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upgrade 4200hd or add more ram?

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July 4, 2005 3:10:52 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I just got my first laptop, acer 5000 series, 4200rpm 80gig hd and 512megs
of ram with a 1.6ghz amd64 turion chip mainly to develop programs for
winxp64. I'm generally pleased with the performance except in some instances
where the system will freeze a bit and everytime that happens I see the hd
light constantly on. Ideally I would want a 7200 rpm hd but those are too
expensive but I wonder if a 5400 hd will make that much of a difference
compared to going to a gig of ram to reduce the hd access.

Also related question, can I just buy any laptop hd and stick it in the
laptop? Does it have to be configured in anyway like restoring the acer
backup program and will I void my warranty by upgrading the hd that cames
with the laptop?

More about : upgrade 4200hd add ram

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 4, 2005 6:52:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Suburban" <sub.this@sub.that> wrote in message
news:TpCdnS88ToYdzFTfRVn-jw@rogers.com...
> I just got my first laptop, acer 5000 series, 4200rpm 80gig hd and 512megs
> of ram with a 1.6ghz amd64 turion chip mainly to develop programs for
> winxp64. I'm generally pleased with the performance except in some
instances
> where the system will freeze a bit and everytime that happens I see the hd
> light constantly on. Ideally I would want a 7200 rpm hd but those are too
> expensive but I wonder if a 5400 hd will make that much of a difference
> compared to going to a gig of ram to reduce the hd access.

Don't bother with the 7200rpm drives out now. A large 5400rpm drive with
16mb of cache will add quite a bit of performance. I went with an 80gig
model from Fujitsu, and it beats my Hitachi 7200rpm. If you don't mind
waiting, Seagate is coming out with 7200rpm drives that may very well be
faster, but I'm certain they'll be priced high.

Obviously, more RAM would help, and if you can bring it up to a gig or more,
great, however, it's obvious your hard drive is the main bottleneck.

> Also related question, can I just buy any laptop hd and stick it in the
> laptop?

I don't see why not. Many laptops have a kind of cage for their hard
drives, so you may have to take the cage off the old one and put it on the
new.

> Does it have to be configured in anyway like restoring the acer
> backup program and will I void my warranty by upgrading the hd that cames
> with the laptop?

The backup program should work just fine, but it may take longer for it to
load on a brand spanking new drive. As far as the warranty, I personally
didn't worry about it when I upgraded my 6 month old laptop, and I haven't
noticed any manufacturer give a whip about simple upgrades voiding the
warranty. Some even have instructions on how to do hard drive and RAM
upgrades.

On the other hand, if you have to disassembly 90% of your laptop to get to
the hard drive, I'd take it to a service center for the upgrades. Most
laptops have very easy access to hard drives and RAM, but I've seen a few
where you had to really dig to get to the goodies. I'm not familiar with
the current Acers, so I can't tell you exactly.

Pagan
July 4, 2005 9:04:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Suburban <sub.this@sub.that> wrote:
: I just got my first laptop, acer 5000 series, 4200rpm 80gig hd and 512megs
: of ram with a 1.6ghz amd64 turion chip mainly to develop programs for
: winxp64. I'm generally pleased with the performance except in some instances
: where the system will freeze a bit and everytime that happens I see the hd
: light constantly on. Ideally I would want a 7200 rpm hd but those are too
: expensive but I wonder if a 5400 hd will make that much of a difference
: compared to going to a gig of ram to reduce the hd access.

What are you doing at the time when this happens? Do you have a lot
of programs open or is one using a lot of memory (e.g. photoshop)? It
sounds like Windows is running out of free RAM and has to swap out.
You can verify this by doing ctrl-alt-del to get into Task Manager at
about the time you see this behavior and see how much RAM is in use
(Commit Charge at the bottom right of the window).

In that case, adding more RAM is the obvious solution. A faster hard
drive might speed up the swapping, but it's still gonna swap.

: Also related question, can I just buy any laptop hd and stick it in the
: laptop? Does it have to be configured in anyway like restoring the acer
: backup program and will I void my warranty by upgrading the hd that cames
: with the laptop?

