A: An SSD is a must for sure with your program choice and a NVMe used properly is great. However, while a NVMe drive makes a great virtual memeory drive, NVMe is a poor substitute for RAM. Under best case lab conditions the fastest SSD is 46 times slower than DDR3 RAM. What about the DDR4 M-Tech use?
NVMe has roughly the equal bandwidth as DDR4 RAM but compared to RAM, its latency, or the speed at which you can access bits of data falls far short of RAM. Since most data is not bulk but bits, it is more important how fast the data is accessed than it is how much it can carry in one trip. Liken it to your wife or significant other coming hole with a car full of groceries. Being able to carry two bags at a time is fine but if the bag ripped open and you have 30 cans of tuna fish on the floor carrying two bags isn't valuable. What you need is somebody that is quick at picking up one thing at a time. Or think if you can carry two bags and I can also carry two bags but I run back and forth with those bags and you walk slowly, I am going to be far faster than you at getting the groceries from the car to the kitchen.
In other words, the speed at which you access the data is more important than the rate at which you’re accessing it. A normal hard disk has a response time of about 16ms, a good SSD will respond in 0.05ms, RAM will respond in 50ns. (notice ms vs. ns) To put that in perspective, 0.05ms is equal to 50,000ns. This means that RAM can serve up data in memory 1000 times faster than a NVMe drive even though the file size they can carry is about the same. It is like Speedy Gonzales suddenly being able to carry as much stuff as Bubba. Of course Speedy is going to hands down me the winner. he can carry as much and do it a thousand times quicker.
Now lets talk RAM amounts
So when you only have 8GB of RAM windows will take any file or program not used in the last 5 seconds and make a page file out of it and store it to the drive. I don't know about you but just because I have not used something for FIVE whole seconds doesn't mean I won't need it in one more second. So you see the issue with too little RAM is that after a while you have more and more items shuffling back and forth from system memory to drive and back again. Think of it like working on your car. You start getting the tools as you need them. Soon though, you run out of space forcing you to put some of the tools away. Sure enough, you need that tool again. I wonder why it takes so long to do the work, could it be running back and forth for your tools is not a productive use of your time? So you get a bigger place for your tools, they can now all stay out and handy for when you do need them. This is the same thing when you choose SSD over RAM. Does it work, yes but not nearly as well as having your data at hands reach? Your SSD can run back and forth fetching things you used just 10 seconds ago, or you can have enough RAM that you can force Windows to just keep everything handy and available for immediate use.
This is why you think you're not even using your 8GB. You can have 64GB and windows will still do this silly process. So you need to bump up the RAM and then tell Windows to no longer page your file and programs.
Now we get to the issue with why Lenovo and other brands do not usually sell more than 8GB. It's called teaser pricing. They sell and under configured laptop, knowing it isn't enough. Then the upgrades that will make the machine really run are too costly because they know the RAM is where it's at.
Not to be self serving here but I have to talk about how M-Tech prices it upgrades to give you an idea of why we do this vs. how others do it.
Let's start with the others. Every time you upgrade you may a percentage up-charge that is their profit margin. So the more or the bigger you wish to buy the more costly it gets. For example, let's say you have a 2TB SSD and it is $1000 cost and they charge 20% markup on their upgrades. Well that makes the $1000 drives $1200 a $200 markup. Same with RAM, let's assume you want to max RAM but the more the base cost is the more you spend on top of that, So it chases you away from the very upgrades you need the most large SSD and RAM. Here at M-Tech Laptops, we really want you to max that laptop out. So, all our upgrades have a single flat fee. So upgrading to 16GB has the same profit for us as upgrading to 64GB. This way you look at 16 vs. 64 and say to yourself, "hey, it's pretty cheap to do 64GB compared to the 16GB. With M-Tech an upgrade is a onetime up-charge and that makes it far cheaper to max the RAM and sizes of drives out. The lower end version do look a little over priced because the flat markup on a low price upgrade is not as good a value as that same flat markup on a $1000 SSD. Really nobody buys an M-Tech to minimally configure it; they buy us for pure unadulterated power. So we make it cheap and easy to make that jump. However, as long as they do a % markup the more you pay the more they make, that's the beauty of percentage markup vs. flat fee markup.
Theirs is better from a business model because the profit builds very fast, but M-Tech really isn't interested in gouging. We love to see our laptops out there on navy ships, we think it cool that IBM doesn't use Lenovo but they do use M-Tech Laptops. Ford, Microsoft, Grumman and Lockheed and about 200 other fortune 500 companies use M-Tech because they did the research.....well poop. I apologize. I got myself all ramped up and did what I promised not to do. Sorry, it's sort of a passion. Anyways, scroll backwards and review the salient points.
BTW, Chuck made a good point. Western Digital did the research and found that within 9 months every computer is 20 to 25% slower. This was due to any one of 14 different things. None of those were hardware related. You can restore to like new speed by reloading your operating system and all your programs, YUCK! Really you should go to our support page and look at the tips and trick and even the Phase 3 tweaks. One of those is how to make a system image once you have your laptop finished and like the way it runs. It takes 2 minutes to wipe your drive and restore to the original perfect version when you do this. Keep in mind you will need a second drive source. This is why we encourage all laptops buyers to include a second drive. This allows your primary SSD to be smaller since you can now move your user library to the 2nd drive this also gives you a place to store a system image of your entire computers operating structure for a super fast way of restoring the C: drive to the like new status. Best of all, the entire restore image always goes with you since it is on the second drive. Make that 2nd drive another SSD and you can now kick up your speed even more by pointing the computers page file to the largely unused second data drive.
Doing this takes a lot of pressure off the primary drive. Plus it helps you to make sure you never get close to 50% capacity of the C: drive, since once you install all programs there should be no more need to write to that drive. Also, with more RAM and reducing or eliminating the page file you also reduce page file writes to the SSD drive, which again increases its lifespan by reducing writes. So by making your laptop faster you also extend the lifespan of the SSD's. Again, this is because SSD's wear out based on how much you write to it not read from it. There are so many reasons to have a lot of RAM and a second drive.
If anybody really wants to know more, a visits to the M-Tech Laptops support page http://www.m-techlaptops.com/shoponline/pc/Support-d61.htm plus a review of the sidebar column of useful links, you can learn many ways to peak your computers speed. Keep in mind, these are posted assuming you have an M-Tech top tier motherboard which excludes mass marketed brands but the principles will still help you. They won't perform magic since you can't go faster than the cheapest lowest quality part (thank you integrated circuitry) but they will still help.
Jerry Michrina - Technical Adviser
M-Tech Laptops, Inc.
1-231-547-5562 Ext. 11