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Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion #5167711 07/21/19 11:00 PM
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bowlofturtle Offline OP
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So i just grabbed this laptop off prime day. https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Display-Graphics-Keyboard-A515-43-R19L/dp/B07RF1XD36

Ryzen 3 3200U
4GB DDR4
128SSD m2
802.11ac WIFI
1 USB 3.0 port.


This is going to be used as my daily workhorse. I'm going to retire my E8500 Core 2duo, 3GB of ram, 256 Samsung EVO SSD and 1TB storage drive. Old dinosaur video card powering 2 monitors.

The laptop is loads faster. My daily work task is really surfing, excel, video consumption via streams or torrents. I would like to edit my gopro 4 videos play some games on low resolution but if it can't handle it no biggie.

I've been torn between building a mini itx for a while but didn't think i wanted to pay the premium for it. I pulled the trigger on this laptop because it had room to upgrade/grow. The laptop has a 2 RAM slots (1 open) and an empty SATA drive bay, wifi card can be upgradeable as well. The laptop can support 32gb total, 2x16gb.

I was thinking i grab a 4gb stick ($20) and then 500gb SATA SSD drive ($50-75) or get a USB 3.0 256gb flash drive. Should i go for a 2x8gb kit instead?



Anyone have experience with USB docks for laptops? I just want basic stuff and i think the pluggable will work best.

https://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Universal-Docking-Station-Ethernet/dp/B00ECDM78E/ref=sr_1_3?crid=6TRTFPUI61PI&keywords=usb+dock+station&qid=1563767839&s=electronics&sprefix=usb+dock+%2Celectronics%2C235&sr=1-3


My toys
-05 Infiniti G35x 140k
-03 Suzuki SV650N 8.5k
Maintaining
-16 Jetta 1.4T 20k
-98 Nissan Maxima 160k
-09 Toyota Camry V6 96k

Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5167751 07/22/19 01:23 AM
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PandaBear Offline
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Definitely go with 8GB DDR, 256GB SSD should be ok if you don't put media files on it, use external HDD or SSD instead would be enough.

My personal experience with USB3 dock is they don't always work right on the keyboard / mouse department. YMMV.


"You keep asking questions PandaBear and you'll end up a vegetarian like my wife" - Camu Mahubah
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5167752 07/22/19 01:26 AM
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Skippy722 Offline
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As the owner of a DongleBook Pro... I mean MacBook Pro, I love my Anker USB hub, but that’s type C.

Back on topic, that seems like a pretty solid USB dock, just keep in mind you’ll have 2 USB 3.0 ports and the rest are only 2.0...

As for ram, more has never hurt. I use mine mostly for GarageBand and browsing the internet, never had an issue with my 8gb, but 16 might be a good idea if you like to have a bunch of tabs open.

My MacBook Pro has a 128gb NVMe SSD, I use a 128gb USB 3 flash drive to store all my sound files that I leave on my keychain.


2016 Chrysler 300S v6
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan GT

Slight Mopar obsession
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5167826 07/22/19 07:15 AM
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madRiver Offline
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Lets use know how USB 3.0 works for video. I did not have great luck 4 years ago with video but tech obviously has moved on.

I would high recommend plugging directly into HDMI port of computer over USB doc for your primary monitor and compare to the dock.

I was all excited on my MacBook Pro 2017 to plug a single cable (usb-c) for a dongle that included ethernet, hdmi video, power, usb 3 etc. However the video was not a great as a simple $12 usb-c to DVI cable into my Dell Ultrasharp Monitor.

Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5167947 07/22/19 10:22 AM
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Rand Offline
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I would get a 1TB ssd for your empty sata bay, they are down around $100 and you said you wanted to view/edit gopro videos.
install everything on the new ssd, that 128GB OS drive will fill up fast with just windows updates and some basic programs.

Memory I would get at least 1 8GB chip for (12GB total) or 2 chips for 16GB
usb flash drives can be very slow. most wont even max out a usb2.0 port when writing.

