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Thread: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

  1. #1
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    Default Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    My neighbor bought a new pc and gave me the old one. It has Windows 10 installed. The pc I am using currently boots Tumbleweed, Windows 10 and Windows 7. ( I kept Win 7 because I was worried about an install of Win 10.)

    My current pc came with a 500GB HD. I added a 120GB SSD when I installed Tumbleweed. I did not do the install properly. My intent was to have a fast drive for the OS only. But each OS resides on the HD. So, I got little benefit. I have BTRFS on / but the rest of the drives are split between XFS and NTFS. Each drive has 7 partitions.

    The new(ish) pc has a 1TB hard drive with less than 200GB used. I will install Tumbleweed on it eventually. My question: is it worth it to add an SSD for Tumbleweed? I didn't do it right the last time and I didn't notice. If the answer is "yes," what do you recommend for size/brand etc?

    In either scenario (with or without SSD) what is the ideal partitioning setup?

    Final question: each pc has 8GB of RAM. Will an upgrade (I guess 16GB is the next stop) make a performance difference? I don't do anything too intensive in the way of graphics and very little gaming. I don't do anything too demanding, but RAM is cheap nowadays and I don't know how long that will last.

    Thanks for your opinion and recommendations.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    It is definitely worth using a SSD
    I have three different brands in my home. My main Laptop uses WD nvme 250GB and a Seagate SATA SSD 2TB
    My wife's laptop uses a WD Green SATA SSD
    And I have a SATA SSD that I use as external. SanDisk 500GB. That connects to a thunderbolt port. I use it for practice installs.
    All modern SSD's should perform well. Some with a better warranty - as in 5yrs rather than 3yrs
    I still use ext4 for everything. My daily driver is Tumbleweed KDE. I don't use snapshots at all.
    My / is 60GB and /home 1TB
    But really you need to decide what you need.
    8GB RAM is probably fine, though I have 16GB
    My installations are always expert using my existing setup rather than the current proposal that the installer presents to you
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    It is definitely worth using a SSD
    I have three different brands in my home. My main Laptop uses WD nvme 250GB and a Seagate SATA SSD 2TB
    My wife's laptop uses a WD Green SATA SSD
    And I have a SATA SSD that I use as external. SanDisk 500GB. That connects to a thunderbolt port. I use it for practice installs.
    All modern SSD's should perform well. Some with a better warranty - as in 5yrs rather than 3yrs
    I still use ext4 for everything. My daily driver is Tumbleweed KDE. I don't use snapshots at all.
    My / is 60GB and /home 1TB
    But really you need to decide what you need.
    8GB RAM is probably fine, though I have 16GB
    My installations are always expert using my existing setup rather than the current proposal that the installer presents to you
    So, if I put only the OS on the SSD, 250 GB looks like plenty. I was wondering about snapshots. I don't use them either and hoped it wasn't that important.

    I said OS only, but should the SSD have things like the browser, LibreOffice and other key applications on it? I have only the barest understanding of the file system, so I'm guessing that you can't have the OS on a different drive from the apps I mentioned. Or, at least, you can't separate some applications from others.. What do you suggest?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    I use SSDs only for an OS. And these days I follow the latest TW suggestions re. partitioning, i.e. to have a single btrfs partition with /home included. On my previous laptop I had 2 SSDs, no separate /home but a "data" partition on the other with symlinks for Music, Video etc. in my homedir to folders on /data/

    But it looks like you did not pick the right disk to create the install on.
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Prexy View Post
    So, if I put only the OS on the SSD, 250 GB looks like plenty. I was wondering about snapshots. I don't use them either and hoped it wasn't that important.

    I said OS only, but should the SSD have things like the browser, LibreOffice and other key applications on it? I have only the barest understanding of the file system, so I'm guessing that you can't have the OS on a different drive from the apps I mentioned. Or, at least, you can't separate some applications from others.. What do you suggest?
    Don't split unless there is a good reason for doing so. When buying a new drive go with a single SATA 3 or NVMe SSD. As your data will grow have some extra space. Have a large HDD for backup built into the case of the desktop. Don't mount it during boot and put it into standby. In the long term users tend to damage their external drives.

