Well, midterms are over, so it seems like an ideal time to live on the wild side and do some hardware upgrading! Had to make the call whether I was planning on living long-term with this laptop – spend money on upgrades, or do the ultimate upgrade to a new machine. Current clincher is the display size – 14″ standard is a good chunk more real estate than the widescreen editions. That and the price of a good tablet is still about the same – sure, there are smaller, lighter ones, but they all still creep up to the $1500-$2000 mark.
So with that in mind, I resolved to give the machine another lease on life – boosting from 2x512MB to 2x1GB, for a good memory doubling. I felt like I’d wasted a bit of money – the second 512MB chip came out of pocket money two years ago – but then again, RAM prices really did take a big tumble. So took the bus to NCIX and got two Corsair ValueSelect 1GB PC2700 SODIMMs (VS1GSDS333). Shopping at a store like NCIX is always a bit of an adventure, especially in the land of PC hardware. There’s always fun like compatibility issues making their draconian return policies a little scary. Since there wasn’t anything other than the word of the Corsair website, I was a little hesitant, especially with all the random pages I pulled up saying so-and-so computer needing “special RAM”. But ultimately, the actual install took 5 minutes, plus 5 minutes attacking the crazy plastic packaging. Barring any nasty surprises, I’m happy to say that my Toshiba R10 is pretty happy with its bigger brain.
What’s really amazing is how peppy the machine is. I always thought the reason why my desktop is so responsive was due to the Dual-core. I still think having two cores is handy, but I’m starting to think that having 2GB of RAM might be the other half of it. I really am a RAM hog – anyone passing by my computer isn’t surprised to see half a dozen apps open, and over 6 firefox windows stacked (and no, I’m not counting the 7 tabs on each window) … but all those apps doesn’t usually fill up 2GB of RAM. Sure, there’s still the loading delays, but all the waits that used to happen switching from task to task – miraculously much less painful.
We’ll see how it actually stands up to real-life testing. Of course, it’s not exactly a completely fair experiment – as per usual, I’m upgrading another component at the same time. I’ve started to notice that I’ve been ignoring the desktop search component, and now that OneNote keeps complaining, I finally buckled and swapped the Google Desktop Search with the Windows Desktop Search. Currently indexing away… Sadly, no more double tap on the control key to bring up a search bar. Instead, it looks like Win-Shift-F…maybe I’ll have to think of something less awkward on the hand…or maybe my hand will adapt…