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Topic Title: Laptop recs -- 512 GB vs. 1 TB and 16 GB vs. 32 GB -- any difference for DNS?
Topic Summary: Will 1 TB (versus 512 GB) and 32 GB (versus 16 GB) improve DNS performance?
Created On: 12/05/2020 01:42 PM
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 12/05/2020 01:42 PM
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sjtandlich
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I need to purchase a laptop for use with DNS 15.3 Professional/KnowBrainer, and am leaning toward the HP Envy 17-T-CG100.

This computer comes with 16 GB memory, but would allow me to upgrade to 32 GB for $180. It also comes with 512 GB SSD storage, but would allow me to upgrade to 1 TB for an extra $100. I would like to know if either of these upgrades would provide any noticeable benefit in using DNS.

I am an editor and a heavy user of DNS/KnowBrainer (currently working on a desktop but will need the laptop for travel), and would pay for one or both of the upgrades if they would help in the operation of DNS. But I also don't want to make upgrades that aren't necessary. DNS is my only application with relatively high requirements — I work almost entirely on MS Word documents, with no video editing or gaming, etc.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you.

Seth

 12/05/2020 02:58 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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From a Dragon speed and accuracy point of view, doubling your RAM or increasing your hard drive won't make any difference. On a personal note, we would do both but we also use as much is 24 Gb of RAM. Most end users would be just as well-off with lower specs.

 

Note that we only purchase our computers from M-Tech Laptops (231) 547-5562 (we are not compensated) who is delivering a replacement today; for our 7-year-old office computer that has about 10 years of work. It is also an M-Tech which runs as well as the day we got it but after 7 years, we get a little nervous and regulate our current computer to a backup. We additionally recommend installing DPI 15.61. Ver. 15.3 is so last week



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 12/05/2020 09:48 PM
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kkkwj
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I agree with Lunis - you won't see a big difference in Dragon/Word performance if that's all you run. But I think it's a no-brainer to add more memory and especially more disk. SSD disks start losing performance when they're half full, and disks fill up quickly these days. Figure out how long you expect to use your laptop and divide the upgrade price by the number of months of expected use. For a four-year expected life, I get $280 / 48 = $5.80 per month for extra performance and a longer life expectancy (bigger disk to accumulate more files).


If you want to maximize the juice out of your rig, try out SSD Keeper, which minimizes disk reads/writes by avoiding fragmented reads and writes. Your machine will be faster, your slow SSD disk operations will be fewer, and your disk will last longer.


Not that it matters, but I always look at these things and ask myself, "Would I rather drive a Cadillac computer for the next few years, or a low-budget beater? What's a better life and lifestyle for me? Would I pay another $5.80 / month for the next few years to drive a Cadillac? Would I regret it for the next four years if I didn't pay it?" You get the idea.

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Win10/x64, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 64GB RAM, Dragon 15.3, SP 6 PRO, SpeechStart, Office 365, KB 2017, Dragon Capture, Samson Meteor USB Desk Mic, Klim and JUKSTG earbuds with microphones, 3 BenQ 2560x1440 monitors, Microsoft Sculpt Keyboard and fat mouse

 12/08/2020 07:40 AM
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sjtandlich
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Thanks very much to both of you for your suggestions.

Seth
 12/27/2020 03:35 PM
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cripp7
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Does a quad core CPU work better than a dual core?

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 12/27/2020 04:20 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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We prefer quad cores because of the extra cache, which is today's computers Achilles' heel. You may have noticed an occasional 3 - 8 second timeout. We believe this can be caused by running out of cache headroom. We haven't had a chance to test this but our M-Tech desktop includes 2 SD drives. M-Tech additionally combines the hardware cache which is supposed to help even more but this is really out of our wheelhouse. 

