This is the thread where you can ask for and give advice about matters related to buying electronic devices (laptops, cell phones, tablet PCs, etc.) and building computer systems (using custom parts such as CPU, motherboard, etc.).
Since discussions about electronic equipment may lead to bashing and flaming, please try to remain objective and refrain from comments that are of questionable or confrontational nature. Since it's impossible to verify the accuracy of information given in this thread, make your decisions at your own risk. Consulting computer professionals is always a good idea.
Last edited by Pat; November 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM.
I'll just give one advice: Install your os on an "ssd drive" for your personal computer. This is by far the most impressive way to improve performances.
Solid state drives are still a bit expensive but it's a practical way to increase performance for those who aren't on a limited budget.
It still means you need to pay for one extra drive though. I agree that it's a must if you want to build a high-performance system but I guess there're many cases where the additional performance benefit of SSDs isn't essential.
Now you guys got me reading about SSD drives... the idea in itself seems awesome and the performance improvement seems remarkable however the prices are something worth considering as they are not quite negligible. I don't think I could do without at least 250 g of memory on my laptop and even now I am using 166g (I don't even know in what)... Perhaps it depends on how you look at it though. Say I had a budget of 800 dollars for my next laptop (which is about twice as much as I spent on my current one but lets say that just for arguments sake). Which of the following would be better:
600 dollar laptop with an SSD drive
800 dollar laptop
---------- Post added at 06:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:06 PM ----------
I thought i found online a 250g SSD drive for 200 dollars however I don't know if that is the normal price for one or if I even found the proper drive. Anyways, the question stands but with whatever amount a regular 250g SSD drive goes for(if the price of the SSD makes the question valid at all).
Last edited by kkck; February 08, 2013 at 06:14 PM.
SSDs have been below US$1/GB for a while now, so that price sounds about right. And just checked, Newegg has the Samsung 840 250GB listed for $209, so yeah, sounds about right.
So yeah, they're essentially pretty affordable now (compared to 2 years ago). If you can afford it, and have the space, I generally recommend everybody gets one for their computer. Solid state drives are hands down the easiest component you can buy that will give you a performance increase which you can feel straight away. Your computer just feels so much more responsive and snappy with one inside.
But they aren't for everybody. As illustrated in Kkck's case, it's different depending if you're a desktop user or a laptop user. Desktop PCs have the luxury of space to house lots of storage drives, laptops don't have that luxury. For some, like Kkck, SSDs do get pretty expensive if they need a lot of storage, while others are fine with the bare minimum for the OS plus a few apps, and have the rest on an external drive.
Some do have options, like throwing the optical bay out and converting the empty space to fit another 2.5" drive. While some don't, such as ultrabooks, with their limited z-height, will look towards mSATA SSDs (whether it's used as cache or a full blown boot drive).
I should probably take the time now and also say, the caveat of an SSD is ultimately storage space. While a 250GB SSD can be had for $209, that $209 can get you 2TB or even close to 4TB. So with SSDs, you're essentially giving up space for speed. For some who may be used to having terabytes of space for movies/music/pictures, they won't be quick to replace their entire setup with SSDs, it's just not economical. There's also the matter of reliability but I'll be here talking all day if I open up that can of worm.
But there is a best of both world.
Which are hybrid drives. Seagate has the Momentus XT. Western Digital doesn't have one at the moment, but they had some showing at this year's CES, so we might see one later in the year.
Hybrid drives are pretty awesome in that they give you the best of both worlds; near-SSD speed and lots of space for cheap. They're most fitting for laptop users, like Kkck, who generally want the best of both worlds. The only caveat is, they're not made of magic. The keyword is you get near-SSD speeds, not SSD speeds. And hybrid drives basically work like SSD caching so they do have limits.
Still, with that said, they're awesome for anyone who only uses a few applications on their PC. I've got the Seagate Momentus XT 500GB installed on my main rig right now and it's been great.
Last edited by Knifeshade; February 08, 2013 at 09:38 PM.
I don't think I am using that much space lol. I did say I was using 160 g out of a total of 284 g so 250 g or so is perfect for me. I think an SSD would be perfect for me as I am not much of a memory hogger. I kinda try to keep it to a minimum and as far as music and movies go I am a cloud person (grooveshark and netflix along with a few others are enough for me).
