Advice for Simple Upgrades to SSD and RAM for Desktop PC

Hi all, I've never taken a computer apart before, but my gaming/desktop PC is slowly dying from hard drive failure, so I'm considering taking on the small project to replace the HDD with an SSD and add more RAM (a piece of cake for many of you, I'm sure).

Whenever I boot the computer, the hard drive makes a clicking sound and my screen hangs. Quite often, Windows won't boot and I get sent to the recovery page. Re-installing Windows 10 from scratch did not fix the problem.

Assuming it's the hard drive, I just wanted to make sure I'm doing the right things before going out to purchase components. I'm also taking the opportunity to upgrade the RAM to 16GB.

I did try take the computer apart today and it was very easy to access the hard drive bay and RAM.

Photos of my current parts are here.

  • 1TB SeaGate Barracuda HDD
  • 8GB Patriot 1600MHz RAM

My questions:

  • I'm planning on buying a 1TB SSD (or thereabouts). What are people's best recommendations for price vs performance? I was reading comments on the latest GigaByte deals through eBay, but people were saying that Samsung EVO drives were much better in performance.
  • Am I correct in needing a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter?
  • Will most SSDs just 'plug and play' into the same plugs that the HDD uses?
  • For the RAM, should I keep the original 8GB stick and just buy another 8GB stick, or replace them both?
  • What are your recommendations for RAM?

Thanks everyone for your help :)

Comments

  • +3 votes

    best recommendations for price vs performance? people were saying that Samsung EVO drives were much better in performance.

    just get the cheapest 1tb ssd like crucial bx500 or samsung QVO ,
    your usage makes no difference and you won't notice any speed different to EVO

    Am I correct in needing a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter?

    just use sticky tape / double sided tape, stick anywhere , ssd has no moving parts

    Will most SSDs just 'plug and play' into the same plugs that the HDD uses?

    yes, any 2.5" sata ssd

    For the RAM, should I keep the original 8GB stick and just buy another 8GB stick, or replace them both?

    keep old stick, just pair it with another stick of 8gb ram and install on the same color slot
    don't worry about matching ram compatibility

    What are your recommendations for RAM?

    get the cheapest used 8gb ddr3 single stick you can find from gumtree/ebay/facebook

    if you can't find anything cheap, then get new from your local Umart store at $52
    https://www.umart.com.au/G-Skill-8GB-1X8GB--DDR3-1600-Single-Channel-[NT]-F3-1600C11S-8GNT_22855G.html

    •  

      Thanks for the tips.

    • -4 votes

      this is a joke, rihgt….? or just advice from some generic website, right? this is definitely the thing to do if you want to have your drives full of corrupt files, im sure the page file will love them…………

      people who do this piss me off, so much. please dont spread this misinformation anywhere let alone a public forum, you are not helping anyone. please, and i say this kindly as possible, know what you are talking about before you go doing this. why on earth would you mix ram vendors, quaility of chips, speeds, timings, etc…? I need to know why you think thats at all okay lol

      your motherboard will literally shit itself if you do this.

      there is a reason why single stick is single stick, and its quite obvious. you failed to even mention rank… how on earth….

      your statments regarding SSDs are also very, "off" i will say.

      the bigger the SSD, the MUCH longer life it will have and the better perfomance. Windows perfomance awfully on a small SSD, (i mean very small), when comapred to a 1TB. due to how data is written and moved as well as removed. Evo is literally a different product to QVO, with potentionlally large margins in the speed difference. technically, QVO is "budget" EVO, due to samsung having such an abundance of both money and stock they can afford to mass produce to such a degree.

  • +2 votes

    I get the feeling your needs aren't too intensive and your motherboard has multiple SATA inputs.
    Consider downsizing to a 512G SSD and using those savings to buy a larger replacement HDD.
    Install windows and games to SSD (C) and data/media to HDD (D)
    You can always 'park' game files you haven't used for a while on the HDD.
    Your photos suggest spare power supply cables for extra drives so you might only need an additional SATA cable but they are dirt cheap.
    The photo also suggests your case has plenty of slots for extra drives.
    Good luck!

    •  

      Yes, my needs aren't too intensive currently. There are plenty of slots for hard drives. Thanks!

