Fevzi Turkalp - The Gadget Detective joins Mike Mendoza
On Saturday mornings from 2.00 to 3.00am to answer your tech questions
and take a look at the latest from the world of Gadgets and Technology.
Gadget Detective on
Gadget of the Week
Memory Upgrades - watch what you pay!
For many users, possibly the majority, increasing system RAM of your computer is the single most effective upgrade available, yielding more performance "Bangs per Buck" than other upgrade options. It is also one of the simplest upgrades you can carry out, with no need for drivers to be installed.
On 24th November 2007 we featured the excellent value HP ML110 G4 server, which at the time was selling for a little over £100. This server is built to HPs usual high standards, and features a solid Intel dual core Xeon processor. However its weakness is that it comes with only 512MB RAM as standard. With Servers (and most other computers) will benefit from significantly more RAM than this. This particular server can be upgraded to a maximum of 8GB.
Be careful not to pay too much for your memory upgrades, Computer manufacturers such as HP, Dell, etc often cut the cost of the basic computer to the bone, but the cost of their memory upgrades are often much less competitive.
Here is a case in point.
Using HP branded memory to upgrade the HP ML110 G4 server to its maximum of 8GB, we find that
4 x 2GB DDR2-667 unbuffered ECC DIMMs will set you back a colossal £519.96 + VAT. Almost four times as much as the cost of the server itself!
However using Crucials Online Memory Advisor tool we find that buying the exactly the same amount of memory from www.crucial.com/uk will cost a much more reasonable £139.98 + VAT!
Amazingly the HP memory costs almost four times as much as the RAM sold by Crucial. Similar savings can be achieved with other major manufacturers also.
Can these price differentials be justified in terms of quality or compatibility?
I dont believe they can. As far as quality is concerned, Crucial Technology (now Lexar Media) is the retail arm of the memory manufacturer Micron. Micron is one of the largest and best manufacturers of memory in the world and manufacturers the branded memory for found in many leading brands of computer.
As for compatibility, thats where Crucials online System scanner and Memory Advisor tools comes into their own. These simple to use tools help the layperson choose the right memory for their system. Crucial also guarantees the compatibility advice given by its online tools.
Add to that free shipping, and its not hard to see why Crucial won the Gadget Detective award for Best Memory Retailer 2007.