/ Laptop advice - Hard drive size

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
I'm looking to buy a high-end very portable laptop, and have a chance to get one of these VAT free:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops-netbooks/laptops/laptops/sony-vaio-pro-svp1322a4eb-13-3-touchs...

My only real concern is whether the 128GB SSD is going to struggle for space in a few years. My intention would be to use a seperate HD for storing video, music and bulky software and just keep the SSD for core operating software and the software I use most (Adobe Premier, word, excel etc)
ex0 - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Not what I'd choose if I was dropping a grand on a laptop, but that's not what you asked :D

Forget about putting software on an external. Keep all your software installed on the ssd. If you're already intending to store music/video on the external I'm not sure what you think is going to fill up 100gig of space! Unless you're doing rendering or some sort of CAD or something you'll have more space than you'll know what to do with.
ByEek - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Why not get an X TB external USB drive? They are tiny, don't require additional power and ideal for data. Agreed with other comment about buying this particular laptop though. Failing that you could always get a 158TB tape drive! :-)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27282732
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to ex0:
Interested to know what you'd go for... it has to be very portable (don't want more than 13" screen really), but have enough grunt that when docked it can do a bit of video editing etc.

I've had to rule out a MAC as some of the software I need to run is pretty niche Windows only stuff

Reason I want to keep the SSD free is probably just for performance reasons (and may not be as important as it was with mechanical HDDs). Reading around the net though, the consensus seems to be that 128GB is more than enough

and another question, will i have any benefit to performance if I go for Windows 7 over windows 8? (I may have lower blood pressure if I go with 7!)
Post edited at 13:26
kathrync - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The spec is not dissimilar to my laptop. I think it depends on exactly what you are planning on doing with it. For general office work/browsing it should be fine if you are storing media elsewhere.

I store all my media on a NAS and most of my documents go into Dropbox so I can get to them anywhere. Consequently, the only things on my hard drive are the OS and software. There isn't even much software on it really because I usually use it as a portal to a server and work remotely on there. I am using ~10GB of space at the moment (although I am running Linux, which is a little smaller than Windows!).

For what I do, it's perfect, but I don't know what it would be like if I didn't have the capacity to work and store data elsewhere.
ex0 - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
I have no doubt that most people are going to suggest a mac airbook, but you don't want to pay twice the price for an apple logo so I always say avoid apple laptops.

It just seems like you're paying for a touchscreen and the software that comes with it. Ditch win8 (and therefore the touchscreen is moot) and surely you could get higher specs - perhaps bump from i5 to i7.

As for having free space for the performance increase, fair enough, but this is minimalised when you're using an SSD. I reinstall windows every year or so anyway on my machines since I have all my stuff on externals and it only takes a couple hours to install and re-setup everything. That's guaranteed to be the best speed boost you'll ever get, even taking into account free space on the hdd (which isn't as big a performance boost as it was on non-ssd drives).

edit: tl;dr I think you'll be fine for space. But dump win8!
Post edited at 13:37
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to ex0:

If I could find somethin gsimilar without the touch screen, I would as I'm not bothered by it, but they seem quite hard to come by now (except at the low end where it's missing the RAM/process I want)
The Lemming - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> and another question, will i have any benefit to performance if I go for Windows 7 over windows 8? (I may have lower blood pressure if I go with 7!)

How's this for a reply. Unless you update Windows 8 to the most recent version of windows 8, then Microsoft don't want to support you. There's some tech jargon in there by Microsoft but they are distancing themselves from Windows 8 much in the same way that they did with Vista.

I have tried Windows 8 briefly and could not even work out how to print a document. Most likely User Stupidity, but its Windows 7 all the way for me.

As for the SSD, I have an SSD on my Desktop PC which is 120Gb in size. I know this is not a laptop which is what you are after but from my experience the 120Gb is plenty big enough for all my software and extras such as punter-type video editing and nothing professional.

At the moment my SSD is using up 72Gb of space, 45Gb of software and the rest in various little projects. This gives me plenty for downloading torrents as well. Only occasionally do I max out the full capacity of my SSD.

I must point out that I do have two other internal hard drives which store all my data and if I had a laptop set-up like your's, then these would be external hard drives.

I'd say having a 128Gb SSD for a laptop and using this for the OS and software will give you plenty of space for workable projects, provided that you have no intention of storing data on the hard drive too. If you want to store movies, photos, music or a combination of all three on the same SSD then you are going to suffer virtually from Day One.
Post edited at 13:54
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Ok, found a different option... cheaper and better processor, bigger ssd... still touch screen, and I'd be a little concerned at how long the flip hinge would work

http://www.dell.com/uk/p/xps-12-9q33/pd?oc=cnx2u07&model_id=xps-12-9q33
Post edited at 13:55
The Lemming - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I advocate the KISS principle. :-)

Less to break. As for a touch screen, at first I thought they were gimmicks. But that was until I got my own Tablets and smart-phones. Now when I use my 4 year old Acer bought from Tesco, I have to hit myself for touching the screen to scroll around or hit icons. Doh!
The Lemming - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

You could try eBuyer. I've bought loads of stuff from them from computers to display screens but never a laptop but their products and customer service is 100%

http://www.ebuyer.com/store/Computer/cat/Laptops?a00035=Intel+Core+i5&a05780=SSD&limit=30&am...
ark05 - on 06 May 2014
another vote for ebuyer. PC world is for overpriced home PC's for people who don't know anything about computers.

professionals go to ebuyer.
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to adamki:

Interesting as it seems the same dell machine is 200 more on ebuyer for a lower spec
Indy - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The obvious answer is to either upgrade the storage before purchase or do it yourself at a later point if you start running out of space.

