1. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    I just got some money... which I've been trying to save to get a new laptop to get faster at work.
    And I'm suffering right now with inkscape and some "heavy" stuff.
    And I was wondering If I could make my laptop faster by adding more RAM (buying RAM memory) but I'm not sure if that's a definitive solution to this problem.

    Should I get more RAM? Because I've just found a 16GB ADATA RAM at exactly the ammount of money I currently have.

    PS: Not Netbook... more like a Notebook.
     
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  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Hopefully it is a proper laptop and not a netbook as they vary massively with what can be changed and what is soldered or custom ports.

    Anyway programs are typically limited by one or more of three different things
    1) RAM amount
    2) CPU speed
    3) Hard drive speed

    There are more subtle tweaks like CPU not supporting the fancy instruction sets, RAM speed being slow (timings don't matter so much but the speed can) and of course some things actually use the GPU to do stuff (likely not inkscape though) but we will skip that for now. Also being a laptop you likely can't replace the CPU and even if you can you probably won't want to find a replacement (if there is even one worth having).

    You get to figure out what is the limiting factor. Inkscape is wonderful but I get the impression it will take all it can get on every front, and then more if you decide to go for plugins and complex pictures.
    You can get some idea of what is doing it by simply using task manager -- if you have no RAM when it is open and doing things then you have that, if the CPU says 100% or a single core is 100% then probably CPU, and hard drive can be harder though it might tell you in one of the other tabs, you can also load down the hard drive by making it copy things around and seeing if that slows it further.

    Increasing hard drive speed these days usually boils down to "buy a SSD and make sure the program uses it, this might mean making it your main drive". Your laptop might have a way to replace any optical drive it has with such a thing, and there are also various flavours of PCI, esata, m.2, u.2 and more besides but most will just get a SATA drive and replace their laptop drive with it.
    For the space they can hold SSDs cost a lot. As well as size you also want read speed, write speed and IOPS as stats to look at.

    RAM amount varies a bit. Traditionally you mainly had to pay attention to the type of RAM and its clock speed in addition to the amount you wanted but today you may also have voltage to worry about.
    There might be a laptop out there with more than 2 slots for RAM but they are super rare. You will more likely have two slots so make sure you are getting the relevant amount of sticks -- desktop computers often have 4, 6, 8 or more slots and thus can stack things far more. https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html will give you an idea of what is in there and hopefully either tell you outright or at least something to search for to get a compatibility list/specs.
     
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  3. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    That's nice.
    Not so long ago I was wondering what makes computers/laptops faster... GPU, CPU, RAM...
    I guess the answer is all of the above.

    So... that means that If I can't get a beter GPU and a beter CPU, then adding more RAM won't do much... right?
     
  4. matpower

    matpower The Mad Scientist
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    First, we need specs or a model.
    More RAM is always good, if you don't have enough RAM, performance will go to shit as soon as it uses swap. Get a SSD too, as they are getting dirt cheap and it just blows away the average HDD in speeds.

    It is possible you have a crappy CPU as laptops usually don't have powerful CPUs, specially in the budget tier. If you have an old AMD APU like the A-series or the E-series, you are likely hitting a CPU cap, as they had low IPC but a decent GPU, or if you have a low end/old Intel, you're likely hitting a GPU cap, since bottom-tier HD Graphics are crap, and older models are even worse.

    I hope you do have a reasonable machine, as the cheap new stuff is soldered in without an upgrade path. Depending on what kind of work you are doing, swapping OSes might help.
     
  5. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    My lap was pretty good when I first got it in 2016. It has Intel HD Graphics, CPU N3700 @1.60Hz and 4GB RAM.
    I could've been painting with GIMP or Inkscape while recording at 60fps @720p (XBOX Recorder) whitout any noticeable slowdowns. Heck even Photoshop CS6 ran pretty well on it.
    That was UNTIL fucking Microsoft started bombarding us with fucking updates.
    I noticed that my laptop wasn't the same since that awful April 2018 Update. That's when I noticed that my battery wouldn't last as much as it used to and that recording was entirely broken.
    Now... it's just getting worse because most software I use (Mainly GIMP and INKSCAPE) runs at an average speed using small files.

    This is strange because for instance, Autodesk Sketchbook runs fairly well. I can use canvas sizes up to 12x18 inches @400ppi and it doesn't slow down that much until I add 8 or 10 layers.
    I just want to be able to run Inkscape more smoothly and work with more layers in Sketchbook.
     
