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I am about to purchase a laptop and have zeroed on the following two of them.

  1. Toshiba L500-ST2544
  2. Toshiba L505-ES5034

The Common Specification for both of them are as follows -

RAM - 4GB DDR3 Memory HDD - 320 GB Processor - Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor WebCam and Mic - Available HDMI Port - Available Numeric Key Pad - Available Windows 7 (64 bit) Home Premium

Now, the only difference between ST2544 and ES5034 is that, the ST2544 has a maximum of 2 slots with 2 GB in each. So, you can have a max of 4 GB RAM in that. The ES5034 can support 8 GB RAM, so, in a couple of years, if I want to add another 4 GB RAM I will be able to do it.

The price for ST2544 is USD 629.00 whereas, the price for a ES5034 is USD685. A difference is USD 55.00 (not a major amount, but still something extra).

Is it worthwhile going for the ES5034? Which Windows Operating System supports 8 GB of RAM?

Edit: The ST2544 has 2 main memory slots, which means to get 4 GB, we need to use both slots. The ES5034 has 2 main memory slots with a max capacity of 8 GB.

With the Edit, does it change anything? Getting 4 GB by using two 2GB slots is better or Getting 4 GB using one slot is better?

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msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx shows which Windows OS supports 8 GB RAM. A Windows 7 Home Premium Edition supports upto 16 GB of RAM The link for ES5034 is as below toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/retail-product.jsp?poid=460980 –  Ellen May 18 '10 at 4:54
    
Ellen, what kind of personal and developer use are you referring to? My guess is that working with MS SQL will require a lot of memory and various other types of development might as well, but not so much for web development. –  wag2639 May 19 '10 at 0:07
    
My use would be the following - Running Multiple Virtual Machines (for my CRM Development), Internet browsing - chatting, skype, watching videos, movies etc., –  Kanini May 19 '10 at 2:27

2 Answers 2

Any 64-bit Windows 7 edition from Home Premium and upward will be able to use full 8 GB of RAM.

Since most of motherboards are able to use dual-channel mode if both RAM modules are present, for performance it would be better to have 2x2GB.

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Thanks, but is there a significant performance difference between 4 GB vs 2x2 GB? –  Kanini May 18 '10 at 14:23

First, are you sure the chipset can actually support that much RAM?

According to MSDN, the max for Home Premium is 192 GB but another source put it 16 GB.

I've heard anecdotally that dual channel doesn't actually provide that much significant performance.

Also, unless you're developing something which specifically requires huge memory requirements, it might be wiser to invest in something with a better processor. In the near future when you would upgrade that RAM, you may wish for a slightly more powerful processor. This is especially true considering the current price of RAM versus the increase CPU performance you can get for the same price.

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Thanks. Would Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor not classify as a better processor? –  Kanini May 18 '10 at 14:31
    
I was thinking of the Core i5 processors, but a slightly more bit of research seems to show they just have higher clock speeds. If you ask me what I'd do, I'd got for the Core i5 if the marginal price was reasonable. Check out tomshardware for more: tomshardware.com/reviews/mobile-core-i5-arrandale,2522.html –  wag2639 May 19 '10 at 0:04

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