Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

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Coeus
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Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:36 pm

What is your experience of the more recent versions of Windows, especially on Laptops?

I have Windows 10 on a work laptop where it runs at a perfectly reasonable speed, except for unlocking after a period of inactivity which takes ages, but then that machine has an i7-4810 and 24Gb RAM. I also run it in a VirtualBox VM for home use when I need to run something on Windows and again it goes at a perfectly reasonable speed. The host has an i5-3570K and 16Gb RAM and I have allowed Windows to use 3 cores and 3Gb.

My wife's and parents experience seem to be completely different, though. A few years ago my wife choose an HP TouchSmart laptop which has a AMD A4-4355M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics and 8Gb RAM. It came with Windows 8.0, upgraded to 8.1 and then Windows 10. It has never been quick running Windows and, though it seemed to get slower over the last couple of years, it is hard to pin this on upgrades. It also developed a keyboard fault which could be worked around by using an on screen touch keyboard or plugging in a USB one but eventually she got so frustrated, with both that and the lack of speed, she bought a second hand Toshiba which came with Windows 10. This has a AMD Athlon II P360 and 4GB RAM and, while not as quick as either my work laptop or the VM, is usable which is more than could be said for the HP TouchSmart. Meanwhile my parents have a very similar HP TouchSmart which, AFAIK, still runs Windows 8.0 and this is frustratingly slow too.

So it would be easy to assume there is some other aspect of the HP design other than CPU choice and memory that makes things slow but then I installed Linux on the HP TouchSmart yesterday and it is now going pretty quickly.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by tricky » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:02 pm

I have binvolved with developing Windows 8 drivers and whilstg the driver interface keeps improving, so does the expected performance of the device that will be running newer OS versions.

Windows tries to make things look quicker by making it look ready while paddling madly behind the scenes to make it so.

On a good spec machine, never versions work well, but as more security and tracking gets added, older systems struggle more and more.

In my experience, machines just below spec will be sluggish to respond after inactivity as Windows goes all out when it thinks you aren't using it so that there is less to do when you do, but can take upto a few tens of seconds

My guestament is roughly twice the power to go from one version to the next (lumping 8 and 8.1 together as well as 10 and the new version of 10).

These are my observations and results from profiling, not any inside information.

A slow drive will be more noticeable on newer windows as an SSD seems to be expected.

Insufficient ram will also be more noticeable.

I have tried many machines and apart from drives and ram haven't noticed any other trends.

There are others with more specific knowledge around here.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by CMcDougall » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:20 pm

Least it's not as pants as winVista :lol:

my 5 laptops are all good with Win10 it's just the first Tuesday of month that updates come out, so if Internet is slow, look in win updates , & you find its downloading 5gb in background without your say so. Least winXP you decided when to do it not it :x

check your speeds with speedtest.net , as foundone of my laptops wifi can only hhandle 20mbps tops, not 33 as per rest.
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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:16 pm

tricky wrote:Windows tries to make things look quicker by making it look ready while paddling madly behind the scenes to make it so.
So something a kin to write behind caching for disk I/O - return to the application requesting the write but complete it in the background?
tricky wrote:In my experience, machines just below spec will be sluggish to respond after inactivity as Windows goes all out when it thinks you aren't using it so that there is less to do when you do, but can take up to a few tens of seconds
But is doesn't seem to be linear. I have come across a sudden change in performace with RAM in that a certain amount of paging has a limited effect on performance but as soon as you can no longer fit all the commonly used pages in RAM and therefore paging is continuous, the performance goes through the floor. None of these machines have a tiny amount of RAM, though. Not sure why a similar affect should happen with CPU performance, though. I am not saying it doesn't, just that I can't see the mechanism for it.[/quote]
tricky wrote:A slow drive will be more noticeable on newer windows as an SSD seems to be expected.
The HP, which crawled running windows, has an SSD, the Toshiba which went quicker has a spinning HD. The fasted performers, the work laptop and my home desktop do have SSDs, though.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:21 pm

CMcDougall wrote:my 5 laptops are all good with Win10 it's just the first Tuesday of month that updates come out, so if Internet is slow, look in win updates , & you find its downloading 5gb in background without your say so. Least winXP you decided when to do it not it :x
This could certainly be a part of the problem. My wife does most of her on-line activity via her phone and uses the laptop more occasionally, certainly less often than once a week. That probably means every time she uses it Windows decides to download some updates. But that's certainly more explanation than excuse - why does it need to download multiple Gb and why is installing anything, updates or software, on Windows so slow? That is certainly not a new thing for Windows 10.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by CMcDougall » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:50 pm

^ probably is why. I noticed also if it fails after download, it downloads whole lot again, not where you left off , or run from a download folder to try again :evil:
I bet your wife turns it off at 99.9% of download, then it just starts at 0% when next on.
When it gets it all & installs, then wait half a day after a restart.. or next day when you turn it on & need it fast, wait lots :evil:
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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:14 pm

