Gift Peddie (4/28/2011)
I'm just like you...i used to have a Dell , upgraded to an HP win7 64 bit with an I5 processor & 4Gigs , and have had tons of hardware trouble with it;
i've had more blue screens of death with it than when i had Win98. I'm on my 4th hard drive that the system seems to corrupt during it's bluscreen death throes.
it's actually a pretty fast system witht eh 4 gigs of ram. but I've been tempted to scrap it and go back to a Dell again. based on my experience.
I am looking at boxes with Chassis that can take at least 16gig of ram; the road block is both HP and Dell want more than $1500 for the extra ram and will void warranty if the extra ram is not included in the sale. So I am looking for ways to have my warranty and not pay for the extra ram because most online vendors sell those for $300 or less.
I need to run at least two SQL Server versions, Biztalk, VS2005,2008 and 2010, my current employer box is 8gig so I want a faster one if I need to run some complex stuff at home.
If you already have 8 GB of RAM in your current system, your performance problem is probably more disk related than it is memory. I'd suggest investing in a solid state drive (unless your current laptop's CPU sucks, which in that case you may want a new laptop anyways). SSDs will make a WORLD of difference, especially running VMs. What you can do that a lot of SQL Server pros do is remove your CD drive and replace it with a hard drive caddy that contains either a typical SATA drive (for storage) and they use the SSD as primary drive. You alternative is you keep the existing drive and use the caddy slot for SSD and keep your VMs on there. Yes this voids the heck out of warranty but the performance is awesome.
Here's a great post by Brent Ozar explaining this setup: http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2009/09/laptop-virtualization-best-practices/[/url]
Also if you're hesitant about paying SSD prices, may want to look at something like Seagate's Momentus XT hybrid drive. It comes with 4GB NAND storage and 500 GB regular drive on it so you somewhat get best of both worlds. It's relatively cheap and if you're pressed for space/cash, might be nice way to dip your toes into the SSD world (sorta).