Solved! upgrade or replace?

Nov 5, 2018
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I have a 7 (?) year old dell xps 15 L502x, 6GB RAM,i5-2430M 2 core cpu, 2.4 GHz. It is running slow when I have many (~30) tabs open. I wanted to wait until Intel had fixed meltdown and spectre in hardware before buying a new machine but not much is out with fixes yet. Should I upgrade my PC to 16GB RAM or install an ssd drive or justsuck it up and buy a new machine. I usually keep computers for a long time!
 

geofelt

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Oct 9, 2006
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Replacing the hard drive with a ssd will do wonders for your performance.
A SSD will, to some extent compensate for a shortage of ram.
Having the page file on a ssd will resolve hard faults some 50x faster.

In time, the ssd can be reused on an upgraded pc.

Yes, you are probably short on ram if you have so many tabs open.
If it hurts, stop doing it.
I do not know what it would take to get to 16gb if you are starting with 6gb.
Your laptop may not even support 16gb.

Go to a web site such as Kingston or crucial and access their ram upgrade app.
Enter the make/model of your laptop and you will get a list of supported upgrades.
Likely, you can find the supported part numbers on sale on ebay.
 


Save for a whole new core system from Ryzen or Intel 8th or 9th Gen. , investing in that older system would be throwing away $$$.
 

Finstar

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Sep 7, 2013
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Your new machine doesn't have to be Intel powered. Ryzen mobile chips give pretty much the same performance as Intel parts but don't suffer from the security flaws as Intel does. Only Spectre which also affects basically all modern cpus.
 

sir_k

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Sep 17, 2018
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Yeah, I won't bother with trying to upgrade your current device. If it is not powerful enough for you, it is probably time to get a whole new computer.
However, even newer machines can slow down when you have that many tabs open, especially if you are using Google Chrome. Maybe your current computer would be adequate if you just have fewer tabs open at a time.
 

jojesa

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Dec 6, 2006
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Chrome will benefit from 16GB of RAM but your system supports 8GB maximum. The extra 2GB of RAM will not help with the slow down caused by Chrome hogging all the RAM available.
A new system will be a wise investment.
 

geofelt

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Replacing the hard drive with a ssd will do wonders for your performance.
A SSD will, to some extent compensate for a shortage of ram.
Having the page file on a ssd will resolve hard faults some 50x faster.

In time, the ssd can be reused on an upgraded pc.

Yes, you are probably short on ram if you have so many tabs open.
If it hurts, stop doing it.
I do not know what it would take to get to 16gb if you are starting with 6gb.
Your laptop may not even support 16gb.

Go to a web site such as Kingston or crucial and access their ram upgrade app.
Enter the make/model of your laptop and you will get a list of supported upgrades.
Likely, you can find the supported part numbers on sale on ebay.
 
Nov 5, 2018
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A couple of folks have asked whether my old machine can support 16GB. It can and I can get the chips from someone on ebay for $94 or $170 from crucial.com. I live much of the year without internet access at my home. I sit in a neighbor's driveway where I can get their internet, download everything I want to read into tabs and go home to read. Use Opera (based on chrome). Most of what I saw for sale in my quick check are older intel chips - only a few 8'th gen and no 9'th. I prefer to not have to live with slow half assed fixes for spectre and meltdown for the next 7 years! Am a retired operating system and firmware writer... Appreciate your advice.
 

sir_k

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Sep 17, 2018
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Actually, I would look at getting a Chromebook!
A brand new Chromebook would cost less than your RAM/SSD upgrade, and would be the perfect device if you can work entirely through a browser and/or Google apps.
Chromebooks are extremely fast, super secure, easy to use, sync perfectly with your Google devices, and are cheap. The only reason to not get one is if you need to run a heavy-duty program that is not available on it.
 
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