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Do I need a fast FSB, fast spinning hard drive or something else?

 
 
lucasjensen@gmail.com
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      10-18-2005, 08:30 PM
I need a laptop with the following requirements:

1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up. Additionally it
has to be very fast in shutting down again.
2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.
3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.

So, how can I avoid the following things mentioned above (because they
are really annoying to me)? How can I get rid of it? Do I need a CPU
speed? Do I need a fast spinning hard drive? Do I need a lot of RAM? Do
I need a high FSB speed? What about the RAM speed?

Besides the annoying things mentioned above, the computer will be used
for LaTeX, meaning compiling a lot of code and regular office
application. The laptop is NOT going to be used for gaming. The laptop
will both run Windows and Linux.

What specifications should I look for?

Regards, Lucas Jensen

 
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aj
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      10-18-2005, 08:59 PM

>1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
>other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up.


Once you have gone to http://www.tweakxp.com/ and done everything they
say to speed up XP, then boot time depends almost 100% on drive
speed. So 5,400 rpm is min and maybe you should get a 7,200 rpm HDD.

XPlite might be in order, also. http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html


>Additionally it
>has to be very fast in shutting down again.
>2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
>leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.


Minimum of 512MB of RAM.

>3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
>like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
>the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.



>So, how can I avoid the following things mentioned above (because they
>are really annoying to me)? How can I get rid of it? Do I need a CPU
>speed?


Get a Pentium M

>Do I need a fast spinning hard drive?


Yes, that might be 90% of the battle.

> Do I need a lot of RAM?


512MB minium with larger amounts not helping much at all in most
cases.

>Do I need a high FSB speed? What about the RAM speed?


Should be fine with the above listed specs.

>Besides the annoying things mentioned above, the computer will be used
>for LaTeX, meaning compiling a lot of code and regular office
>application. The laptop is NOT going to be used for gaming. The laptop
>will both run Windows and Linux.
>
>What specifications should I look for?


This RAM trick has become popular for extending battery life but could
help you. You can get incredibly fast USB thumb drives 1-2GB or even
larger. Anything you put on them(normally movies) will run incredibly
fast/smooth and use almost no battery power. Although it doesn't help
with the screen which is a big drain. These thumb drives show up to
the system just like any spinning drive, so you can run apps off them
as well.
 
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Peter T. Breuer
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      10-18-2005, 10:11 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> I need a laptop with the following requirements:


> 1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
> other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up.


That's a function of your perating system and its configuration, not the
laptop.


> Additionally it
> has to be very fast in shutting down again.


Ditto.

> 2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
> leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.


That depends on your operating system and window manager and the ay you
have it configured. It sounds to me like you are doing "solid" moves
with a software "Vesa" (standard) driver. Don't do that. Configure
for skeletn animation or no animation only.

> 3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
> like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
> the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.


Well, don't use WE. Is that a "gui file manager"? I'm sure there are
alternatives. Again, this sounds like something to do with your o/s -
you may have configured it so that it does not use dma for disk
transfers, or perhaps it is doing synchronous i/o to the disk, or
turning interrupts off while waiting on disk i/o. Don't do that. Use a
different driver, o/s or change its configuration.

It may be that your disk is slow, but a proper o/s will have a
sensible buffering and caching and lookahead management scheme, and
you wouldn't notice. Try tuning your o/s to your likes.

> So, how can I avoid the following things mentioned above (because they
> are really annoying to me)?


You'd have to learn what you were doing.

> Besides the annoying things mentioned above, the computer will be used
> for LaTeX, meaning compiling a lot of code and regular office
> application.


That's not a heavy load at all. CPUs are faster than lightning nowadays
and all latex does is solve linear constraint problems to determine
character placings. I write whle books on a 450, and did on a 150.

> The laptop is NOT going to be used for gaming. The laptop
> will both run Windows and Linux.


Then you will find it easy to avoid Windows Explorer.

> What specifications should I look for?


None. Anything will do. Get a laptop you can service, which
eassentially means an IBM. Check out the linux-laptops page. My needs
in laptps may be different from yours - I like small keyboards and
tiny screens and lightweight ultraportables with excellent networking
and NO peripherals.

Peter
 
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Barry OGrady
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      10-19-2005, 04:04 AM
On 18 Oct 2005 13:30:21 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>I need a laptop with the following requirements:
>
>1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
>other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up. Additionally it
>has to be very fast in shutting down again.
>2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
>leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.
>3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
>like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
>the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.
>
>So, how can I avoid the following things mentioned above (because they
>are really annoying to me)? How can I get rid of it? Do I need a CPU
>speed? Do I need a fast spinning hard drive? Do I need a lot of RAM? Do
>I need a high FSB speed? What about the RAM speed?