Docks.. how often will you be moving it.. never had a good dock experience except with the OEM thinkpad docks which isnt an option to use except with thinkpad computer.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5168002 07/22/19 11:25 AM
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mazdamonky Offline
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I personally would go with upgrading the RAM to 8gb, or just buy an 8gb stick and make it 12gb. You don't need two match sticks with today's current technology. As for the a second data drive, I would go for a 1 or 2 terabyte spinning drive if you are dealing with video as you will be limited by CPU speed far before drive speed and the spinning drive will generally be much less expensive for more data.


2018 mazda3 hatch 2.5 263 miles
1985 rx7 1.1 98k miles
2002 protege 220k miles
1985 rx7 with a 5.0 swap
2002 Protege 299k miles Girlfriend's
4 more running cars in yard not mentioned
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: mazdamonky] #5168536 07/22/19 11:10 PM
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bowlofturtle Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rand


Memory I would get at least 1 8GB chip for (12GB total) or 2 chips for 16GB
usb flash drives can be very slow. most wont even max out a usb2.0 port when writing.




Originally Posted by mazdamonky
I personally would go with upgrading the RAM to 8gb, or just buy an 8gb stick and make it 12gb. You don't need two match sticks with today's current technology.a.



Both of you stated I should go with an 8gb stick to pair with my 4gb stick, I'm curious why? Is 12 much more efficient than 8? I was thinking of getting another 4gb so I can take advantage of dual-channel ram. I've seen people state it could be a little faster. I only want to upgrade til the point where my CPU is the bottleneck. If this ryzen 3 laptop CPU can take full advantage of 12gb or 16gb i would seriously consider it but i dont know any better and haven't found much on this laptop. Seems this is an amazon made to order laptop.

4gb sticks used on ebay are running $15ish. Haven't had too much luck finding a good price for 8gb but its about $35ish.

Also what do all the numbers mean aside from clock speed, i know i need that to be 2666 260pin sodimm but the ECC and low voltage.


8gb
https://www.ebay.com/itm/8GB-DDR4-2666-SODIMM-Memory-RAM-for-2019-APPLE-iMac-5K-Retina-19-1-A2115-1x-8G/323859166148?hash=item4b6782b3c4%3Ag%3ApQ0AAOSwXeZdLLP%7E%3Asc%3AUSPSFirstClass%2160630%21US%21-1&LH_BIN=1

4gb
https://www.ebay.com/itm/4GB-1Rx16-PC4-2666V-DDR4-SO-DIMM-Laptop-Memory-RAM-SKHynix-Micron-Samsung/163684238689?hash=item261c574561%3Ag%3AWVoAAOSwSiVc1Z4p&LH_BIN=1



I was thinking if i have one of these USB docks, some of those dock provide other USB 3 ports and i can have a USB storage for videos. Pop in a SATA 500gb ( might have one laying around actually) to store current stuff. Use the m2 128gb as boot drive mainly.


My toys
-05 Infiniti G35x 140k
-03 Suzuki SV650N 8.5k
Maintaining
-16 Jetta 1.4T 20k
-98 Nissan Maxima 160k
-09 Toyota Camry V6 96k

Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5168594 07/23/19 12:52 AM
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Skippy722 Offline
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Running the RAM in dual channel will obviously help a bit, but the difference in most cases will be negligible. Just having more ram will be better than being in dual channel.


2016 Chrysler 300S v6
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan GT

Slight Mopar obsession
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5168867 07/23/19 12:13 PM
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Rand Offline
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just goto https://www.crucial.com/ for the ram and cross reference the part number. (kind of like going to rockauto for car part numbers)

A Ram Analogy.

Ram is like kitchen counter space.. and like most kitchens some of it is already used for various appliances etc.
(extra ram is also used for caching)

More is always better. However there is diminishing returns. 8GB is the bare minimum I would have 16GB is about the level of diminishing returns for normal use.

