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  • Added memory to my Laptop

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Added memory to my Laptop

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      • #2264909 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I have a Dell Latitude E5510. I’m not sure how old the computer is, but it has a 9-pin serial port, so it has a few years. It came with Windows 7 when it was new, but I recently installed Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64.bit.

        When I got the computer, it had 4 GB of RAM. It ran at an acceptable speed, so I didn’t worry about it. But lately I started thinking about upgrading to 8 GB (the max for my laptop).

        I found 8 GB of RAM on Ebay for $28, so I bought it. It just arrived, so I installed it. Then as a test, I loaded a Libre Office Impress presentation (Impress is the Libre Office version of Power Point). When I had 4 GB, it took about five seconds to load a presentation. It now takes about one second.

        In my opinion, you’ll get a better bump in performance from a memory upgrade (if you need more memory) than you will from moving from a mechanical hard drive to a SATA SSD. (I’m not sure about the new NvME SSDs.) For one thing, the OS isn’t always accessing the hard drive, but it is ALWAYS using memory.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2264990 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        In my opinion, you’ll get a better bump in performance from a memory upgrade (if you need more memory) than you will from moving from a mechanical hard drive to a SATA SSD.

        In that very specific, narrowly focused scenario, no doubt you adding RAM had a greater impact than drive performance. Your scenario includes some very significant points.

        1. You started out with a small amount of RAM (4GB). When starting with small amounts of RAM, adding more RAM almost always provides the most bang for your money.
        2. You had already booted, thus loading the OS, and you already had loaded Impress into memory too when you called up the presentation. That is, all the “heavy lifting” was already done.
        3. The actual Impress file was, in comparison, a tiny file – probably only a few megabytes in size. Even the slowest of hard drives can load such a small file quickly.
        4. Because you now have more RAM, the OS likely did not need to temporarily shove data into the swap file (Page File), located on the slow hard drive.

        So your conclusion is right BUT it is right because of the caveat you included, “if you need more memory“. Beyond that, replacing the hard drive with a SSD will boost over all performance for most tasks significantly. And while you are correct to say the OS isn’t always accessing the drive, it still does and it does it a lot – to access the swap file, to temporarily store temp files, opening and closing critical system files and more. So having a SSD gets those tasks done more quickly than with a hard drive. That then frees up critical CPU and RAM resources more quickly too – thus allowing them to do their tasks, and their next tasks more quickly.

        As far as the new NVMe SSDs, again, it depends on your starting point. Even the slowest SATA SSD will run circles around the fastest hard drives. The gap between a hard drive and a SATA SSD is HUGE. The gap between that same SATA SSD to the latest NVMe is not nearly so pronounced.

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

      • #2265251 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The gap between that same SATA SSD to the latest NVMe is not nearly so pronounced.

        It can be depending on hardware, but the perception of speed will be greatest moving from HDD to SSD because a 2 second delay reduced by 50% is much more noticeable than a 1 second delay reduced by 50%.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2265253 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        The gap between a hard drive and a SATA SSD is HUGE. The gap between that same SATA SSD to the latest NVMe is not nearly so pronounced.

        The gap in enormous. There is almost no speed difference between SATA III HDD vs SSD as both rely on the SATA speed. NVMe speed is up to 10X times the speed of SATA III.

        • #2265267 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          There is almost no speed difference between SATA III HDD vs SSD as both rely on the SATA speed.

          This was my experience when I upgraded my wife’s laptop from a mechanical HDD to an SSD (both are SATA). I didn’t notice much improvement when I did that. However, when I upgraded her laptop from 4 to 8 GB of RAM, there was a noticeable improvement. I upgraded the memory first, so there was no other factor at play when I noticed the improved performance.

          She is running Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2265363 Reply
          dg1261
          AskWoody_MVP

          There is almost no speed difference between SATA III HDD vs SSD as both rely on the SATA speed.

          I have to disagree. Of course, real world performance seldom reaches theoretical limits, but nevertheless, IME there is typically a very noticeable difference.

