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# 210493 29-Mar-2017 21:49
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For my wife we've had a couple of ~$600-800 laptops over the last few years but inevitably they end up super sluggish, and I'm not exactly sure why. We're now looking for a replacement.

 

Use Case: Mainly browsing with many tabs, some Excel. Mostly cloud usage now.

 

Seems a pretty undemanding load, but current HP laptop with 4GB RAM running Windows 10 Home easily has 90% RAM used (when Firefox is using ~300-400MB with many tabs) and runs like a dog. I suspect poor I/O performance as anything involving swapping like switching apps can take tens of seconds, but the hard drive is not fragmented and raw hard drive performance seems ok. Frustrating that on a 4GB machine, just 400MB on Firefox and little else running (seems to be a pile of small Windows services), memory is maxed out.

 

I'm thinking 8GB RAM's going to be a sure bet, and perhaps SSD as the only storage. Worthwhile?

 

Is poor performance inevitable in the $600-800 on special range? What sort of money should we spend to get something that'll last a few years and still be responsive? 

 

 

 

Any guidance/recommendations much appreciated.


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Mr Snotty
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  # 1750392 29-Mar-2017 21:57
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The best upgrade you can ever do with a laptop of this spec is grab and install a SSD.





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  # 1750398 29-Mar-2017 22:14
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+1 to the SSD. Once you go solid state you never go back.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1750399 29-Mar-2017 22:14
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not all SSDs are made equal, some are crazy fast, some are warp speed lightning fast. recommend samsung evo anything.





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 1750400 29-Mar-2017 22:16
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Chis:

 

For my wife we've had a couple of ~$600-800 laptops over the last few years but inevitably they end up super sluggish, and I'm not exactly sure why. We're now looking for a replacement.

 

Use Case: Mainly browsing with many tabs, some Excel. Mostly cloud usage now.

 

Seems a pretty undemanding load, but current HP laptop with 4GB RAM running Windows 10 Home easily has 90% RAM used (when Firefox is using ~300-400MB with many tabs) and runs like a dog. I suspect poor I/O performance as anything involving swapping like switching apps can take tens of seconds, but the hard drive is not fragmented and raw hard drive performance seems ok. Frustrating that on a 4GB machine, just 400MB on Firefox and little else running (seems to be a pile of small Windows services), memory is maxed out.

 

I'm thinking 8GB RAM's going to be a sure bet, and perhaps SSD as the only storage. Worthwhile?

 

Is poor performance inevitable in the $600-800 on special range? What sort of money should we spend to get something that'll last a few years and still be responsive? 

 

 

 

Any guidance/recommendations much appreciated.

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OBRE5UE/ref=twister_B00PRDMHLU?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 1750401 29-Mar-2017 22:17
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question is: your laptop is sata 2 or sata 3?





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 1750425 29-Mar-2017 22:19
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First look at a SSD. We sell a 750 entry level machine that we include a 120gb SSD . Near 50% faster boot time and opening of Apps. I'd never be without an SSD again.


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  # 1750430 29-Mar-2017 22:30
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Throw in another 4GB or if not possible just a 8GB of Crucial RAM, no need to get an expensive Samsung SSD (although I would recommend it) if you want to save on cash just get a Crucial SSD or Sandisk.

 

You will either need a cloning program to clone the OS and docs over in which case you will need an external hard drive enclosure or dock to do it.

 

Or a more recommended time consuming way is to just install the SSD into the laptop and install things from scratch.

 

If buying new, I would recommend Lenovo with at least a i3 CPU / 8GB of RAM and 250GB SSD.

 

If you are in the Auckland area and need help i can clone the system over to the new SSD for you.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1750435 29-Mar-2017 23:12
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This sort of topic comes up regularly and the answers tend to be the same, including mine.

 

The main reason that I see for most systems slowing down is the increasing number of startup processes and background tasks that come as you install more applications. You will benefit from hardware upgrades but much of the root cause of slow-down simply requires many of these problem programs to be removed or suspended. I use CCleaner to help regularly cull my applications and prevent slow down from:

 

  • Programs that preload some part of themselves for faster startup e.g. Adobe Reader, Skype
  • Programs that regularly check for updates even when you are not running them e.g. Google Update
  • Programs that are just bloated hogs because they require so many programs to be running e.g. Apple iTunes
  • Programs that inefficiently monitor the state of the system e.g. some anti-virus programs

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  # 1750455 30-Mar-2017 05:36
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if firefox is only using 3-400mb ram what is using the rest? my 8 year old laptop uses about 1.5-1.8gb when its just started up on windows 10 home. It also only has 4gb ram, but i have installed a SSD and its not sluggish at all.

 

Its also never gone anywhere near 90% ram usage, even with 20+ tabs open in firefox, email open, and a few other programs doing their thing.

 

putting a SSD in may speed some things up but if you cant work out whats using all your ram it may not help that much at all.


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  # 1750462 30-Mar-2017 07:05
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Buy a laptop that includes an SSD, don't replace it yourself. It's usually easy to do, but you will void the warranty. You may still have CGA protection, but it's more difficult. I found out the hard way.


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  # 1750474 30-Mar-2017 08:19
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timmmay:

 

Buy a laptop that includes an SSD, don't replace it yourself. It's usually easy to do, but you will void the warranty. You may still have CGA protection, but it's more difficult. I found out the hard way.

 

 

I disagree, but that's me. I change hard drives all the time. Never had a problem with warranty.





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  # 1750520 30-Mar-2017 09:25
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If it has a warranty issue then you would just put the original HDD back in and send it for repair. Most laptops have a hatch to access just the HDD, so it's pretty straight forward.


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  # 1750549 30-Mar-2017 09:38
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lxsw20:

 

If it has a warranty issue then you would just put the original HDD back in and send it for repair. Most laptops have a hatch to access just the HDD, so it's pretty straight forward.

 

 

Doesn't work. They can tell. Some have security seals as well.


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  # 1750551 30-Mar-2017 09:41
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My take would be a combo of all above, and kinda depends on how hands on you are.

 

 

 

3 things would help here, in no particular order really:

 

 

 

- Reinstall the OS and ditch the bloatware that usually comes with new computers.  This applies more to old computers that have slowed down, but if you're going to add aftermarket SSD's in the mix, a straight clean install may be better than trying to clone drives etc.  Fraught with the usual issues of stores not actually giving you install media when you buy computers etc, but the idea is sound.


- Install an SSD.  They really are good for creating that zippy vibe for the user.  I wouldn't go lower than 240Gb these days personally.

 

- Max out the RAM.  Put as much in as you can.  Memory is all pretty cheap these days really.  Follow the manufacturers recommendations, and fill two slots with the same type/size for good measure.

 


Being a laptop, there's not much more you can do from there.


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  # 1750566 30-Mar-2017 09:46
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Worst thing with laptops (and many brandname desktops) these days is:

 

  • Not enough RAM - 8GB should be the minimum I reckon
  • Bloatware - they come with so much crappy trialware and manufacturer 'tools' - If you can strip out as much of that as possible You will find it works better - but can be hard to find what you can safely remove.
  • They come with plenty of hard drive space - but they often seem curriously sluggish - So an SSD would be a big plus

EDIT: Well the previous post pretty much echoes this. If you feel brave and the laptop is not too old then a clean windows install onto an SSD after you have increased the memory would probably do wonders. The trickiest thing is usually making sure you have all the correct drivers before you start a clean install. Check the manufacturers support pages and go through the windows device manager and note all the components - display/graphics drivers, network devices, sound drivers etc.





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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