2GB For The Road - Crucial 2GB PC2-4200 SODIMM - 2GB vs 1GB in the Mobile World

Article Index
2GB For The Road - Crucial 2GB PC2-4200 SODIMM
Test System and CPU-Z Info
2GB vs 1GB in the Mobile World

2GB On The Road:

We installed the memory without issue and fired up some Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Premier Elements 2.0 and broke out the stopwatch for Windows boot, shutdown, hibernate and resume tests.  As laptops get more and more capable, many people are making the move to portable computers so that they can take their work with them more easily.  We chose popular applications as the indicate how demanding tasks will respond to extra memory.

We started off with DriverHeaven's Photoshop benchmark and the results were interesting.

PhotoShop CS2 Bench
Please click image for a full-sized chart.

In some tests, the 2GB kit won hands down and in other tests it lagged way behind.  The laptop was plugged into power the whole time and was running at full speed so CPU had no effect on this test.  We re-ran the tests to confirm the results and they were consistent over multiple runs.  Even though the 2GB kit trailed in a couple of tests - overall performance was still better with the 2GB kit.

Next up is Adobe Premier Elements 2.0.  This test shows how quickly video effects are processed and the results exported to different formats.  We converted the test video to Windows Media, MPEG-2, and Quicktime.

Adobe Premier Conversion
Please click image for a full-sized chart.


 

Although the results above don't show much improvement when running 2GB of DDR in your laptop, the overall feel of Adobe Premier is greatly improved with the extra memory.  If you load up a large video clip and try to scroll through the keyframes - 2GB on memory is a tremendous improvement over 1GB.  This is hard to capture consistently so we couldn't include this in the results.  If you use Adobe Premier, you'll know what I mean.  If you don't have enough memory, it caches the video on the drives swap file and has to constantly access it as you pan through the video.  More ram alleviates this issue.

Finally we come to the tests that everyone is familiar with - Startup, Shutdown, Hibernate and Resume.  If you own a computer you've no doubt performed the above functions countless times.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Hibernate feature it allows you to "shut down" your computer without closing down the applications you were using.  In this state the computer uses very little power and when it's resumed, all of your applications are still running as if it had never been turned off.  When we ran the Hibernate test we opened Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 2.0, Nero Burning ROM 7, uTorrent, NOD32 Antivirus, Windows Media Player and WinAMP.

Windows Tests
Please click image for a full-sized chart.

There is a small difference in Windows Startup, Shutdown, Hibernate and Resume although you probably won't be able to feel the difference.  2GB speeds things up, but only marginally when it comes to booting up Windows.

Conclusion:

Although the benchmarks don't show a lot of difference in our tests, I believe I can feel better response from the computer after it's been running a while and I have a lot of applications open.  According to the benchmarks posted above, this perception could all be in my head, but when it comes to actual editing of video, 2GB is really noticeable.  It prevents hard drive caching to the swap file and greatly increases performance - even though we weren't able to capture the results consistently in a benchmark.  If we had a new Core 2 Duo laptop that took advantage of memory bandwidth, I believe we'd see greater difference in the performance of the 2GB kit.

Pros:

  • Brings 2GB DDR2 to the road.
  • Fair Price for a 2GB SODIMM kit.
  • Solid Memory works without issues.

Cons:

  • Marginal performance improvement over 1GB Kit.

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
8/10
Software Pack:
n/a
Stability:
10/10
Features:
9/10
Value:
9/10
Total Score 9.2

 

If you need more memory for your laptop, the jump to 2GB is a good one to make.  This memory performed with rock solid stability throughout our testing.

I'd like to thank Crucial for firing us over this sweet 2GB kit. 

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in our forum at the Comments link below.