SATA hard drive.

>Besides the annoying things mentioned above, the computer will be used
>for LaTeX, meaning compiling a lot of code and regular office
>application. The laptop is NOT going to be used for gaming. The laptop
>will both run Windows and Linux.
>
>What specifications should I look for?
>
>Regards, Lucas Jensen


Barry
=====
Home page
http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og
 
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Barry OGrady
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      10-19-2005, 04:07 AM
On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 00:11:17 +0200, "Peter T. Breuer" <(E-Mail Removed)3m.es> wrote:

>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>> I need a laptop with the following requirements:

>
>> 1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
>> other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up.

>
>That's a function of your perating system and its configuration, not the
>laptop.


Wrong. A fast SATA hard drive will speed up startup.

>> Additionally it
>> has to be very fast in shutting down again.

>
>Ditto.


See above.

>> 2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
>> leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.

>
>That depends on your operating system and window manager and the ay you
>have it configured. It sounds to me like you are doing "solid" moves
>with a software "Vesa" (standard) driver. Don't do that. Configure
>for skeletn animation or no animation only.
>
>> 3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
>> like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
>> the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.

>
>Well, don't use WE. Is that a "gui file manager"? I'm sure there are
>alternatives. Again, this sounds like something to do with your o/s -
>you may have configured it so that it does not use dma for disk
>transfers, or perhaps it is doing synchronous i/o to the disk, or
>turning interrupts off while waiting on disk i/o. Don't do that. Use a
>different driver, o/s or change its configuration.
>
>It may be that your disk is slow, but a proper o/s will have a
>sensible buffering and caching and lookahead management scheme, and
>you wouldn't notice. Try tuning your o/s to your likes.
>
>> So, how can I avoid the following things mentioned above (because they
>> are really annoying to me)?

>
>You'd have to learn what you were doing.
>
>> Besides the annoying things mentioned above, the computer will be used
>> for LaTeX, meaning compiling a lot of code and regular office
>> application.

>
>That's not a heavy load at all. CPUs are faster than lightning nowadays
>and all latex does is solve linear constraint problems to determine
>character placings. I write whle books on a 450, and did on a 150.
>
>> The laptop is NOT going to be used for gaming. The laptop
>> will both run Windows and Linux.

>
>Then you will find it easy to avoid Windows Explorer.
>
>> What specifications should I look for?

>
>None. Anything will do. Get a laptop you can service, which
>eassentially means an IBM. Check out the linux-laptops page. My needs
>in laptps may be different from yours - I like small keyboards and
>tiny screens and lightweight ultraportables with excellent networking
>and NO peripherals.
>
>Peter


Barry
=====
Home page
http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og
 
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Peter T. Breuer
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      10-19-2005, 08:06 AM
Barry OGrady <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 00:11:17 +0200, "Peter T. Breuer" <(E-Mail Removed)3m.es> wrote:


>>(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>>> I need a laptop with the following requirements:

>>
>>> 1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
>>> other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up.

>>
>>That's a function of your operating system and its configuration, not the
>>laptop.


> Wrong. A fast SATA hard drive will speed up startup.


Nonsense - my startup takes 200ms. That's because it doesn't read
anything from the disk after booting the 1MB kernel. At 5MB/s that is
one fifth of a second.

>>> Additionally it
>>> has to be very fast in shutting down again.

>>
>>Ditto.


> See above.


If you don't understand what you are talking about, please say. If you
really MEAN that you don't have any control over what YOUR operating
system does and THEREFORE have no option but to play with the specs of
what you can change in the hardware, then utter the dreaded words. But
you will find that startup speed is chiefly a function of what is DONE,
and HOW, not of what it is DONE TO (or from, hic).

For example, if you arrange that all the daemon processes started are
started in parallel instead of sequentially, then you will reduce the
starting of 30 daemons that each take one second to start from 30 to one
second.

Or you can choose to start one daemon instead of thirty. These things
are questions of CHOICE - choice of operating system, configuration and
tuning.

[rest snipped for greater pleasure all round]

Peter
 
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William P. N. Smith
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      10-19-2005, 04:32 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

[I'm assuming WinXP, just because it's the easy assumption]

>1. I do not like waiting till the notebook finishes booting up. In
>other words it has to be extremely fast in booting up. Additionally it
>has to be very fast in shutting down again.


