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Thread: Upgrading or Replacing?

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Upgrading or Replacing?

    I've bought a laptop at the beginning of this year to serve me in both work and gaming and it's doing the job reasonably well. However, it only has 8GB of RAM & a SSHD, and for Widnows 10 and the latest games this is not enough, leading to some serious bottlenecks.

    Question is - should I upgrade the laptop, an ASUS FX553, to 16 / 32 GB of RAM and possibly install an SSD or should I just go for a new laptop?

    ASUS FX553
    Intel Core i5 7300HQ 2.5 GHZ Quad Core
    NVidia GTX 1050 4GB
    8GB RAM
    500GB SSHD
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    The cheapest solution would be, if your laptop mobo supports it, is to just upgrade your ram to 16/32 gb if you can. It should be compatible given the age of it, but you'd still want to make sure they're compatible whenever you go to purchase it. Same thing with the SSD. With just the RAM I would think you'd be able to run newer games at ultra/high at greater than 30 fps depending on where your GPU ranks in the hierarchy of GPUs, which I'm not sure where your current one ranks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooh View Post
    I wonder if I can make Csargo cry harder by doing everyone but his ISO.

  3. #3
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    The HDD should never cost you any fps, unless you have so little RAM that the entire game needs to be in the swap file, in which case you'd not have frames per second but rather frames per minute.
    It can lead to somewhat longer loading times or very short hiccups at worst, but I got plenty of games on HDDs and they usually run just fine.
    In open world titles, the loading times usually occur just once and maybe a bit during quick travel. SSDs can improve that, but in many games the reduction is relatively small and only noticeable during the first start before the files are cached in your RAM.

    Upgrading the RAM could help, depending on the title, but with the CPU and GPU I still wouldn't expect every modern game to run just splendidly. E.g. AC:Origins needs at the very least 4 cores to run, those 4 cores in the notebook are also not clocked very high and potentially limited by the cooling solution etc. So it might lead to stutter even if every other component were not an issue. With the GTX 1050 4GB I also wouldn't set the graphical quality anywhere far beyond ~medium in 1080p for decent fps in that game. That's assuming the RAM is not an issue (anymore).

    Of course there are also more and less demanding games, both for the CPU and GPU. I recently noticed that Cities:Skylines maxes out all four cores and I got only ~25-30fps in that savegame (bigger city, but not all that big) and my CPU (i5 6600) is a bit faster than the notebook thingie there.

    On the other hand, Paradox games like Stellaris only really use one core and then lag on every CPU because even an i7 8700K will be easily maxed out on one single core after a while. Witcher 3 is relatively easy on the CPU, but you need a good GPU, etc.

    It all depends on what you want to play. the GTX 1050 is NVidia's entry level GPU, I wouldn't call it future-proof by any means, especially the 4GB VRAM are lowest end nowadays, even 8GB might be considered low in two years time.


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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    GPU wise, it's relatively good as a mid-range video card that can support the newest games at Mid-High. That's good enough for me, I don't want 4K 1440fps streaming, I want to run the games on good fps with good graphics + older games at ultra high. Does the job.

    CPU wise, again, good enough.

    The SSHD however always put me in a bind in terms of speed. Whenever the RAM would go out, and it uses 3 GB of RAM standard, leaving me with almost 5 GB, it would go on the page file of the HDD and due to the lack of speed (5200rpm), it would work out bad. So yes, the RAM is more or less the cheapest solution rather than a new laptop.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Switching from an SSHD to a SSD wouldn't have any significant change in regards to the issue you're talking about, where part of the sshd is being partitioned to be used as ram, even with a ssd it would still function significantly slower than ram in any case, if it's even capable of doing it at all, and if it does it would lessen the lifetime of the ssd. Switching to an ssd would just have the impacts Husar talked about.

    If you've got the disposable income then getting a new laptop is great. Like Husar said different games have different impacts of CPU/GPU usage, and both components in your system are mid-tier at best from what I can tell.

    RAM is the best short-term/cheapest solution to extend your gaming life with your current laptop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooh View Post
    I wonder if I can make Csargo cry harder by doing everyone but his ISO.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    In that case I agree with Csargo, if the page file is being used, a faster mass storage is a far worse solution than more RAM. Even an SSD is no replacement for sufficient RAM.


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  7. #7

    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Somewhat hijacking, but speaking of paging files: if a PC has an SSD primary and HDD secondary, is it (in)advisable to spread the paging file between both? I have 16GB of RAM otherwise.

