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Would extra RAM help this netbook?  Is it worth it?

Posted on 2015-01-08
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Last Modified: 2015-01-10
I got a Toshiba NB205 netbook with windows 7 starter on it.  It has an Intel Atom N280 CPU  (1.66GHz)  and 1 GB RAM.

it works OK for surfing the web.  But sluggish.  Would more RAM help? would it be worth it?  crucial says it can take a max of 2GB in a single slot.  They have a 2GB module for $31.

thoughts?  sure ram will improve things. but it's an atom so ram is not the only weak link in the chain.  why am I buying i5 computers as a minimum, but they put out atom processsors for other machines? and people buy them?
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 40539488
if it matters to your answer, the win 7 info says it has a 2.1 performance rating

4.5 for ram!?
2.4 for processor
2.1 for graphics

and a comparison of the processor vs. an i5 - the machine is usable for surfing, but really - how come they have i5.  yes, this machine is 3? years old, but it does work...
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by:aboo_s
aboo_s earned 50 total points
ID: 40539521
If surfing the web is the matter in question ,this yes by all means more RAM would be much help.
You know most browsers, if not all, start building up cache while surfing which takes a lot of RAM leaving the whole system run slower. So I would say yes get more RAM you sure will notice a big difference.
Most webpages will consume more RAM space than CPU or GPU performance! Most are pages with no scripts running and so on..
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 40539530
yeah, I guess I know more ram is better. and ususally for an i5, I put on at least 4GB.  this only has 1 and can only get bumped up to 2 GB.  is this atom processor as lame as it appears in that graph on that cpu performance chart?  would 2GB really help / worth the price?

i know, its a subjective question...
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 350 total points
ID: 40539545
I have a 205 and a 305, upgraded the RAM to 2 GB and swapped out the hard drive with an SSD.  Performance is much better... BUT, it's still an ATOM and they were never meant to be speed demons.  Will it help, absolutely.  But don't expect it to be all THAT much faster (also, as I recall, Toshiba loads a TON of stuff on it - look into removing programs you don't need - not so much for storage, but because many apps loading will slow boot and eat RAM ultimately slowing things as well.  And the spindle based hard drive is slow to begin with.  If you really like the netbook, do the upgrades... if you have or are considering other devices, you probably shouldn't waste the time and money on it.
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by:nobus
ID: 40539651
good overview by Lee
if it's worth it is a question only you can answer !
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by:garycase
garycase earned 50 total points
ID: 40539751
Agree with LeeW.    I upgraded one of my Atom systems (a D525 based unit) to 2GB and an SSD and it made a VERY nice difference.    The N280, however, is a very low-end Atom (PassMark 280 vs. 696 for my D525), so even with those upgrades it's going to be slow ... although much faster than what it is now.

As Lee noted, if you like the netbook (size, battery life, etc.), do the upgrades and you'll like it even better.    But if you're looking for i5-level performance, that's simply not going to be even close.
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rindi earned 50 total points
ID: 40539813
Netbooks are built to be cheap and are meant for just basic tasks, like surfing and emailing, and for power efficiency so that a smaller battery will still give you enough power to work for around 2 hours. For that Atom Processors are ideal. I don't think you could get those features with an i5, and it's price would be far higher. Besides that, the n208 is pretty old with it's introduction date of 2009. I don't think the intel i3, i5, or i7 CPU's were in production at that time. It is also a single core CPU...

Newer Atoms are more powerful and don't just have a single core.

I have a netbook with the same CPU and 2GB RAM, and it works fine for the tasks it is supposed to do.

The same applies to Windows 7 Starter, it is also meant for low-end purposes, and it supports only 2GB RAM, so even if you could install more than 2GB you wouldn't get any improvement after that if you stayed with Windows 7 Starter.
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