Monday, May 28, 2007

Faster RAM helped Vista rating

In a previous posting, I mentioned how my daughter's new PC came with DDR2-533 SDRAM. Well, had a sale on DDR2-800 SDRAM; Patriot 2GB (2x1GB 1.8v) was selling for $94 a set, so I bought 2 sets.

It turns out the new HP test systems my employer buys have DDR2-533 RAM, so I donated the old 1GB from home to one of my test systems to bump it up from 1GB to 2GB. I put the second 2GB DDR2-800 into another of my AMD X2 systems which had only DDR2-667 before, moving the DDR2-667 also to work.

The Acer PC now has a Vista Windows Experience Rating of 5.0 limited by CPU. Before it was 4.5 limited by memory - for some reason the CPU's rating bumped up to 5.0 from 4.9 with the RAM update. So my estimated cost of $740 went up to $850 after the RAM and shipping.

As another side note, I ran a boinc client on this Acer for a few weeks and with its dual CPU running at 100% load 24 hours a day, the CPU temperature hovered around 125 degree F. All of my other dual-core systems can run at 100% load being only 100-105 degree F, but they all have better copper coolers. So I'm assuming the noisy, 70mm stock CPU cooler in the Acer 380 isn't the best. However, if you don't plan to run the dual cores flat out (and my familt will NEVER do so - I'm the odd-ball doing things like that), then Acer's stock CPU cooler is fine. If you plan to do a lot of Video encoding or game playing, you may want to consider a new cooler with at least a larger fan to get better air flow with less noise.

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