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What makes a computer "Snappy"?

So what actually makes a pc or laptop snappy? Obviously we'd be talking about high performance ssd's, and good ram. But i feel like there's more to it. Are "powerful" CPU'S part of it, or what?

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jae Tee said:

So what actually makes a pc or laptop snappy? Obviously we'd be talking about high performance ssd's, and good ram. But i feel like there's more to it. Are "powerful" CPU'S part of it, or what?

It's the whole package.

Not and individual piece of hardware. 

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A good CPU and fast storage like an SSD.  I think those two pretty much cover it, assuming we can ignore strange edge cases like not having enough RAM for basic tasks.  It's incredible how much a lack of either makes a system feel bloated and old.  Nothing else is going to have much of an impact though.  Your power supply is either sufficient or not - a better one won't make things quicker.  Your motherboard isn't going to have any noticeable impact on performance.  Same story with the monitor, peripherals, etc.

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Just now, Constantin said:

It's the whole package.

Not and individual piece of hardware. 

Yes, but more specifically.

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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2 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

A good CPU and fast storage like an SSD. .snip.

I use computers that fill those boxes but some are just better than others. Ther needs to be a reson, right?

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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Just now, Jae Tee said:

I use computers that fill those boxes but some are just better than others. Ther needs to be a reson, right?

Well, if we also consider the software side of things, it does get a bit more complicated, and it is probably worth considering since it can make a huge difference.

For example, it used to be normal and expected that a new installation of Windows was as quick as anything but by the time you'd been using it for a year or two, it had slowed down to nearly unbearable levels, and required a re-install.  This has been effectively eliminated by the proliferation of SSDs, but the fundamental idea that a bloated, inefficient system is going to kill off that snappiness holds true.

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1 minute ago, Jae Tee said:

I use computers that fill those boxes but some are just better than others. Ther needs to be a reson, right?

Newer cpu architectures (or in Intels case refresh’s) are refined to where they are able to respond to inputs faster *

 

* citation needed

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1 minute ago, Jae Tee said:

I use computers that fill those boxes but some are just better than others. Ther needs to be a reson, right?

Super depends on what you’re doing with the computer, what cpu, how much ram(and it’s speed), what SSD, what type of SSD

 

theres a million factors that could go into it. Without knowing specifics you can’t really narrow it down.

 

an i3 system from 6 years ago will be snappy for my grandma in 2020

 

an i9 system for me might even still hold up in some places. 

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In my experience there are only 2 things that can make an immediate impact on how fast and snappy a computer feels within normal use.

1. An SSD over an HDD for the OS, and not even an NVME drive, honestly my systems with NVME drives versus sata m.2 drives feel no faster.

2. No bloatware, as in no extra programs that need to load in the background on startup. In fact when possible I am favoring cloud/web based programs as much as I can for this exact reason. My system that feels the "fastest/snappiest" is my R7 1700 w/ RX 580 8GB because the amount of programs I need on that computer is far less than my other 2 main systems, which are much more powerful in terms of raw performance. Only downside when relying on cloud/web based applications is that you are at the mercy of the host servers that hold the information and your internet speed. So it is not always a clear decision. 

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Just now, Ryan_Vickers said:

Well, if we also consider the software side of things, it does get a bit more complicated, .snip.

Yeah this is ALSO a factor but not in my hands on experience. 

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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1 minute ago, JM21 said:

In my experience there are only 2 things that can make an immediate impact on how fast and snappy a computer feels within normal use.

   .snip.

I've gone through both of these, anything you can think of?

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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1 minute ago, Jae Tee said:

I've gone through both of these, anything you can think of?

What?

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3 minutes ago, Slottr said:

Super depends on what you’re doing with the computer, what cpu, how much ram(and it’s speed), what SSD, what type of SSD

.snip.

Yes, but what ARE those million different things, or at least some not yet mentioned. 

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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Just now, JM21 said:

What?

Bloatware and ssd.

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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1 minute ago, Jae Tee said:

Yes, but what ARE those million different things, or at least some not yet mentioned. 

Well some of those elements have been mentioned already. Your cpu, ssd, etc.

 

if you mean how does a cpu or ssd or ram work to be efficient, that’s an entirely different topic 

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1 minute ago, Slottr said:

Well some of those elements have been mentioned already. Your cpu, ssd, etc.

 

if you mean how does a cpu or ssd or ram work to be efficient, that’s an entirely different topic 

Whatever it may be. 

 

If I were to build "the world's snappiest pc" using off the shelf "normal" parts, how would I go about it and/or build it.

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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300 core cpu with NVME V5 at 2TB read / write speeds.

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Just now, cesh me inside b0z said:

300 core cpu with NVME V5 at 2TB read / write speeds.

I like your version of normal, should run chrome given enough RAM.

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jae Tee said:

Whatever it may be. 

 

If I were to build "the world's snappiest pc" using off the shelf "normal" parts, how would I go about it and/or build it.

Strongly depends on what it's for and how you will use it.

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Just now, Jae Tee said:

I like your version of normal, should run chrome given enough RAM.

Well yeah, Chrome just loves horsepower.

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Just now, Slottr said:

Strongly depends on what it's for and how you will use it.

Basically not "real" work, aka editing or something. Just the feel.....ya' no man

At me or quote me, I want to hear your opinion.

 

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31 minutes ago, Jae Tee said:

So what actually makes a pc or laptop snappy? Obviously we'd be talking about high performance ssd's, and good ram. But i feel like there's more to it. Are "powerful" CPU'S part of it, or what?

If we were to put an objective metric, "snappiness" is basically the average input latency of the system. That is, if you press the "A" key on a keyboard and expect text to show up on screen, the faster it does this, the 'snappier' it is.

 

Ironically older systems, like 8-bit computers of the 80s, are actually snappier than modern systems. Why? It's a combination of the following:

  • The OS or system software ran on ROM. So it likely knew exactly where to go each time to grab data. Plus the fact that ROM speed, at least at the time, was relatively very fast.
  • The components, like CPU, memory, sound, and video, were simple. They had a fixed address in memory space (makes it easy for anything to talk directly to it) and were often easy to work with.
  • Basic input devices, like keyboards and controllers, sent data that was literally like a few bytes at most and the application directly received this. This is unlike say a USB based keyboard or controller where the payload may be a few bytes at most, but it also includes many more bytes for the USB protocol, which had to be packaged at the device and unpacked at the OS level, before the app even sees it.

tl;dr, making the system simpler makes it spend less time trying to figure everything out, which ends up adding to latency. You could apply those same principles to modern computers, but you can only get so far.

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2 minutes ago, Jae Tee said:

Basically not "real" work, aka editing or something. Just the feel.....ya' no man

Sorry, I don't

 

Refer to my previous analogy

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For (old) laptops a SSD upgrade would make it instantly snappy(er).

If it runs windows 10, an 8GB memory would be minimum, 16gb is recommended.

That's about it, if you want more you should buy a better laptop.

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There also seems to be a bit of an X-Factor.  Like the Comino OTTO was incredibly snappy even at stock clocks without anything special on the go (like it is a top tier computer in every way with a new OS, but we look at those all the time and this one was way quicker).  For the most part though it comes down to CPU speed and SSD controller though.

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