Increase RAM

Started May 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Or, for a new PC....

Jim Cockfield wrote:

But, given that it's an older PC, you may want to consider just buying a newer model that already has a 64 Bit Operating System and more memory installed (and you could easily upgrade a newer model to 16GB for very little more later, since newer computers use a less expensive DDR3 memory type).

For a new PC, I'd probably look at something like one of these Dell XPS 8300 configs with a Core i5 3350P and 8GB of memory already installed.

They should be roughly twice as fast for CPU intensive tasks (including things like using filters in Photoshop, etc.) as compared to your older Core 2 Quad 8200.

Core 2 Quad 8200 Benchmark (what you have now):

Core i5 3350P benchmarks (what those Dell models have):

The dedicated Nvidia GT 620 video card is also faster than the integrated Nvidia 7100 graphics you have now:

Nvidia 7100 (what you have now):

Nvidia GT 620 (what those Dell models have), which would allow you to get faster speeds with GPU accelerated features in apps like CS6.

Because the XPS 8300 has a 460 Watt Power Supply that supports video cards drawing up to 225 Watts, you could upgrade to an even faster video card later if the need ever comes up, too (for example, a GTX 650, GTX 650Ti, or GTX 660).    But, if you're not doing any gaming, the GT 620 should be fast enough (and it's around 10 times as fast as the integrated graphics in your existing system).

Those Dell models have 2x4GB installed for 8GB total, with two open slots you could use to plug in more memory later (since they use a 4 slot motherboard for memory).    So, if you wanted 16GB total, you could buy a set of memory like this and just plug it in to the two open slots (so you'd end up with four 4GB modules installed):

It all depends on budget, how much expandability you need, and if you are doing enough processing where you need something faster.  It's cheaper to upgrade your old PC, and the CPU is really not bad (even though the newer Core i5 3xxx quad core models are around twice as fast as your older quad core CPU, your CPU is fast enough for most people).

But, 8GB is the maximum you could put in your PC.  Yet, with a model like the Dell, you could install as much as 32GB in it if it was ever needed (since you could install up to four 8GB modules in one of them since they have four memory slots and can use modern DDR3 memory with larger modules available for a lower cost).

There are pros and cons to any solution.

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