  6. Mythical

    Mythical GBAtemp Addict
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    I would switch to a solid state drive instead of a hard drive. It will give you a very noticeable speed boost
     
  7. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    That means that I'd have to install an OS to it?
     
  8. matpower

    matpower The Mad Scientist
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    It is not a powerhouse but it should work alright I believe. Getting a SSD and adding more 4GB (8GB) will get you a decent boost or just plain better usability.

    I would wipe Windows and reinstall it again, in theory if you just pop in the install media, it'll autodetect the key so everything's genuine as it gets. If you don't want to go this path, it might be a good option to check your drivers (they might have been overwritten by Windows one with the updates) or using the built-in refresh option, make sure you are running the latest build just in case you hit some BS.

    Also since you're running Autodesk, I can't recommend you a Linux distro in good faith, as I believe it doesn't just work with Wine. If you want to run something lighter or stable, get a copy of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB/LTSC in your friendly neighborhood tracker, it comes in three flavors: LTSB 2015 (based on RTM Windows 10), LTSB 2016 (based on 1607) and LTSC 2018 (1809), each with 10 years of support, no Store apps (you can readd them though) and no feature updates (you must manually upgrade to the next LTSC).
     
  9. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    The thing with Windows 10...
    I'm aware of that with each update, Windows creates copies of the earlier build.
    Every single time Windows Updates, I wipe out my HDD leaving only my files (ain't nobody got time to download 3000+ songs and 16GB of pictures) so I'm positively sure that my HDD is clean.

    I've researched before about completely deleting Windows 10 and change it for the excelent artwork that Windows 7 Ultimate is... but it is NOT compatible with my processor... and I no longer have a BIOS to install it from USB.
    I also do not have a disc reader, so installing another OS from disc is not an option.
    I also wanted to try Linux Mint on it, but I honestly don't feel secure enough to install it.
    I'm afraid of something going completely wrong (like has happened to me so many times before) so I'm in this love-hate relationship with Windows10.

    If I could only go back to the build of Windows 10 it came with, I'd do it, but it's no longer possible to download that version of Windows 10 from it's database.

    I guess... I'll try with more RAM.
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    If it is the CPU or GPU that limits things then more RAM likely won't do much, and even then while you can probably get a program to take more and more RAM then under "normal" operations you will likely still find it settles somewhere and thus more RAM might not do much.
    Again though check with a program analyser or see what task manager says when you are doing what you do in the program. It will tell you how much CPU, what the CPU time is, how much RAM it is using, might give an idea of hard drive use and with that info you get some idea of either what not to do in the program, what to shut down on your computer to get that little bit more, or what to upgrade.

    MS updates could be the culprit, as might those updates aimed at CPU bugs (most mitigations tend to come at a performance cost). Driver updates might also be a thing. It could also be that a fresh install will sort some kind of lingering issue that you could spend 30 hours hunting down. Bonus is if you bought a SSD to try things out then you will hopefully know fairly quickly. P.S. if you have a fresh install and want a bunch of programs back I highly suggest https://ninite.com/ .

    Recording is also tricky and resource intensive. What happens when you are not recording? Alternatively what about a video capture device? Stick the HDMI out of the laptop into and leave it to handle the video stuff.
     
  11. matpower

    matpower The Mad Scientist
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    What do you mean by "not having a BIOS"? If you mean you have UEFI, be aware Windows 7 boots fine as long as Secure Boot is off, but I would check drivers before since you have used the wipe feature, it is probably the built-in ones.

    The N3700 should run Windows 7 anyway, it is Braswell-based AFAIK and you can mod the stupid restriction Microsoft put in for Skylake and newer, but be aware support will be dropped this month for Windows 7, meaning you would have to use the not tested yet exploit to get the Extended Security Updates for free, and software will drop it anyday now (Chrome is going to drop it around July 2021).
    Linux has made great strides in usability and userfriendlyness, I can recommend it to a newbie who wants hassle free computing, but for you, while Inkscape and GIMP just works, I believe Autodesk Sketchbook won't run.

    If you want a BS-less Windows 10, just get the LTSB/LTSC branch.
     
