i would like to speed up my computer and get more memory, so i thought i would upgrade my 20gb hard drive for a 120gb as ive seen one for £55. however i have been told i can get more memory by upgrading the RAM from 256 To 5oomb i have heard people say that RAM is the poor mans upgrade, but i looked at buying more RAM but its cheaper to buy the 120gb HD. im confused please advise.
First may I say that upgrading the ram is not "the poor mans upgrade,". On some computers it is an essential step to better performance.
This brings us to the question of what operating system are you using and how full is your hard drive.
The only way that a larger hard drive would speed up your computer is if you are running short of hard drive space, yes a 7200 drive is faster than a 5400, but this would not give as good performance leap as extra ram would in most cases.
If you still half of the space on the hard drive left, why upgrade? You will probably see significant increases in speed by adding another 256mb ram, so i would advise doing just that. Forget about the hard drive, you may never need more space. (just make sure the ram is compatible!)
Yes I now see you reasoning why you would prefer a larger hard drive and agree if you want to do digital video, then this is a must. Also the system would benefit with more memory, if this is financially acceptable. The more memory the faster it will process the digital video.
The difference in price between a 60gig and 120gig is small, but if you can afford to do both i.e. hard drive plus a memory upgrade, then I think you will find it money well spent.
The above also has to take into account your present ram ( memory) situation.
Your original post was about " how to speed up your computer" After reading your long term plans then a larger hard drive must be your first priority and add additional ram when you can afford it.