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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    So I'm deciding to splurge a bit on myself this holiday season, by upgrading the 128GB SSD that came with my current laptop. I've already checked with the manufacturer and both the 256GB and 512GB upgrade kits are compatible with my device. But how much space do I really need? I've got a 1TB HDD backing up the SSD, so I'm in no danger of running out of total storage space - this is just so I can run games off the SSD for increased response time. It'll cost me $120 for the 256GB, or $210 for the 512GB.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2019-11-16 at 05:02 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    The question is, how pushed for space are you with your existing drive. I assume it is full as you are upgrading, but how long did it take to fill it up? Could the extra $100-odd be better spent on more memory (which might also benefit games).

    Dare I say it - would you be better off removing some games or clearing up save files (My fallout save games directory needs frequent cleanouts)?

    I'm inclined to say that if you can afford the extra space then buy it. Remember that SSD devices do "wear out" over time (as the individual sectors can only be written so many times) , so having the larger device may allow you to use the device for longer.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    Are you in the USA? Even in other countries, I wouldn't expect the prices to be that much different.
    A standard 2.5" hard drive replacement 512GB SSD runs like $50 at this point. The PCIe drives are similar, maybe a bit more but not that much more. So the difference should be like $30.

    Unless your laptop has a *very* unusual SSD design, which wouldn't make much sense from a company standpoint as designing a unique drive would cost them a lot more than just using a standard design.

    Depending on the games you're playing, there are a number of them out now that would fill up a quarter or more of a 256mb drive on their own. I would go for 512, but not for $90. Especially since a 1TB SSD is $90 on it's own.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    Some games.....

    (cough.... ARK)
    have poor optimization or are just huge (Total War). I'd go with the larger one if you have the cash, just so you have to toss stuff on your 2ndary drive less often.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    Realistically you're the only one who can answer this question, because you're the only one who knows how much space you "really need". I mean, since it's a laptop and a 256Gb SSD would be an upgrade, I'm guessing it's unlikely you're going to be running games like GTA5 or Just Cause 4 that have upwards of 50Gb installs; and on my laptop I only have a 120Gb SSD and that suits me fine, but that isn't my primary PC and it's not powerful enough for newer games. I can say with some certainty that 64Gb is too little, because that's how much I had on my old work laptop and it was always running out of space.
    Last edited by factotum; 2019-11-16 at 07:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    One of the reasons I'm looking at this is because I can't run any big games off my current SSD - Borderlands 3 won't fit into my available space = even after stripping literally everything I can, it's got less than 40GB of free space compared to BL3's 50+GB requirements. The entire drive only has 105GB available, with 71 in use by non-removable things like the OS and drivers.

    As far as price, I admittedly was looking at the official company website for the laptop (Dell), which sells compatible upgrade kits for the SSD. And apparently they do so at an absurd markup.

    So new question - how can I easily verify the compatibility between my laptop (Dell G5 15, in this case), and various SSDs? Is it assumed standardized? If I can get the SSD itself that much more cheaply by going off-brand (Crucial seems to come recommended, though alternatives would be invited and welcome), what else should I be considering to improve gaming performance - more RAM (currently 8GB)?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    I'm just looking at the service manual for the Dell GS15, and it appears that it actually has two drive bays? One regular 2.5" SSD drive bay, and an M.2 SSD bay. Are both populated on your system? If only the regular hard drive bay is populated, seems like the best option would be to install an M.2 SSD in the other one--that gives you all the extra storage you need without having to reinstall anything.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I'm just looking at the service manual for the Dell GS15, and it appears that it actually has two drive bays? One regular 2.5" SSD drive bay, and an M.2 SSD bay. Are both populated on your system? If only the regular hard drive bay is populated, seems like the best option would be to install an M.2 SSD in the other one--that gives you all the extra storage you need without having to reinstall anything.
    The 128GB SSD is in one bay, a 1TB HDD is occupying the other AFAIK. Is there empty space for an entire second SSD in there?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    I'd say if you're going to do it at all, there's no reason why you should stop short at 256 GB.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD - 256GB or 512GB?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    I'd say if you're going to do it at all, there's no reason why you should stop short at 256 GB.
    True. I'm now evaluating 1TB vs. 512GB + 8GB more RAM, if I can upgrade that as well - laptops can be finicky about that. Or maybe 1TB+more RAM, if I want to splurge - I've got the free cash for it.

