Back in Feb, I took the poor man's route to improve performance in Vista running on my aging hardware; by adding a 1GB USB stick to activate ReadyBoost for under S$15. It did help somewhat but you quickly loose that perceived improvement when it still takes seconds to load and switch between windows.
I was seriously thinking of junking this box entirely in favor of a brand new setup (with maybe BluRay drive and HD capable graphics card thrown in) but figured this move probably won't go down well with the missus. Plus the fact that PC Show is just around the corner and maybe by then I can come up with a reasonably good excuse ahem.. reason to do just that.
Anyhow, this morning while browsing the HWZ price list, I noticed that the market rate for DDR400 1GB Ram modules has fallen somewhat (S$58 a pc now). A quick search on HWZ marketplace yielded a chap selling off his DDR400 2x1GB sticks for $100 and decided to jump at it. The sale went very smoothly (2mins in front of an MRT station was all it took) and the installation was a breeze; I was back up and running with 2GB in the box within the hour.
Vista now reports 60+% free memory after initial boot compared with only 30% free previously. And running outlook, three instances of IE (with about half a dozen tabs each), trillian, plus four gadgets on the sidebar leaves 40% memory free as compared to only 6% free previously. No more harddisk trashing when I switch windows or launch new applications. Morale of thee story is... If you want to have a usable Vista system, you will need 2GB of RAM at least. ReadyBoost can certainly help alittle but ultimately, it is the amount of RAM that makes the difference.
Still no joy on aero though but that is because I'm running on embedded graphics that is four years old. Perhaps I should start sourcing for a second hand AGP 8x graphics card next...