They are incomparable.
A 2 GB DDR2-800 ECC stick is around € 25, a 4 GB stick is around € 100 (4 times more expensive and not worth it IMO for the limited gains). Getting a 2 GB stick is a good way to increase performance for that small amount.
Increasing memory from 16 to 32 GB is in a completely different ballpark.
What I don't understand is how much of an improvement I'll see in doubling or quadrupling the Areca's memory in a video editing environment, as my files are either larger than 4GB or smaller than 1GB. I feel like anything larger than 1GB won't help the smaller files created by previews and scratch, etc. Likewise, 4GB is the largest size available, and most of my working files are 40GB. Some are over 100GB, but there are very few that are between 1GB and 4GB, which is why I question the benefit of a 4GB cache on the Areca card.
On the other hand, when considering upgrading from 16 to 24 or 32GB of system RAM, I can find plenty of evidence for real benefits.
I'm hoping to learn more about how the memory on the Areca card works, and whether I can benefit from increasing it. I've seen people mention more memory "smoothing out" disk reads / writes, and other improved performance, but is that only applied to files below the memory available? That is how I understand it, so for me, 4GB would only help me with a handful out of 80,000 or so files, right?
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For what it's worth, I had about $250 burning a hole in my pocket so I upgraded my Areca ARC-1880ix from 2GB to 4GB. Just installed it tonight and will do some editing tomorrow.
Tekram tech support (where I bought my Areca ARC-1880ix card -- and now the 4GB memory) said it would help me with "Read" times. How that translates into the real world of Adobe Premiere 5.0 will be interesting.
After I do some tweaking with my system I'll do another one of Bill and Harm's benchmarks.
I'm still thinking of going from 16GB to 32GB RAM instead of the Areca memory. I'll be interested to see if you gain any speed in reads or writes!
Hi Rowby, I have a standard 1Gb on my 1818ix so would be very interested in you finding also.......Gaz