Well...read the warranty. As for configuring the new hard drive: if
you have a restore CD/DVD, you can put in a blank hard drive and
restore the laptop to original factory condition including software if
you want. Another approach is to clone your old drive to the new one
with software like Acronis True Image or Symantec Ghost. To do that
you'd need a 2.5" USB enclosure. Some money involved in this
approach, but in the future you might use the old drive in the USB
enclosure as a backup hard drive.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
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July 4, 2005 9:04:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Andrew" <usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com> wrote in message
news:czcasdzcasddddd8082037011@bizaveMYSHOES.com...
> Suburban <sub.this@sub.that> wrote:
> : I just got my first laptop, acer 5000 series, 4200rpm 80gig hd and
> 512megs
> : of ram with a 1.6ghz amd64 turion chip mainly to develop programs for
> : winxp64. I'm generally pleased with the performance except in some
> instances
> : where the system will freeze a bit and everytime that happens I see the
> hd
> : light constantly on. Ideally I would want a 7200 rpm hd but those are
> too
> : expensive but I wonder if a 5400 hd will make that much of a difference
> : compared to going to a gig of ram to reduce the hd access.
>
> What are you doing at the time when this happens? Do you have a lot
> of programs open or is one using a lot of memory (e.g. photoshop)? It
> sounds like Windows is running out of free RAM and has to swap out.
> You can verify this by doing ctrl-alt-del to get into Task Manager at
> about the time you see this behavior and see how much RAM is in use
> (Commit Charge at the bottom right of the window).
>
It mostly happens when I'm switching from one app to another, I do run a
development environment, a few browser windows, media player, ftp client,
rdp client, word and outlook express. For example when outlook express is
loading this newsgroup the hd light goes on for a while and all the other
programs stop responding for a bit

> In that case, adding more RAM is the obvious solution. A faster hard
> drive might speed up the swapping, but it's still gonna swap.
>
> : Also related question, can I just buy any laptop hd and stick it in the
> : laptop? Does it have to be configured in anyway like restoring the acer
> : backup program and will I void my warranty by upgrading the hd that
> cames
> : with the laptop?
>
> Well...read the warranty. As for configuring the new hard drive: if
> you have a restore CD/DVD, you can put in a blank hard drive and
> restore the laptop to original factory condition including software if
> you want. Another approach is to clone your old drive to the new one
> with software like Acronis True Image or Symantec Ghost. To do that
> you'd need a 2.5" USB enclosure. Some money involved in this
> approach, but in the future you might use the old drive in the USB
> enclosure as a backup hard drive.
>
thanks for the info, I do have the backup ds, I'll get a 40gig 5400 and see
how it works out.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 4, 2005 9:31:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Pagan wrote:

> it's obvious your hard drive is the main bottleneck.

Nay. The apps the OP is running don't fit into his RAM, so the inactive ones
get swapped out to HD. Sufficient RAM will simply eliminate the problem (if
it's to be seen as a problem) instead of making swapping slightly faster,
as with a HD upgrade.
July 4, 2005 11:43:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Suburban <sub.this@sub.that> wrote:

: "Andrew" <usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com> wrote in message
: news:czcasdzcasddddd8082037011@bizaveMYSHOES.com...
: > Suburban <sub.this@sub.that> wrote:
: > : I just got my first laptop, acer 5000 series, 4200rpm 80gig hd and
: > 512megs
: > : of ram with a 1.6ghz amd64 turion chip mainly to develop programs for
: > : winxp64. I'm generally pleased with the performance except in some
: > instances
: > : where the system will freeze a bit and everytime that happens I see the
: > hd
: > : light constantly on. Ideally I would want a 7200 rpm hd but those are
: > too
: > : expensive but I wonder if a 5400 hd will make that much of a difference
: > : compared to going to a gig of ram to reduce the hd access.
: >
: > What are you doing at the time when this happens? Do you have a lot
: > of programs open or is one using a lot of memory (e.g. photoshop)? It
: > sounds like Windows is running out of free RAM and has to swap out.
: > You can verify this by doing ctrl-alt-del to get into Task Manager at
: > about the time you see this behavior and see how much RAM is in use
: > (Commit Charge at the bottom right of the window).
: >
: It mostly happens when I'm switching from one app to another, I do run a
: development environment, a few browser windows, media player, ftp client,
: rdp client, word and outlook express. For example when outlook express is
: loading this newsgroup the hd light goes on for a while and all the other
: programs stop responding for a bit

What does Task Manager show for memory use? Sounds like you might be
pushing the 512MB limit. If this laptop has shared video RAM, you
actually have less than 512MB available for Windows use.

: thanks for the info, I do have the backup ds, I'll get a 40gig 5400 and see
: how it works out.

My guess is that, in your situation, you will get a lot more benefit
out of adding more RAM. A faster hard drive will probably improve
startup time and the time to load an app more. Note that if you use
your battery much, the 5400RPM drive will reduce battery run time
also.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
!