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  12. Shalashaska98

    Shalashaska98 GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Best way is to save up more, sell your current laptop and get a new one
     
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  13. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    When I first got my lap, I was recording with the built-in XBOX GameBar to record painting process. Like I said, I could be painting for hours and hours with canvas-es as big as 3000x4000pixels and it wouldn't slow down.
    I could be recording Inkscape tutorials too, using some filters and lots of gradients and you could barely feel it slowing down, but not as much as right now.
    That ended with April 2018 Windows 10 update. Ever since, everything is been sort of downhill with my performance.
    A year ago I could be playing Retroarch in a 43" 4K SmartTV without issues, and now I can't even do that because the frame will drop dramatically.

    Recording ended somewhere mid-2018 (right after that update) and now it's not possible at all as XBOX GameBar will close when I attempt to record something.
    That's why I changed to Wondershare Filmora, and it is decent at 30fps or less, but I lost interest in recording stuff. So that's not the reason why I want more "power".

    I just want to be able to run software smoothly.

    Nowadays is rare for me to use GIMP because 2.10.x fucking sucks.
    Inkscape, I use it regularly for design.
    Autodesk Sketchbook, runs pretty well with 12x18 inch canvases, one time I drew with 40x60inch canvas and with enough pattience I could make it work.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Yes that's what I'm planning to do.
    Things won't change that much if I still have a shitty graphics card and a slow processor.
    Guess I'll save some more.
     
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    I forgot one key thing, and progressively increasing slowness is also a symptom.

    You did blow the dust out of the fans right? Possibly also redo thermal paste.
    Laptops are notorious for gathering a little mat of dust that prevents it from blowing out the hot air and then it throttles itself, especially if you have pets -- people often comment on how I know what their pet looks like despite never going to their house or seeing a picture.
    This can involve taking it fairly far apart, and depending upon the model that can be a right pain (no particular indicator but had a professional dell -- opened up a port on the back panel and was a few captive screws, had a consumer level HP thing and it was a complete teardown and a few dozen screws that were not captive and sometimes different sizes). A blast of canned air to the exhaust port and air intake can help at first or for 5 minutes until it resettles, however at this stage I would open it up.
     
  15. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Guru
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    I know it's a hassle, but have you ever reinstalled Windows from scratch?
    Like, used the recovery partition (all laptops i owned came with one of those) or windows 10 reset to go back to the state when you first got the machine?

    At least in my personal experience, most laptops run much better even after they're done updating again.

    It'll delete everything on the machine though, so make backups first.


    Other than that, yes, keep saving.
    There should be a bunch of affordable (well, relatively, I have no idea what your budget is overall), but very capable amd laptops out there in the not so distant future if you're going for new hardware and people will likely be looking to offload their old 2016-2019 laptops soon too.
    Even if you only go for the integrated graphics systems, amd's vega has been outdoing intel integrated for a while in these too.
     
    Last edited by Clydefrosch, Jan 12, 2020
  16. JuanMena

    OP JuanMena Politically Incorrect ♥️
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    Yeah... that's something I've never done.
    Should give it a go.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    With every Win10 update, I delete everything (including past updates) so going back is not an option.
     
  17. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Fan
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    The same thing happened to my mother's laptop, it even has the same CPU. It seems to work only with windows 10, I formatted it clean and made the mistake of installing a not LTS windows. It was still irredeemably slow after updating.

    Since she's pretty oldschool (doesn't like newer windows, she's 75) what I did was installing Q4OS trinity, same as my father's. Runs butter smooth and is very familiar to her. The point is, if you really want Windows, you either buy a new machine or struggle to use what you have, no way around it.
     
  18. TR_mahmutpek

    TR_mahmutpek medic
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    Buy ssd and ram, install clean windows 10 and debloat. Debloating is critical!
     
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  19. Mythical

    Mythical GBAtemp Addict
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    That or the easier thing would be to copy and paste the data from your old drive to the new one

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Windows 10 LTSB 2019 comes without most if any bloat
     
  20. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Guru
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    Recovery partitions are usually hidden, you can't -just- delete them. Neither can you delete past updates, they're integrated into the system after all. Are you talking about the restore points?

    Go to start, search disk management and open that.
    If you find a Recovery partition, you'll be able to restore your system to factory settings, as if you just bought it.
    It depends on what laptop you have exactly how to utilize that recovery partition, but it's usually something like Pressing F2 during system boot.
     

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