Laptop - faster processor/more RAM or SSD?

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by Stooge007, May 19, 2017.

  1. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    hi all

    trying to decide on whether i'd be better off going for a faster processor/more RAM or an SSD

    only looking to spend $500-700

    will mainly be used to access Xero (online accounting software) and MS Office etc.

    my googling seems to suggest that based on the above, probably better to go for a faster processor/more RAM, as the SSD will really only help on bootup and accessing large files/apps (which i won't really be doing)

    so should i go for a faster processor/more RAM and mech drive, or slower processor/less RAM and SSD?

    realistically, i can have the laptop in sleep mode before heading out to a client, so boot time isn't really a major factor, so leaning toward faster processor/more RAM

    appreciate any input though

    cheers
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    SSD and RAM - in that order, an SSD absolutely transforms a lappy.

    SSD isn't only about boot times.
     
  3. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    from what i've read, once booted and programs loaded, it's mostly the processor and RAM that does the job?

    won't really be accessing large files on the HDD (whether SSD or mech) at all
     
  4. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    Went an i5 Kaby and 8 gig ddr4. Will be buying an SSD for it soon. Can be painful coming from desktop with 2x SSD.
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    your call, I've told you what I know - SSD speeds up everything.

    hard drives are the slowest part of any machine - lappies especially.

    If you are accessing anything online make sure you have the fastest mobile connection possible as well.
     
  6. Narcoticx2

    Narcoticx2 Member

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    Another vote for SSD, but what CPU are you looking at?

    An i3 or above should be perfectly fine for Xero etc.
    I was using a pentium G840 and now an i5 2500s and in terms of software like Xero or office 360, I haven't noticed a difference between the processors.

    The SSD however gives a friendly boost with everything, not only loading the operating system (which is now pretty quick on any PC with windows 10) but also switching between emails, opening office programs, background processes, windows updates, all that nonsense that just makes a PC feel dead slow without an SSD.

    edit: if you're not worried about opening the laptop and the laptop is serviceable, get the better CPU now, and put the SSD in when you can... generally won't be able to upgrade the cpu down the track but the ssd you will be.
     
  7. miicah

    miicah Member

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    This is general advice for anyone, I wouldn't even consider looking at a new laptop that doesn't contain an SSD.
     
  8. mr626

    mr626 Member

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    One thing to consider- what is easier to upgrade yourself?

    When buying a new laptop, I'd personally opt for the one that had the best CPU, as that can't be easily upgraded later. Ram / SSD aren't as important at time of purchase for me- they can be easily / cheaply upgraded later in most cases.

    So, although I definitely recommend a SSD over a HDD for anyone in the market for a laptop, if it meant getting a significantly less powerful CPU (which can't be upgraded) I'd think twice.
     
  9. ni9ht_5ta1k3r

    ni9ht_5ta1k3r Member

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    Um... Go SSD cos my mum has a laptop with a second generation i5 mobile CPU and I installed an SSD and it was snappy. I even added in extra RAM for good measure.

    So yeah SSD does wonders.
     
  10. power

    power Member

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    OP do you have an existing machine (laptop)?

    Buy an SSD for it and prepare to have your mind blown.
     
  11. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Budget of up to $700? Unless you're looking at going second-hand for the new bits have a look at a faster laptop off the shelf - it's getting towards the time of year when prices start to look slightly saner than normal... :)

    And you used the word "clients", so a new one means Tax Write-Off if you're quick. Especially if you alos flog the old one off For The Right Price to help offset the cost an even betterer new one... :D

    Else as you're only using it for Office-type stuff then I'd probably be inclined to look at an injection of RAM then a better processor first - this'd give it more dancing room and faster finger-counting after it's booted up. From what you've said about leaving it in Sleep Mode the SSD would give it (far) faster wake times though.

    This is all assuming your lappy can happily take a better CPU and you've also already got a sane amount of RAM to start with of course. So now there's the next set of obligatory Dumb Questions - what hardware are you currently running, can the CPU be upgraded from your existing one and have you also flushed out all the cobwebs of your existing toy?

    Grab a (free) copy of Belarc to see what hardware you've got, then look at throwing something like Glary and cCleaner though it .
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  12. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    thanks all

    sorry, i was not clear in my OP

    looking to purchase a laptop, but trying to decide whether SSD trumps fasdter processor/more RAM

    oops :paranoid::paranoid::paranoid:
     
  13. Beavis_Wolf

    Beavis_Wolf Member

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    Even though I see you are using it for office work another great plus for SSDs is no moving parts.
    I use my lappy on top of A/C units that vibrate and with a SSD no problems but prior to that the number of mechanical drives that I've killed.
     
  14. asho444

    asho444 Member

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    Not sure of your understanding of how ran and hdd/ssd works.

    Your Hard drive is your permanent store where all you programs live. When you start up your computer or you open a program or play a game you get a loading screen, what is happening during the loading time is it is transferring the important program data to your RAM.
    From your ran the computer can access that data in an instant as it is many many times faster than hdd it was.

    Now I may not be 100% right here but hard drives have an average week time of like 7ms. This is caused by the fact that it has a head that needs to move in place and find the data on up to many as 5 disks. Along with a max transfer speed of around 100-120mb/s

    An SSD on the other hand has a week time of 0.1ms and can transfer anywhere from 500 to 2000mb/s.

    Which means it's not only Windows startup that's improved by an ssd it's everything that is stored on it is improved.

    Whilst it's always great to have more RAM realistically you should not *need* more than 4gb as that is plenty for Windows 10, some chrome tabs and xero.

    As your cpu's anything Intel i3 and above will absolutely smash out any thing you do.(Not bashing amd they just ain't mobile yet)

    Also Lenovo have a great sale ending tonight

    www3.lenovo.com/au/en/deals/current-offers/deals-of-the-week/E470-AU-C2/p/20H1CTO1WWENAU1/customize?

    I think that pretty much sums it up
     
  15. Hater

    Hater Member

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    I'm going to buck the trend and say RAM made a bigger difference for me that an SSD. Most of my files are located on the network anyway.
     
  16. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    would i notice much difference between an i3 and an N3700 processor?
     
  17. Narcoticx2

    Narcoticx2 Member

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    Yes, if this is the choice you have, go for the i3.
     
  18. Stooge007

    Stooge007 Member

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    probably $100-150 difference (~ 20%) between the two though
     
  19. Bold Eagle

    Bold Eagle Member

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    SSD>CPU>RAM.

    With that being noted it depends how much RAM the Laptop has - if it was only 2GB then more RAM (at least 4GB) would make a big difference. If you can aim for 'dual channel DDR4' RAM for the best performance.

    Considering your task (Xero and Office 365) an i3 (what Gen?!?) would be greater than the N3700:
    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-N3700-vs-Intel-Core-i3-6100
     
  20. Wet Sandwich

    Wet Sandwich Member

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    SSD for sure.

    A mechanical hard drive is very noticable, it just grinds and chugs away for several seconds to open a folder, browser, program, anything. SSD - instant.

    You do need minimum i3, preferably i5.
    i5 is easily achievable in your budget.

    I got a gaming laptop with i5/12gb/256SSD/geforce940 for about $900 off amazon 6 months ago - anything without the graphics should surely cost several hundred less than that.
     

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