    Currently the SSD is 71.7 used, 33.3 available. The HDD is 263 used, 667 available.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2019-11-16 at 04:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Assuming Factotum has the correct specs, the standard hard drive would have to be in the 2.5" bay, which would be a normal SATA connector, and the SSD would be in the M.2 bay. There are a few sizes of M.2, which I assume the specs in the manual would have, otherwise opening up the bay I would expect to have it printed there too.

    As for RAM, that would depend on if you've got extra slots or not. If you don't know it is usually pretty easy to get to to open up and check, if it isn't then something like CPU-Z can tell you if there is an open slot.

    Right now on my desktop I've got about half my 512GB SSD full and about 300GB on my secondary hard drive full. Although a good portion of the secondary drive is the OS and other random stuff from my old system that I haven't bothered to clean off of it.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    So I took the machine over to a relative's house who fixes+rebuilds computers professionally, and we popped out the back to peek inside.

    Spoiler: Drives
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    Big drive is obviously the HDD, smaller chip is the SSD.


    The RAM turned out to be a pair of 4GB sticks, so I can replace them with a pair of 8GB sticks and double my onboard memory easily enough.

    I was looking at this: https://www.newegg.com/crucial-mx500...82E16820156178

    But Newegg will be having a Black Friday sale which includes this: https://www.newegg.com/intel-660p-se...r-_-20-167-462 for $83. If that'll fit in my M.2 slot, it looks to be a strict upgrade over the Crucial SSD at a cheaper cost, based on the spec sheets.

    Based on the user manual, the M.2 slot has "Interface" listed as "SATA AHCI, Up to 6 Gbps" or "PCIe 3 x4 NVMe, Up to 32 Gbps". That indicates the Intel PCIe SSD should fit into that slot with no problem, right?
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2019-11-17 at 05:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Based on the user manual, the M.2 slot has "Interface" listed as "SATA AHCI, Up to 6 Gbps" or "PCIe 3 x4 NVMe, Up to 32 Gbps". That indicates the Intel PCIe SSD should fit into that slot with no problem, right?
    The only question would be length, they use the same interface but NVMe SSDs come in a variety of lengths, with 2280 being the most common. Everything I've found so far says G5 15 series uses a 2280 drive but the specifications in the manual don't say. I'm not sure how common it is to restrict the size and I wouldn't expect a regular laptop to be that tight, though some ultra-light or micro laptops might.

    So yes, both of those should work and the Intel one is significantly better.

    If you would like to double check the size, just measure the existing drive to see if it is ~80mm long or at least has a screw hole at 80mm.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    I just measured the picture The Glyphstone posted--if that M.2 drive he has there is 22mm wide, as they all seem to be, then it's as near 80mm long as makes no odds. (My estimate was 78.5, but that's within margin of error considering it was a quick and dirty measurement).

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    So it looks like my SSD upgrade is decided on. Now I'm wishing i had measured the RAM chips as well, because apparently those aren't always standardized either.

    According to Crucial's compatibility scanner, this is guaranteed compatible with my machine:
    https://www.crucial.com/ProductDispl...atalogId=10151

    This:
    https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-...r-_-20-233-961

    Is also SODIMM DDR4, but it's DDR4-2400, and PC4-19200. The former one appears to reflect the speed, I'm not sure what the PC4 number means. If it doesn't change physical compability, the Crucial chipset looks slightly better despite being $13 more expensive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Is also SODIMM DDR4, but it's DDR4-2400, and PC4-19200. The former one appears to reflect the speed, I'm not sure what the PC4 number means. If it doesn't change physical compability, the Crucial chipset looks slightly better despite being $13 more expensive.
    All DDR SDRAM chips transfer memory in 64-bit chunks (e.g. 8 bytes), so the only difference between the two numbers is that the first one is measuring millions of transfers per second, while the second one is millions of bytes per second (and will thus always be 8 times higher). How much of a difference the faster RAM makes depends on your processor--AMD Ryzen chips tend to be more sensitive to memory speed than Intel CPUs are, but even so, we're not talking that 11% of difference in memory speed actually causing an 11% difference in performance.
    Last edited by factotum; 2019-11-18 at 11:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Sounds like I might as well save the money and get the Corsair then, since it'll also let me order both components in a single transaction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    So I'm deciding to splurge a bit on myself this holiday season, by upgrading the 128GB SSD that came with my current laptop. I've already checked with the manufacturer and both the 256GB and 512GB upgrade kits are compatible with my device. But how much space do I really need? I've got a 1TB HDD backing up the SSD, so I'm in no danger of running out of total storage space - this is just so I can run games off the SSD for increased response time. It'll cost me $120 for the 256GB, or $210 for the 512GB.
    What does it mean compatible with your laptop? If uses an M.2 drive, it should work on any other laptop, barring some kind of manufacturer shenanigans.