As awesome as an SSD sounds though, I don't think I am getting one anytime soon. My latop is going to be 3 years old next year so I will likely change it some time after that. By then perhaps SSDs are likely to be somewhat cheaper and perhaps even a tad cheaper than now. I was aiming for a little higher end laptop next time around so spending a bit more for an SSD with it would make more sense than doing it for my current lower end laptop(I felt bad asking my parents for a better one back then). Are there any issues with SSD drives for gaming outside of the memory they take BTW?
No issues, SSDs actually don't benefit gaming besides probably lowering load times. I recommend you get the next number above 250/256GB though. I won't get into the exact details, but in general, you don't want to use up all the space your drive can give you. Transfer speeds/access time start lowering when you start reaching maximum capacity. i.e: you should always leave a certain chunk of space, a "spare area", on SSDs for them to continuously run at peak performance. Most OEMs state 7% of the entire disk space, but PC enthusiasts generally go for 10-15% for good measure.
The other thing is, if your storage space is going to be entirely NAND flash, you will want to make sure you have a good back-up for your files. Because when SSD drives die, they just die. Unlike mechanical HDDs where you have the clicking when it starts to die, SSDs just die. You won't even have the time to back-up before it dies if it decides to die.
.....I think I've covered all you need to know now?
With regards to the future, yeah, I think prices will continue to plummet once the next-gen SSD controllers and new process node are ready (and we get a new slew of faster SSDs as well as new capacities). Is SSD the future? I don't know, the future is unclear. I personally can't imagine 1TB-sized consumer SSDs. We'd probably have to hit some pretty crazy process nodes to stick the number of NANDs on the PCB for that figure. And then there's potential for less reliable drives when you start hitting crazy low process nodes. Not to mention there will likely be a new standard coming out as we've saturated SATA 6Gb/s speeds now. Again, that's only my opinion, I could be wrong. But it's one of the reasons I didn't jump on the bandwagon and went with a hybrid drive as a stepping stone, the future is unclear.
Last edited by Knifeshade; February 09, 2013 at 05:01 AM.
I'm pretty interested in SSD as well though, with how fast it'd make the laptop. But considering its prices, and the fact that my laptop's good enough, I'm not sure I need to worry about that right now, especially since I have like, 8 GB of RAM.
The Installed Memory thing in Properties say 8 GB. Is that right? I remember when I installed 4 GB of RAM in my old laptop, it showed 3.96 or something instead. Should it say 7.96 instead? Maybe this is why my laptop keeps or kept fucking up so much.
A quick question: I have a 1GB memory on my Macbook Pro but will need to upgrade it if I want to update to 10.8 Mountain Lion. (You can see my whole drama in the Apple & Mac thread.) Does anyone know a good... I don't even know what that thing is called, but it's something to get more memory. I guess I can go to the Apple store and ask, but I'm not even sure if they have it.
Thanks in advance!
1 GB memory? I'm assuming you mean RAM?
You can do online research and/or look at newegg.com and the likes. Look at the reviews and ratings as well. I dunno if Apple allows you to install your own hardware or if they have to do it though.
Of course, I'm assuming you mean RAM, since you said "1GB memory." :|
At any rate, I'm assuming you mean RAM too. Don't buy stuff like RAM (or anything that's easily user accessible) at Apple. They have ridiculous stupid huge margins on those things.
Example: 2x2GB 1066MHz DDR3 RAM @ Apple: ~US$100
2x2GB 1066Mhz DDR3 RAM @ Newegg: US$28
If there's a local place that sells computer stuff, walk in and ask if they sell DDR3-1333 notebook RAM. Or just buy it online if you're comfy with that (or if their prices are higher).
I've bought my RAMs for Toshiba and Sony (current laptop) online, and I've had no problems. I think both of them were from Newegg? They're still workign fine... or at least I hope the 8GB is, since my laptop is fucking up on me a lot.
RAM is RAM is RAM. Much like a HDD is a HDD is a HDD. It's the same no matter where it's from.
I'm honestly not surprised your notebook is flipping out on you a lot, when you confuse "RAM" with "hard drive bottleneck" (reference to post before Asarii's). Stop tinkering with it if you're not overly familiar with PCs, man. =/