I am extemely pleased with my current host but I am experiencing speed issues as my vBulletin Forum has grown rather rapidly over the last year. We now have over 25,000 registered members and the forum is initially an image site allowing these users to download images on the server for free. Hence, the server is eating close to 800-900gigs bandwidth per month. The server is dedicated by the way.
At the moment, I have an Intel Pentium 4 3.0ghz machine with 1024ram and 1600gigs bandwidth. I was wondering, to make the site load faster, would I actually need a more powerful machine (such as a Dual Core or Xeon) or would it be suffice to just get some more ram (such as upgrade from 1024 to 2048)?
I've added some stats from WHM Service Status. I have run these numbers off right now as this is normally the busiest time as the forum runs really slow at around this time of the day. It means nothing to me but hopefully will mean something to you guys.
Server Load - 5.23 (2 cpus)
Memory Used - 72.3% (and flashing yellow light)
Swap Used - 50.68%
Disk sda3 (/) - 25%
Disk sdb1 (/backup) - 34%
Disk sda1 (/boot) - 11%
You should find out what is using all that memory. If it's not something you can reduce (script caching etc), I think memory would the first thing I would increase. 50 percent of swap usage is bad and I'm sure it's the main reason your CPU load is sky high.