    Also, $210 for a 512GB ?!? Did you check Intel 660p? It's 2TB for ~$200. Anything else is a ****ing ripoff.
    Ah, I see you've gotten some solid advice.

    Checked. Yes you can probably manually upgrade it. Based on this URL https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-G....440241.0.html
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    See the tiny Toshiba Solid State Drive? To replace your SSD you must:
    • open your laptop - this is honestly the most difficult and problematic part
    • locate the small Toshiba SSD
    • unscrew that tiny screw
    • replace Toshiba SSD with SSD of your choice (Intel SSD) is 2280 sized so it fits.
    • screwback the screw.
    • close the laptop
    • (re)install Windows, or whatever you need.

    Disclaimer #1, you might void the warranty, but warranty is for the weak.
    Disclaimer #2, you might see that the drive has 400TBW limit. First, in practice the limit is far greater. Second. You'd need to clear your drive, each day then write until it's full, for the next 200 days.
    Last edited by -D-; 2019-11-18 at 01:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Yeah, I've already figured out Dell is massively gouging me on their 'official' upgrade kits. The new plan is an $83, 1-TB SSD from Newegg.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Yeah, I've already figured out Dell is massively gouging me on their 'official' upgrade kits. The new plan is an $83, 1-TB SSD from Newegg.
    Nice. Although I'd always go for more TB. 2TB 660p isn't on discount? The one major problem with SSD is that after you fill them up by 50% or more, their performance tend to degrade a bit, because they can't use their faster cache space.

    Also high TBW only matters if you're using your SSD to write massive amounts of data (like streaming/recording), editing video, using SSD as scratch disk for simulation, or building assets in engines like Unreal.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Nice. Although I'd always go for more TB. 2TB 660p isn't on discount? The one major problem with SSD is that after you fill them up by 50% or more, their performance tend to degrade a bit, because they can't use their faster cache space.

    Also high TBW only matters if you're using your SSD to write massive amounts of data (like streaming/recording), editing video, using SSD as scratch disk for simulation, or building assets in engines like Unreal.
    There's an HP EX950 2TB drive at $200, discounted down from $300. I'm just not sure I really need that much space. And I can use that cash to get other things, like new furniture.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2019-11-18 at 01:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    There's an HP EX950 2TB drive at $200, discounted down from $300. I'm just not sure I really need that much space. And I can use that cash to get other things, like new furniture.
    Oh, of course. I thought (NewEgg?) had a discount on all 660p drives.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Nice. Although I'd always go for more TB. 2TB 660p isn't on discount? The one major problem with SSD is that after you fill them up by 50% or more, their performance tend to degrade a bit, because they can't use their faster cache space.
    The figure I've seen is that they have to get to 75% used before their performance starts to degrade, and it isn't anything to do with cache, it's to do with not having as much space available for the wear levelling algorithms to do their job.

    For anyone who has no idea what I mean by that: the flash memory used in SSDs can be read millions of times with no issue, but has a strictly limited number of times it can be written to--usually in the range of a few thousand writes. In order to reduce the amount of times any one part of the "disc" is written to, wear levelling algorithms in the drive's firmware will move the data around to different places on the drive. In some cases the drive manufacturer will reserve some extra space on the drive to make this process work better (e.g. a 120Gb drive might actually have a capacity of 128Gb, but the drive controller reserves 8Gb of free space for wear levelling), but as the drive gets more full and the amount of free space goes down, the data has to be copied around more, slowing down writes and harming drive performance.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The figure I've seen is that they have to get to 75% used before their performance starts to degrade, and it isn't anything to do with cache, it's to do with not having as much space available for the wear levelling algorithms to do their job.
    According to this How-To Geek article, it's due to reading 4KB Pages and erased in 256KB blocks. But yeah, point is, it still happens.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    If you sign up at Newegg, the Samsung 2TB drives are going for $229.99 until midnight 11/21.
    I have the 1TB in my dekstop(which I paid about $200 for a year or so ago) and 500GB's in mine and my wife's laptops and have been very happy with them. Some with the software to tranfer from your old drive to the SSD.
    Hey, did my first homebrew class. Check it out.

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    Default Re: Upgrading my Laptop SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Oh, of course. I thought (NewEgg?) had a discount on all 660p drives.
    What a wonderful thing that would be.

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