 

Bottom Line: You might experience that occasional timeout but it is not significant. Dragon can utilize 2 cores (not even most of the time) but if you are running numerous applications, a quad core can make a noticeable difference. For this reason, we prefer quad cores. Dragon 15 uses notably less resources and you may not notice any difference between an i5 or i9. You no longer have to pilfer your child's college fund



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 12/27/2020 03:50 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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we prefer quad cores because of the extra cash

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 12/27/2020 05:14 PM
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ax
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Originally posted by: kkkwj ... If you want to maximize the juice out of your rig, try out SSD Keeper, which minimizes disk reads/writes by avoiding fragmented reads and writes. Your machine will be faster, your slow SSD disk operations will be fewer, and your disk will last longer.



SSD performance/quality/longevity is an important metric. I don't for a second pretend to have any sort of expertise here. Below just represents strictly a personal view - I wouldn't even call it a "recommendation" as I don't know enough.

Perhaps software like "SSD Keeper" is indeed good bang for the buck, especially in this age of "QLC Nand". And it is also true that for the same brand and make of SSD, "more size" is "more better", for exactly the reasoning outlined in this thread.

But if OP has a choice at all, some attention could be paid to the brand of SSD being offered (unfortunately no real cross brand/make choices are given usually under "configuration options"). I don't have a particular opinion on M2, NVME, or PCI-E vs SATA III as I don't do games or move very large files.

But the current crop of TLC and QLC SSDs! Let's pause for second: that QLC is even being offered is obscene IMHO. Orders of magnitude in decrease in write endurance. Of course the "industry experts" will tell you all is rosy for "consumer use".

I have been using a Thinkstation P320 (E3-1245 v6, 16GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD , 1TB HDD, Window 10 Pro) in the office for the last 2+ years. At home a Z2 Mini G3 (i7-7700, 16GB, 256 GB SSD).

Now I don't even recall what the brand/make of the SSD was in the Lenovo. I don't think it was anything truly "workstation grade" when I googled it. The HP Z2 Mini uses Samsung "PM961" M2. I am still a little miffed thinking about this choice, definitely not "workstation" grade.

Anyway, tell you what I did. I have picked up 2x 400GB and 1x 800GB Intel S3700 "high grade" MLC SSD from eBay. They are all new (800GB was "new old stock"). As soon as funny things happen in these 2 machines of mine, and on my secretary's, I am going to put these S3700 in.

Intel DC S3700: Now that's a decent SSD that is still obtainable today.  A good number of those for (what I consider to be) decent price can still be be had on eBay as we speak. Yes they are SATA 6.0 GB/s.

 

Contrasting that with the obscenity that is "QLC NVMe" ... I can only shake my head.



 12/27/2020 06:36 PM
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ax
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Take my own comment a bit into "advice" territory:

Of all the "swappable" components in your PC (excluding motherboard and other soldered bits/parts), which is most important in real life?

HDD (platter or solid state) - bar none.

RAM you can add and subtract, unless it is soldered as in some "thin-and-light". I got my Z2 Mini G3 with 8GB in one slot. Jotted down the exact make of RAM from BIOS. Googled it and it was Samsung. Bought the same make online (by Samsung). The OEM slot was made in Korea. My online order was made in China. Other than that exactly the same. Put the new one in. Did some quick RAM test. No problems. So far still no problems.

I acknowledge that the reasoning behind next bit is slightly voodoo. I chose Xeon with ECC RAM for office PC because it is always on, just like a server, because it is my "outgoing fax server". Incoming I do e-fax. A fax-modem still saves money. ECC RAM for a PC that restarts every day or 2 is likely overkill. However, the number of "bit flipping" in 32GB of RAM is considered by some to be "non-trivial" as well. Solar storm or no storm.

Video card you can add and remove. For "just" Dragon use it's questionable why a discrete card is even necessary.

For processors, I think other experts have echoed Lunis, in that cache size is important for Dragon. Thus the newer 6 core /12 MB cache are probably good choices. But I personally don't think ANY quadcore from the Intel 14nm extended generations would do you any injustice. Ryzen has of course risen to the challenge this past year, in a big league way.

Really after the processor, it's the SSD.

I "upgrade" my own rambling to advice: get the best make of SSD you can. As a professional, your time is the real premium. RAM you can swap. Video card is optional. HDD is a pain to swap/troubleshoot for the obvious reasons.



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