Confused about paid version of SQL Server 2008

I am using the Free version of SQL Server 2008 on a stand alone Windows 7 machine.

I would like to upgrade to the paid version for better performance and I'm having a hard time figuring out what I should buy.  On the Microsoft site it looks like I need to pay $7000, but then I look on Amazon and they have versions for $500.

Can someone point me in the right direction?
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tommyeriksenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The free version of SQL-server (SQL Server Express) have some limitations with maximum database size and how much RAM it can utilize. So how much performace-gain you will get depends on your database.

That being said, the prices vary because they are licensed differently. You can license SQL-server per-user or per-processor. If you choose a per-user license you will need to get user-cals in addition to the SQL-server license. But there are also many SQL editions. You have SQL Workgroup Edition, SQL Web Edition, SQL Standard Edition, SQL Datacenter Edition. These differs also in price, but also in features.

So what to do? First select what edition you need; like emoreau is saying, will you truly gain performance? And what features do you need? Look at a comparion chart from Microsoft:

Second find out what licensing you need? Are there few users using the data? Choose per-user, are there many or random number of users, choose per-processor.

Third look in your wallet:-)

The 7000$ Verions is probably a per processor licensed SQL standard product, and the 500$ version is probably a user-licensed workgroup edition.

Éric MoreauSenior .Net ConsultantCommented:
I doubt you will get better performance. What makes you think that?
hrolsonsAuthor Commented:
I assumed it would be faster because it can use more than 1 processor and more than 1gb of RAM.  Also, I'm approaching the 9gb database limit.
hrolsonsAuthor Commented:
Only 1 user and all I want is to use more RAM and have no size limitation.

So I guess I need to look for a single-user workgroup license.
Ramesh Babu VavillaCommented:
microsft charges per processor neck.
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