If your into video editing then the main thing you should be looking at is the processor/graphics card as these items can't be upgraded so get the best you can afford from day 1. A decent combo will make editing a dream.

You say you have some niche windows video apps but its quite easy to set up a dual boot on a Mac or run from a virtual machine (what apps are they out of interest?)

Yes I know that Apple (deservedly in most cases) has a reputation for producing over priced products targeting brand whores (yes I mean all you iPhone/iPad users) but when it comes to the creative arts there lap/desk tops are pretty good value for money when you compare them against the competition in a like for like comparison. Try taking your Sony back to PC World after 9 months coz you've got a problem! Apple are pretty decent in this respect.
Neil Williams - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Indy:

It's a bit of both I think. The iPad is a very good tablet, and the iPhone a very good phone, and Apple's customer service is generally good. But the price is generally a bit high even given those things.

Neil
armus on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The specs for the processor in that Vaio say 1.6ghz, 2.6ghz with 'TurboBoost'. Is that a new word for 'Overclocked'?
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Indy:

The Niche apps aren't for video, they are for APM robotics controllers and radio telemetry monitoring... due to the value of what is being controlled/monitored and the consequences of a failure, i'm pretty certain I want a pc to run it rather than a MAC.

I do have a secondary machine (PC) that whilst it is ageing, is still capable of doing most of my video grunt work and has room for further expansion should I need it, but I will want to do small amounts of editing on the laptop when I'm away from home
balmybaldwin - on 06 May 2014
In reply to armus:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
>
> The specs for the processor in that Vaio say 1.6ghz, 2.6ghz with 'TurboBoost'. Is that a new word for 'Overclocked'?

Probably, but this is with manufacturer approval...

I'm moving away from that Vaio now - I don't like the screen (having now seen it) as it seems overly sharp, and makes video that I've run fine on other machines look like its full of artifacts (it may be that someone's played with the sttings in the shop), plus the Dell i linked to earlier is better speced (processor and SSD capacity)

Indy - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Neil Williams:

> The iPad is a very good tablet, and the iPhone a very good phone

> Neil

I think that "Very good" needs to be quantified but this isn't the place to do it.

Agreed about customer service.
Mark Torrance on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:
I have the i7 version of that computer (the Vaio that you first mentioned) and it's ace. My one regret is getting a 128GB SSD rather than the larger size (a cock-up with the order). The whole point of the fast SSD and ultraportability is that you don't have to faff with an external drive. I've been there. The joy of a machine like this is that you have everything with you all of the time (and all backuped up to Dropbox, or wherever).

I need 100GB for software, I've discovered (Win7, office, Python, stats packages) which leaves me with not quite enough for space for data (no video or images but lots of numbers and pdfs and text). So I have to watch what I save. 256GB would be more than I'd ever need.

Obviously, your use might be different. However I suggest that if you can afford it, go for the bigger SSD. (In fact, this has prompted me to email Sony and ask them price of an upgrade).
Post edited at 17:53
ads.ukclimbing.com
stp - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Very comprehensive article on setting up an SSD here.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdds

For Win 7 but principles are good for all versions and easily adapted.

Why not just get a bigger SSD if you're concerned about space. I mean if you're spending that much an extra 128Gb is not a significant amount.

Then again it seems like Windows needs a fresh install every few years and when you do that there's a lot more space. You might also consider a Hybrid drive, part SSD and part HDD. You can pick up 500Gb fairly cheaply.
The Lemming - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Don't get too hung up on the Intel processor being i5 or i7 otherwise you could get sucked in by their marketing.

Depending on your choice of i5 processor, it can equal the power of an i7 processor.

And an i5 processor is a meaty beast which will not let you down no matter what you throw at it. I've got one in my desktop and in benchmarks it is the equal of my nephew's i7. Admittedly his is a previous generation and all the number crunching is beyond me.
robbo99 - on 06 May 2014
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Buy the best graphics card you can with the money available. Generally speaking they ar the one thing that's impossible to upgrade as usually they're soldered to the motherboard. Ram and hd space can always be upgraded. Buy a NAS drive and stick your music video on there
ex0 - on 06 May 2014
In reply to robbo99:

Way to read the OPs post before replying.
Indy - on 06 May 2014
In reply to The Lemming:

> Depending on your choice of i5 processor, it can equal the power of an i7 processor.

Now that's a gross oversimplification of the facts.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.