    For context, I found that I needed to have a large paging file (among other things) in order to play heavily-modded Skyrim a few years ago and I haven't changed the settings since. (I didn't keep the paging file entirely on the SSD in part because heavily-modded Skyrim takes up a huge amount of disk space.)
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    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Somewhat hijacking, but speaking of paging files: if a PC has an SSD primary and HDD secondary, is it (in)advisable to spread the paging file between both? I have 16GB of RAM otherwise.

    For context, I found that I needed to have a large paging file (among other things) in order to play heavily-modded Skyrim a few years ago and I haven't changed the settings since. (I didn't keep the paging file entirely on the SSD in part because heavily-modded Skyrim takes up a huge amount of disk space.)
    From what I've read the biggest problem with using an SSD for that purpose is it shortens the lifespan of the SSD, I'm not sure if that's correct and/or how significant the effects are to the SSD. I don't know if their would be a problem with spreading it across both, other than the I/O speed of an HDD is a decent bit slower than an SSD, but I don't think it would be inadvisable to do. I would just imagine that if it were spread across both you'd be at the mercy of HDD speed when trying to access that data.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooh View Post
    I wonder if I can make Csargo cry harder by doing everyone but his ISO.

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  9. #9
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Well, yes, it's a bit weird/complicated.
    A memory cell in an SSD deteriorates a little bit every time data is written into it. The deterioration is usually faster, the more data can be written into a cell. Some rather expensive SSDs used to have SLC (single level cell IIRC), which can take one Bit IIRC. MLC can take two and TLC can take three, possible that four bit cells are in development already. The manufacturing process in nanomaters can also affect the livespan, the smaller the cells are, the faster they should deteriorate. However, the controllers try to distribute write cycles and many SSDs come with extra spare cells that they can activate in case another cell deteriorates early and so on. So manufacturers have managed to keep the amount you can write before an SSD breaks pretty high using such techniques.

    In earlier tests, many MLC SSDs could live for a long longer than the manufacturers guaranteed. I think they broke after a PetaByte was written to them or something like that. Usually the average write amount is given as 250TB TBW (Total Bytes Written) or thereabouts.
    A page file can speed that up, but I think in many cases people will want to replace their SSDs with larger ones before they ever break due to write cycles, outside of heavy use scenarios.

    Often scenarios are given, like you can write 50GB onto your SSD every day and it will still last you ten years. I don't think your average page file gets anywhere near that amount. At the very least since Windows 10, Windows is also aware of how to treat an SSD and will not defragment it in the background but use the TRIM command instead (some command to "clean up" an SSD without affecting the lifetime like defragmenting would).

    All in all I wouldn't be too worried. Also consider that this means the larger the capacity of an SSD, the more you can write onto it before it breaks since every single cell in there gets written into less often if there are more cells to distribute the data to.
    Last edited by Husar; 10-12-2018 at 14:22.


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  10. #10

    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Is there any way to monitor the state of the write life of the SSD?
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  11. #11
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Is there any way to monitor the state of the write life of the SSD?
    Usually the manufacturers provide a tool for that. Might want to check their support website.

    For me it's the Crucial Storage Executive, I'm not sure whether the tools work 100% with other manufacturer's drives.
    This one provides data (SMART) on all my drives, but some functions, such as firmware updates, are only available for the Crucial SSD.
    It gives the TBW for my SSD as ~12TB, I bought it around December 2015. For the HDDs, no TBW data is available though, don't know whether it would show that for the SSD of another manufacturer since I only have the one.

    The SMART Data says Percentage Lifetime Used: 6% for the SSD, so I guess it can last a while longer. For the HDDs, that data point does not exist. Your best bet is to check with the manufacturer I guess.

    Edit: Now that I checked the TBW, I realized I made a mistake last night. TBW meanst Total Bytes Written, not TeraBytes Written. I really should remember not to post in the night, or the morning, and perhaps not in between either.
    Last edited by Husar; 10-12-2018 at 14:24.


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  12. #12
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Yeah - definitely going the RAM route quite soon, I want to be able to enjoy some games that are coming out.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    You should upgrade the current laptop because by upgrading the RAM and the storage it will run like any other high-end machine, so why to pay more.

  14. #14
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    In the end - that's what I did. I added another stick of 8 GB Ram and it works like a charm, it's unreal.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    If the money isn't an issue for you.Why not buy all new for your laptop.

  16. #16
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading or Replacing?

    Thing is, the current laptop I have (specs above) + extra 8GB stick of RAM works fantastic. There's no need for me to replace.

    Perhaps in 2-3 years, once I might want to play something that requires an RTX2080, then yeah I will upgrade.
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