Is there more to speed than just the processor?

Cosmarchy

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Apr 27, 2017
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My current laptop is dying on its knees; it's slow and clunky, every day a key on the keypad fails and today the PSU (or connector) has packed in. So, unsurprisingly, I'm looking for a replacement.

There are plenty of options out there and I've come across a site which allows me to configure a laptop.

I'm only playing with ideas at the moment to see what I can afford so I'm just playing with options. One option is a i7-770HQ which supports 64GB RAM. The next drop-down list is RAM and the max there is 32GB - within the max spec of the processor. But. This has now got me thinking.

My current laptop is a i7-2670QM with 8GB RAM clearly well within the 32GB max limit of the processor but as well as being slow, my current laptop freezes with the "not responding" banner indiscriminately. When I look at task manager all four cores are around 50% utilized and the RAM is sitting around 4.5GB so hardly being maxed out yet it's freezes at something simple as using firefox and generally runs very sluggish.

Drivers are all up to date (as far as I can tell), the RAM is ok and it's running Win 7 x64 but I wouldn't expect it to be that slow.

So, I'm thinking. Why is there a max of 32GB (on the i7-2670QM processor for example) when the processor hardly uses any RAM at all before grinding to a halt? In this case the half the RAM it has available.

Why so much RAM when it is unlikely ever to be used?
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
CPUs supports up to 32GB / 64GB of RAM because there are applications out there that actually demands a lot of RAM though most are not for the average consumer. An example would be a massive database and various computer aided design (CAD) software for very large and detailed projects.

It sounds like your Windows OS has gotten "bloated" over the years with the Windows Registry likely having a lot of "junk" in it. A clean install of Windows will fix performance issues if that is the case. However, if your laptop is starting to fall apart on you, then buying a new laptop would be a better choice. Of course it is possible to continue to use your current laptop until it totally fails, just make sure to back up any important information though.

Overall performance of a laptop depends on three things:

CPU - Using applications that uses a lot of processing power benefits from a powerful CPU. It could be a single program like a video editor or multiple programs that individually do not really stress the CPU at all, but combined they will.

RAM - You need enough RAM to minimize caching which happens when programs and Windows needs more physically than what is currently installed on the PC / laptop. When this happens Windows need to cache data between the hard drive or SSD and physical RAM. This can create a huge performance loss and lag if a lot of data is being cached back and forth constantly. It can also result in an out of memory error. 8GB is enough for the average person.

Storage - Hard drives (HDDs) have been around for a long time, but SSDs (solid state drives) are replacing them. SSDs have much faster read / write speeds compared to HDDs; some are extremely fast. With a clean install of Windows a laptop with a HDD may take anywhere between 45 seconds to 60 seconds to boot. A SSD can cut that down to 15 to 20 seconds. An extremely fast SSD can cut that down to 10 seconds. SSDs are fast, but they are also expensive (but less so than in the past). Nowadays, a 1TB laptop HDD can generally be purchased for around $60 to $65 online. A 1TB SSD costs around $275, and that's the slow version.
 

ava3a13

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Apr 23, 2017
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That's not only about processor, that's the system or software usage of hardware. so think from here, you got a windows application which stresses CPU, and has no usage for RAM or vice versa. and maximum for CPU is because timings and data it can read given from ram, or again vice versa.
 

thx1138v2

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Jun 18, 2011
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I suspect the laptop needs a good cleaning and the processor is being throttled due to heat build up.

As to the RAM question, that CPU can go in a lot of other machines and some of those machines may be able to handle 64GB of RAM and actually need it. You don't need as much due to the software you are running but if you were using video editing software, for one example, your RAM usage would be higher.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
CPUs supports up to 32GB / 64GB of RAM because there are applications out there that actually demands a lot of RAM though most are not for the average consumer. An example would be a massive database and various computer aided design (CAD) software for very large and detailed projects.

It sounds like your Windows OS has gotten "bloated" over the years with the Windows Registry likely having a lot of "junk" in it. A clean install of Windows will fix performance issues if that is the case. However, if your laptop is starting to fall apart on you, then buying a new laptop would be a better choice. Of course it is possible to continue to use your current laptop until it totally fails, just make sure to back up any important information though.

Overall performance of a laptop depends on three things:

CPU - Using applications that uses a lot of processing power benefits from a powerful CPU. It could be a single program like a video editor or multiple programs that individually do not really stress the CPU at all, but combined they will.

RAM - You need enough RAM to minimize caching which happens when programs and Windows needs more physically than what is currently installed on the PC / laptop. When this happens Windows need to cache data between the hard drive or SSD and physical RAM. This can create a huge performance loss and lag if a lot of data is being cached back and forth constantly. It can also result in an out of memory error. 8GB is enough for the average person.

Storage - Hard drives (HDDs) have been around for a long time, but SSDs (solid state drives) are replacing them. SSDs have much faster read / write speeds compared to HDDs; some are extremely fast. With a clean install of Windows a laptop with a HDD may take anywhere between 45 seconds to 60 seconds to boot. A SSD can cut that down to 15 to 20 seconds. An extremely fast SSD can cut that down to 10 seconds. SSDs are fast, but they are also expensive (but less so than in the past). Nowadays, a 1TB laptop HDD can generally be purchased for around $60 to $65 online. A 1TB SSD costs around $275, and that's the slow version.
 
Am not sure why you are blaming slowness on ram, u did not explain this conclusion.

Is very simple to me:

1. CPU if the cores are not maxed out, you are good there.
2. RAM - if task manager says you have (plenty) of physical ram available, you are good there.
3. A failing HD is a major source of slow down, there is no mention of this on your post.
4. Slowdown specifically on browser? Well I find a major culprit is Adobe Flash. Don't ask me why, I just notice sometimes my machine behaves as yours and as soon as I kill the browser, or the tab that's running a Flash, AM BACK!
5. Are you differentiating between local applications and apps that's accessing the web? No matter how much horsepower you got, if the distant server which you are accessing is slow, well nothing is gonna fix that, but I hope this is obvious to you.
6. In the same vain, if your WAN/LAN being saturated by other users? Lil' brother torrenting like mad, and grandpas watching his UHD netflix?
 
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