CMcDougall wrote:^ probably is why. I noticed also if it fails after download, it downloads whole lot again, not where you left off , or run from a download folder to try again :evil:
I bet your wife turns it off at 99.9% of download, then it just starts at 0% when next on.
When it gets it all & installs, then wait half a day after a restart.. or next day when you turn it on & need it fast, wait lots :evil:
Ahh, so that dumb Windows system works in my favour, as I deny the Windows system on my laptop internet access most of the time. Indeed, it's still running the original consumer version of Windows 10 because it never gets the chance to complete downloading updates :wink:

I use a Linux system for internet access and web browsing :mrgreen:
Or when I'm not near a computer, I use an iPad mini.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:40 pm

1024MAK wrote:Ahh, so that dumb Windows system works in my favour, as I deny the Windows system on my laptop internet access most of the time. Indeed, it's still running the original consumer version of Windows 10 because it never gets the chance to complete downloading updates :wink:
Is that a good idea? I do also use a laptop in connection with a talking newspaper as part of the recording solution and that doesn't get updates because it has never been connected to the Internet, at least not since it was unboxed so the fact that the security holes are not patched is no problem as they can't be exploited remotely, but if you sometimes do connect to the Internet but never update that would seem to be the most vulnerable situation.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:10 pm

CMcDougall wrote:check your speeds with speedtest.net , as foundone of my laptops wifi can only hhandle 20mbps tops, not 33 as per rest.
It seems this may be part of the issue too. To install Linux on it I had to boot it off the LAN as it has no CD and wouldn't boot off a USB stick so I connected a LAN cable. Today, back on WiFi it is not as fast, though still faster than it was running Windows. I am wondering if the WiFi hardware is just poor and poor throughput is the issue or maybe too much of the WiFi processing has been loaded onto the main CPU.

And, to continue the rant about Windows updates, I just ran the update process on a Linux machine - downloading and installing 48 updates, including chromium and the kernel took 1m38s including entering the password and confirming continuation. Windows seems to take hours to do the same.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:39 pm

Coeus wrote:Is that a good idea?
It only gets to connect about twice a year for less than ten minutes and it's behind a firewall.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:22 am

My experience with recent Windows versions - you get what you pay for, hardware-wise.

On a good, well-specced machine with fast CPU, plenty of RAM, SSD - it's good (well, for Windows!)

Consumer-grade hardware, especially low-end - world of grinding treacle-mode misery.

I've used quite a few Dells, and Windows g-r-i-n-d-s on the low-end & consumer machines, even brand-new ones. Likewise a cheap HP consumer laptop.

Slow HDDs, non-SSD, less than 8Gb RAM, under-powered/few cores CPU, etc. It won't be a happy OS.

Paid a bit more for "business-class" Dell laptop - and found Windows 10 is as good as Windows is going to be on that.

I don't think Linux et al is that far behind, either. The number of people I see trying to run a modern full-featured, 64-bit operating system with Firefox, Libreoffice, etc., etc. on wimpy consumer laptops ... and then being disappointed because it's "slow" ... well, what do you expect? All that eye-candy and caching etc. needs a lot of resources.

Firefox these days seems to need 2-4Gb if you want to leave your machine running for long periods and have many tens of tabs open.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Boydie » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:36 am

Part of the problem is that both CPUs are pretty dire, with woeful Passmark scores. The P360 is low-end, but the 4355M is even lower.
My old laptop is an 8 year old I5-430M (also HP), so hardly high-end or expensive, even at the time of manufacture. But even that CPU scores higher than those two.
With an SSD fitted, it runs Win10 (latest version) absolutely fine; boots quickly and minimal lag in use. Despite being so old it can only run in SATA2 and so not max the drive. Stick a laptop HDD in, and it’s a different story - minutes to boot and too laggy to use at all.
Dropping the memory down from 8GB to 3 made no discernible difference to performance/usability.
The other thing that helps with HP stuff is doing a clean install from a MS source, rather than an update. There’s a load of stuff that HP bundles in that really slows the machine down.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:18 pm

Boydie wrote:Part of the problem is that both CPUs are pretty dire...
It is interesting that what appears to be the newer machine has the slower CPU. It looks like the Toshiba may have been a more up market machine for its time. I haven't been keeping an eye on PC CPU performance but I do remember a time when Intel and AMD seemed to be competing to produce something fast. I wonder if it has now moved to having something for every price point instead. And I wonder, therefore, if some of the lower end processors are actually the same silicon as their faster counterparts with the frequency scaling locked down to a lower maximum.
Boydie wrote:The other thing that helps with HP stuff is doing a clean install from a MS source, rather than an update. There’s a load of stuff that HP bundles in that really slows the machine down.
That's interesting in that the Toshiba came what looked like a freshly installed, vanilla version of Windows 10 whereas the HP Machine is heavily HP branded.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:33 pm

