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Powerful Laptop recommendations

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by admin, Nov 24, 2015.

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  1. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    My relatively new windows asus laptop cannot keep up with me. What should I be looking at (windows not mac please).

    I really would have thought this spec could keep up with my needs,

    [​IMG]

    Simultaneous working on: Excel, Gmail, several browswer windows, google analytics sometimes in live view, skype, dropbox etc.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. OhNoNotHim

    OhNoNotHim Guest

    It should be able to. Do you have an SSD?
     
  4. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    No, but that was in my mind for next time. Small one (hybrid) or total SSD?

    My laptop doesnt need to move, be light, be able to do yoga or have a touchscreen. So far I have avoided windows 10 and 8 for that matter,perhaps its time..

    I wont buy asus again on principle, its been poor. I used to like Sony. I might try lenovo?
     
  5. mattyr45 India

    mattyr45 Active Member

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    More RAM
    Close MS Office
     
  6. ian

    ian Well-Known Member Acorn Supporter

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    You'll not hit a score much higher than that without an SSD, fyi
     
  7. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Not many on offer with more than 8gb ram. Ms office is necessary Im afraid. Only really use Excel and openoffice just aint the same.
     
  8. mattyr45 India

    mattyr45 Active Member

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  9. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    That looks good, big SSD, 16gb ram, i7, that should do the job. Has your HP been good so far, my asus crashes for no good reason.
     
  10. mattyr45 India

    mattyr45 Active Member

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    Yes perfect, almost completely silent.

    I've been told MS Office takes 2GB Ram and Windows 2GB Ram so 8GB is a minimum
     
  11. seemly

    seemly Active Member

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    More RAM? No, surely not.

    That s a bit of a rash statement when you haven't seen performance activity of all running apps. There may be some kind of corrupt installation or specific app version that is playing up.

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to the performance index too much.
    That can be highly reliant on graphics card for animations, whilst traversing different applications and dragging windows, etc.

    SSD or HDSSD would improve performance as others have said, but RAM would not feature as a "problem" for me, looking at your specs.
     
  12. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Spec-wise, that Asus should have been fine for your requirements, so if it was too slow, it's likely to have been a fault with the machine.

    For a new laptop, then brand-wise I would look at Dell or Lenovo. I think most laptop brands have some reliability issues, but these two brands generally seem to be best for me. I guess it's because new laptop models come out all the time, you can never tell what will be really reliable, as each model is different. Look for a popular model from Dell or Lenovo and reliability should be above average.

    I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which I use with a dock and two external monitors. This set up is fine although the screen size of the SP3 is too small for my eye comfort. However, Microsoft is soon bringing out the Surface Book laptop/tablet, and that looks to be a very good machine. There is a high spec model with very good performance levels.

    Rgds
     
  13. mattyr45 India

    mattyr45 Active Member

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    I've been told MS Office takes 2GB Ram and Windows 2GB Ram so if thats true 8GB is a minimum for any home user surfing/skyping/dropboxing and using MS Office
     
  14. seemly

    seemly Active Member

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    That's correct. But I don't think it is.

    Microsoft would be aware that their target market = PC's laptops with <= 8GB Ram - even in a work environment you are lucky to have an 8GB Ram machine. Especially when doing office work.

    Developers/Programmers/Designers require 8GB at a minimum, not MS Office users.

    That laptop you suggested with the amount of RAM it has is near on small server spec... that is way overkill and a waste of money.
     
  15. mattyr45 India

    mattyr45 Active Member

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    But what is the combined effect of using Excel/IE/Dropbox/Skype at the same time.

    I got mine for £850 think it's worth every penny
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    An SSD can make a huge difference, and they're not particularly expensive these days.

    They also tend to be one of the things that crops up in the Amazon Black Friday deals (i.e. this week) going on previous years.

    A 500GB one should do you fine, unless you have a reason to keep a massive amount of data on the machine itself rather than on external storage.

