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Windows 7: Mirrored or double drive--current thinking?

13 Nov 2012   #11
markg2

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Intel's on-board graphics should do fine. An i3 Ivy bridge should work fine. Memory is fairly cheap, get 8GB and make sure it comes with the 64 bit version of the OS installed. Get USB 3.0 Get a 128GB SSD and a Tb or so data drive then buy yourself an external USB 3.0 drive for backups.
1. Is USB 3.0 backward compatible to 2.0 external flash drives?

2. Is the term 'Ivy...' incidental to i3, i5, i7...?

3. Regarding the storage drives, there are SATA and other similar cryptic names. Which drive name offers the best all around speed and efficiency? Does the name then equally apply to a desktop drive as well as a laptop drive?

4. There's always 'another', faster wireless spec being introduced. I wouldn't hold off 'waiting' but I also don't want to buy a machine when a new spec is just going into production. Is this a good 'still' time to buy (and this really would apply to all the important computer segments)?

The data flow bottleneck has always been between the drive and processor(s). It used to be called the data bus. Has there been any significant improvement in this area in the past several years or does it remain the bottleneck?

Lastly, (and to be thorough) my wife frequently wishes she had a laptop for the infrequent times it would make travel sense. I could attach a laptop of her current monitor and keyboard and mouse. There's an obvious cost > laptop vs. box. The question--apart from the primary SSD drive, what kind of realistic internal hard drive storage can you expect today for reasonable dollars in the laptop (I'm assuming that you could add 1 additional drive unless you used the DVD bay)?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Nov 2012   #12
kbrady1979

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

1. Yes

2. Ivy Bridge is just the code name for the 3rd generation Core series of Intel CPU's. They are currently the newest in production.

3. SATA is all you need to deal with now.

4. Wireless N is the what you'll be dealing with for now, although Wireless AC just came out. There are just now a few wireless routers that do AC, and it isn't even a "standard" yet. Stick to N.

5. Even with high-speed SSD's out on the market, your storage drive will always be the slowest component in your system. Reading/Writing data to/from it will still be the slowest process on the block.

6. I think they make drives for laptops all the way up to 1TB these days. As for how many drive bays there are, you'll just have to check the particular model you are looking at to see how many it will hold. Some require extra hardware to be installed in the empty "bay". You could always get a larger SSD and use an external HDD for data storage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #13
markg2

Windows 7
 
 

1. Lenovo only builds box computers with USB 2.0 on the front and 3.0 ports at the rear. If I run a USB hub from a rear 3.0 hub that has (for example) 4 ports on it and I then fill all 4 hub ports but ONLY 1 hub port is used at a time, is that 1 of 4 hub ports = in throughput to a device's throughput that is plugged directly into the machine's 3.0 port and not using a hub?

2. Regarding the 8GB of memory--if I wanted to ~simulate my wife's potential maximum memory use would I do that by just adding up the various application sizes and databases and data stores of potential open applications + toss in ~1GB for system use and ~1GB for the pagefile and ~1GB for graphics (the graphics would be onboard the ix processor and not a separate adaptor?

Mark
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18 Nov 2012   #14
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

1 if you use a hub, all devices share the same USB port the hub is connected to. As long as only one device is working at the same time, the impact on performance is minimal. This assumes that:
a. the hub is USB 3.0
b. the device is USB 3.0
Otherwise either the hub is a bottleneck or the device's own interface is a bottleneck.
Besides, front ports tend to be useful only for low-power devices (pendrives, usb headsets, keyboards, remote receivers) not hard drives.

2. Win7 x64 uses a little less than 2 GB of ram for its own stuff, while Win7 x86 needs a little less than 1 GB (but is limited to 3 GB total RAM so it's not really worth it). Integrated graphics ram use depends on what you are doing, if you don't game nor watch movies, it won't go anywhere near 500 mb. Pagefile isn't in the RAM, but is stuff sitting on the HDD (don't have it on a SSD, leave it on the HDD), and it is used as "emergency RAM" when you run out of real RAM. Something that is more and more rare to see used nowadays.

2b. yes, integrated graphics is inside the same chip that houses the processor. You connect the monitor cable to the motherboard's video output (as you don't have any other place to connect it if you don't have a video card).
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18 Nov 2012   #15
markg2

Windows 7
 
 

So to be sure--I can add an application's exe filesize + its database and get a very good value for the RAM it will use OR I need to add x% to the preceding total that for some reason the OS will add for the total of each open application?

So once I subtract 2.5GB (overhead) from 8GB=5.5GB and subtract the total used by all open applications and data is there not an additional % of total RAM that the Win7/64 OS will want (or should be free for optimal performance) to keep as sort of free, transactional (for want of the correct word) RAM that would also need to be deducted?

Mark
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18 Nov 2012   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I always image to 2 drives - 1 internal and 1 external.
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18 Nov 2012   #17
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I always image to 2 drives - 1 internal and 1 external.
whs is taking advantage of the best of both worlds by using both an internal and an external HDD. An internal drive is far more convenient and, depending on the connection used to the external drive, is much faster. An external drive that is connected only when imaging is safer since it will be isolated from viruses or power surges (even if using a surge arrestor) that could wipe or fry all the internal drives in a computer.

I prefer using external drives to make images on. The backup plan I'm in the process of putting into place envolves having two external HDDs at home (actually, they are internal HDDs used in a dock; my next desktop will have two hotswap bays that will eliminate the need for a dock with its USB bottleneck) and one HDD kept in a safety deposit box at my Credit Union. I alternate the HDDs at home weekly and once I get a safety deposit box (the one part of the plan I haven't implemented yet), I'll swap it out with the latest backup once a month). This way, most of my data is protected even if all my equipment is stolen or my home burns down. I have a subscription with Carbonite (a cloud backup service) so any data not yet backed up on an HDD is still recoverable.
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18 Nov 2012   #18
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My external drive is on an eSata port (on this sytem). The speed is about the samne as to the internal drive. On my laptop the external is on USB3 - still fast.
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18 Nov 2012   #19
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post

2. Win7 x64 uses a little less than 2 GB of ram for its own stuff, while Win7 x86 needs a little less than 1 GB (but is limited to 3 GB total RAM
The limit is 4 GB of total RAM for 32 bit systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Nov 2012   #20
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
My external drive is on an eSata port (on this sytem). The speed is about the samne as to the internal drive. On my laptop the external is on USB3 - still fast.
That's why I said depending on the connection (neither of my current machines have e-SATA). One of my docks (I have one powered 3.5" dock that will also handle 2.5" drives which will work on either USB 2.0 or e-SATA (probably SATA II) and two cute little USB powered 2.5" docks for my notebook. The bigger dock is just temporary until I get the new machine with the hot swap bays built. Once that happens, I'm losing the big dock because it eats up too much space on my desk (and its wall wart is a parasite). The little docks are for my notebook so I can do backups and restorations when on the road.
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 Mirrored or double drive--current thinking?




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