richardtoohey wrote:Paid a bit more for "business-class" Dell laptop - and found Windows 10 is as good as Windows is going to be on that.
Yes, my previous work laptop wasn't bad - that was a Thinkpad in the T400 series, I think - I can't remember which one - so definitely a business laptop rather than a home one. The new one with the i7 is a Thinkpad W540 but that had a list price of about £1,500. The whole thing about how much to invest in a laptop is a bit of a dilemma. In the house we have two desktop PCs with decent performance plus one that's getting on but still usable so none of us are heavy laptop users. Buying an expensive one is not getting a lot of use for the money and yet one that is so slow as to unusable is obviously not worth paying anything for.
richardtoohey wrote:I don't think Linux et al is that far behind, either. The number of people I see trying to run a modern full-featured, 64-bit operating system with Firefox, Libreoffice, etc., etc. on wimpy consumer laptops ... and then being disappointed because it's "slow" ... well, what do you expect? All that eye-candy and caching etc. needs a lot of resources.
Interestingly if you go back to the days of Windows 3.1 Linux desktops were pretty memory hungry compared to Windows. Then there was an era in which Linux seemed quite a bit quicker, then desktops such as GNOME and KDE started getting big. For all that the HP machine does go faster running Linux with GNOME than it did running HP's build of Windows 10 and is the difference between the machine being usable even if not especially snappy, and being utterly frustrating.

I think, having learned that the Toshiba she has now has the faster processor - I'll leave things as they are - I'll use the HP and she can use the Toshiba.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Apr 07, 2018 11:45 pm

Coeus wrote:For all that the HP machine does go faster running Linux with GNOME than it did running HP's build of Windows 10 and is the difference between the machine being usable even if not especially snappy, and being utterly frustrating.
That's definitely my experience as well ... Linux etc. not as hungry as Windows 10 so you are more likely to have a better experience with Linux on a lower-end machine. But once you start firing up a modern browser/office suite ... watch out.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by tricky » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:46 am

I'm not recommending this, but I run a 12 year old Atom (low-end atom at that) netbook with XP (but turned off all the bits I don't want) and use Visual Studio 6 (still the best ;)) with rare web browsing using Opera and it still flies with its cheap 500GB eco HD and 2GB of RAM (I still get 4+ hours on a charge too!).
I have a five year old work laptop, which is maxed out by windows7 and unusable with windows10 (good job they included the rollback), similar story with my home Core2 Quad 8GB.
My work i7 (recent) desktop with 32GB RAM 2TB HD is fine with windows10 once it has finished booting from a restart (sluggish for 5+ minutes).

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:52 am

tricky wrote:2TB HD is fine with windows10 once it has finished booting from a restart (sluggish for 5+ minutes).
I wonder (but not too much!) how much difference an SSD drive/SSD boot drive would make ...

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by tricky » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:08 am

From a small sample at work last week, quite a bit of difference!

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by cmorley » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:22 am

richardtoohey wrote:
tricky wrote:2TB HD is fine with windows10 once it has finished booting from a restart (sluggish for 5+ minutes).
I wonder (but not too much!) how much difference an SSD drive/SSD boot drive would make ...
SSDs make a huge difference. I have SSDs in every computer now. It is the single best upgrade you can give a laptop IMO - followed by adding/maxing RAM. I put one in my laptop years ago (when the Samsung 830 was cutting edge) and never looked back. I even put one in my mother's laptop because I couldn't be bothered to wait for it to boot on the odd occasion I needed to do maintenance for her!

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:31 am

tricky wrote:I'm not recommending this, but I run a 12 year old Atom (low-end atom at that) netbook with XP...
I think there is a good reason XP has stuck around despite being out of support for so long. Windows NT was the first version that I'd call a proper operating system and our experience at work was that it was a lot more stable than the DOS-based versions. From memory XP was the first NT-based Windows that solved backwards compatibility with the DOS-based Windows and therefore finally displaced DOS-based windows as the default installed operating system on a new PC. It is also lightning quick compared to anything that has been released since. For those who had it on utilitarian PCs in hospitals, doctors, vets, garages, etc. it did everything they needed so why would they want o pay for a faster PC to run something else?

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Coeus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:36 am

cmorley wrote:SSDs make a huge difference. I have SSDs in every computer now. It is the single best upgrade you can give a laptop IMO - followed by adding/maxing RAM. I put one in my laptop years ago (when the Samsung 830 was cutting edge) and never looked back. I even put one in my mother's laptop because I couldn't be bothered to wait for it to boot on the odd occasion I needed to do maintenance for her!
Absolutely agree with this - it matches my experience completely. It is not just boot up time but applications that previously took ten seconds to start then start instantly. People at work started raving about SSDs during the era of my previous work laptop so I got one for my main home PC and based on that experience, ordered one for the work laptop (from our internal ordering system) and upgraded that too. It was a bit of a faff because it was smaller than the HD and involved shrinking the main NTFS partition and moving another NTFS partition (recovery, I think) and I remember having to patch some values within the filesystem to do that but it was well worth the effort. The new work laptop came with an SSD and a HD and I now have SSDs in all the desktop PCs and all but one of the laptops.

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Re: Windows 10 (and 8) and Laptops

Post by Boydie » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:15 pm

And if you opt for an NVME drive on the M.2 interface, the performance is positively obscene. The Samsung 960s come close to saturating 4 channels of PCIe 3.0.

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