Well, there's always the suspend mode, if you have some power
available.

>2. When moving smaller windows across the screen, they often freeze by
>leaving 50 or so frames behind. I do not like that.
>3. When using Windows Explorer or just clicking on folders I do not
>like when the computers needs time to show the new folders/map (often
>the moving flash light appears). I don't like that.


This sounds like you need to work on the performance of the machine in
general before you start worrying about the hard drive. Check for
free memory, hard drive space, virtual memory settings, malware, and
startup programs before you start worrying about hard drive speed.

>Do I need a CPU
>speed? Do I need a fast spinning hard drive? Do I need a lot of RAM? Do
>I need a high FSB speed? What about the RAM speed?


Laptop speeds are not really upgradable, while you can add more memory
and a faster hard drive, you can't upgrade the CPU speed, FSB, memory
bandwidth, or hard drive interface without replacing the laptop.

At their current speeds, the difference between PATA and SATA hard
drives isn't that significant, IMHO.

I don't know where you are starting from, but adding memory and
upgrading you hard drive to 7200RPM will help, but only after looking
at why your current configuration is so slow. Tell us more about your
current system, it wasn't always that slow, was it?
 
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lucasjensen@gmail.com
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      10-19-2005, 09:35 PM

> >>That's a function of your operating system and its configuration, not the
> >>laptop.

>
> > Wrong. A fast SATA hard drive will speed up startup.

>
> Nonsense - my startup takes 200ms. That's because it doesn't read
> anything from the disk after booting the 1MB kernel. At 5MB/s that is
> one fifth of a second.


It sounds very interesting. I would really like to configure my
operating system (Windows XP) in order to be in control of what's
happening. How can I do that? Any links?

What is a SATA hard drive?

Lucas

 
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Peter T. Breuer
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      10-19-2005, 10:09 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>> >>That's a function of your operating system and its configuration, not the
>> >>laptop.

>>
>> > Wrong. A fast SATA hard drive will speed up startup.

>>
>> Nonsense - my startup takes 200ms. That's because it doesn't read
>> anything from the disk after booting the 1MB kernel. At 5MB/s that is
>> one fifth of a second.


> It sounds very interesting. I would really like to configure my
> operating system (Windows XP) in order to be in control of what's
> happening. How can I do that? Any links?


? I have no idea what you do about windows - I imagine Peter Norton makes
a bomb selling tuning tools for it. I thought the idea of windows was
to leave the owner feeling helpless and powerless so that one shelled
out money for "addons" that do "copy" and other simple things. Perhaps
tuning is in the same area.

Google for "windows tuning".

> What is a SATA hard drive?


A normal drive with a fast-ish cable attached to it - thus not any faster
than a normal drive when it gets down to it.

They actually took the opportunity to upgrade the standard ATA interface
electronics a bit too (while mucking with the bus stuff), so as to make
it more like scsi. This helps with multiple requests at once. But
since startup is simply a read read read read kind of thing it makes not
much difference. You can't read faster than the disk can read no matter
what speed the bus is. And there's nothing cached at that point, so
nothing good to read out of the cache (which would be faster than with a
slower bus :-).

If you want to speed things up another way, you could spend your time
re-laying the files on disk in the physical order that they will be
read, so that the read ahead (which I hope your o/s performs, or maybe
even the drives own readahead if it does any ..) from each block read
request primes the cache with the blocks it will read next.

That should keep you occupied.

Unless Peter Norton has made a utility that logs the read sequence one
time through, and then re-lays the disk to suit. If he hasn't, tell him
I said he's missing an opportunity there.


Peter
 
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Barry Watzman
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      10-20-2005, 02:38 AM
SATA = Serial ATA.

I thought that this was a strange response, because there are very few
if any 2.5" drives or laptops that use SATA. [SATA is an alternative
interface that can replace the IDE interface used to connect a hard
drive to a computer].

I really doubt that SATA BY ITSELF will make much of a difference.


(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

>>>>That's a function of your operating system and its configuration, not the
>>>>laptop.

>>
>>>Wrong. A fast SATA hard drive will speed up startup.

>>
>>Nonsense - my startup takes 200ms. That's because it doesn't read
>>anything from the disk after booting the 1MB kernel. At 5MB/s that is
>>one fifth of a second.

>
>
> It sounds very interesting. I would really like to configure my
> operating system (Windows XP) in order to be in control of what's
> happening. How can I do that? Any links?
>
> What is a SATA hard drive?
>
> Lucas
>

 
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