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Thread: Any Laptop/Notebook Gurus/Geeks on AP ?? I Need some tech help, please .....

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Any Laptop/Notebook Gurus/Geeks on AP ?? I Need some tech help, please .....

    I bought a cheap laptop to use to tether my camera for long exposure Astro imaging. I really only want to use it for focusing via Live View.

    I got a Toshiba Satellite Notebook that seriously needs a gee-up. OK, it was real low spec, and I knew it wasn't going to be any Usain Bolt, but seriously it's as slow as a wet week. I've removed all the bloatware and unnecessary start-up programs, but it still takes like 90 seconds to boot.

    It is this one: PSCRNA-004004 - Toshiba Satellite C40D-C004 Computer

    http://www.mytoshiba.com.au/products...specifications

    I've been building my own desktops from scratch for 15 years, and info on parts specs is freely available. With Laptops it's all Chinese Whispers.

    I would like to upgrade the RAM and also the 5400rpm HD to a small SSD. The Toshiba spec sheet says the RAM is up-gradeable to 16Gb, so I'm guessing that there are two slots available.

    I downloaded CPU-Z and it came up with the RAM as Kingston, Part# TSB16D3LFS 1KGB/2G & Serial# AE2EAD99, neither of which come up on Kingston's search tool. I'm not saying that CPU-Z got it right, but that's all I have to go on.

    I'm pretty sure that a mob the size of Toshiba would have some flexibility, and inter-changeability, with their platforms, but after two days of 'Googling' I'm just running into brick walls.

    The Mobo seems to be a Toshiba creation, and of course, no specs available.

    As the notebook is only three days old I haven't pulled the back off it yet as I'd like to have a clear upgrade path before I void the warranty.

    Any suggestions most appreciated.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    Forgot to mention that I intend to load W7 on the SSD as the OS.

    I'm living with W10 on the desktop, but not loving it.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    and right there is the reason I hate the direction tech is heading. So many closed systems without provision of what is inside that system. I would have suggested CPU-Z if you had not mentioned it.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Gurus and geeks? Whatta bout me?

    Aw awlright!

    1. Kev.
    2. Have you run ChrisPCWinEI on this yet to figger out its slow points?
    3. Then do so.
    4. I would say:
    a) If you can, double the RAM. It's DDR3, but that should be OK.
    b) Don't bovver with an SSD MOST probably because of "a)" AND the absolute power of the processor.
    5. LIKE WIN10, as it'll be MUCH FASTER on that machine than ANY downgrade to Win 7 will EVER be.
    6. If it's not Win10 yet, then "Make it so!"

    And FINALLY, hurry up and run ChrisWinEI, as I want to know the results.

    (Of course, if you could take it back and get something better, that would be best)
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    and right there is the reason I hate the direction tech is heading. So many closed systems without provision of what is inside that system. I would have suggested CPU-Z if you had not mentioned it.
    Yep, W10 is a huge step in the 'closed-shop' direction.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Tell yer why: I have an EEE Netbook (as well). It could only run Win 7 Starter
    Now it is noticeably snappier with Win 10 Home and the max 2GB RAM (even though slower than the orig 1GB).

    I ran Win 7 for a while with the 2GB just to get a feel of it. Pfwhrr! At least it doesn't take a year to start up now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Gurus and geeks? Whatta bout me?

    Aw awlright!

    1. Kev.
    2. Have you run ChrisPCWinEI on this yet to figger out its slow points?
    3. Then do so.
    4. I would say:
    a) If you can, double the RAM. It's DDR3, but that should be OK.
    b) Don't bovver with an SSD MOST probably because of "a)" AND the absolute power of the processor.
    5. LIKE WIN10, as it'll be MUCH FASTER on that machine than ANY downgrade to Win 7 will EVER be.
    6. If it's not Win10 yet, then "Make it so!"

    And FINALLY, hurry up and run ChrisWinEI, as I want to know the results.

    (Of course, if you could take it back and get something better, that would be best)
    Hi Amguru,

    First thing I did was run ChrisPCWinEI.

    I must admit to being pleasantly surprised.

