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Fast storage neccessary for programming?

I will buy a new laptop soon and I was wondering if it is neccessary to have a fast and big SSD in it. I have no experience in programming so I dont really know if it helps or not. Normally I dont download a lot of things to my PC so I dont need a large SSD for normal use.

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2 minutes ago, Surpuppa said:

I will buy a new laptop soon and I was wondering if it is neccessary to have a fast and big SSD in it. I have no experience in programming so I dont really know if it helps or not. Normally I dont download a lot of things to my PC so I dont need a large SSD for normal use.

An SSD will speed up boot times and loading and saving files compared to an HDD. Size doesn't matter for performance.

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No. Programming is just fancy text editing and any low spec computer can handle it.

 

You have full control, if you don't want your programming to need fast storage, don't program an application that requires fast storage..

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1 minute ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

Size doesn't matter for performance.

Actually not 100% true. Some SSDs, such as the Samsung PM951 SSDs will have increasing write speeds with a larger size.

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3 minutes ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

An SSD will speed up boot times and loading and saving files compared to an HDD. Size doesn't matter for performance.

I know that, but both are SSDs. The zenbook Im thinking of has a 500mb/s drive but the x360 has a 1500 one. This is what I meant wether or not a faster SSD is important for programming

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Just now, Surpuppa said:

I know that, but both are SSDs. The zenbook Im thinking of has a 500mb/s drive but the x360 has a 1500 one. This is what I meant wether or not a faster SSD is important for programming

Ah, I see.

If pricing is similar I'd go for the faster one, but I wouldn't pay a lot extra for it as it doesn't matter too much in your use case. 500MB/s is plenty fast enough. 

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1 minute ago, Surpuppa said:

I know that, but both are SSDs. The zenbook Im thinking of has a 500mb/s drive but the x360 has a 1500 one. This is what I meant wether or not a faster SSD is important for programming

What kind of programming is more important. Are you a game developer and need to see the engine at work or are you just doing something that dumps right into RAM?

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Actually It really depends on what type of programming you do, if text based (your standard web HTML, CSS, Javascript for example) It makes absolutely no difference. If you have no experience in programming then you'll probably be starting on something like Python which again can by type on a notepad.

 

TL;DR it doesn't matter, get the one you can afford and that you like

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14 minutes ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

Ah, I see.

If pricing is similar I'd go for the faster one, but I wouldn't pay a lot extra for it as it doesn't matter too much in your use case. 500MB/s is plenty fast enough. 

Actually, they are not the same prices at all. Maybe a bit of a tangent, but I bought the x360 with an i5 and 256 gb for 1,463 dollars but Im considering returning it, I dont like the black/gold color (Its still in its unopened packaging, Im still not sure that I will return it however). So I was looking for an alternative and saw that the ZenBook UX430UA is available for 1100 dollars with the same specs or the ZenBook UX430UA with an i7 and 512 gb for 1450 dollars. (I live in Sweden so the prices are a bit higher than in the US). So its either 350 dollars cheaper with the same specs or the same amount of dollars for better specs.

Consider that the x360 has 1500 mb/s and both of the Zenbooks have 500 mb/s so far I know at least. 

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5 minutes ago, Surpuppa said:

Actually, they are not the same prices at all. Maybe a bit of a tangent, but I bought the x360 with an i5 and 256 gb for 1,463 dollars but Im considering returning it, I dont like the black/gold color (Its still in its unopened packaging, Im still not sure that I will return it however). So I was looking for an alternative and saw that the ZenBook UX430UA is available for 1100 dollars with the same specs or the ZenBook UX430UA with an i7 and 512 gb for 1450 dollars. (I live in Sweden so the prices are a bit higher than in the US). Consider that the x360 has 1500 mb/s and both of the Zenbooks have 500 mb/s so far I know at least. 

So you have a laptop with the 1500MB/s SSD right now and are wondering whether you'll notice a performance drop when going to a 500MB/s SSD?

 

It's a little confusing because you mentioned the ZenBook UX430UA twice but with different specs.

From what I understand I would go for the 'i7 and 512 gb for 1450 dollars' you mentioned, it'll be more responsive when multitasking etc. than an i5 and I guess 512GB @500MB/s is more useful than 256GB @1500MB/s imo.

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16 minutes ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

So you have a laptop with the 1500MB/s SSD right now and are wondering whether you'll notice a performance drop when going to a 500MB/s SSD?

 

It's a little confusing because you mentioned the ZenBook UX430UA twice but with different specs.

From what I understand I would go for the 'i7 and 512 gb for 1450 dollars' you mentioned, it'll be more responsive when multitasking etc. than an i5 and I guess 512GB @500MB/s is more useful than 256GB @1500MB/s imo.

