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Overnight (literally), I "lost" home use of a pair of i5 / 8GB / Win 8.1 Laptops (Lenovo and Asus) I used for home development.

I use Visual Studio 2013 and Sql Server. Besides that I surf the web. I'm not a gamer! So while my apps are memory hogs, I don't run a production DB. Just development level.

Both computer losses are temporary:

  • The Lenovo motherboard burned out and Lenovo will replace it. But this could take while (I've read about Lenovo's service track record and they already warned me the mother board is on back order).

  • I use the Asus at a client site for next 2 months.

I also have Desktop with an underwhelming AMD E2-3200 processor (benchmark), 4GB RAM / Win 7 64bit (3.49GB RAM usable,graphics card hoggs 510MB). I have run VS2012 on it, but have never leaned on it and have never run a DB on it.

Instead of buying a home development machine for what seems like a 2 month gap until I get both back, can I get good performance boost by upgrading the desktop to 8GB RAM and 120GB internal ssd drive.

I've priced this option out to be less than $150.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As it turns out, the SSD made a bigger difference than I could have dreamed.

I added a 250GB Samsung SSD drive and an extra 4GB of RAM hoping my older desktop could perform acceptably well compared to my new i5 8GB RAM laptops.

The AMD E2-3200 CPU is a touch stressed, and even still my desktop outperforms my i5-3230 in most ways.

It's not that the CPU is my bottle neck, but processes such as builds take much less time creating DLL's and referencing resources not in RAM.

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