    Apart from that, a lot of the slowness could be down to the services and programs running in the background. It's very difficult to diagnose as every system is different, but you want to look through what's running under "Startup" when you run 'msconfig' from a command prompt. Also depends on how comfortable you are fiddling with settings - there can be a lot of unnecessary stuff there (like auto-updates for every piece of software under the sun)

    Other offenders include Services that don't have to be run, toolbars and add-ins, etc. etc. It's a pretty hardcore process trying to get a PC fully optimised, but it can be done with a lot of Googling, patience and plenty of backups along the way in case things get messed up.

    A few other things that can slow down the machine (not even close to being an exhaustive list)
    - Windows Indexer
    - Fragmented hard drive (never defrag an SSD, btw - they're built differently and so all that will do is wear out the cells quicker)
    - Windows Experience Program
     
  17. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    BTW, is there any way you could add more RAM to the machine (even if it means throwing out the current memory and replacing it with higher density modules)? If you had 12GB then you could dedicate 3-4GB to a RAM disk to use as scratch/temporary storage, and potentially see quite a good speedup that way. The other advantage of a RAM disk is that every time you restart the machine you're also clearing away all the clutter, because the RAM disk normally gets rebuilt from scratch every time the machine starts up.

    But an SSD is definitely the simplest and most obvious improvement. My 3 1/2 year old laptop has run like a dream since I replaced the HDD and went step by step through every startup item, service, background windows function etc. turning stuff off left, right and centre.
     
  18. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Oh, and if you really want to give your laptop a speed boost and can bear to see your interface "uglified" then search for 'Visual Effects' in the Start menu search box, then choose "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" then either:

    A) Choose "Adjust for best performance"

    or

    B) Choose "Custom" then pick and choose what to keep. Personally, I've only got the following settings ticked:
    - Enable desktop composition
    - Show thumbnails instead of icons
    - Smooth edges of screen fonts
    - Smooth-scroll list boxes
    - Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
    - Use visual styles on windows and buttons

    My desktop machine only rates a 5.0 Windows Experience index, but with the above display changes, an SSD, a RAM disk and everything I can find to safely turn off turned off, programs open instantly and I can have Word, Excel, Skype, Notetab+, and about 40 browser tabs open at the same time, plus email, and still everything ticks over at blink-of-an-eye speeds.
     
  19. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    One more tweak, worth testing to see if it affects the stability of your system.

    1. Search for 'Advanced system' from the Start menu search box.
    2. Choose "View advanced system settings"
    3. Click over to the "Advanced" tab
    4. Choose the "Settings" button next to "Performance"
    5. Choose "Advanced"
    6. Choose "Change" in the Virtual memory section
    7. Change the setting so that "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" is unticked, and the "No paging file" option is selected.
    8. Confirm the change (Windows will throw up various warnings)
    9. Reboot

    Getting rid of the paging file entirely will mean that Windows will never chuck bits of itself onto disk when it starts running out of memory (disk access is hundreds of times slower than memory access, so as soon as Windows starts paging everything slows down) but the downside is that you could see bluescreens if Windows really runs out of memory resources. That's why you have to experiment carefully with it, and keep an eye on your system afterwards to see if you notice any instability.
     
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  20. philiporchard United Kingdom

    philiporchard Well-Known Member

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    Ah, so that's what you do with your time Ed... I'd been wondering!
     
  21. Skinner

    Skinner Well-Known Member

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    My laptop had a windows score of 7.7, upgrading to newer drivers knocked me down a little. Its well worth trying older and newer and beta drivers to see which ones give you the better performance increases.

    A standard WD Black gave my storage a 3.9 score, a samsung pro ssd pushed that up to 7.9, running 2 samsungs in Raid 0 made no difference to the score and only a marginal increase, so moving to a decent SSD will massively increase your speed. Remember if you keep the normal hard drive in your machine, make sure nothing it running off it, as that drags you down.

    Faster ram, using normal 1333mhz ram gave me a score of like 5.7, but moving to corsair vengeance 1833mhz and overclocking it, pushed me 7.8.

    A clean install every 6 months keeps you nice and swift too.

    [​IMG]

    If your looking at a new machine rather than upgrades, would need more information about your usage and budget.


    Edit, I should add that you're not likely to push any machine to scores high end equipment can get, but my numbers should indicate what you can gain by the tweaks/upgrades I mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
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