That all being said with a fast SSD and 4GB ram its very usable.

Some can be very hard to add ram to.. others its a screw and a small hatch on the bottom.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5168893 07/23/19 12:54 PM
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mazdamonky Offline
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So RAM will run in dual channel as long as there are two stick now days. It is able to run in dual channel for the first matching bit of ram. So if you have a 4gb stick and an 8gb stick totaling 12gb, it will run in dual channel for the first 8gb usage of ram. However, more RAM will generally be more important. Using 12GB vs 8GB is a jump as most web browsers, specifically chrome are ram hogs now days, and video editing will want to use a lot of memory. For the gaming aspect, more than 8gb ram won't be as useful, but for multitasking and day to day, more RAM is more you can do at one time. My work Laptop has 8gb RAM and even just web browsing while using microsoft office and a proprietary work program tends to cause my RAM to max out.

As for the piece of equipment that will bottleneck, it all depends completely on the specific programs being run at any given time.


2018 mazda3 hatch 2.5 263 miles
1985 rx7 1.1 98k miles
2002 protege 220k miles
1985 rx7 with a 5.0 swap
2002 Protege 299k miles Girlfriend's
4 more running cars in yard not mentioned
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: mazdamonky] #5170529 07/25/19 12:04 PM
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Pew Offline
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It's advised to use the closest matching pair of RAM possible for compatibility issues; latency, speed, capacity, and the amount of chips per side. You can use RAM that is spec'd at different speeds but forcing dual-channel mode will resort to the slowest speed of the RAM sticks you have. Single vs dual channel won't really of any benefit to a user with generic daily tasks. More RAM > dual channel if you're reaching the limit of your RAM but with SSDs nowadays, using the pagefile isn't as horribly slow as it was in the past with HDDs.

On the plus side, most manufactures sell kits with matched sticks.

If I were you, I'd upgrade the RAM to 16GB + 500GB internal SSD with a 2+TB external HDD for video storage. Or skip adding in an SSD all together if you're not installing a lot of programs on it.

Don't worry about ECC, those are really applicable for servers. Tend to cost a lot more too.

Last edited by Pew; 07/25/19 12:07 PM.
Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5170631 07/25/19 02:04 PM
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nthach Offline
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If that laptop has a USB-C port supporting USB-C Alt Mode, meaning it has the capablity to drive a display via DisplayPort and to charge from the USB-C port, one of these might be worth it:

https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-elitedisplay-e243d-238-inch-docking-monitor

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/del...vv&c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

Other than that, all USB/USB-C docks will use DisplayLink to provide the video part over USB. DisplayLink compresses the host display, sends the data over USB to a DisplayLink chipset that will then recompose the display. It will eat up your memory(which isn't too much unless you're watching a video, forget about gaming over it) and it can be hit or miss. I have that HP docking monitor at home, it does work fine in USB-C Alt Mode and OK with a Mac in DisplayLink mode over USB3.0.

Intel just opened up the Thunderbolt spec for all, and USB4 will be built off the Thunderbolt 3.0 spec. Which builds off the USB-C connection but also adds in high-speed I/O many will never use.

Re: Any upgrades worth it or USB dock suggestion [Re: bowlofturtle] #5174418 07/29/19 10:47 PM
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bowlofturtle Offline OP
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I just won a 8gb stick on ebay for $26 shipped. So i'll have a total of 12gb of DDR4 ram, i was told the vega 3 video driver takes 2gb. So i really have 10gb of system ram.

I found my old SATA 850evo 500gb. Using that as a media drive.

I also got my hands on a dell D6000 dock, its a USB dock. I do need some displayport to HDMI cable. I was only able to use the 1 HDMI port everything worked well enough.


My toys
-05 Infiniti G35x 140k
-03 Suzuki SV650N 8.5k
Maintaining
-16 Jetta 1.4T 20k
-98 Nissan Maxima 160k
-09 Toyota Camry V6 96k

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