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RAM upgrade for an old Win10 laptop


ls650
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At home, I have an old HP 6450b with 4GB of RAM, running Windows 10.  This machine has an Intel i3 processor running at 2.4 GHz.  Although it's an old machine, I find it meets my home needs fine: mostly web browsing and playing old 8/16 bit emulators.  However, as you can imagine, with 4GB, it's sluggish - especially if I have more than a couple of tabs open in my browser, or I want to swap over to another app.

 

I am thinking of doing a RAM upgrade, but I don't want to sink a lot of money into it.  It currently has two RAM slots, each with a 2GB sodimm module.  Apparently it is possible to either upgrade one to 4GB for a total of 6GB, or upgrade both slots for a total of 8GB.

 

Question: will I notice much of an improvement in performance if I upgrade to only 6GB?  Or will the jump from 4GB to 6GB not be enough to notice much of a difference in behavior?  The local shops want $45 Cnd for a 4GB module, plus $30 Cnd for shipping.  I'm thinking I don't want to put more than $100 into this laptop, or I might as well put the money towards a new machine.

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Honestly, imho put it towards a new machine. I do not say this lightly as besides my modern desktop I have a modern laptop and about 6 older laptops of various configurations. I would not spend $75 CND  (I live in BC ;) ) on that laptop personally, upgrading to 6 or even 8 total gb will increase speed only slightly and allow to open some more browser tabs sooner but otherwise really not much difference. IF you insist sticking with this machine get the 8GB total so that both memory modules are equal speed etc, this may allow for Dual channel mode, this just makes more efficient use of the memory but again this is no miracle fix for the speed just makes more sense if you are upgrading anyways. 

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Well going to 8Gb of RAM will help a little but I do not think you will see much of a speed difference,  my home PC is running Windows 10 home, 64-bit and IIRC according to the Task manager it consumes 4GB of RAM, if you are only running 32-bit Windows 10 then there is no point as I believe 4GB is maximum you can address with a 32 bit OS.

The PC I am writing this on has 16GB ram running 64-bitWindows 10 Pro and with only Chrome and Outlook open the performance tab of the Task manager is showing 6GB of RAM in use, so I would say if you are going to increase the RAM go to 8GB. It is better to have too much than not enough, if you go for 6GB at a total cost of 75cnd and then decide that it is not enough it will cost you another 75cnd to upgrade to 8GB (150cnd total) , but if you go directly to 8GB straight it will only cost 120cnd.   

 

But to see any real performance increase I would suggest buying a new machine, particularly as is appears that the 6540b is now 10 years old and so has other speed limiting constraints such as RAM bus speed, HD spin/data access speed, dual core processor. Just buying extra RAM may seem like the cheaper option now but unless you can use DDR4 that you can transfer to a newer PC if the 6540 dies there is the potential for it to be a false economy as things like the hard drive or processor on the 6450b may give out at any time thereby making the RAM upgrade redundant

New laptops tend to have at quad cores, 8GB RAM and a faster solid state drives.

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I'm running 64-bit.  Hmm.  When I google this topic, it seems like some folks say jumping from 4GB to 6GB makes a significant difference, while others say no.

I think I will give it a try.  I don't mind spending a few bucks on this laptop, but once it gets over $100 or so, I have to start thinking of putting the money into a newer (even used) machine.

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I'm a fan of the more memory the better. The 8GB option would be my choice. You may gain dual-channel mode and you'll have a little extra room to accommodate more complex and memory-hungry browser versions in the future. The best thing is that you'll be able to run more programs. That's important on a daily-driver utility computer.

 

You may be able to sell the old modules for $5 or $10 to help cover the cost.

 

Not too long ago I bought memory for my vintage 486 and another 486 project from https://www.memoryx.com/pc310666.html. And maybe the price + shipping might work. Otherwise there's Aliexpress.

Edited by Keatah
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After doing some googling, I found an online seller with a good rep who will sell me the correct 4GB SODIMM for about $20 US a piece, plus shipping from Ohio to BC for $5 US.  You always hear people saying it's better to buy local, but this difference in pricing is just ridiculous.

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18 hours ago, ls650 said:

You always hear people saying it's better to buy local, but this difference in pricing is just ridiculous.

 

18 hours ago, Keatah said:

Buy local is a worn out phrase.

I agree.

 

A couple years ago the igniter went out in our oven - a few days before Thanksgiving.  One place wanted $75, but it would take 10-14 days to get.  Another place wanted $80 for it, but at least they had it in stock.

 

No thanks.  We bought one from Amazon for $20 - shipped and delivered quickly. 

 

Actually we got two - so we have a spare on hand.  No need to wait longer than necessary for my fresh baked chocolate chip cookies :cookiemonster:

 

If the local price was $30 or $40, then we would have purchased it locally

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 4GB SODIMM finally arrived today, 22 days after I paid for it.  Sadly, it seems about 10 of those days were spent sitting in Canada Customs waiting to be cleared across the border.  As soon as I got home, I removed one of the old 2GB modules and replaced it, so my laptop now has a total of 6GB.

 

I've been using it steadily for about 2 hours now.  I wouldn't say it is tremendously faster, but there is a definite increase in performance - say an improvement in launching apps or swapping from one app to the other of 30%  faster or so.  It's also noticable when exiting apps, or just general operations.  

 

All in all, for a total of less than $25 it was well worth the money.

 

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Have an old Acer Aspire 5745PG (i3-m350/GF GT330M) that had two 2GB modules.  A few years back replaced them with two matching 4GB modules for 8GB along with a WD 750GB Black HDD.  Currently have a dual boot of Win 7 and Win 10 that runs fairly smooth with a rare Win 10 hiccup.

 

I suggest getting another identical 4GB stick, as your laptop will run in single channel mode with the timings of your 2GB stick.  Two identical modules of 4GB will run in dual channel mode as Keatah mentioned.  From my experience 8GB seems to be the sweet spot for an enjoyable Windows 10 64bit laptop/desktop system.

 

Your Canadian, Alberta neighbour

Edited by Torrax
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