atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3964: Oh my--now this IS interesting.

Because I had hacked up some Azumanga Daioh strips to send to Mrs. Fungus at work, I was having a gander at the enormous pile of images in my documents folder, and came across the screencap of the memory order for El-Hazard, the cheapo PC I built in October of 2011.

I came across the image, looked at it, and realized that the specs for that RAM module were "as good or better" than what's in my main box. Two years ago, that 2 GB PC6400 DDR2 DIMM cost $23 shipped.

Intrigued, I went to to see what was specified for my machine and got no useful answer, so I ran their system scanner to see what's installed in my system. Result?

PC5300 RAM.

According to the Wikipedia page on DDR2 RAM, PC5300 runs at a clock speed of 667 MHz. PC6400 RAM runs at 800 MHz.

And my system can use PC8500 RAM, which has a clock speed of 1066 MHz.

I didn't even notice any of that the last time I thought about RAM (and tried putting the memory from Mrs. Fungus' old computer into my machine) and especially did not notice that the current stuff is PC5300.

That explains why the #1 recommendation from for 4 GB costs $90: it's PC8500 memory. It also explains why the "windows performance index" for memory on the system is only 5.6; I'm using slower than optimal memory. Well, from what I can see it wouldn't make sense to put in the fastest stuff available since my processor only scores 4.8. (Attempts to find out what the scale is--1-10? 1-6? 1-infinity? What?--have been fruitless.)

Most of the subsystems in my computer score 5.9, except for main memory and the processor, which are 5.6 and 4.8 respectively; I could probably get the memory to score 5.9 if I were to install PC6400 DDR2 SDRAM. And it looks as if I could do that for less than $100 if I went with Kingston modules like the one in El-Hazard...and bump total RAM to 8 GB in the bargain.

...not that I have the money for that right now, but it's something to consider; and getting the memory upgrade for about $100 would mean I could get the system upgraded to Win 7 and be only about $200 out of pocket, which is considerably less than a new system would cost--and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts I then wouldn't need to think about a new system for another three years at least even though I continue to play WoW on the thing.

And a quick gander at shows me that 2 GB modules of the right specification are running about $26 shipped right now--which will do quite handily, when-and-if. (It's $44 per DIMM for PC8500.)

The entire reason I had rejected the idea of (eventually) doing a RAM and OS upgrade on this computer, and instead (eventually) going with an all-new machine, was because compared to the cost of a new machine it wasn't worth it: I was figuring around $240 for RAM and $130-ish for the OS, which is $370--almost $400 when a new machine would run around $550-$600 depending on the configuration. But $200-odd is reasonable, especially if I can get the memory cheap enough.

8 GB of RAM and a 64-bit OS would take care a lot of the performance issues I've been noticing of late, which have made me want a new machine.

Man, it's amazing what you can learn if you just pay attention to the details, you know?

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