I recently upgraded two notebooks, and thought it would be a good idea to test the speed improvements. The price of the 1Gb DDR2 800Mhz notebook memory module was R130 ex VAT - at R260 for 2Gb it was well worth it.
In the tests I loaded the word processor, then loaded a 300kb Word file with a good couple of graphics, and then also opened another Word file that was 2.7Mb and was made up of one large graphic and 119 pages of text.
The Toshiba is an old notebook running Windows XP home, and Office 2007. The Acer is about 2 years old, runs Ubuntu 8.04 and uses OpenOffice 3 for the word processing. Dear old Ubuntu absolutely hated running on 256Mb, it is simply not practical. Although I tested the word processing, as most systems used in the legal market will make use of Word, the rest of the applications are going to benefit even more, especially things like spreadsheets and heavy graphic work.
Here is what I found, measurements were all in seconds:
So if a secretary loaded and saved say 50 documents a day, and saved 10 seconds on each open and save, that would total 50x2x10=1000seconds per day, 5000seconds per week and 20000seconds per month, excluding opening and sending of emails etc.
Take those 20000seconds which equal 5.55hours per month, 66hours per year = 8.25 days. Take a salary of say R10 000 per month (no bonus these days) = R454.55 per day. Those 8.25days that have been wasted while waiting for the system have cost you R3750.04. This improvement of 1Gb costs less than R150, even if you have a very expensive memory module, it should not cost more than R300 - at that price why even think about it! Just getting rid of the frustration for your staff is worth way more than the money spent.
So remember R150<R3750.