18 April, 2008

Higher speed RAM doesn't yield the bang for the buck

Patrick Schmid posted Is Fast Memory Really Worth It? on Tom's Hardware recent research that concludes what I have suspect all along. Unless you are a hardcore gamer building a computer to get out every last ounce of power, there's no reason to buy the more expensive, faster memory. Many of us know that to extend the life of your computer, investing in more RAM is often a very good way to improve performance (instead of buying a new). What Mr. Schmid has shown us is save your money and don't invest in the faster, more expensive RAM.
...only significantly faster (and significantly more expensive) memory can deliver a tiny performance advantage.
...
Quicker timings (low CL values) are favorable, but you shouldn’t fork out considerably more money, as the differences are small.
So if you're looking to extend the life of you sluggish PC, try some additional RAM -- but don't waste your money on the more expensive stuff.

On a related note, if you are looking for ways to increase your productivity, consider a 2nd monitor. You will likely need a second video card or one that supports 2 monitors, but the cost-benefit is well worth it. If you are lucky enough to have a laptop docking station that supports digital and analog video, you already have what it takes to have 2 monitors.

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