7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2016 9:51 AM by RjL190365

    What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?

    grobert93

      I received a Dell Inspiron 5558 for Christmas. I am attending college majoring in graphic design and am using InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop for assignments. The programs run well, but take time to load and when editing on Premiere Pro it lags the timeline playback. This laptop is very well built and works for basic and slightly advanced tasks, but anything more than that and it slows down. I am looking at what I could do to maximize performance on this. I am willing to upgrade the RAM if that would help it out? Or would a better processor or graphics card be better? Remembering this is a laptop, what would be the best thing to upgrade to get best performance? Thanks!

       

      Dell Inspiron 5558 Signature Edition.

      Intel Core i5-4210U CPU 1.7GHz-2.4GHz,

      8GB ram,

      Intel HD Graphics 4400

        • 1. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
          cc_merchant Level 4

          Upgrade the laptop to

          1. A better brand with
          2. At least a quad core i7 with hyperthreading,
          3. At least 16 but preferably 32 GB DDR4,
          4. A Nvidia GTX 960M or better video card,
          5. At least a PCIe m.2 connector,
          6. A Samsung 950 Pro m.2 512 GB SSD

           

          Those are the basics.

          • 2. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
            grobert93 Level 1

            While I would love to get a new laptop, I am going to stick with this one for the time being. That said, with what I have, can I update the processor inside? Would upgrading to 12 GB of ram do any difference from my 8 gb? Would I be better off getting a better graphics card? Should I replace the hard drive instead? What is the cheapest but most effective option without throwing out my laptop?

            • 3. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
              Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Probably no cost effective solutions.

              • 4. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
                RjL190365 Level 4

                In your particular case, you're pretty much stuck outside of perhaps upgrading that lousy 5400 RPM hard drive with a SATA SSD. The CPU and GPU (which is integrated onto the CPU) are not user replaceable at all, and since all mobile i5 CPUs are only dual-core (albeit with hyperthreading), going from 8GB to 16GB of RAM would be a waste of money since such an upgrade would produce no tangible performance gains with such a limited CPU.

                 

                In fact, I did the testing for you (I have a Toshiba Satellite E45-B4200 with the same CPU and integrated GPU and upgraded from its original 6GB to 8GB of RAM). My laptop (with the same CPU, GPU and RAM as your Dell) produced really lousy results in the three CPU- and GPU-intensive export tests in PPBM9 - 357 seconds for the MPEG-2 DVD export with MPE on and well over 2,000 seconds for the MPEG-2 DVD export with MPE off, and nearly 1,200 seconds for the H.264 Blu-ray export with MPE on. Although those numbers were not the slowest ever in PPBM6/7/8/9, they were pretty close, surpassed in total lousiness by several misconfigured, poorly tuned desktop PCs.

                 

                At least you would be able to export anything at all whatsoever with that laptop: That 5558 Signature, like my Toshiba, has a 1920x1080 display. Most budget laptops with a 15.6" screen have a native resolution of only 1366x768, which would not have allowed you to export since that portion of the interface is completely hidden and inaccessable.

                • 5. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
                  Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  RJL said it all.  Replacing the hard disk drive with an SSD will help loading your applications but will have negligible effect on memory intensive things like manipulating photos.  For Premiere Pro get yourself a Samsung T1 USB 3.0 Flash Drive.  Put your project files, media, preview files, exports all on the USB Flash Drive.  This is how I am doing on my laptop but it is a quad core processor with a lot more speed and memory.  I cannot guarantee anything but this workflow does allow you to go to a USB 3  equipped workstation and easily work on the difficult parts of your project.

                  • 6. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
                    ace41studios Level 1

                    You could upgrade ram to max 12 or 16GB get a 256GB SSD or 512GB with 500/500 read writes. Then get and external HDD enclosure for your old HDD and you can set it up as a scratch disk for Photoshop and Premiere Pro.

                    • 7. Re: What should I upgrade on my laptop for the best performance?
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      ace41studios wrote:

                       

                      You could upgrade ram to max 12 or 16GB get a 256GB SSD or 512GB with 500/500 read writes. Then get and external HDD enclosure for your old HDD and you can set it up as a scratch disk for Photoshop and Premiere Pro.

                      The problem with that suggestion is that it is mostly a waste of money. Slow, 5400 RPM laptop hard disk drives are inherently ill-suited for scratch disks due to their extremely slow random read and write performance. Worse, that laptop's HDD may be a Toshiba MQ01ABD### series drive - and Toshiba MQ01ABD### series laptop HDDs are also extremely slow in sequential reads and writes at high queue depths (even when compared to other brands of laptop HDDs). This terrible sequential read/write performance at such high queue depths is the number one reason why Windows take extremely long to boot up and the applications take extremely long just to launch. And this is because the MQ01ABD### series drives have extremely slow cache memory performance compared to most of the other 5400 RPM laptop HDDs on the market today.

                       

                      As for the high amount of RAM, there is a practical limit as to how much the Adobe programs can use for each CPU core for increased performance (above which the law of diminishing returns kicks in big time). In fact, I have 32GB of RAM (8GB per physical core) on my main PC with a quad-core CPU, and it delivered absolutely zero tangible performance improvement over an otherwise identical PC equipped with only 16GB of RAM (4GB per physical core). However, if the user who started this thread intends to run After Effects, then yes, he does need the 16GB of RAM.