better performance gain - memory or hard drive??

  pookie 12:42 13 Jan 05


Asus a7n8x-x mobo, x800pro graphics, 1Gb ddr, 3Ghz (2.1 I think) barton, on board sound, xp home edition, 550 watt psu, 40Gb hard drive. This is used mainly for games like doom 3/hl 2/ut 2004/etc.

I had another post going about changing my hard drive as current one is very old and getting a bit noisey, I got it 2 years ago and even then it was a refurbished one. Through the replies I have been advised to go for an ata 133 7200 speed ide 8Mb cache hard drive (approx £50).

On the basis that my current hard drive could last another year – which would give me a better performance boost now: replacing my old hard drive for the one mentioned above or adding another 512Mb ddr ram ie to 1.5Gb in total. My mobo has 3 memory slots taking up to 3Gb ddr.

many thanks as always


  Completealias 12:50 13 Jan 05

I would say given that you already have a gig of RAM you won't notice much of a performance increase with another 512 I go for upgrading your hard drive.

  pookie 13:26 13 Jan 05

many thanks for reply - looking at:
80GB Maxtor D/Max+9 ATA133/7200 8MB £34.25 exc, £40.24 inc.

sound good?


  roy 13:50 13 Jan 05

I would second what Completealias says.

Even 80 gig is not a lot nowadays for a harddrive and it is not much more for 120 or more. I think I would make sure it had room for all the games you will want for the next few years. Remember modern games are large installations.

See click here

  dannyt_96 14:12 13 Jan 05

i reckon a 160 gig hard drive would be a good idea, but 80 is enough for most home users

  mattyc_92 14:49 13 Jan 05

Easiest and cheapest way to restore the system's performance is to do a system format, but you will need ALL of the program's installation disks so that you can re-install the programs!!!

  mattyc_92 14:51 13 Jan 05

I think that as dannyt_96 says, that you shouldn't need too much space.... I have recently brought a Seagate SATA 160bg hard-disk and I have only managed to use around 10gbs... My old drive was 30 gb and I used up about 20gb of it, that's why I changed the drive... I noticed a speed increase, but not much of one!!!

  Ceemar 15:49 13 Jan 05

If your MoBo takes SATA go for a SAMSUNG SpinPoint, fast, quiet and reliable. Try here click here & also search for prices using Pricerunner or Kelkoo.

  Stuartli 16:00 13 Jan 05

200GB and even 250GB hard drives with 8MB cache are now around the £55-£70 mark from online suppliers such as click here

18 months ago my 60GB Western Digital hard drive cost me £64 and a few pence (with three year warranty); an 80GB version with one year warranty was the same price.

Two weeks later my drive became available with the 80GB capacity at the same price...:-)

Some three years prior to that time I paid £66 for a Samsung 6.4GB hard drive and not much less for a 20GB replacement 18 months later.

  dan11 16:09 13 Jan 05

there is a way to guage if a ATA hard drive would increase your performance. As I have already said< I have the same board, but am running a ATA133 2Mb cache 7200 hard drive. If you test yors at click here

Run a full test, you do not have to register and it will give you the uncached speed of your present hard drive. The uncached speed is what your hard drive transfers data of larger files. 30 to 40 Mbp/s are about average. So the larger the figure the better performance.

I tested mine a few weeks ago and it came out at click here 47Mbp/s but it advised me to defrag the drive as it had 37% fragmentation. After defrag the data transfer speed went up to 51Mbp/s.

If you try your hard drive, defrag before you start. Also run the screen resolution at it's highest to get best results.

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