          Here are some tests I did a while ago with different boot disks on one particular computer:
          =======================================================================
          Optiplex 7050 WDC WD7500BPVT 750GB (5400rpm)
          ———————————————————————–
          CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
          Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
          ———————————————————————–
          * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
          * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
          Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 64.145 MB/s
          Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 64.539 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.851 MB/s [ 207.8 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.808 MB/s [ 197.3 IOPS]
          Sequential Read (T= 1) : 63.974 MB/s
          Sequential Write (T= 1) : 63.970 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.330 MB/s [ 80.6 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.851 MB/s [ 207.8 IOPS]
          =======================================================================
          Optiplex 7050 HGST HDN724040ALE640 4TB (7200rpm)
          ———————————————————————–
          CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
          Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
          ———————————————————————–
          * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
          * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
          Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 144.553 MB/s
          Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 145.349 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.930 MB/s [ 227.1 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.983 MB/s [ 240.0 IOPS]
          Sequential Read (T= 1) : 144.915 MB/s
          Sequential Write (T= 1) : 145.771 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.390 MB/s [ 95.2 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.033 MB/s [ 252.2 IOPS]
          =======================================================================
          Optiplex 7050 Samsung 960 Evo 500GB
          ———————————————————————–
          CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
          Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
          ———————————————————————–
          * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
          * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
          Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 562.858 MB/s
          Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 531.778 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 247.769 MB/s [ 60490.5 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 214.363 MB/s [ 52334.7 IOPS]
          Sequential Read (T= 1) : 532.073 MB/s
          Sequential Write (T= 1) : 470.688 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 19.777 MB/s [ 4828.4 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 66.085 MB/s [ 16134.0 IOPS]
          =======================================================================
          Optiplex 7050 Toshiba M.2 NVMe 256GB
          ———————————————————————–
          CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
          Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
          ———————————————————————–
          * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
          * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
          Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 2806.924 MB/s
          Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 344.543 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 578.688 MB/s [141281.3 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 896.731 MB/s [218928.5 IOPS]
          Sequential Read (T= 1) : 1934.160 MB/s
          Sequential Write (T= 1) : 1056.868 MB/s
          Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 50.291 MB/s [ 12278.1 IOPS]
          Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 225.954 MB/s [ 55164.6 IOPS]
          =======================================================================
          And for a subjective comparison, here are a couple videos I’d recorded in the past:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhpuNesBBzA

          https://photos.app.goo.gl/AuxuZEgXuEFBSx6d9

          The first one compares a 5400rpm HDD vs. a NVMe SSD, so is somewhat of a more extreme demonstration than to a SATA SSD.

          The second link shows a side-by-side comparison of a single system with the existing SATA HDD cloned to a SATA SSD, so is a demonstration exactly like what we are discussing.

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2265286 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        If you didn’t notice a significant improvement – especially with boot and program load times when migrating from a hard drive to a SSD, then something else is creating a big (tiny) bottleneck on that system.

        Of course, once the system is fully booted, depending on the tasks you are performing and the rest of your hardware, performance gains may be little, if noticeable at all – because most of the “crunching” is being done in memory. But if your tasks is disk intensive, the SSD will shine.

        Don’t assume a one-time anecdotal experience represents the norm.

        The gap in enormous. There is almost no speed difference between SATA III HDD vs SSD as both rely on the SATA speed. NVMe speed is up to 10X times the speed of SATA III.

        No, sorry this is not entirely correct. For one, you are assuming the SATA interface is the bottleneck. NOT TRUE at all for the hard drive. It is the entire electro-mechanical process of writing and reading data on a hard drive which makes even the fastest hard drives MUCH MUCH slower than even the slowest SATA SSD.

        And yes, there is a performance gap between SATA SSD and NVMe SSD, but the gap between HDD and SATA SSD is bigger.

        Please note I am talking about perceptions. Can we, has humans, notice the difference in actual use? For sure, on paper and benchmarks. But I am talking about what we actually see in day-to-day use.