Strangley they both have the same name in the retailer I looked at. But is the i7 and 256 gb really worth 350 dollars extra? I dont think I really need the 256 gb, I will not game on it at all, and movies will probably be on a USB memory stick.

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7 minutes ago, Surpuppa said:

Strangley they both have the same name in the retailer I looked at. But is the i7 and 256 gb really worth 350 dollars extra?

Now i'm really confused. Didn't you buy the X360 for $1463? So then that's $13 cheaper than your current laptop right?

Also, earlier you said an i7 with 512GB instead of 256GB :|

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1 minute ago, sgzUk74r3T3BCGmRJ said:

Ultimately it really depends not so much on the 'kind of programming' you do, but on the size of the projects you work on.

 

For the sort of thing a beginner is going to be doing your entire code base is going to be << 100mb. Once you've done your first build almost everything is going to be sitting in your operating system's file cache anyway so performance should be quite good no matter how terrible your disk is. If you can count the files in your program on your fingers and toes then it's not going to matter. Everything is going to be in memory anyway, so just use whatever you like.

 

On the other hand, large projects frequently have to touch lots of files, but do so infrequently enough that you can't count on your OS to keep it quick. For example, the sub component of the code I'm working on today is a 3.3 gigabyte code repository. Building and running a single test requires hitting thousands of files: checking that all upstream dependencies are recently built, loading test data, mocking services, purging logs, detecting which tests need to be run: all of that is disk IO but most of that will live in the file cache too because I'm accessing it after every line I change.

 

Where things get more interesting is when I need to examine the rest of the code. Maybe I'm curious about how some method works so I go digging through the tags list to find definitions or I'm using cscope to find callers and making sure my refactor isn't going to blow anything up. Maybe I have to check the change log to figure out who to talk to about a recent change or to identify whether or not a bug is new or just a regression to previous behaviour: in those case I could end up walking the code base which spans millions of files. A disk with fast random access helps by removing those little waits between saying "jump to definition" or "show me the least 3 changes to this file" and seeing the result.

 

Having said that, the difference you care about is random-acces performance, and once you've gotten the order-of-magnitude increase from spinning rust to any SSD made in the last decade there's not much to gain. Human beings are slow enough that something being 0.1 second instead of 0.2 seconds just doesn't matter matter any more. The difference between today's best SSD and last years worst isn't on the order of 100ms, it's more like 0.1ms, well below the threshold that it matters.

 

 

For your personal desktop for a single developer any old SSD is good enough, and for a beginner you're wouldn't be using a EIDE  3.5" spinning-rust disk because nothing you do is going to be very demanding.

 

At the very least, streaming IO performance is the absolute last thing you care about. Seek time and low-to-moderate queue depth random 4k access is what you care about.

 

 

It sounds like you program on a high level, so it will probably take a few years until I get remotley close, and then I probably going to get a new laptop anyway. If I somehow were to program a large project I can always use my desktop since the laptop will mostly be used for university

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2 minutes ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

Now i'm really confused. Didn't you buy the X360 for $1463? So that's $13 cheaper than your current laptop right?

Also, earlier you said an i7 with 512GB instead of 256GB :|

I currently have the x360 for 1463 yes, but Im considering returning it, and if I can get a 350 dollars cheaper laptop with the same specs (except for ssd speeds) I might aswell do it and save the money, I dont really need a 512 gb disc anyway

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Just now, Surpuppa said:

I currently have the x360 for 1463 yes, but Im considering returning it, and if I can get a 350 dollars cheaper laptop with the same specs (except for ssd speeds) I might aswell do it and save the money, I dont really need a 512 gb disc anyway

Right, I get it. The i7 is slightly better but probably not worth $350. If you are happy with the performance of your current laptop I would certainly go for the cheaper option. The slower SSD will likely go unnoticed. 

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Either machine will be fine for coding. Don't worry! Won't make any difference to the actual coding experience. The execution of said code won't be noticeably affected either unless you are reading and writing huge amounts of data in your programs -- and even then, I'd be more concerned with build quality and other factors.

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19 hours ago, Jonathan Lemmens said:

Right, I get it. The i7 is slightly better but probably not worth $350. If you are happy with the performance of your current laptop I would certainly go for the cheaper option. The slower SSD will likely go unnoticed. 

But that is the thing haha, I havnt tried my x360 yet. Its still in its packaging. But I suspect the 350 dollars saving is worth it, I dont think I really need a 512 gb SSD either.

Btw, do you have experience of the Zenbook? I asked a question about the build quality

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