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Windows 7: Advice thread - upgrading HDD, SSD, RAM

29 Dec 2014   #1
DoctorObviously

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Advice thread - upgrading HDD, SSD, RAM

Hello everyone! I think this is the best place to post these kinds of questions, but if it isn't though, please feel free to move or remove the thread.

The system I have is the one you should see on my profile. I would like to buy a brand new HDD and an SSD. I've heard SSDs can dramatically increase my computer's start-up speed (and for games as well) so I'd like to give it a shot. I've had my eyes on a 1TB Seagate HDD and a Samsung 250 GB SSD. I've noticed in recent games that my small amount of RAM doesn't really cut it anymore, so I'd like to upgrade that too with 16 Gigs of Corsair RAM.

The problem I have is that I'm not savvy with putting computer hardware together: I'm often scared certain hardware components aren't compatible with certain cases or hardware. I'm always afraid it'll break when I try to put it in, even when I know these things are very sturdy. Do you guys think the aforementioned hardware are good upgrades? Should I upgrade anything else? Do I need a new MOBO for the new RAM? Is DDR3 the right stuff for my PC?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Dec 2014   #2
Fantail

7 x64 | 7 x64
 
 

Just a note on the ssd, I put a 250 evo in the laptop - its awsome. I used to think dollar for dollar memory was the best upgrade and it does seem to make sence to have at least 8 gigs but you can hit a good ssd sale or deal on newegg or whereever and they are the way to go. Check some of the performance ratings and reviews not all ssd's are created equal but imo the evo is hard to beat. Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2014   #3
DoctorObviously

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fantail View Post
Just a note on the ssd, I put a 250 evo in the laptop - its awsome. I used to think dollar for dollar memory was the best upgrade and it does seem to make sence to have at least 8 gigs but you can hit a good ssd sale or deal on newegg or whereever and they are the way to go. Check some of the performance ratings and reviews not all ssd's are created equal but imo the evo is hard to beat. Good luck.
Thanks for the reply!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Dec 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would not be afraid for the upgrade work. The disks are simple - just 2 connectors. Make sure you order a Sata cable with the SSD. Something like this. And check whether you have an extra 15 pin Sata power connector. Else you will have to split one.

Installing RAM Dimms is a bit trickier. You have to be careful with the latches on the side. Watch the videos on Youtube. Make sure you get exactly the same dimms as the ones you have - else replace the whole lot.
Btw - I would not bother with the RAM. 8GB is ample and that is mostly empty. Check that in Resource Monitor > Memory tab. You will get a picture like this - everything in blue (light or dark) is available RAM):


Attached Thumbnails
Advice thread - upgrading HDD, SSD, RAM-2014-12-30_1739.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2014   #5
DoctorObviously

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Btw - I would not bother with the RAM. 8GB is ample and that is mostly empty. Check that in Resource Monitor > Memory tab. You will get a picture like this - everything in blue (light or dark) is available RAM):
Thank you for your input. I never knew about the Resource Monitor tool, so thanks to you I'm actually learning more. It's interesting when you mention that 8 Gigs of RAM is good enough for today's standards, because you are completely correct. When I tested the "heaviest" game I own (Lords of the Fallen) I still had a good 1100MB of RAM left, and that's with six gigabytes of five year-old RAM hardware, not eight. So, should I then, attribute my slowdowns to bad optimization of high-end games (Lords of the Fallen and Call of Duty: AW both make my PC cry) or just old age of hardware? What's odd is that I - surprisingly enough - can run most recent titles at a brisk pace, often reaching my desired 60 frames per second on the usual medium settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2014   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I know nothing about Games but in terms of RAM you should be OK. The RAM usage in my picture is only so high because I have a virtual machine with Windows 8.1 running besides the Win7 host. Normally I am below 2GB and I am always running a lot of stuff.

Concentrate on the SSD and see how that improves things. You can always consider a RAM upgrade. Here is a tutorial I made that may be useful when you migrate your system to the SSD.

SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2014   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Installing a SSD is quite simple you will have no problems do it.

A nice little video on installing a ssd.

Learning Center,Internal SSDs - Newegg.com

Then use whs tutorial and you will be on your way to happy computing.

The only bad news is you be be angry at yourself for not doing it sooner.

WARNING:
SSD's are habit forming.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2014   #8
boogieboy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DoctorObviously View Post
Hello everyone! I think this is the best place to post these kinds of questions, but if it isn't though, please feel free to move or remove the thread.

The system I have is the one you should see on my profile. I would like to buy a brand new HDD and an SSD. I've heard SSDs can dramatically increase my computer's start-up speed (and for games as well) so I'd like to give it a shot. I've had my eyes on a 1TB Seagate HDD and a Samsung 250 GB SSD. I've noticed in recent games that my small amount of RAM doesn't really cut it anymore, so I'd like to upgrade that too with 16 Gigs of Corsair RAM.

The problem I have is that I'm not savvy with putting computer hardware together: I'm often scared certain hardware components aren't compatible with certain cases or hardware. I'm always afraid it'll break when I try to put it in, even when I know these things are very sturdy. Do you guys think the aforementioned hardware are good upgrades? Should I upgrade anything else? Do I need a new MOBO for the new RAM? Is DDR3 the right stuff for my PC?
Hello DoctorObviously

Both the HDD and SSD you mentioned are absolutely the perfect choice as so far I haven't seen any better reviews than a Samsung EVO 840 series SSD Drives and the Seagate 1TB HDD is also great in terms of performance though they are a bit loud under operation and startup's than a WD drives but if you also take a look at WD Black drives they are also a bit noisy as I have experienced using all WD greens, blues and blacks except red one's and I now personally prefer Seagate over WD now

I personally love installing each and every piece of hardware my self and I really suggest you to start playing with your system as well by replacing new devices with old one's and yes you aren't going to damage anything unless you really scratch the thing over them hardly and yes they are sturdy and little bit bumping and pushing ain't gonna hurt anything
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2014   #9
Pauly

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

Just a quick note regards the RAM, your motherboard is X58 chipset running original first generation i7 cpu
These boards have extra ram slots as they run in triple channel mode unlike almost all other motherboards, this is why you currently have 6gb installed (3x2gb) so keep that in mind if you are going to upgrade
I still have a machine with the exact same cpu and similar Gigabyte mobo you have and I can tell you it is extremely fussy about what ram goes in it and caused me no end of problems when I was building it from incompatible ram modules

I would strongly advise you to thoroughly research this before you consider buying any extra ram, your board can drop back to dual channel mode running pairs of ram sticks instead but make sure you read the mobo manual and check Gigabytes website for the QVL list of ram for your board
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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