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Windows 7: Faster Disks are the BEST way of increasing Computer performance


09 Nov 2010   #1

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 
Faster Disks are the BEST way of increasing Computer performance

Hi all
Assuming you have sufficient RAM and are not requiring the ultimate gaming experience the BEST way of improving your Computer performance is to install the FASTEST hard disks you can afford -- (or SSD's - but they are a bit more expensive).

Even on a humble Netbook swapping the standard 160 HDD for a faster 320 or 500 GB HDD made a SIGNIFICANT improvement in response time, application loading etc etc.

(You can keep the 160 HDD as an external HDD for say music/DVD's etc etc. An enclosure to convert it to a "Normal" USB ext HDD is available at any PC store -- very cheap so you don't have to throw the disk away).

My humble Netbook (ASUS LO 521) is now nearly as fast as my normal (Heavy) laptop.

Most stuff typical users do on a computer are highly I/O bound which means assuming there is enough RAM - around 2GB is good enough for typical use - then faster DISKS will yield much better performance than a QUAD CPU etc.

However most people usually ignore this advice and load machines up with expensive CPU's and loads of RAM and are then disappointed because performance improvments turn out to be quite small compared with the investment.

Note if you use Virtual Machines or are a Gamer then CPU and RAM is also important -- however my advice here is to the 100,000's of users who are just surfing, emailing, doing office type apps and playing multimedia (not CREATING it BTW) is to upgrade your HDD's to the fastest you can afford.

Cheers
jimbo


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09 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
 
 

Partition alignment should go by hand of any hard disk, I've seen corei7 computers lag really bad because brands like Dell didnt align the partitions before preinstalling the OS
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09 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Jimbo, well said. I agree.
My next upgrade will be a beastly SSD (when I get money).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OldMX View Post
Partition alignment should go by hand of any hard disk, I've seen corei7 computers lag really bad because brands like Dell didnt align the partitions before preinstalling the OS
Could you expand upon this?

~Lordbob
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09 Nov 2010   #4

WDS 7 Home Pre.x64
 
 

For now ..I'm happy with 7200RPM HDD ."Instead of 5400rpm that came with it"
Faster than this ....my laptop will get very very very...HOT ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2010   #5

Win 7 Ultimate x64 desktop, Win 8.1.1 x64 laptop, Win 7 Home x64 netbook, Win 8.1.1 x64 tablet
 
 

I agree with faster disk being the key to better performance. I replaced the 5400rpm 160G hdd in my Acer Aspire One netbook with a 64G ssd and apps open much quicker than they did before. I also maxed out my RAM at 1.5G which didn't make much of a difference at all.

Adding more RAM won't automatically make things faster. It only helps when the mix of apps you nromally use causes your machine to start swapping memory to disk. In that situation you will see a performance boost by adding more RAM.
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09 Nov 2010   #6

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lordbob75 View Post
Could you expand upon this?

~Lordbob
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jimmymay/arc...-template.aspx

I dont have a Dell at hand right now to take a screenshot fo the misaligned partition, but defrag a 1TB disk with an unligned partition is a pain in the a$$ because it takes a lot longer than under a correctly aligned disk.
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09 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Heh, anyone with an SSD can confirm that. And by "fast" it really means "faster acess time" the read/write speed increase is nice but not nearly as important as the acess time. The 0.01 ms (or less) average acess time of an SSD is what really gives it it's oomph, and swapping one of those into a system, even the fastest available today will make it seem like you trippled your CPU. EVERYHTING you do, every button click is /instantanious/ response. A clean (no plugins) photoshop CS5 loads in 2.5 seconds, compared to 10-20 (or longer) normally. Everything is that fast

Ancient (like roman era or something?) mechanical HD tech is /the/ thing holding back overall performance on modern hardware (Well and has for the last 15 or more years actually).
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09 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OldMX View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lordbob75 View Post
Could you expand upon this?

~Lordbob
Disk Partition Alignment (Sector Alignment): Make the Case: Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars - Jimmy May, Aspiring Geek: SQL Server Performance, Best Practices, & Productivity - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

I dont have a Dell at hand right now to take a screenshot fo the misaligned partition, but defrag a 1TB disk with an unligned partition is a pain in the a$$ because it takes a lot longer than under a correctly aligned disk.
Interesting.... Thanks for the link.

I don't know if this would apply to SSDs or not though.

~Lordbob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Absolutely true! I find it so hilarious when people say "I bought a great new laptop, configured it with the most expensive i7 and it's ultra-fast" and when I ask about the harddrive I get "ahh, yeah it's really big - 500GB..... 540RPM" Great speed - that CPU will never really use it's power

First (and still the only) thing I upgraded on my notebook was to put the fastest 7200 RPM HDD I could find and get rid of the 5400RPM. One day a SSD will come but I am sure the prizes will drop dramatically in the next few months and I don't want to be the idiot who spent a fortune on a storage space so small that no one would ever want to buy second hand

Will wait at least until the prices are 1€/GB Until then - 500GB with a reasonable speed do the trick good enough

Other then that it is so obvious what bottlenecks your system - Every time I unzip/unrar something I notice my i5 CPU is only 30-40% loaded...... why? because my HDD is 100% loaded and can't take any more ) So i7 on a standard HDD?? Very clever!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #10

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lordbob75 View Post
I don't know if this would apply to SSDs or not though.

~Lordbob
Definitely yes, visit OCZ support forums and check the hundred of threads about that issue.

OldMX
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