    W10 Performance Index.PNG

    The same RAM on my desktop scored 7.4, the SSD 7.5, and the CPU 7.4. I don't quite know how to analyse the variances, but I do know that when I increased my RAM and fitted the SSD, my desktop got a new lease on life.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Kev, but... Why get an SSD at extra expense when can just get a new lappy wif one in it already?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Kev, but... Why get a SSD at extra expense when can just get a new lappy wif one in it already?
    Am,

    This laptop is at the bottom of the food-chain, all of $349.00. There are a lot of common components across the range, and the manufacturers charge extra-potentially for them as they increase the good add-ins. By spending $100.00 on a SSD and RAM, I will elevate my el cheapo into the realm of the $7/800.00 models.

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    Ausphotography Veteran tandeejay's Avatar
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    Spinning disks are notoriously slow compared to even the slowest CPU, so an SSD is always going to give you a boost, as it eliminates ALL the time the CPU sits around waiting for the bit of information it needs to move under the head on the hard drive.

    I'm guessing you've defragmented your hard drive... a fragmented spinning disk hard drive will cause significant delays in your load time as the system needs to spend a lot of time moving the head around to read the different bits of data, so a defragmented hard drive could give you a boost almost as good as an SSD.

    I've not yet touched Win10 except to provide remote support for my sister, so not sure what options you have with that.

    Too many anti-malware programs configured to perform realtime monitoring will kill your performance too.

    And, another thing, not sure about win10, but earlier versions of windows tried to move all the files used at boot time to a location where they were all close together on the disk to reduce future excess head movement on boot. It can take several boots for that system to get the right set of files close. If after a few boots (waiting for disk activity to completely settle down before the next reboot) you havn't seen a decrease in the boot time, this is probably not the issue.

    Install Linux
    Last edited by tandeejay; 08-03-2016 at 7:59pm.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandeejay View Post
    Spinning disks are notoriously slow compared to even the slowest CPU, so an SSD is always going to give you a boost, as it eliminates ALL the time the CPU sits around waiting for the bit of information it needs to move under the head on the hard drive....
    Generally speaking, that is. SSDs must do something mysterious as well. For the 1st time I access the Downloads folder
    it takes a good few seconds (progress bar etc) before it displays the file list. This does not happen on the little old EEE Netbook
    with weak processor and 5400 HDD. Both run Win 10.

    Then there's throughput...

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    Ausphotography Veteran tandeejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Generally speaking, that is. SSDs must do something mysterious as well. For the 1st time I access the Downloads folder
    it takes a good few seconds (progress bar etc) before it displays the file list. This does not happen on the little old EEE Netbook
    with weak processor and 5400 HDD. Both run Win 10.

    Then there's throughput...
    Thats probably more to do with mysterious things windows does I'm a Unix admin, so what windows does is mysterious to me

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    ...and what's the gpu? Possibly sharing the ram, how much is it stealing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by xaiya View Post
    ...and what's the gpu? Possibly sharing the ram, how much is it stealing?
    Good point.

    When I built my current system about 2 1/2 years back with W7 Pro, I was getting screen freezes on almost a daily basis, along with many other people. The MS forum had thousands of similar complaints. I'd put in 8Gb of RAM, G Skill, not some cheap and cheerful stuff.

    To try and isolate the problem I had CoreTemp running on the screen, and one day when the screen froze, I noticed that the memory use was off the clock.

    Added another 8GB and haven't had a screen freeze since.

    In this instance I think the RAM is much more likely to be the culprit. The SSD would come into it's own if I was doing some heavy duty PP'ing.

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    Interesting!
    Well if you do crack it open it would be interesting to see what's on the inside!

    A while ago I used to work on a whole bunch of netbooks, even though they were the same model their internal components did slightly vary at times. The lcd panels would have different casts, and ram brands were sometimes different!

    Good luck! ;D

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    For some perspective:

    Gigabyte S1080 tablet. Came with a 7.5mm(thin) 5400rpm HDD which were hard to find in most shops, so decision was made to get an SSD.
    Samsung 840 series SSD was got cloned and installed.
    With the 5400 HDD, boot up was measured in the minutes .. at least 90 sec, more like 2mins.
    Accessing files for the first time or the umpteenth time was 'fast enough' but you could feel it was sluggish overall .. whaddaya expect from a Atom CPU!!