      • -4 votes

        i just went to post a reply to this but i clicked your photos link so it was deleted so i will make this quick

        this is a new account, ive never really been on this site before but i was browsing forums including this one half an hour ago and saw this post, had to come back and read replies to your OP

        ************PLEASE, PLEASE, DO NOT************ waste the time, effort and money on buying a HDD and using it to store anything that isnt large media files (not including games of any age, *ANY AGE)
        slow, loud, interference, the list goes on as to the negatives if you arent a media guru. if you arent a media man, dont bother and you will love yourself for it and hate loading anything from a HDD forever)

        also, quite literally no point in a 512gb ssd if 1tb or more is an option for you personally. twice the size = twice the life as well as twice the perfomance. this is due to how windows and SSDs work, one of the few things windows does well actully.

        ************DO NOT************ FOR GODS SAKE "park" a game from an ssd to a hdd, this will degrade your ssd and the blocks of the ssd the data was installed on. this can effect boot times, games, etc, one time isnt a big deal but people make a habit out of doing this without knowing that ssds only permit a certain amount of writes to X block (where the data is stored if you dont know)

        ************DO NOT ************ buy the dirt cheap cables for an SSD, certainly not a new one, (or any but newer = more likely to have different power consum), this can adversly effect everything. literally.

        looking at the photo, you may even be able to buy identical ram to the one you already have, it is partiot and they do that i am fairly sure. if not, kingston valueram is an amazing bet with price/perf, ive had 2400CL17 valueram from them overclock to above 3200CL14, but kept at 3200L13 for dauly usage and no errors on a memteset run for a few DAYS.

        in rards to size, technically, 16gb is optimal for price and perf, bc of how windows works (fken windows, always doing something lol) however, in my overclocking rig i run 8gb with a 9900l 2080ti z390, only game it can possibly struggle in is BFV, if you dont use chrome and have a page file at least 1GB, you are set with 8gb if that suits your budget.

        ram is either idenctical or not. identical = works
        not identical = risk of ruining a drive, files, folders, etc, even bricking motherboard or shorting psu is a a possbility (shorting psu is small, but bricking motherboard is kinda just as bad lmao)

        please please PLEASE do not follow the guidance given to you. over, somewhere like Guru3D or overclockers.nethas this info for you to read if you so wish, if not those specific sites then they will lead you to ones who will, cannot remember which speficif one i myself got the info from)

        your motherboard simply doesnt know what to do with different ram sticks in dual slot, seeing as they arent doing the same thing, this is just one of the worst ideas ever, no matter how many """""tech""""" sites say it is doable, if you know how ram works and how a motherboard works when connected to ram, you know this is a HUGE no no. please do not waste your time and money!

        the link provided of chinese sellers ram is a gimmick as well. pointless, you might as well spend an extra 10 bucks and get the same ram i mentioed before…. hate to say it but the poster of said link of said ram appears to be clueless. please ignore, i beg lol

  • +1 vote

    Have a USB ready with the pre-loaded data from the Microsoft store. So you can install windows on the new SSD.

    •  

      Already got that ready from re-installing Windows previously!

      •  

        Depending on when you previously reinstalled Windows it might be best to make a more up to date one. That way you will not have to download all of the latest updates just after you do the reinstall.

  •  

    Yep, above 2 posters have said the most good stuff that you’d need.

    To be honest I’m not sure if there much need to get another 8gb at ddr3, rather than keeping it in a upgrade money bag, or using it to get a more reliable ssd. Surprised your power supply hasn’t conked out yet, good job keeping it clean.

    +1 on double sided tape when you get ssd.

    •  

      Thanks, the RAM upgrade idea was more spur of the moment, but perhaps 8GB is enough for basic gaming/daily usage needs. Definitely replacing the HDD is my main priority.

      •  

        you get 10-15% performance boost from running dual-channel (2 sticks ram of same size)

        having said that, it's a throwaway money as you can't bring it over to your next build, unless you plan to repurpose it as HTPC/NAS/Server in future

      •  

        phunkydude said:

        you get 10-15% performance boost from running dual-channel

        That may be true when you compare RAM running in single channel vs dual channel. However, the real performance boost is gained when you turn off Page File on a computer with 16GB or more RAM.

        • -1 vote

          thank god you know what youre talking about

          forgot to mention in your reply that CPU bound tasks of any sort will benefit a lot more than aforementioned percentages. battlefield games for example

          but tighter timings should be easier on valueram in single channel anyway on most motherboards.

  •  

    stay safe OP, you and your files, drives etc! Happy installing and please, go to sites i mentioned and read for yourself rather than blindly believing me if you are sceptical, please!

    have a good day everyone :)

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