq Presario CQ61 (the original 61)
AMD dual-core M320 2.10 Ghz
64 bit OS, currently running W7 home premium

Any other info needed, please tell me how to find it



May 11, 2013 at 05:07 PM
 

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runamuck
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p.1 #10 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Skip it and put the money toward the new puter. Adding 1 gig of RAM won't help matters much.


May 11, 2013 at 05:10 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Hmmm ... 64 bit OS W7 Home Premium can support up to 16 GB on an X64 platform.

I'm not sure why you're being suggested @ capped to 4GB ... would need to check with someone more tech savvy than I, but ... @ only 4GB capable?



May 11, 2013 at 06:12 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #12 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


RustyBug wrote:
I'm not sure why you're being suggested @ capped to 4GB ... would need to check with someone more tech savvy than I, but ... @ only 4GB capable?


Hardware - laptops often have quite low max RAM, even when they use chipsets capable of more. The manufacturers set them up this way. Not sure why, perhaps higher density memory modules cost more to support?



May 11, 2013 at 06:18 PM
garydavidjones
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p.1 #13 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Best upgrade I ever did was to buy a so-called Ultrabook laptop that has
16gb RAM and a solid state drive with 500GB memory. Post-processing
of photos is dramatically faster (more than 4X). Plenty of memory
for photos. 4gb RAM is way too slow when dealing with 25-40 megabyte
photo files.
Sony "experts" at the flagship store at Southcoast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa
assured me 4gb RAM was enough. None were avid photographers and had
no idea of the size of the files.



May 11, 2013 at 06:29 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


15Bit wrote:
Hardware - laptops often have quite low max RAM, even when they use chipsets capable of more. The manufacturers set them up this way. Not sure why, perhaps higher density memory modules cost more to support?


I get that they set them up with an amount for general use to retail bang/buck for 4GB ... but if the chipset is capable of more and the OS is capable of more ... what is the limiting factor that restricts it from being upgraded to more than 4GB My guess is that because they sell some with OS's that won't allow for more than 4GB ... that's the way they get labeled ... or is there some other hardware/software reason beyond chipset & OS that determines max RAM



May 11, 2013 at 07:30 PM
pyrate
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p.1 #15 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Okay..according to the HP website, my OS9as well as my bios) is capable of running 16gb of RAM but my particular machine cannot run more than 4MB.

According to non-HP sites I "should" be able to run 8 GB.

Think my best course is to add the cost of more RAM to the budget in place for a new laptop next year so I can afford one already well equiped for photo work.

BTW, i checked my usage when I had only LR open with a RAW file in the devolpe window. 54%



May 11, 2013 at 07:57 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #16 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


That seems a wise decision. Just checking with my 16Gb RAM desktop, i can't make LR use much more than 1.7Gb so i think you won't notice too much difference with a RAM upgrade, so long as you shut down other memory hogs (firefox etc) while photo editing.


May 11, 2013 at 08:25 PM
glacierpete
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p.1 #17 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


One 8GB DDR3 chip is about $50.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006650%2040000381%20600213066&IsNodeId=1&Description=ddr3%208gb&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20

pyrate wrote:
Okay..according to the HP website, my OS9as well as my bios) is capable of running 16gb of RAM but my particular machine cannot run more than 4MB.

According to non-HP sites I "should" be able to run 8 GB.

Think my best course is to add the cost of more RAM to the budget in place for a new laptop next year so I can afford one already well equiped for photo work.

BTW, i checked my usage when I had only LR open with a RAW file in the devolpe window. 54%



May 12, 2013 at 05:37 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #18 · RAM upgrade question cost vs benefits


Some people have said that 1 extra GB of RAM won't make much difference. I'd normally agree except that with a low 3GB to start with, that extra GB just might be significant. It would depend on the operating system and what other applications you are running while Lr is running (web browser, MS Office, music player, whatever) - they all gobble up RAM.

If you check the system performance stats and look for page outs (where RAM contents are paged out to the swap file on the hard drive because there is not enough physical RAM) then you will get an idea of whether or not extra RAM is needed. Zero page outs = not needed. Lots of page outs = needed (and beneficial).

I don't know how to access the stats on post-XP versions of Windows.

- Alan



May 14, 2013 at 04:59 PM





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