Author Topic: Wanted to buy a new laptop, instead I made mine faster for cheap, here's how.  (Read 10000 times)

Offline 280Z28

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I've been having lots of trouble with my laptop being slow. I use it at work all day and it's been hindering my performance there. :( I was going to buy a nice new Athlon 64 FX60 with a 17" monitor, but I decided to see what I could do to mine for cheaper. It's a P4 3.0 with HT, 800MHZ FSB, dual DDR, 7200rpm 60gb hard drive, the works. It's a couple years old, but it should be fast enough for me to work with.

I noticed I was constantly running out of memory. 512mb is not enough for development. AT ALL. So I started by ordering 2gb Corsair PC3200 DDR for it. That's my only expense in what I did. $250 is so much cheaper than a $3500 laptop!

I defragmented my hard drive. I didn't realize my scheduled task for that was disabled (now fixed). I had 120,000+ excess fragments!

Delete unused files. I was down to under 1gb free space. :( With the help of Treesize (freeware version) I was able to rapidly free up 10GB extra drive space. I highly recommend this easy to use piece of freeware.

In one sitting I have a whole new machine (functionality wise).

Lesson to be learned: (fairly) simple maintainance of your computer pays off in the long run, and keeps you from having to spend money on tons of new hardware just to keep things usable. :cool:
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Offline 280Z28

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BTW, I'm not new to computers at all, I've just been lazy. :o
78 280Z, "a few bolt-ons" - 12.71@109.04
99 Trans Am, "Daily Driver" - 525rwhp/475rwtq
 Check out The Sam Zone :cool:

Offline Michael

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Lesson to be learned: (fairly) simple maintainance of your computer pays off in the long run, and keeps you from having to spend money on tons of new hardware just to keep things usable. :cool:

I normally take care of my notebook, but this does not prevent it to stop working :). Anyway, you are right. A bit of maintenance, some additional memory and may be a larger hard-disk can in most of the cases increase the performance of your "old" notebook. Regarding the hard-disk is the thing somehow funny. I have an hard-disk of GB, but when the free space is under 15-20% then the notebook works quite bad.

Michael

Offline TDragon

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I noticed I was constantly running out of memory. 512mb is not enough for development. AT ALL.
This, my friend, is indeed the primary factor in computer performance. Consider the following scenario.

The computer I use at work came advertised as a workhorse, with a screamin' P4 2.8Ghz processor. My home PC, on the other hand, is putting along with a budget Sempron 2600+, running at 1.6Ghz. One PC takes 5 minutes to compile a clean install of Code::Blocks' SVN sources, the other takes 20.

Oh, did you think my work PC took 5 minutes? Think again. The P4 uses up all of its 512Mb of RAM in a matter of milliseconds, and spends the next 19+ minutes chugging away in virtual memory on the hard drive. Little Sempron, on the other hand, has another 256Mb stick of DDR to work with, and it sails through never touching the virtual memory.

If your computer has to use Windows' virtual memory at all during the course of the day, buying more RAM is the smartest upgrade you could do.
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Offline Michael

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If your computer has to use Windows' virtual memory at all during the course of the day, buying more RAM is the smartest upgrade you could do.

I fully agree :). I have remarked this when I have added 512 MB to the notebook I used at work (for a total of 1 GB). Compared to my private notebook (512 MB - 64 MB shared video ram), the difference in compiling C::B is relatively huge (around 12-15 minutes). The processor speed is approximately the same for both notebooks.

Michael

Offline rickg22

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I always wanted a utility like treesize. I had programmed one in pascal, in the good ol' DOS days, but it didn't work well with NTFS partitions. Thanks for the tip! :)

Oh, btw, i really recommend people to make various partitions in their drive - leave 10 or 15 gigs for C: where windows resides. Then tell windows (don't ask me how, tweaking the registry works) that the programfiles folder is in (your other partition)\program files. I also have a partition for the multimedia files (music, videos, etc). This way you can just delete your Red vs. Blue videos if you're running out of space :)

As a general rule, storing your data in a separate partition than your program files, does wonders. You know where is what, and the fragmentation of your HD is always kept to a minimum.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 07:58:56 pm by rickg22 »

Offline artoj

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Regarding the hard-disk is the thing somehow funny. I have an hard-disk of GB, but when the free space is under 15-20% then the notebook works quite bad.

This is a problem in almost all current file systems. When the disk gets about 80 % full, the performance drops rapidly.

This way you can just delete your Red vs. Blue videos if you're running out of space :)

I didn't know there was RvB fans here too! It must be one of the funniest things in the internet :D.

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Simmons: What? I mean why are we out here, in this canyon.
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Offline takeshi miya

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That's true, I've been using TreeSize for a year, it's a must.

A simmilar program (but opensource) program for linux is Baobab (if you preffer GTK apps) or KDirStat (if you preffer QT apps).

Hopefully, some day someone will make a wxTreeSize... :P

Offline 280Z28

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That's true, I've been using TreeSize for a year, it's a must.

A simmilar program (but opensource) program for linux is Baobab (if you preffer GTK apps) or KDirStat (if you preffer QT apps).

Hopefully, some day someone will make a wxTreeSize... :P

When you think about it, I bet it's really really easy. :p
78 280Z, "a few bolt-ons" - 12.71@109.04
99 Trans Am, "Daily Driver" - 525rwhp/475rwtq
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Offline takeshi miya

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That's true, I've been using TreeSize for a year, it's a must.

A simmilar program (but opensource) program for linux is Baobab (if you preffer GTK apps) or KDirStat (if you preffer QT apps).

Hopefully, some day someone will make a wxTreeSize... :P

When you think about it, I bet it's really really easy. :p

The problem is designing a good interface for it, as always.

Offline MortenMacFly

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I think the most cool software to do such things is "SequoiaView" which can be found here:
http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/
It really helps you to discover where you waste your HDD space in a pretty cool way. If you use the catalog / file type color scheme feature you can optimise it for your typical file type usage.
Morten.
Edit: added missing words "color scheme"... ;-)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 03:21:33 pm by MortenMacFly »
Compiler logging: Settings->Compiler & Debugger->tab "Other"->Compiler logging="Full command line"
C::B Manual: http://www.codeblocks.org/docs/main_codeblocks_en.html
C::B FAQ: http://wiki.codeblocks.org/index.php?title=FAQ

Offline Michael

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I think the most cool software to do such things is "SequoiaView" which can be found here:
http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/
It really helps you to discover where you waste your HDD space in a pretty cool way. If you use the catalog / file type feature you can optimise it for your typical file type usage.
Morten.

Hello,

I have just downloaded and give it a try. Well, I must admit that it is really cool :D.

Thanks.

Best wishes,
Michael

Offline Revvy

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I use windirstat from sourceforge, which appears to do the same as this tool.
Cheers,
Revvy

Offline MortenMacFly

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I use windirstat from sourceforge, which appears to do the same as this tool.
...and is much better (further developed) in addition. Thanks for the hint! :P
Compiler logging: Settings->Compiler & Debugger->tab "Other"->Compiler logging="Full command line"
C::B Manual: http://www.codeblocks.org/docs/main_codeblocks_en.html
C::B FAQ: http://wiki.codeblocks.org/index.php?title=FAQ