Mushkin PC2-5300 DDR2 SODIMM 2 X 2 GB MemoryFormer staff writer -
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I think I have purchased about four laptop computers in my lifetime. Each time, I waited for a sale at my local electronics store and then settled with something that was affordable, but lacked the power or features I really preferred. Twice I purchased a laptop for the processor, while the other two times were for memory or hard drive space. Each purchase had a cost of over 1300 dollars. Like any other consumer, when my 1300 dollar laptop became obsolete, which was about a year and a half later, I went out and purchased another to fill my needs. That has become quite an expensive habit. Needless to say, it’s time for another laptop again and I don’t want to spend 1300 dollars to get a laptop that is only going to provide me with only one of the qualities I desire. After much thought, I feel that I have found a solution. I wrote down what I needed a laptop for and in order, listed what I needed most to least and then included why I need a laptop. I use my laptop for business mostly, which means that I will be using a word processor, some sort of spreadsheet program, email, internet, watching a DVD while travelling, listening to MP3s and play an occasional game.
Considering all my needs by priority, I was ready to purchase a laptop. The most important part of any computer is its processor and although my main rig is a dual-core processor, I really don’t feel the need for one in a laptop as of yet, so I decided the laptop needed at least a 2.0 Ghz processor. Since I will not be using the laptop for photoshop or other intensive applications, Vista basic is just fine and there is an option to upgrade from basic at any time should my needs change. I own copies of all the programs I need to perform my daily tasks, so to save extra money, I chose a laptop that didn’t come with any bundled software. One other must was the laptop had to have at least a 15.4 in screen and at minimum, a decent GPU.
In this review, I will be focusing on memory. I will show the difference in performance between what came with the computer and the memory I chose to upgrade with, which is Mushkin DDR2 SODIMM PC-2 5300 2 x 2 GB. I will not be reformatting the hard drive nor tweaking the system during this review - I will basically focus on out of the box performance difference. This review will be the first in a series of three total reviews, with this one focusing on the memory, the next focusing on the hard drive with the pre-installed memory and the last comparing the performance of the whole system after the total upgrade.
Mushkin is better known for producing high quality Memory for desktop PCs, but little known for producing quality memory for notebook computers. When I realized that they did produce SODIMM memory and having had only good experiences with their desktop memory, I felt trying the SODIMM memory would be a good choice for my upgrade.
Mushkin was founded in 1994 by Bill Mushkin and has now become one of the worlds leading manufacturers in superior high performance Memory. If you would like to know more about Mushkin, please see our interview with Brian Flood (Manager of Product Development).
This is what I chose to do with the new laptop, in order to save money and get what I truly wanted. I will eventually upgrade my Vista Basic, so I want to have enough memory available to be able to multi-task and I will need at least a 160GB hard drive to feel comfortable with storage. A local retail chain had a sale on a laptop with an AMD Turion Processor that was 2.0 GHz, with 512MB of PC-2 4200 DDR2 memory, 80GB 5400 RPM hard drive, Vista Basic, a DVD/RW, a 15.4 in screen, and an ATI Xpress 1100 GPU. The sale price was 450 dollars. Perfect.
Mushkin SODIMM Memory comes packaged the same way it's bigger brother does, in a clear plastic enclosure so you can see exactly what you are purchasing. SODIMM DDR2 Memory contains 200 pins and measures about 2.75" W and 1.25" H.