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RAM advice, and help deciding how to/what to do to upgrade Toshiba Laptop!

By toddy89
Jul 9, 2006
  1. I have a Toshiba Satellite A30 and have done for a good 3 years now, and its a great laptop, but its starting to get worn down. Its currently running XP Home SP2 and on 227MB ram, and thus an upgrade is in order. Thanks to the folks at Crucial, i can either get 2x1gig or 512 or a combo etc... The laptop has 2 slots. Im thinking that theoretically i should aim for a 2x1gig ram upgrade, but its very very expensive (for me :p) and so i was wondering what an experts view would be on getting which. I could just get 512mb for a managable price so im around the 730Mb mark, -what performance improvements will be visible?

    Is there anything else that isnt a wallet-ruining that i could invest in, i dont really think its worth getting a new one personally.

    Thanks

    Toddy
     
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    adding RAM only improves performance is if you're lacking it to begin with. it does not make your computer any faster, but it will reduce the "bottleneck". tweaking windowsXP can significantly boost performance (and it's free) by turning off visual effects like fading, also stop programs from starting with windows. all those thing are resource hogs and use up your RAM when they don't need to. I would suggest you try to tweak your system before spending money on extra RAM.

    as far as the total amount of RAM is concerned. you have a 256MB RAM stick in there now (some of it is used for onboard video, which is why you only see it at 227MB). generally 512MB is all most people will need, 1GB for gamers, 2GB for video editing, etc.

    so bottom line IMO, buy another 256MB stick ($35 on crucial) which will double your total RAM to 512MB. And tweak your system so that it only runs needed programs and effects, instead of bogging down your system with junk you don't use.

    good luck :)
     
  3. toddy89

    toddy89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    yeh ive been tweaking for months and its running pretty good, but there is still that annoying delay around sometimes that nobody wants. I was a little ambigous earlier, i actually HAD 512MB but its been used up or whatever now over the years. So i may go for a 512mb since its still pretty affordable on crucial and straightfoward. Is there anything else, and also just generally is changing my processor a good move, (currently a 2.4Ghz intel celeron. )Perhaps updating this, although expensive would help "future proof" the laptop? Thanks
    Toddy
     
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    I don't know about your specific laptop, but some laptops do not have a removable CPU (they are soldered to the motherboard to make the system thinner and to save money). so first make sure that your laptop's CPU can be physically removed, then you need to find out what it can take as an upgrade. you may also have to flash to a newer BIOS version.

    to be honest... you really can't future proof anything, especially a laptop. they are pretty much as-is machines. they are great for what they are. but they are not a desktop (which can be endlessly upgraded). i learned that with my Dell Inspiron 8000 (purchased in 1999). i still use it to this day for internet, etc. but beyond adding RAM, they are pretty much limited to how you bought it.
     
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    I have a toshiba laptop myself. With laptops, a lot of RAM is important for three reasons.

    1. It stops or slows down the use of page files - thereby causing wear on your hard drive and eating battery life.

    2. It helps cool the system for the same reason as #1

    3. Most laptops use integrated video which "steals" system memory leaving little for other stuff. XP is also a hog. With 256mb and XP, you have hardly any memory left for any programs.

    Get two 512mb sticks (matched) for a total of 1gb and take out the 256mb that's in there.
     
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