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Discussion on Article:
SSD or 8 GB of Memory: Researching Reasonable Upgrade Options

Started by: ultimaone | Date 11/01/10 08:01:05 PM
Comments: 14 | Last Comment:  05/03/13 07:43:43 AM

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1. 
also

you could use 4 GB of memory as a RAM Disk
and have all temporary / cache point to it within most of those
programs

and then re-do the tests.

0 0 [Posted by: ultimaone  | Date: 11/01/10 08:01:05 PM]
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2. 
A well-done comparison.

And... Surprise... Upgrading to an SSD doesn't give an order-of-magnitude improvement. Yes, some operations can be 20% or 30% faster, but nothing apparently to justify paying 4 or 5 times the price for an SSD when compared to a similar capacity HDD.

I was sure my next system (early 2012) would have a SSD as a boot/Windows drive, but I am having second thoughts.
0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 11/02/10 08:38:32 AM]
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3. 
Test are good, but must be taken for that they are: tests.
It's hard to compare real multitasking scenarios, that's where 8gb of ram give the best, at least for my use pattern
0 0 [Posted by: Superboy  | Date: 11/02/10 01:18:03 PM]
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4. 
Maya didn't benefit from 8GB of RAM? What scene was in the testing? I mean when object instances and polygons are getting in great numbers (thousand objects, millions or even billions of polygons) the RAM is filled extremely fast and the page file is coming in rescue.

I don't work with Maya, but in Vue 8.5 you can really see a great difference with faster disk or more memory and once I noticed the article I hopped I can get answers about what to upgrade in my system first.

Please if you can, try testing 3d programs again, but with really heavy scenes, it can answer many questions.
0 0 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 11/02/10 02:17:15 PM]
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5. 
You guys could've done some multitasking benchies like:

Running Opera/Firefox/Chrome with like 30 tabs and doing some "work" with any office suite you guys like (like the MSO2007 hog) with a lot of word processing and spreadsheets. There's where I'd like to see the 8GB shine. At least, there a real world scenario (office scenario xD).

Cheers!
0 0 [Posted by: YukaKun  | Date: 11/02/10 04:36:50 PM]
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6. 
i know someone who uses heavy duty editing programs

for him its the auto-saves that kill him

waiting a few minutes every 10 minutes starts to eat into his day
he had been considering an SSD, then we had a chat about Ram Disk drive since he had 16 gb.

we made a 4 GB drive and made his programs temp/cache go onto that drive. now its seconds

i suspect a SSD would perform similar

he's more than happy now and doesn't need to get the SSD

we also put windows temp files there as well and all browsers and other programs he uses

0 0 [Posted by: ultimaone  | Date: 11/02/10 09:54:59 PM]
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7. 
i want to congratulate you for this test as nobody bothered to do it.

i agree with you that a ssd makes a difference... not a huge one but a large one. i would go first for the 8gb of ram as i mostly do programming. i would first let windows "learn" the usage pattern as it gets better by knowing what to preload in ram and also speed-up the boot. you have to let win7 to "age" a bit to see it's performance as the "aged" speed is what you will get when working.

i have a corsair nova v64 (indilix) and i behaves ok. however the biggest speed-up i got from using ramdrive. i use a 500mb ramdrive (out of 8gb) which beats the ssd.

i did some tests with 4k reads with hdtach:
- wd blue 500gb - 66 iops (0.259mb/s)
- corsair nova v64 - 4.300 iops (16,867mb/s) (65x faster than hdd)
- ramdrive (500mb) - 188.000 iops (~735 mb/s) (2848x faster than hdd)

as you can see the ssd is fast but it's no match for the ramdrive, writing performance is even better (as ssds have some issues with writing). it's easy to see that the ssd is (almost) 2 orders of magnitude fater than hdd, same as the ramdrive is for the ssd.

ps: i really do not understand why win7 does not cache writes more agressively as one could get major performance benefits (at the cost of greater potential data loss). it's not something that should be default but configurable and backed up by an ups .
0 0 [Posted by: HHCosmin  | Date: 11/03/10 04:12:43 AM]
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8. 
How can you do this review, and not include "Metro 2033" game, that has this "Optimum" Requirements"?? :

* Core i7 CPU
* NVIDIA DirectX 11 compliant graphics card (GeForce GTX 480 and 470)
* As much RAM as possible (8GB+)
* Fast HDD or SSD

This is the First game that has this requirements but surely won't be the only one. I think you MUST to add in that test in this review.....
0 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 11/03/10 06:16:36 PM]
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9. 
[Edit] Ups, you already wrote all I had to say. [/Edit]

It's obvious that extra RAM provides no profits when system don't need it so why you haven't made any multi applications test?

Another idea is to use extra ram to enlarge disk/system cache - you can tweak OS or use applications like SuperSpeed SuperCache.
Setting up huge 2GB disk cache could change test results a lot.
0 0 [Posted by: Greg_OR  | Date: 11/04/10 05:15:17 PM]
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10. 
How does RAM, HD, CPU upgrades affect a 2yr old PC compared to new? The deferences between 4GB & 8GB on a new PC is less useful.
0 0 [Posted by: tygrus  | Date: 11/09/10 04:15:19 AM]
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11. 
I think you've missed the point where more memory/faster hard drives help in a lot : loading times.

Probably, getting farcry2 to play it's a lot faster in a ssd drive that what's in a old traditional drive .. so it's loading times between stages ...

Sometimes it's not just the framerates, but the times need to wait to keep on playing. ( or starting adobe photoshop for the first time )


Anyway, great review !
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 11/19/10 08:14:07 AM]
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12. 
i agree that ssd is a good idea , but datas are unrecoverable when it dies .
your benchs are all done once and you start an other , so the windows and app caching can not be seen in your test while a gamer can feel it fastly through the levels reusing textures and models .
by now with win 7 , 12 Go of ram seems to be the best choice , having that means no pagefile and so no swap using drive where a ssd gives a boost ...
0 0 [Posted by: jcgeny  | Date: 11/26/10 06:16:20 AM]
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13. 
This is an excellent article. This type of article is why I come to Xbit Labs far more often than Anandtech or the rest..

This article addresses a specific scenario that many people encounter and often wonder about. To have an objective evaluation like this is invaluable!

Thanks!
1 0 [Posted by: xopi  | Date: 06/22/11 12:02:56 PM]
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14. 
THANK YOU!
i learned more from this one article than i have found in many hours of on/offline searching.
It was especially valuable to me in that i have similar equipment and was in need of just this kind of information/answer.
0 0 [Posted by: K R Camaro  | Date: 05/03/13 07:43:43 AM]
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