SDD or RAM or both ?


May 2, 2012
Greating to you all, performance freaks.

I want to speed up my system and I am not sure how I should do this. Your input will be *definitely* welcomed !

I do software development (as a job), serious photo retouching (Lightroom, Photoshop and Photomatix) and gaming (CoD, WoW, Metro).

Well, Windows 7 is sometime sluggist, Visual Studio 2010 takes a lot of time to launch a solution containing 48 projects (about 400 kloc), and Lightroom is sometimes half a second behind (more then 50000 12 to 16MP pictures to handle).

(But I have no perf problem with games.)

I own a i7-2600K with 8 Go of PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM (as far as HWiNFO64 can tell). The primary drive is two 1 TB RAID-0 WD Black Caviar. The video card is a nVidia 570. The mother board is a Gigabyte P67A-UD4-B3 (it can handle SATA 3 at 6 Gb/s).

I would like to speed-up Visual Studio first, Lightroom second and then Windows if it is possible.

I don't know what would be the best solution : SSD and/or RAM ?

Here is what I am thinking about :

- Replace the primary drive with a 256 GB SSD (a Samsung 830 maybe).
- Add memory to get 32 or even 64 GB RAM.
- Replace the primary drive with a 256 GB SSD *AND* get 16 or 32 GB RAM.

Since I do not want to waste my money, I would love to have some advice from you.

Thanks in advance and kind regards,
Sylvain, Paris.
You are right on track!

SSD to speed loading, RAM to keep it fast when loaded.

Since you do "video editing", 16GB wouldn't be too much, may be up to 32GB.

SSD will give you the biggest improvement that you'll notice right away. And for your use, 256GB is great. Samsung 830 are great at this level.

Keep the hard drive to store all that "data" you have:

SSD for OS, Programs, Games.

HDD for data storage.

And I'd start with another 8GB of RAM (2x4GB, match timings of current sticks), to see if it's enough.

One bad thing, if you go over 16GB, you'll need to get 8GB sticks, so if another 8GB isn't enough...


Nov 12, 2010
Visual Studio is just a dog when loading big solutions. Faster drives are going to speed that up, but you won't get lightning quick loads like you'd expect from an SSD. I work on a project with a few million lines of code across almost 70 projects within the same solution, and it takes a minute or so to load regardless. We've tried putting top of the line Velociraptors in RAID, standard SSDs and even PCI-e SSDs. Nothing made that load time go away.


Jun 7, 2012
I am going through a simular experience upgrading from Visual Studio 6.0 sp6 to Visual Studio 2010. I program is C++ and my new compile time in V.S. 2010 is 17-times slower then my old software on my Pentium 4 3.2. I am looking at one of the new Dell Precision workstations because it uses the new E5 2600 series processors. They are not cheap, but I do not see any other options. The 8-core xeon E5-2687 (intel's top E5 2600 series) processor is about $2,000. There is another socket for another processor when you need it. I know that V.S. 2010 responds well to a 4-core processor; however, you already have one. I do not know know how many processors cores V.S. 2010 will recognize but the number should grow with future releases.

Workstations are very expansible, there are a lot of choices out there. You should check some of them out. Good luck.