    By default openSUSE uses btrfs for very good reasons. A single btrfs partition can hold virtually any number of filesystems (snapshots). At a first glance btrfs seems to be complex. However btrfs is only complex for those who believe that btrfs should work the way they imagine and ignore the documentation. Minimal partitioning:
    • 100MB vfat efi system
    • btrfs for system, home (and more).
    AMD Athlon 4850e (2009), openSUSE 13.1, KDE 4, Intel i3-4130 (2014), i7-6700K (2016), i5-8250U (2018), AMD Ryzen 5 3400G (2020), openSUSE Tumbleweed, KDE Plasma 5

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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    I typically put /efi/boot and / in the SSD and /home in the HDD. Similarly from Windows, C: on SSD and "Users" and everything non-system installed on the HDD.
    As previously mentioned, I would not use BTRFS for / in your case because in my 55GB / partition, .snapshots eat up all space (https://forums.opensuse.org/showthre...over-snapshots). I would go for ext4 since erasing snapshots kill the benefits of BTRF anyways.

    If I were in your situation, I would get a ~250GB boot SSD and shove all systems (root, or C drive) alike in there.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    Hi
    I use btrfs without snapshots enabled for / (including $HOME) data off on another drive, backup drive on another controller...

    Depends on what you are really doing with this system, general desktop use, just use the SSD and it's speed, use the HDD for backup and power down (if supported) when not doing a backup...
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    I previously looked at the openSuse documentation for install. Tumbleweed links to the Leap install. I assume there are no differences. Here is what one slide says:
    Code:
    Initial layout proposed after adjusting the Guided Setup settings:    
        -do not enable snapshots for /
        -do not propose swap
        
    Changes to partitioning:
        -Create GPT on /dev/vda
        -Create partition /dev/vda1 (8.00 MiB) as BIOS Boot Partition
        -Create partition /dev/vda2 (11.99 GiB) for / with btrfs
        -10 subvolume actions
    Some of these terms are unfamiliar to me. GPT? vda? Further down, there is this note:
    Code:
    Note: Separate Home Partition
    
    The default proposal no longer suggests to create a separate partition for /home. The /home directory contains the user's data and personal configuration files. Placing it on a separate directory makes it easier to rebuild the system in the future, or allows to share it with different Linux installations on the same machine.
    In case you want to change the proposal to create a separate partition for /home, choose Guided Setup and click Next until you reach the Filesystem Options screen. Check Propose Separate Home Partition. By default it will be formatted with XFS, but you can choose to use a different file system. Close the dialog by clicking Next again.
    Some adjustments will have to be made for dual boot setups. One issue that comes to mind is that I will have a big, mostly empty HD with Windows on it. Since there is so much extra space, can't I put btrfs snapshots there? I'm assuming I can/should use the HD for Documents and Downloads and Trash. Is that what the NOTE means when it says go to Filesystem Options screen?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9

    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Prexy View Post
    I previously looked at the openSuse documentation for install. Tumbleweed links to the Leap install. I assume there are no differences. Here is what one slide says:
    Code:
    Initial layout proposed after adjusting the Guided Setup settings:    
        -do not enable snapshots for /
        -do not propose swap
        
    Changes to partitioning:
        -Create GPT on /dev/vda
        -Create partition /dev/vda1 (8.00 MiB) as BIOS Boot Partition
        -Create partition /dev/vda2 (11.99 GiB) for / with btrfs
        -10 subvolume actions
    Some of these terms are unfamiliar to me. GPT? vda? Further down, there is this note: [CODE]
    GPT + BIOS Boot Partition is incompatible with Windows.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinion requested - hardware upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Prexy View Post
    So, if I put only the OS on the SSD, 250 GB looks like plenty.
    This 24/7 PC has 5 installed openSUSE versions on a 120GB SSD.
    Code:
    # lsblk -o NAME,FSTYPE,SIZE,FSAVAIL,MOUNTPOINT | egrep -v 'sdb|sdc|md|sr'
    NAME    FSTYPE              SIZE FSAVAIL MOUNTPOINT
    sda                       111.8G
    ├─sda1  vfat                251M
    ├─sda2  hpfs                2.4G
    ├─sda3  ext2                1.2G  518.2M /disks/boot
    ├─sda4                        1K
    ├─sda5  swap               16.2G
    ├─sda6  ext3                3.9G
    ├─sda7  ext4               17.6G    7.1G /disks/root1
    ├─sda8  ext4               17.6G      5G /
    ├─sda9  ext4               17.6G   12.1G /disks/root3
    ├─sda10 ext4               17.6G    7.5G /disks/root4
    └─sda11 ext4               17.6G   11.5G /disks/root5
    250 GB is more than 10X the size of any of mine. I have many test installations. Most roots are less than 10 GB each, and I don't ever use a separate /boot/ or /var/.
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