Just a short plug for the manufacturer of my new laptop. My current role required that I get a laptop, so I looked around for one. I had no clue what to go for – building desktops is easy, I know roughly what sort of spec to go for etc., but laptops is a whole other world. I looked at all the usual sites and retailers etc. but was either disappointed with the lack of choice of components or the high, high prices.
Eventually I was recommended to look at PC Specialist and ended up getting one from them. Really impressed with the service and the performance of the laptop so far – build time was around a week (you can customise pretty much the whole laptop so it’s a bespoke build), and the website keeps you informed as to the progress.
Price was very reasonable – certainly much cheaper than what I would have gotten from e.g. Dell or EBuyer for a similar, off-the-shelf branded laptop, and because it’s bespoke I got to pick stuff that suits me e.g. a 120GB SSD hard drive rather than a 320GB IDE drive – quicker, quieter and better on the battery life.
So, I’ve installed the drive. Installation was fairly painless – it’s a small drive (2.5”) but came with a mounting bracket to fit into a 3.5” bay – easy. The drive itself is very quiet and is indeed quick – boots from cold in about 25 seconds, although this is a clean Win7 install which is always fast. The main difference is once you’ve booted in, you don’t have the hard disk chugging away for ages doing other stuff. Opening and installing applications is also very quick in general.
In order to minimise wastage of disk space, I’ve turned off hibernation to clear the hiberfil.sys file, plus moved the swap file to another drive. However, I’ve kept the Windows index file on the drive – it’s not that big and is used often for finding stuff.
One other thing that I tried was ReadyBoost with my 2GB stick – I got the following: -
Overall – still early days but I’m going to install VS2010 and a few other bits and bobs on here to see how it performs.
I ordered an SSD drive today (64gb); I plan on reinstalling my install of Windows 7 on the disk, along with Office and Visual Studio – plus maybe Starcraft 2 . Hopefully this should give me a nice bump in performance – I’ll report on how I get on with it…