        Does a Faster SSD Matter is an interesting Linus video that clearly illustrates how the marketing “hype” about faster NVMe SSDs is pretty much hogwash. Yes, they are faster, but is it noticeable? That’s the issue.

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2265291 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          the gap between HDD and SATA SSD is bigger

          Best disk write speeds.
          HDD: 200MB/s
          SSD: 450MB/s (2 x)
          NVMe SSD: 3GB/s (10+ x)

          Read speed differences will be similar.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2265318 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        If someone is a little short on memory, and they have a mechanical hard drive (with plenty of free space), and they could do only one thing to improve performance, and their two options were to either add memory or change their drive to an SSD, I would tell them every time to add memory. Not only is it easier to add memory than to swap drives, but my gut feeling (after decades of experience) tells me that adding memory will yield the best result.

        That’s my opinion. Obviously your opinion is different on this topic, and that’s ok. One of the things that is great about AskWoody is that the reader gets a lot of informed opinions.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2265320 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        NVMe SSD: 3GB/s (10+ x)

        Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 read : 5GBs, Write 4.4GBs.

      • #2265324 Reply
        Bill_Bright
        AskWoody Plus

        If someone is a little short on memory, and they have a mechanical hard drive (with plenty of free space), and they could do only one thing to improve performance, and their two options were to either add memory or change their drive to an SSD, I would tell them every time to add memory.

        … what I suggested in my first post –  IF short on memory

        Moderator note: Edited for content.
        Lounge Rules – 4. Please stay on topic, and be respectful

        Bill (AFE7Ret)
        Freedom isn't free!

      • #2265357 Reply
        DriftyDonN
        AskWoody Plus

        If someone is a little short on memory, and they have a mechanical hard drive (with plenty of free space), and they could do only one thing to improve performance, and their two options were to either add memory or change their drive to an SSD, I would tell them every time to add memory. Not only is it easier to add memory than to swap drives, but my gut feeling (after decades of experience) tells me that adding memory will yield the best result.

        That’s my opinion. Obviously your opinion is different on this topic, and that’s ok. One of the things that is great about AskWoody is that the reader gets a lot of informed opinions.

        That has pretty much been common knowledge  from the beginning of PC’s.

        SSD’s made a definite impact but RAM is more bang for the buck.

        I recently added 8 gb to match the 8gb presently in use. MAJOR difference.

        I also upgraded from sata hdd to sata(!) ssd . Not so noticible difference as w/ the RAM BUT I must admit that about 1 month later the cpu started overheating with nothing open. 110 c !(SPECCY) A laptop Repair store and Lenovo online “out of warranty “support say its the MOBO . Old machine, e545 series thinkpad .

        So wasted time upgrading hardware but the diff in speed w/ RAM was impressive while the ssd. not so much.

        “Perception IS reality”

        "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

      • #2266466 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I have found an additional performance improvement since upping my laptop memory from 4GB to 8GB:

        Sometimes I listen to a radio station using the Vivaldi browser. When I had only 4GB of RAM, streaming with Vivaldi pretty much tied up all of the resources on the laptop – if I tried to do anything else, it was horrendously slow. However, now that I have 8GB of RAM, I can stream radio with Vivaldi and do other things at the same time, without any noticeable reduction in performance. I am listening to the radio right now with Vivaldi while typing this post with Firefox.

        My OS is Linux Mint xfce 64-bit.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2266699 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          Tonight I used Vivaldi to access Google Maps. Vivaldi now loads fast and is very responsive, since I increased the memory in my laptop.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2266469 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        If someone is a little short on memory, and they have a mechanical hard drive (with plenty of free space), and they could do only one thing to improve performance, and their two options were to either add memory or change their drive to an SSD, I would tell them every time to add memory.

        That has pretty much been common knowledge from the beginning of PC’s.

        I understand that. But there are some people at AskWoody who don’t have the first idea how to improve performance on their computer. My comment was directed to them.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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