    In goes the SSD, and bingo! .. speed to burn now.
    Especially programs like Nikon's ViewNX2.
    Super fast on the desktop accessing local HDD and USB drives .. a wee bit slow accessing files on the network now tho(latency!)
    On the tablet ViewNX2 was bearable .. slow but bearable. FSViewer was a bit better for some viewing of images instead.
    With the SSD tho, ViewNX2 is as good as the desktop.

    My experience with stuff like this .. is SSD first, RAM second.

    Tablet came with Win7 Pro, upped to Win10 .. and it's far superior as a device now. Had to avoid the more tablet friendly Win8 due to some initial dislikes of it, even tho I know it'd have made the tablet much more tablet like(Win7 on a tablet is woeful!)
    Win10 now makes it all feel natural.

    But if you want to eke out that little bit more speed, get rid of all the eye candy in either Win7 or Win10, or whatever you choose to install on the lappy!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    ps...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    ....

    The same RAM on my desktop scored 7.4, the SSD 7.5, and the CPU 7.4. I don't quite know how to analyse the variances, but I do know that when I increased my RAM and fitted the SSD, my desktop got a new lease on life.
    Don't assume that pluging in the same SSD and RAM in the laptop will produce the same results!
    They all rely on the basic structure of the motherboard to achieve those results.

    That is, if the interconnect between SATA interface and CPU on the laptop is slower than in the motherboard in your desktop, then obviously the transfer rates in the laptop will be slower.

    Oh! ... and as for those sorts of benchmark I was under the impression that they produce a rating based on what hardware you have installed(ie. via a database of relative performance) .. rather than actual performance of that hardware.

    That is, if you install <Brand X/Model Y> SSD in the laptop that you know works well on the desktop doesn't mean it will work as well in the laptop, because the SATA interface chip used will almost certainly be different.
    It's these devices(the internal chips) that make all the difference to performance.
    Some are, by design, just plain and utter crap(ie. look for JMicron chips .. and avoid like the plague!!!)

    Being an AMD system, it'll use AMD controller chips so shouldn't be a real issue(they work OK).

    As for RAM, unless you're doing a lot of intensive operations for example, or have many programs running at the same time, I wouldn't worry about spending money on more of it(just yet).
    The piddly slow HDD running at 5400RPM and it's slow latency will have a better impact on boot time and load times for most programs.
    If you're using ViewNX2, as it's heavily reliant on disk access times, a faster hard drive helps to improve loading of images as well as building the icon cache for the film strip.

    I'd be inclined to leave Win10 installed and not bother with Win7.
    Win7's Aero seems to hog resources more than Win10's set up seems too.
    Win10 should boot quicker, that was a supposed improvement in WIn10 over Win7 .. system files will load in the background once Win10 allows you to do stuff, whereas in Win7 it waits for most of the system files to load first.
    If the Start/Programs button in Win10 is a problem and you prefer the older Win 7 and earlier method for accessing your software, you can install Classic Shell and go back to the Win7 start menu system if you prefer.
    I actually prefer the Win10 tiled system now as it's quicker and easier to access my most commonly used software, not already set up in the quick launch bar.
    I deleted all the default crap tiles(news feeds and crap like that) .. and just loaded my own tiles.

    For HDD performance analysis:
    Download Crystal Disk Mark works well for giving you a real world indication of disk performance.
    Test takes about 5mins. Save the output to a text file and compare results as you alter stuff.

    Also go looking for latest drivers for some of the relevant hardware.
    For AMD, you may want to go directly to the catalyst site and download AMD's latest drivers, not what Toshiba thinks should be the latest.

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    Cheers Arthur.

    I'm slowly working my way through all the App Crap. Boy, they sure loaded it into W10.

    I came across a good deal on 8GB of Kingston RAM ($47.96 to the door) so grabbed it. Most interested to see what difference it makes.

    Cheers

    Kev

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    Grabbed a wireless mouse today. Just couldn't come to terms with the touch pad.

    I've also grabbed a deal on a Kingston 120GB SSD.

    Hopefully they both arrive Monday and I'll install the RAM first and see how it goes, and then install the SSD for a comparison.

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    SSD and 8GB of RAM now in with a clean install of W10 Home.


    Start-up time has now gone from 90secs+ to 40secs.

    Happy camper.

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